Search Unity

  1. Good news ✨ We have more Unite Now videos available for you to watch on-demand! Come check them out and ask our experts any questions!
    Dismiss Notice

Why do games require you to lose?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by imaginaryhuman, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Posts:
    5,703
    There are many games where you are coasting along and making progress and are simply enjoying the experience - the ride - the scenery, and then all of a sudden you run up against some kind of situation that you can't complete. But instead of the game giving you unlimited tries or some help to move forward, it results in a 'game over' situation. This is annoying. I actually just want to keep playing and flowing along, I don't really want the experience to stop, but the game's design stops it. Its as though the developer doesn't actually know what you are experiencing and why it's been enjoyable, so they put a challenge in front of you that's too hard. An impass. For me this kills the game and destroys the good thing they had going. I couldn've kept on playing for hours, but to go back to the beginning is like an obnoxious failure. Does anyone really want that? Do you think games should use these roadblocks or are there games that are better suited to continuous, forgiving, uninterrupted flow and progress? This particularly annoys me in free-to-play games where eventually you cannot pass unless you pay up. It doesn't make me want to pay, it makes me want t quit.
     
    theANMATOR2b and GibTreaty like this.
  2. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Posts:
    8,203
    People, in general, don't play games that are too easy for very long at all. Even if they say they want a game easier. That said there are whole genres and markets that have games that you can't fail. Many 3d platformers fall in this category, often the ones built for younger crowds. For the most part all the TT Lego games are impossible to fail, and get progressively easier if you struggle with the challenges. You can't fail clicker games. Some games you can't fail, but the challenge is in the speed or score in you get instead.
    Then you aren't the audience for those games. Many (enough) do pay when the challenges get tougher. Though practically speaking, most of the successful F2P games don't have any hard walls. Hard walls don't work, they turn players away. The walls are time based usually or have a hard currency wall, with the ability to earn hard currency in game through grinding. (or a soft currency wall that is really high, that people would rather pay to get through than grind). While some people claim they don't like these games, they are dominate the top games.

    Interestingly, there are a percentage of F2P players who play these game hardcore without ever paying a dime, they feel like they are beating the system playing the crap out of the game and not paying. They feel like they are getting away with something. Which is pretty funny, really... but in the end, they are still getting joy out of playing the game.
     
  3. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Posts:
    2,484
    Yeah, this.

    Though, I will say the fact that you felt blindsided by these events may mean that the developer doesn't realize they're creating a difficulty spike. It's usually gradual.
     
    Shiro_Rin, frosted and zombiegorilla like this.
  4. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,732
    In general I agree with the OP.

    Difficulty spikes are important. They add flavour and variety. But spikes that are too difficult can kill a game.

    I'm not talking about difficulty in general. There is a market for difficult games, and I certainly enjoy a challenge. It's just painful when one part of a game is completely out of phase with the difficulty of the rest of the game. It's a major design flaw.

    The biggest culprit for this I've played recently was Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Periodically the game threw you into cut scenes as boss fights. The difficulty was way out of wack with the rest of the game. In many ways it ruined why was otherwise a good experience.
     
    Kemonono and EternalAmbiguity like this.
  5. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Posts:
    2,484
    Agreed. however, I invested in the first level of the Typhoon ability specifically for that purpose. And I always stocked up on candy bars, and never used Typhoon ammo for anything else, so at a boss battle I would immediately run up to whoever, use the Typhoon, while they're reeling go into the inventory and eat a candy bar, then repeat until the cutscene began (thankfully those bosses don't count as kills).
     
  6. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,732
    That strategy worked. But only if you knew about it in advance. It's a fairly major design flaw to assume a player has chosen a specific skill on an rpg skill tree. Especially when the skill is pretty useless outside of boss battles.
     
  7. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Posts:
    2,838
    There are two reasons for failing conditions in games. One reason is to provide a challenge, since many people will stop playing if they feel bored from a lack of challenge. The other reason is out of habit. Back in the arcade days, the failure condition was an opportunity for the video game machine to request more money from the player to keep playing. As video game designers, we need to make sure we provide enjoyable challenges to maintain player interest, but we should be careful not to fall into any habits from the past coin op days.
     
    theANMATOR2b and Kiwasi like this.
  8. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Posts:
    2,484
    Yeah, the first time I played I wasn't aware of it, and I'd played without ANY combat use, so it was a major "Oh [expletive]" moment.

    Excellent point.
     
  9. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Posts:
    2,234
    Because most people have no idea how to make something engaging, aside from challenging the player's skills. So much of classic and current game design is based purely on edging the line of player proficiency. The other issue is most design is seen in black and white. Most designers want the players to do something specific. If the player doesn't do the one thing they want, then their only option is to punish them. Either the player wins the fight or they die. Either the player completes the level or they die. There are no other outcomes, and certainly no nuances in what the player has to do.

    Take away all roadblocks though and you're left with something incapable of engagement. It might be immersive, but it will be void of anything tangible to engage with. If you want uninterrupted flow, however, you should put the controller down and go watch a movie.
     
    Kemonono and theANMATOR2b like this.
  10. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,286
    Pay2Win games aside...
    Because overcoming a challenge is fun.

    Loss means you have failed to overcome the challenge.

    Getting through the learning curve, starting to understand the mechanics, getting better at them, and eventually overcoming something you thought was impossible - it produces one hell of a thrill and is one of the feelings that makes games worth playing.

    An example:

    You're a king of a kingdom. You're surrounded by numerous neighbors. One day you decide to turn your kingdom into an empire. You start attacking your neighbors one by one, but none of them can resist your might. You conquer them all and the game ends.

    ^^^ This is a boring game. Unless it has some other component in it, I won't be playing it.

    Now, let's compare it to:

    you're a king of a fantasy kingdom. You're surrounded by many enemies that are stronger than you and want you dead. And one day one of them attack you. Through your skill and wits you manage to defeat the enemy and push it back after hard battle. Then you advance through their lands, arrive at their capital and conquer them... which only causes all your other enemies unite and attack you all at once. The war continues on, and one day after carefully planning, juggling troops, resources and using every trick you stand victorious! As you advance to the last stronghold at the last enemy they play their final card : they open gates of hell, and demons that are much stronger than anything you ever faced pour into your lands slaughtering your armies. You now lost most of your lands, and once again reduced to your last castle.... and you decide to continue fighting back.

    ^^^ I'd play the hell out of this. In a game I want something to think about. I want to look for ways to overcome a challenge, because thinking is fun.

    So.

    When you encounter situation when "It doesn't make me want to pay, it makes me want t quit.", you're not the target audience, and this is not your most suitable genre. The best idea is indeed to switch to something else that you enjoy more.
     
  11. neoshaman

    neoshaman

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    5,524
    That's when the dev have hardcore mentality, they see darksouls has coming back to the roots and the validation that the other way around was bogus to begin with. That's just ideology.

    But the reality is way more complex, Difficulty/stimulation management have always been a concern in game for example:
    - Walking sims is a genre that have explicitly rejected this to go push "soaking in the setting" sentiment, they have been increasingly complex and finding their own way to engage along.

    - JRPG have been playing with this in many way, even in the yer old days! There is a reason why you can break these game with 99 potions stocking or grind ... you get to feel like you cheated the game by putting effort and thought, you engage with the challenge by finding obvious way to get around, BUT hardcore player will use their hard earn coin to carefully choose their equipment the most adapted to the challenge through deeply learning the weakness system and engage with the combat rules to strategize, the former get to finish the game fist pumping after the boss have them strategically quaff potion and abuse revive for every one hit kills, while the latter will fist pump to be able to dodge all debuff and one hit kills and do 9999 damage with the complex combo stacking system.

    - There was a moment in game design where most game where about "linear scripting", the word toss around was "constant engagement", always provide the player a stimulation by faking how hard a situation truly is and making feel like he did fantastic things when he really didn't.

    - there was difficulty settings

    - there was dynamic difficulty adjustment

    - there is nagging like in mario 3d land where if you fail too much the game offer you an optional bonus

    - there is mini games to farm advantage (mario 3 and things like P wings)
     
    theANMATOR2b likes this.
  12. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2017
    Posts:
    3,517
    This is why most games have several difficulty levels to choose from. Some people like a chill experience, others want a challenge.

    As for me, if a game doesn't seriously strain my nerves I generally get bored of it quick.
     
  13. minta2

    minta2

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Posts:
    16
    Well, I think really depends on the person and his/her mood at that moment. In my occasion, I am trying not to become upset if I cannot pass the level. If I wish to pass, I start to google, asking how to pass it...basically, looking for the option how to pass it. If it I am not in a mood or are not that interested in a game, just leave it. Maybe it sounds not that ambitious but I try to enjoy my time playing games. That is the main in my occasion.
     
  14. wccrawford

    wccrawford

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Posts:
    2,038
    Some people want more challenge than others. It's a lot harder to get through a game that makes you start from scratch if you fail (roguelikes) or if you fail a few times (Mario) than one that lets you continue from your last save an infinite number of times (RPGs).

    That said, I don't find that fun at all. I think being forced to replay the whole game adds artificial difficulty. Interestingly, the new Mario game is apparently not going to have a Game Over state, but will instead just take coins from the player on death.

    https://www.polygon.com/2017/7/5/15925388/super-mario-odyssey-game-over
     
  15. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Posts:
    2,484
    Literally my first thought when I first saw that: what happens when the player runs out of coins?
     
  16. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Posts:
    7,072
    I think on top of that, the possibility of failure, with whatever punishment that may bring, makes everything more tense. It makes everything more difficult, it requires me to take it seriously and dig deep into its mechanics and understand them so I can take full advantage.

    I hate games that have been focus tested to death and the difficulty curve is so smooth you simply flow through the game. It's the thing that makes a lot of the recent games unmemorable.

    I get why they do it. If a game is punishing and difficult, I have to be into it. If I'm not really into it I'm not going to bother replaying a level and I'll just stop. But if I flow through it I might just keep going, because maybe the next level will have interesting stuff, or maybe I want to see where the story goes or whatever. And then I finish it and instantly forget about it.
     
    theANMATOR2b and Ryiah like this.
  17. FrankenCreations

    FrankenCreations

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2017
    Posts:
    304
    Oddworld was good about being difficult but letting you retry from any point. I have died in the same place 30 times before figuring out how to do it. Infinite lives dosent always mean easy. Castlequest on NES start with 99 lives, lucky if you ever beat it. Most people give up long before running out of chances.
     
  18. derf

    derf

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Posts:
    349
    I guess I am understanding the question different then others. I do not believe the OP is asking why do games have challenge; but do you as both player and developer like games that use challenge AS roadblocks or gates to the gaming experience?

    Some examples of this would be...

    Gated Game Play: Willow for the NES. In this game the developers literally level gated the game so you HAD to go up in levels and could not beat bosses of each area unless you had reached the required level other wise you inflicted NO DAMAGE against the boss no matter how good you were in controlling Willow.

    Roadblock Game Play: Star Control 2 had a complete the game in 5 game years or lose; yet they created a game that had a vast galaxy too explore; yet you literally had to complete the main quests ASAP with limited access to the few side quests there were in order too complete the game; so you left a vast amount of game play fun on the roadside.

    Now there are some games that approach this differently...

    Games like Inside and Little Nightmares allow indefinite game play. Most puzzler games do this and it is a simple trade off. Can't beat level 14B, try again.

    But now we have games like Monstrum where they invoke permadeath. You get one life, one chance to get off the ship in one of three ways, but it also uses RNG for item placement which makes it very difficult too locate most of the required items. Most players tend to think logically and head to places where they would expect to find some of the items yet they could be anywhere (why is their a blow torch in the bathroom?).

    Another is something like Darkest Dungeon where it saves as you play so if you lose Reginald the crusader, he is gone forever. You cannot load up a pre-save and try that battle differently, he's dead Jim.

    There are more examples, but this is a simple post; not as advanced as other posts
     
    neoshaman, theANMATOR2b and Ryiah like this.
  19. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Posts:
    5,703
    No that's not really what I meant.

    There are games where I'm having a perfectly enjoyable experience progressing from one level to the next. There is challenge but it's not too hard, and it's enough of a challenge to keep me interested. Difficulty or complexity will increase but so too will abilities and extra tools and so on. But then after, let's say, 20-30 levels, which feels like a nice flow that you could just keep going with for ages... suddenly they throw in a level that's just a bit too difficult, and now you fail the level, and maybe you get a few chances to try again, and already you feel annoyed, and you get close to beating it but you don't, and then that's it, the whole entire game is down the tubes and you gotta start from level 1. What happened?

    Whereas it seemed as though constant challenge or increasing difficulty was the aim, what I was really experiencing was a nice steady well-balanced progression where the game seemed to entertain me and matched my level of ability. But then something went outside the envelope.

    Example, I was playing the new 'snoopy pop' game on iPad... got through like 20-odd levels, never had to replay a level, yet every level seemed engaging enough and interesting and engaging. Could've just kept going, I was enjoying it. I come to a level around 20-odd and suddenly the level is really long, and after even 3 or 4 tries I just can't seem to get past it. Getting past a harder level of challenge or difficulty was NOT my goal. I guess what I'm saying is, I was having a better time enjoying the RIDE and the scenery and the journey, that when a "GOAL" came along and said, sorry no, you shall not pass, it was like F#&($*#&$ you. In my opinion that was a complete mismatch between the joy of just playing versus this sudden ultimatum showing up. I felt like I could've just casually coasted along for 100 levels, and now here I am faced with a slap in the face. I don't want a challenge that can't be beat without reasonable effort... if it means I have to replay levels and even the horrible scenario of starting from scratch, then it's game over as far as I'm concerned. App will be quit and not played again.

    Another game which did this was Thomas was Alone. Was really enjoying the puzzles and so on. Got through quite a number of levels. Then suddenly got to this level where the difficulty suddenly because quite different, there were all these platforms moving around and I had 3 or 4 characters to use in combination to get to the next part of the level, yet it had to be done quickly and timed just right, it was just baffling. I wasn't ready for it, I guess. I felt ill-equipped and it seemed unfair. I quit the game. I wasn't there to overcome a massively hard challenge, I was just enjoying gently learning how to do things and to succeed at doing them. The "competitive" bullshit of suddenly having this all-or-nothing live-or-die scenario just ruined the experience for me.

    I guess I'm describing 'casual gaming' more than difficult challenge games. It's not that I don't like a challenge but... in a game which is mainly not about that kind of challenge, to suddenly experience it is just not right.

    I guess this is a fundamentally different model of play... the enjoyment of just playing and relaxing and being entertained and just flowing right along, with enough challenge or change to keep it interesting, versus a game where it just gets harder faster than your ability to keep up and eventually you inevitably die. I'd rather the game be more forgiving and just let you keep going indefinitely. Perhaps, instead of an "endless" game which actually does have an end because the difficulty and ability to fail increases, maybe a type of game where you can just keep on going and "play forever" and enjoy it without having an actual end goal or interruption or reason to start over. ie games can be fun and enjoyable without having to have this "end" happening.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  20. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Posts:
    5,703
    Maybe another way to look at this is in terms of having a game which is constantly revealing new tools or powers or abilities, which then are given a temporary challenge in a few levels where you use them, and as such there is something new and a learning curve and yet you can and will succeed. Then it moves on to a new special power or ability etc and another level where you get to try it out and succeed at it, and thus feel an accomplishment because you learned to master a new tool or skill. And just keep on going, new stuff, new stuff, new stuff. In that, it stays interesting and engaging without having to use "difficulty" as a kind of easy go-to to add a sense of new challenges or new problems or whatever. Does a game really have to become HARDER in order to keep your engagement? Or does it simply need to keep giving you something new, interesting and unexpected - something which you can nevertheless deal with and move past, to just keep on enjoying the discovery and freshness of the experience? Why end that? Why throw in a sudden sense of difficulty in as a kind of "problem" which, if you can't find a way around it on your own, the game leaves you hanging and now you're dead?
     
  21. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Posts:
    7,442
    I guess it probably comes down to 3 things mainly.

    One would be the developers just screwed up on play balancing, another would be you might be getting close to the end of the game and they wanted to throw something very difficult at you to stretch the game out not realizing it would have the opposite effect, and finally the other would be it is by design. Perhaps by that point they expect you to be ready for it. Maybe all of the playtesters were ready for it. But that certainly doesn't mean every gamer will be.
     
  22. wccrawford

    wccrawford

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Posts:
    2,038
    I'm betting that you can't go below zero coins. Your penalty for now playing well enough will be the inability to buy the extras that coins are used for. (I'm assuming that's their use.) There's still a penalty for dying that way, but it's just not "game over, start over from scratch".
     
    EternalAmbiguity likes this.
  23. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,059
    As a skilled player, though, that kind of takes the sense of adventure away from me.

    With an old-school lives system as you get further into the game the challenge increases and you (probably) start using up your lives. This leads to meaningful choices about whether to take increasing risks - do I try making that difficult jump to get the pickups, or do I skip it because I don't want to chance losing a life, which would eventually make me restart the level? There's a dynamic tension there, which increases as the game goes on, and which I'm partially in control of based on my risk vs. reward choices.

    Without the potential of losing something - my progress through the level - there's no real downside to screwing up the jump, so of course I'm going to do it. But because I didn't put anything on the line in deciding upon that course of action that dynamic tension isn't there, and that aspect of the experience is flatter as a result.
     
  24. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Posts:
    2,234
    Just consider that what almost all games ask of the player is "do you solve the conflict." Now imagine a game that at it's core is asking the player "how do you solve the conflict." When there is no definitively right way to play, then it's also more reasonable to create the absence of a wrong way to play.
     
  25. neoshaman

    neoshaman

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    5,524
    Also if the game don't rely on shallow fun, level would be replayable and still be fun. SO losing progress is more hurting the ego than the fun. That's why IMHO it hurt rpg and adventure game more, those game aren't based on fun traversal.
     
  26. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    7,163
    Honestly though, the old school lives system did the exact same thing in every Mario game post... New Super Mario Bros. for the DS, I think? The life counter would just hit zero, you'd get a "game over" screen that did absolutely nothing but boot you from the level (which is trivial) and then grant you another 5 or so extra lives. It's long been the standard that what you end up risking in these games is time more than it is anything else. Like, for well over a decade now.
     
  27. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,732
    Talking of risk-reward, I really like how Dark Souls did this. Using a checkpoint saved your progress, but it also restored enemies to life. So at each check point you had to balance the risk of loosing your progress against the cost of having to fight enemies over again.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  28. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Posts:
    4,834
    If your games difficulty curve is a constant trajectory upwards then I feel like it would be boring you need to have abit of variety in the pacing.
     
  29. derf

    derf

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Posts:
    349
    I do not like games where after failing for the third time on level 44, the game makes you start over from level 1. If it is free I might try it out simply out of respect for the indie dev(s), but if they are asking for money, bye-bye.

    However I also cannot think of a game I have played and liked that had the misfortune of the difficulty level increasing by a large margin during game play. Most of the plat former games I have played, the difficulty increased casually per level or stage.

    Games like Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania, and Super Mario Brothers. The difficulty did get high up in the final levels but that seems about right. I will also admit that not everyone has the hand to eye coordination or reflexes or mental fortitude to handle so much on the screen at once and too think of their future moves before they make them.

    There are also some games that had the same level of difficulty (Expert level it seems) through out the entire game play, from the beginning to the end. Games like Megaman and Blaster Master, these games are in a group referred too as Nintendo Hard.
     
  30. The-Britain

    The-Britain

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Posts:
    714
    I think this is an important point allot of people miss. The AAA game market watered games down because they wanted all the money, all the time. It's OK for a game to have a niche target audience.
     
    Kiwasi, AcidArrow and BIGTIMEMASTER like this.
  31. wccrawford

    wccrawford

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Posts:
    2,038
    So make your own rules. Tell yourself that if you miss a jump, you'll shut the box off and start it up again. There's no need to take the adventure away from other less-skilled players to give yourself that high.
     
    Ryiah and Kiwasi like this.
  32. The-Britain

    The-Britain

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Posts:
    714
    That's an incredibly silly thing to say.
     
  33. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,286
    The other purpose of this design is farming, though. Basically you have an obstacle course and can have several stabs to master it till you figure how to get through without getting murdered, but you can also play it safe, kill enemies for souls and item drops and empower your character with those. Now, power increases very slowly in dark souls, however, equipment farming and item drops is a very popular jrpg mechanic that increases amount of time you'll spend in the game. It was used in Dark Souls, but it was also used in Neptunia games and in Toukiden.

    When you make your own rules you also have a choice to break them with no consequences. Meaning there is no real penalty, so this measure doesn't have even remotely similar impact.

    I recall when I was angry about Fallout 3 idiotic ending (before the first addon, you know), and someone suggested me "hey, just pretend that something entirely different happened!" Uh, things don't quite work this way.
     
    angrypenguin and Ryiah like this.
  34. passerbycmc

    passerbycmc

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Posts:
    1,479
    Does every game have to be made for every type of player? There are already games that cater to both so the problem seems solved.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  35. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Posts:
    2,234
    It's not like death has much of a consequence anyway.
     
  36. The-Britain

    The-Britain

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Posts:
    714
    That's the point, it can. It can have a large impact, unless you're talking nihilism in which game design is the least of the problem.
     
  37. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,732
    This is valid. I'll frequently do it on games I replay. I'll set myself a time limit, or artificially limit the types of weapon I use, or something similar.

    Well designed games use the achievement system to aid this type of play.
     
    wccrawford and Ryiah like this.
  38. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    16,148
    At the same time there's no need to take the adventure away from a better-skilled player. What's even worse is when you take that adventure away from one side and the target audience expected it. If I developed a roguelike, for example, it had better have an option for permadeath or I'll have some very mad roguelike fans on my hands.
     
    angrypenguin likes this.
  39. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    7,163
    To be fair, roguelike fans are always mad.
     
    wccrawford and Ryiah like this.
  40. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    16,148
    Yes, and in both senses of the word. Who else plays games for years upon years without ever reaching a victory? :p
     
  41. wccrawford

    wccrawford

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Posts:
    2,038
    And I'm perfectly fine with players missing out on some things if they aren't top-notch. But when a kid plays Mario and can't get the to the end, I think that's wrong. Sure, they could miss out on special warps, outfits, collecting all the bonus coins, etc etc. But they should at least be able to see the game through the end.

    I'm not saying there should be *no* challenge. But it should be appropriate to the audience for the minimum skill level.

    Developers can even add harder modes with those enforced rules, such as permadeath or no powerups, etc. They add fun replay to levels for everyone, without punishing anyone.
     
    Ryiah and Kiwasi like this.
  42. The-Britain

    The-Britain

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Posts:
    714
    It's ok to make a game that kids can't handle. It's ok to have a target audience. You don't need to water down a game so it's accessible. Super Hexagon wouldn't be Super Hexagon if it did this.
     
    angrypenguin likes this.
  43. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,732
    Yeah, that's what I was getting at. For many games completing the story shouldn't be extremely difficult. But getting 100% of everything certianly should be.
     
    angrypenguin, Ryiah and wccrawford like this.
  44. FrankenCreations

    FrankenCreations

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2017
    Posts:
    304
    It took me over a year of failures to finally beat super mario brothers. I was 5 at the time. I can now beat it in a matter of 20 minutes or less. It was more fun when I couldn't beat it.
     
    angrypenguin likes this.
  45. ArachnidAnimal

    ArachnidAnimal

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Posts:
    1,698
    "You got to lose to know how to win" -Aerosmith, Dream On
    ,
     
  46. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,286
    ?
    In computer games it doesn't.

    No, this is right. The idea is:
    "THAT WILL BE AN IMPORTANT LESSON."

    I think that games should not offer equivalent of "medal for participation", especially when children are involved. Wanna see the ending? Figure out how to get there! That's the whole point.

    I remember beating original battletoads. Finally getting to the final boss and destroying it. It was a blast.
     
    Ryiah and AcidArrow like this.
  47. passerbycmc

    passerbycmc

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Posts:
    1,479
    not all games are meant for all types of people, and taking the challenge out of all games also takes the sense of accomplishment earned out as well.
     
    angrypenguin and neginfinity like this.
  48. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Posts:
    2,484
    While I fundamentally disagree with this "watering down" business, it's nonsense--you're totally right about not every game needing to cater to the same audience.

    This hints at what the fundamental issue: what is death in a video game, and how does it affect the player's experience?

    I've never played Dark Souls, but I understand that combat is very methodical and really straightforward, and basically any time you die it's because you weren't playing according to how the game is meant to be played. Death is a tool.

    I recall listening to the developer logs or voiceover or whatever for Portal and Portal 2 and they explicitly point out that they use death as a tool to guide the player.

    So why death comes seems to be a fundamental part of the design of the game. For something like Portal, it comes in trying out new things to see if they work. In Dark Souls, it seems to come when you're not being careful and playing by the rules. In a game like 2D Sonic the Hedgehog, however (to pull a totally unrelated game out of the hat), it comes because you haven't memorized the levels (which is terrible design).

    I think the key is to design your game so death is a tool.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  49. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Posts:
    3,873
    Frustration is like a spring that compresses as you fail to achieve a task, but once you do succeed, the reward will respond much like a spring being released, and the more you worked for it the better the reward.

    Hence, by adding frustration (such as dying) potential dopamine builds up. Trick is not to freaking bore the player. And also that the goal doesn't suck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
    angrypenguin and AcidArrow like this.
  50. The-Britain

    The-Britain

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Posts:
    714
    Basically this in a nutshell.
     
    dogzerx2 likes this.
unityunity