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How to properly treat the player unfriendly

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by hongwaixuexi, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    Recently I play some games, and these games inspire me on treating the player unfriendly.

    1. Loots with debuff or foods with side effects
    In "slay the spire" every relic has a negative attribute, and you have to give up something to receive the benefit of the relic.

    In "project zomboid" there are foods with side effects.

    2. When the player level up, not only give good trait but also bad trait.
    In "Darkest Dungeon", I think the player has 50% to get a bad trait when leveling up.

    3. Random events with bad things.
    In "rimworld", there are a lot.
     
  2. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Balance through debuffs is not unfriendliness.
     
  3. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    What's your definition for unfriendliness?
     
  4. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    Trade offs between positive and negative traits are pretty standard at this point. An archer can't usually wear the strongest armor, a player with a chain gun may move slower than someone with a smaller and less damaging weapon, etc. Even table top RPG's have this, where building your character you often allocate points to various traits, resulting in traits with high points being a positive while it is unavoidable that other traits will have lower points allocated as a result.

    Random negative events in some games are part of the fun itself, even if they are a set back at the moment. In Sim City even though you may have spent hours building your city, there is nothing quite as fun as when a large fire breaks out and you're trying to bulldoze firebreaks to save as much as you can.
     
  5. Vryken

    Vryken

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    Eh? Sounds just like standard balancing mechanics.
     
  6. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    @hongwaixuexi
    If a game is too unfriendly, or too harsh to people playing it, gamers might not want to play it.
     
  7. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    So properly. Sometimes you have to do this frequently to balance the game.
     
  8. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    True. But if you overdo it, gamers might not want to play your game.
     
  9. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    Do you have any idea to solve this? How to harm the gamer and also keep from the gamer leaving?
     
  10. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    Oh man! That's a semi tough question to answer.

    But the best answer I can give for now, "is to try not to overdo it."
    Because if you overdo it, the player might get fed up, frustrated, or bored, and might consider the game, too hard and unplayable.
     
  11. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    I think you can harm the gamer indirectly, continuously. For instance, in the game world, create a NPC as the player's little daughter, while the daughter get a rare disease and needs continuous consumption. Then the gamer is distracted, he can't put all his time on upgrading or spend all his money on equipment.
     
  12. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    Hey! Good game idea dude.:)
     
  13. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    While this method has a side effect. Saving the little daughter maybe become one of player's main goal. It will change the original game to some degree.
    If you don't want this side effect, you have to add other somethings.
     
  14. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    @hongwaixuexi overcomplicating things.
    This way could consider that putting zombies, or other enemies is unfriendly :D
    One zombie too much, and game cane be unplayable (not fun).
     
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  15. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    We talk about ways to constrain the player. If the player kill zombies, and he will get upgrade and loots. Zombies make the player stronger. So let the player get a disease to reduce his power for balancing game.
     
  16. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    Whatever mechanics you like to apply. But nothing of these are new past 2 decades.
    So what is unique about it?
    Or thread's point is just sharing, what you going to implement?
     
  17. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    Just sharing and get feedback.
     
  18. TenKHoursDev

    TenKHoursDev

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    I think @hongwaixuexi is just meaning to understand how these concepts work... maybe to find an innovative alternative?

    Also:
    I think we call that "neutral".
    :p

    Me, myself, and I have been working on perfecting both code and mechanics for so long we never got to gameplay balancing... ugh! <<I don't mean to hijack the thread.
     
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  19. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    Yes.
     
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  20. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    You're joking but you're likely not too far from the truth. Players have a tendency to jump to the conclusion that a game is being unfair to them when it may have been completely fair.

    I've known some games to have random numbers that are weighted more towards positives to make the player feel like they're getting more lucky than they truly are, and I've even known of some games that guarantee you a positive result if you have too many negative rolls within a certain time period.
     
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  21. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    All depends on the sugarcoating/presentation. I will borrow examples from the board game territory because nowadays most games tend to overpower the player and make the games too easy by default.

    So if you want to learn how to f**k over the player on a way they come back for more, study Battlestar Galactica and almost any of the Call of Cthulhu (Arkham Horror, Elder Sign) board game mechanics.
    They are the brightest example how to kick the players when they are already lying on the floor.
    And they are working very well. They are just doing it without any hesitation and without saying sorry.

    That's the key. It is normal in the game. Players will accept that. Example of the other extreme: if you make a game, which over-protect the player (like Skyrim for example) and then you introduce suddenly something negative, it's not working. Players will be confused.

    Other good examples (and this time from the video games): rim world (you periodically get some problems either small or devastating) or Fade to Silence (FPS survival, lovecraftian).
    They always screw the player over, it is part of the game, no fuss about it.

    So what I wanted to say with this whole rumbling is you need to make it natural. The negative effects should be the parts of the rules of your world. They are not exceptions, they are natural. They come with the territory. People will willingly accept them. And don't say sorry using them.