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238

Game AIs are almost always non-competitive, because if the AI would really try its hardest to win, it would often be unbeatable. An AI is not bound to human limitations like reflexes, accuracy, perception, fatigue or computational ability. So when it is seriously playing to win, no human would ever stand a chance. Let's take the first person shooter genre ...


77

In the end it all boils down to one axiom: Game design is hard! And multiplayer game design is even harder. After years of development, you think you came up with a perfectly balanced game design which allows for multiple viable playing strategies. You did extensive playtesting with a dozen or so full-time inhouse testers and a hundred external spare-time ...


76

Have the players take their turns simultaneously. This also has the added benefit of speeding up the game, because players don't sit idle while waiting for the other players to make their moves. In that case you might want to separate each round into an interactive "planning" phase and an automatic "execution" phase. During the planning phase, all players ...


68

Match making If you can keep updated skill metrics on the players, then you are able to create a system that can peer people of similar skill. Granted, this could lead to starvation (and by that I mean players unable to play because there is no match availed) and will not fly on couch gaming. I believe this will not solve your particular case, so I will ...


57

Music. Music is probably the most effective way to express feelings. If you manage to use the appropiate song that tells "Danger, run!", that is better than any camera movement (If you combine music with those kind of effects, it gets even better, of course). Imagine playing Silent Hill with david guetta music, that would make Silent Hill a joke, you ...


53

Neither is good. Why would you try getting better if all it does is give the opponent bonuses or makes you worse? You might as well just make a casino game if only the chances decide who wins. It also makes good players less likely to improve. If they steamroll their opponents without even trying, then they don't get any sort of feedback. Don't let bad ...


47

A game's AI is a part of a game's overall design. At the end of the day, the AI you create needs to complement the game design. If your game is designed around creating a challenging, competitive environment, then a "perfect" AI might be a good thing. At the same time, you have to consider something very important: Humans aren't computers. Even without ...


43

I think there are three aspects of this: Meaningful decisions. Balance. Mechanic complexity. On the meaningful decisions aspect... well, if the answer to armor is more damage, then that is not a decision. It is good for there to exist multiple ways to deal with a situation. I mean, multiple different in kind (not just in raw numbers) ways. Not simply ...


38

In any game where you have character leveling, you need to decide on a power curve. This is a mathematical function which maps game progress to character strength. This curve can be linear, polynomial or even exponential. The flatter the curve, the less progress your player will feel, but the easier it is to balance because early-game content still stays ...


38

Do what Power Grid does: Players take turns in order of farthest behind to furthest ahead in terms of scoring (in the case of Power Grid, the player who powered the fewest cities that round). This acts as a catch-up mechanic, giving the resource-advantage to the player in last place. It also means that the player who's in the lead doesn't want to stay in ...


36

The problem with your approach is that you decide the result of the combat the moment you decide on the main stat. When you have 4 main stats, and the fighter is only better in one of them, their win-chance is always 1 in 4, no matter how large the differences actually are. When you want more fine-grained results, you need more fine-grained randomness. ...


35

This is a difficult question to answer objectively, but I will try to construct a solution to your problem without guessing: You describe the problem at hand as an end of competition to one player because that player became too powerful. Note one thing, though: The player became powerful by terms of the balancing incorporated in the game, so either you ...


26

As a preface, I'm going to correlate ethics with cheating. If you feel cheated, you feel something unethical has happened to you. In a nutshell, to make your AI's behavior acceptable, make the behavior it mimics believable. People don't feel cheated by believable behavior, they do feel cheated by unbelievable/unrealistic behavior. So be believable, and ...


24

A problem that all game designers face Games need to engage their players. In general, a game can be broken down into two dimensions. Depth, and required knowledge. There is generally a positive relationship between depth and engagement with the players, however depth is usually accompanied by additional required knowledge. There is a mostly negative ...


21

The only similar system I know is OGame. In OGame, players are protected from other players until the have a certain amount of points (I think it is 50.000). It makes more sense to protect players based on their score instead of time, as score gives you a better aproximation on how powerful players are. The theory is that with that many points, players are ...


21

The easiest way I could think of to balance out the gameplay for all players is to randomize the turn order after each round. While this would give everyone a fair chance, I'm worried that this might be too big of a shift away from strategy and towards luck. Do not randomize, change the turn order in a fixed way. If I play first, next turn I play last;...


19

In terms of balance, competitive games can generally be sorted into one of three types: Positive reinforcement: When one player gains a small advantage over the other, that advantage gives that player an even larger advantage, which gives the player an even larger advantage, and so on. The advantage of this approach is that games tend to be very even at ...


19

Your specific scenario is to allow fun competitive play between one or more players with cerebral palsy and other players without that condition. You mention that the main disadvantage is that of tremors, which effect the player by reducing the effectiveness of steering. Perhaps you could implement a game mechanic which simulates tremors/loss of control for ...


19

For fun. Let's consider the most simple mechanic available: a character has N points of Health, and always does 1 point of Damage per Second. When two characters fight, the one with the most points of Health at the start of the fight wins. Done. Would this be fun? I, personally, would not find it very fun. In RPG/FPS games where these mechanics come into ...


18

In order to keep player engaged, my advises are: 1) moving camera up: slowly is good, but you can choose to change camera's speed in more challenging levels, 2) camera position: you have a lot of options here, I suggest you to read carefully this great article about scrolling techniques and camera positioning 3) music (see Mayuso answer): a dynamic music ...


18

Yes. An AI should stay at the level that it was set to. A chess AI will beat all of us every time, and it's up to us to tune it to something we find enjoyable. I would never want the AI to dumb itself down when it sees that it's going to win, or have a pop-up saying "mate in 25, do you want me to be worse at chess?". Just beat me until I get tired of ...


17

In my opinion, the way you fix this is to decouple the victory condition from the production mechanic. For a great example, check Eclipse, the board game. You can score a lot of points just for researching tech and building monoliths. The monoliths don't give you anything except points, and tech doesn't give you anything directly. You also gain points for ...


17

Some suggestions to bring more cards into the game: When a player wins a match, reward them with two cards: One from the losers deck and one newly created one. You might also consider giving a generated card to the loser to compensate for the loss, otherwise they would progress backwards, which is a real motivation breaker. Reward players for playing by ...


16

You said it: Dota has a mixture of RPS balance and fixed, hidden character selection. The characters that the enemy team chooses to play are hidden information, and thus you must evaluate your own choice of character against a probabilistic model of what the enemy is going to play. Because outcomes in Dota are more dependant on hero selection than in Lol, ...


13

Your mistake is using a "dice based" approach. You're on a computer you can use any system you like. Make a table that turns a difference in values into a %age chance to win and then you can set the values to absolutely anything you like, e.g. Difference (A-B) | %chance A wins -----------------|--------------- +5 or greater | 100% +4 | 95% +...


13

Player of both here. DOTA has a set amount of damage for most attributes. A Lina ultimate will always deal X amount of damage unless the enemy has a debuff on them that increases the damage they take. This means that Mage damage output from skills remains relatively the same throughout the game. However, this is offset but each character having a "main" ...


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