Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Difficulty Curve

Ahhh difficulty in games. It is such a personal and subjective thing. No two people can generally agree whether the difficulty of a game they have just tried is same. This is because experience counts for so much when playing game. Practice does not always make one perfect, but it can certainly make you better at whatever task you are practicing. Such a platform jumping, or dodging bullets in the latest shmup.

One of the things I found out when doing A Shooter and Pellmell is that a lot of people with Xbox360s are not great at dodging bullets in shmups. This is because the genre is not as well covered in main streams games, or at least not over here in America. I see most of my sales have been going to the East since their launch, no real surprise.

This however leaves me with a dilemma. I need to make the game interesting enough for practiced shmup players, yet easy enough for novices to get going. This is a very thin line, and might be impossible to balance on. that will not stop me from trying to walk it though.

As well as the starting difficulty, I also have to work on the difficulty curve. This is where most of my time is usually spent on a game. Balancing the ramp up of difficulty to remove bumps and troughs. I want to ramp difficulty so people can brag to each other about how far they have gotten, and personally I love the challenges of playing a game that ramps up the further you get in. this kind of Genre begs to have this system in place.

I am currently working on having all my aliens fire by calling a single routine, in that routine I will evaluate the difficulty level of the game alongside what level you are currently on. Then I will make the determination not only if I should fire the actual bullet or not, but also if I should speed up, slow down, alter size of, or simply fire a different type of bullet. With this and a lot of tweaking I hope to do most of my difficulty curve coding in a single function.

Da Voodoochief

No comments:

Post a Comment