Monday, December 12, 2016

Day 35: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 35 - Lens 38: The Lens of Challenge
Challenge is at the core of almost all gameplay. You could even say that a game is defined by it's goals and challenges. When examining the challenges of your game, ask yourself these questions:

What are the challenges in my game?
The things that make winning difficult are gaining alliances and not breaking them. Taking and keeping enough bases to control more than one territory. Gathering enough heads without losing bases. And accumulating enough guards to take the Last City.  Each of those things is in some opposition to the others so that neglecting any one thing can keep you from winning but to do any one thing you need to neglect some of the others.

Are they too easy, too hard, or just right?
Any player can do any of those things pretty much at will, that can make players feel like doing that thing was too easy. At some point they realize that they need to do everything and don't have the resources, then they feel it is too hard. I really feel like I need the win data from maybe 100 players over 10 or more games to see if the balance is right.

Can my challenges accommodate a wide variety of skill levels?
Yes! The challenge is directly tied to the sill of the other players and skill is acquired through gameplay. Since the game is unique most groups of players will start at a low skill level and gain skill together. A new player playing with an experienced group might need a handicap. Perhaps something along the lines of starting with an extra guard per game the most experienced player has over you? Or maybe the winner of the last game starts with only one base?

How does the level of challenge increase as the player succeeds?
Through increase in player skill. The batter the player the harder the game.

Is there enough variety in the challenges?
I think so. The things you need to do to win are pretty different from each other, and gameplay can be very different depending on the group of players and their strategy.

What is the maximum level of challenge in my game?
I am not sure there is one as it's PvP driven. At least I hope that's true. Either it is or there will be a maximum level of skill a player can acquire based on the real time play and mechanics of the game. If that is too low then the game will eventually fail.