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241 votes

Is it unethical to make a game AI that is secretly non-competitive?

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, ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
76 votes
Accepted

How might I eliminate asymmetrical gameplay caused by turn order?

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
76 votes

Why do some games persistently have mostly one viable strategy, while others can have many?

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
69 votes
Accepted

Level playing field: Punish the better player or enhance the worse player?

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 ...
Theraot's user avatar
  • 27k
53 votes

Level playing field: Punish the better player or enhance the worse player?

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 ...
Bálint's user avatar
  • 14.9k
47 votes

Is it unethical to make a game AI that is secretly non-competitive?

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 ...
Nicol Bolas's user avatar
  • 26.1k
42 votes
Accepted

What is the design rationale for having armor and magic penetration mechanics?

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 ...
Theraot's user avatar
  • 27k
39 votes

How might I eliminate asymmetrical gameplay caused by turn order?

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 ...
Draco18s no longer trusts SE's user avatar
37 votes
Accepted

Character ability power balance

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, ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
36 votes
Accepted

How can I prevent small numerical advantages from dominating the balance of an encounter?

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-...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
26 votes

Is it unethical to make a game AI that is secretly non-competitive?

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 ...
Tim Holt's user avatar
  • 10.3k
21 votes

How might I eliminate asymmetrical gameplay caused by turn order?

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 ...
dnk drone.vs.drones's user avatar
19 votes

Level playing field: Punish the better player or enhance the worse player?

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 ...
cwharris's user avatar
  • 426
19 votes

What is the design rationale for having armor and magic penetration mechanics?

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 ...
Matthieu M.'s user avatar
18 votes

Is it unethical to make a game AI that is secretly non-competitive?

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 ...
Carl's user avatar
  • 425
17 votes

How do I use elementals to deepen jRPG combat strategy?

Elemental resistances usually create strategic depth but not tactical depth. Strategic depth means that they affect which characters are good in combat and which are bad. Let's take Pokemon, for ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
16 votes

Why do some games persistently have mostly one viable strategy, while others can have many?

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 ...
Kafein's user avatar
  • 271
15 votes
Accepted

What is the function or benefit of including juggling mechanics in a fighting game?

Indie fighting game developer chiming in, with one released low poly 3D fighting game. The following answer is based on my personal experience and what I observed in the genre. Juggle systems in ...
Andrea Jens's user avatar
13 votes

How can I prevent small numerical advantages from dominating the balance of an encounter?

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 ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
  • 2,126
13 votes

Why do some games persistently have mostly one viable strategy, while others can have many?

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. ...
IT Alex's user avatar
  • 231
13 votes

What is the function or benefit of including juggling mechanics in a fighting game?

Juggling is one of the mechanic that experts in fighting games usually expect to have. It offers a chance to avoid it to the receiving player. And it offers potentially high punishment, bound to the ...
Theraot's user avatar
  • 27k
12 votes

How might I eliminate asymmetrical gameplay caused by turn order?

A good way to do this that I always liked is tying turn order to some resource expenditure. Thus determining turn order becomes part of the gameplay to get skilled at. This allows for some very ...
Scott Maher's user avatar
12 votes

Is it unethical to make a game AI that is secretly non-competitive?

I would say no. You see for me games are first and foremost entertainment products. They want to deliver an experience to a specific audience. So it all depends on what experience and to what audience ...
Uri Popov's user avatar
  • 3,027
11 votes

Character ability power balance

@Philipp gave a great answer. Another concept to take into consideration is the idea of average threat level. It is perfectly acceptable for certain foes to have stats dramatically greater than what ...
Benjamin's user avatar
  • 211
11 votes

Is it unethical to make a game AI that is secretly non-competitive?

Try to be competitive at a sport with your date, or with your kids. In both cases, you may end up playing that sport alone because you have not made it fun for them. The term Artificial Intelligence ...
Vaillancourt's user avatar
  • 16.3k
10 votes
Accepted

How can I make my Color Mixing game more difficult?

Consider the player's options / resources & look for ways to limit them. Here's a technique taken from Jesse Schell's Art of Game Design (which he in turn credits to game designer Rob Daviau): ...
Pikalek's user avatar
  • 12.4k
9 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to control the difficulty of a multiplayer game?

So players in a competitive game either have fun or lose. Why not both? Losing doesn't have to feel bad, or rather, you can have fun without winning. A lot of team-based games do this by de-...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 14.8k
9 votes

Is it unethical to make a game AI that is secretly non-competitive?

Ultimately, the role of AI is to help produce a note-worthy, rewarding experience. Dr. Ian Lane Davis talks about this in some of his interviews, that the role of an AI is to lose convincingly. ...
Xtros's user avatar
  • 191

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible