Idea Game preferences

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by OblivionSkull21, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. OblivionSkull21

    OblivionSkull21 Member

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    Lately, I've been thinking of incorporating "game preferences" into the main menu that you must pick before you start your game. If you don't set your preferences, then they're set to their default.

    A few things to keep in mind, my game has bullet hell combat but it's not the most important part of the game. Some enemies can be gruesome looking, and guns are displayed occasionally. Some concepts can be a little dark and somewhat triggering. So I thought of making some preferences to adjust these things.

    1.) Easy combat (for the motor-challenged)
    -Turn this on/off if it's hard for you to press several keys quickly and dodge stuff fast. Bullets would be slower and easier to dodge, allowing you more time to press the keys. Idk if "motor-challenged" is the way to name this.
    -This can be undone at any time.

    2.) Content Level
    -Choose Normal or Sensitive. Normal content means everything in the game, including blood, gruesome monsters, guns, swearing, etc. will stay the same. Sensitive means everything will be censored for the most part (this is so kids whose parents don't want them playing such a game can still play it).
    -This can be undone at any time.

    3.) Music
    -Choose Original (normal music) or Retro(8-bit music). Basically, the retro setting would change all the music to chiptune versions of the original.
    -This can be undone at any time.

    4.) Difficulty
    -Choose Normal or Hardcore(only unlocked if the game is beaten at least once)
    -Having easy combat turned on overrides this setting.
    -This cannot be undone.

    So what do you think? Are these good ideas or something that would hurt the game?
    I wouldn't actually incorporate the settings until the game was nearly completed, as I need to make the "normal version" first and then change it to my liking.
     
    Cpaz, Triangle and mar_cuz like this.
  2. Widget

    Widget Member

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    Looks good, aside from locking a difficulty option behind having to complete the game once. Just have all of them be available to begin with.
     
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  3. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    Sounds like you want an options menu. Just leave it at that and don't force it on the player.
     
  4. OblivionSkull21

    OblivionSkull21 Member

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    The game would require you to set your options at the start of a new game so the player doesn't miss the chance. Would having all these difficulty settings ruin the play value of the game? I've heard that making a hard game "easier" ruins the value. For example, someone said that an easy mode on Dark Souls would ruin the gameplay because it's supposed to be hard.

    And I thought having the Hardcore difficulty unlockable would provide the player with some kind of "reward" or incentive to play the game a second time.
     
  5. Widget

    Widget Member

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    You have to be really confident with how good your game is if you think the player will play again pretty much immediately after completing it.

    It depends on how elaborate this new difficulty mode is. Is it just increasing the health and damage dealt by enemies, like the majority of hard modes? If so, gonna be honest here, that's a pretty lousy reward.

    Some games unlock new playable characters, which can vastly change a player's options for combat encounters they've already beaten. They can also add in new enemies or at least switch up enemy placements so the player doesn't feel like they're doing the same thing over again.
     
  6. OblivionSkull21

    OblivionSkull21 Member

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    Not sure yet. Could add a new boss or bosses and new ending/dialogue change. I might just ditch the difficulty mode all together, because, depending on how you play the game, some bosses will already be hard enough on normal mode.
     
  7. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    Having an easy mode is a great way to expand your audience in my opinion. You'll find people of all skill levels play games and may be interested in your game and want to experience various aspects of it. Giving them an option to play through at an easier difficulty is good. Anyone who complains about easy modes being bad or ruining their experience are jerks. Having an easier difficulty doesn't impact them at all, doesn't stop them from choosing the normal/harder difficulty. Achievements or certain unlockables for beating a harder difficulty are ok, but what I have found is if a game is good and fair, people will choose harder difficulties just for the challenge alone.
    In regards to Dark Souls, it's not exactly a difficult game, it's a deliberate game and dying is all part of the experience. One could argue that it already has difficulty levels in the class you choose. Playing as a warrior and putting all your points into Strength for example feels much easier to begin with than say choosing a theif and using dexterity .
     
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  8. YanBG

    YanBG Member

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    Correct! I'd go for "easy to learn and difficult to master".
     
  9. deem93

    deem93 Member

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    When it comes to difficulty, I think that it is far more interesting when players can make the game easier, or harder for themselves from within the game by choosing to utilize some of the game mechanics.
    Having difficulty options in a game always seemed to me a bit unimaginative.
     
    Khao likes this.
  10. OblivionSkull21

    OblivionSkull21 Member

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    So like the player can make the game harder by simply not buying good items, preparing for battle, etc. and make it easier by farming XP?
     
  11. deem93

    deem93 Member

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    Well you can be more creative than that but yeah, that's the idea.
     
  12. ethian

    ethian Member

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    Our game preference ("Our" because i'm not actually alone, i have my friend in my arms)
    • We preffer a game that includes all this content :
    Positive Messages : ***
    "Don't do anything bad!" Isn't enough?

    Positive role models and representations : ***

    Main character doesn't let anything bad to occur... or something else...
    I don't know...

    Ease of play : *****

    Simple controls, easy to learn, the game is gentle, checkpoints, constant healing, enemies are actually not so rude...
    Nothing humiliant...

    Violence : *

    When touching enemies, bosses and hazards, the player gets hurt anyways, but they don't actually die if HP goes to 0, also, HP stands for "Happiness points" instead of "Health Points".

    S*x : Not Present

    Nothing that is an abobination to the eyes...

    Language : Not Present

    None of the censorable swear words are used... this more than people doesn't insult, like insulting doesn't exist on their word

    Consumerism : not present

    Nothing that makes children be fat at the end.

    Drinking, Dr*gs and Smoking : **

    Nothing of illicit dr*gs, nothing of alcohol, that makes people uglier... however, people that makes us go nuts smoke, nevermind, right?

    Content that makes us feel bad : Not Present

    The OST's volume is loud enough to enjoy, amazingly smooth animation (60 fps), nothing of I Wanna Be the Guy-styled difficulty, no foul language, fashions are not used, except for a few of them, like the Widescreen and what you do if you win in the bottle challenge.

    Content that makes us go nuts : ****

    Full universality, the entire adventure is an entire world tour.
    People that wear long socks.
    There's monsters with sharp claws on their hands and feet.
    The two species mentioned previously, both can be seen jumping.
    Use of Hanna-Barbera sound effects and other sound library used in cartoons that i.d.k. its name.
    Characters, detectives that know kung fu, for example.

    Others : ***

    Option to disable music and sound, disable the music for hear your own music when playing, disable sound for just hear the music, not the annoying sounds...
    As long as others!
     
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  13. YanBG

    YanBG Member

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    Diablo didn't have a difficulty setting.
     
  14. Yal

    Yal Member GMC Elder

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    The fundamental flaw of difficulty modes is that you choose them BEFORE you start playing, so you can't tell what difficulty is right for you until it's too late. It's better to let the player adjust the difficulty on the fly on their own volition based on playstyle (for instance, in Undertale you only get the best ending if you intentionally never level up, but this increases the difficulty since you never get extra HP or attack power).

    So essentially, you want to have options that simply make the game easier if picked, but reward the player for choosing the ones that make the game harder.
    • Level/Money Grinding is a common way to do this in RPGs. If you're too weak to do something, you could always go do something else and come back when you're stronger. You might want to tell the player to actually do this if they fail on something repeatedly (e.g. have a side character call you and go "maybe we should come back here later"), and provide enough side quests to give EXP boosts that they're not forced to run around in circles for hours beating up wolves.
    • Offering power boosts in exchange for being easier to kill (e.g. "equip this ring to double attack power but halve HP") is a common way to give skilled players a way to do things more efficiently, but requiring more skill in order to be viable. You can also do the opposite thing, offering options that boost HP and defenses, but have a drawback or just doesn't offer any gameplay benefits... if you could choose between spending an equip slot on a HP boost or a new attack, it becomes more of a hard choice to make.
    • Offer more than one way to do things, that way players can pick whatever is easiest for THEM. If they're good at dodging but suck at getting into close range, they could have fun with a homing attack that's weak but never misses. Conversely, if they're awful at dodging and get hit by EVERYTHING, they might prefer just rushing up close with a heavy melee weapon and HP boosts and try to kill everything before it kills them.
    Also, be careful about options that require you to have multiple versions of the same content. It adds upkeep that quickly stacks up, making it harder and harder to make new content later.

    These two videos could be interesting research material:

     
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  15. Sam04

    Sam04 Member

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    I was just thinking of linking the exact two Mark Brown's videos you posted, haha.

    I've been recently played a game called CodyCross. It is basically an easier crossword game for my phone. But it does have an interesting take on difficulty. After you complete every crossword it selects one of the words used and asks you if you found it interesting or not. Additionally, every some levels or so the game actually stops and asks you if you find the game too easy, too hard, or just right. I had always choosen the "just right" option but knowing the game I can easily imagine which kind of changes would appear in the other two options.

    I find it amazing that it lets you adjust the difficulty even during your playthrough so you can enjoy it more and can easily see it working in other type of games. Bravely default has this option in which you can at any moment (outside of battle) enter the options menu and adjust several "difficulty" settings that apply immediatly after you close the options menu (Just like in Celeste as it is pointed out in the second video posted by Yal). Although, realistically it was mostly used to set the encounter rate to 0 when you were fed up with the random encounters appearing every 5 seconds.

    Other games like Resident Evil 4 and Jak and Daxter have this dynamic difficulty settings. They learn how good the player is and adjust the difficulty to match the player and always deliver the best and most fair challenge to him. Although it is harder to implement they are examples that changing difficulty mid-game is not a bad idea.
     
  16. Yal

    Yal Member GMC Elder

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    The problem with automatically adjusting difficulty is that it's not always doing the RIGHT adjustments... players that like challenge will feel cheated out if the game randomly gets a chunk noticeably easier (e.g. those annoying ranged enemies suddenly just doesn't spawn, to take a RE4 example), and players that want the game to be easier might give up before they realize it actually GETS easier. It's hard to find that line where the difficulty changes are great enough to make a difference, still not so obvious you feel like you play a completely different level.
     

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