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Show player "chance of success" for an action

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Abelabumba, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. Abelabumba

    Abelabumba

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    Posts:
    45
    When faced with a decision about an action to take in a strategy game what do you prefer?

    A)
    No displayed info about chance of success until after the fact / learn to assess it over time playing from past results

    B)
    General info about chance of success before submitting the action, like "good chance", "hopeless" etc

    C)
    Getting a numerical value, like "chance of success = x%"

    I'm torn between B) and C), tending towards C) atm but that might be because I have a gambling background. I feel more involved / affected by hitting or missing a "70%" chance than a "good" chance but I'm probably biased.

    I like that the player can make adjustments before sending the action and see the % value change - but that could be done with B) as well if I put in lots of steps. I could also omit the actual % numbers in A) and just show a bar that is filled to x%.

    B) is better for players who dislike numbers (is that even a demographic given they play a turn based strategy game in the first place?) and could offer more flavor than cold numbers I guess.

    Curious to hear your thoughts!
     
  2. iDontLikeHipsters

    iDontLikeHipsters

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Posts:
    24
    Should just depend on what kind of experience you are aiming for.
    Realism? Choice A.
    RPG game? Choice C.
     
    Not_Sure likes this.
  3. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    Feb 6, 2014
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    2,886
    Sounds like you could do all of them, depending on the game's difficulty levels.

    On the easiest setting, you see the percentage. On medium, just a general idea of what your odds are. And on the hardest, no feedback, and it's up to you to figure it out.
     
    Philip-Rowlands and Lahzar like this.
  4. Abelabumba

    Abelabumba

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    Jan 14, 2015
    Posts:
    45
    Schneider21,

    that's a great idea, will probably do that, thanks!
     
  5. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    Dec 13, 2011
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    2,605
    I personally like C.

    It worked great in FFt, and it helps the player focus on their strategy as apposed to the system.

    As far as the difficulty goes, I would pick one and go with it before making your game more complex.
     
  6. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    I think C is the best, and not enough games do this.
     
  7. DanSuperGP

    DanSuperGP

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    Apr 7, 2013
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    In a turn based strategy game, I like to know the % chance if things can be enumerated that way.
     
  8. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Mar 16, 2011
    Posts:
    2,981
    Considered combining B + C? "Likely (65%)".

    As a side note - randomness is fickle and humans learn poorly through statistical sampling. If this were not true, there'd be no casinos. 33% could mean 1 out of 3, and it can also mean 8 straight losses. I saw Sid Meier discussing this problem during playtests of CivRev. In the end, they built a system where one combat involved several iterations, where health was lost. In this case, a 75% chance ended up being 3 or 4 rolls of the dice, so that you'd actually win the combat maybe 90% of the time, and likely lose a good portion of your health in the process. Combat became a LOT more predictable - and players were happier.

    TL;DR - Simply random is risky and often not enough.

    Gigi

    PS - For other modifiers, most games use style C (+1 damage, +5 gold/turn, ...).
     
    DanSuperGP likes this.
  9. Abelabumba

    Abelabumba

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    Posts:
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    I've come around and will do C, but good point about randomness bringing out the worst in people who are not used to it. I'm thinking about lying to the player to make them feel a bit lucky, i.e. real chance of success is 80% but I will show them 75% or 70%.

    For my game the number will be for "Complete, utter success", but the actual calculation has space for / will spit out partial successes as well, which for the %age will count as loss/not won, but still reward / not punish the player too hard.