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43 votes
Accepted

Avoid player getting stuck with underpowered character

I think you should embrace the choice to deliberately underpower themselves as another expression of player autonomy. This is a play pattern you'll often see in speedrunning communities, or players ...
DMGregory's user avatar
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41 votes
Accepted

What is the design rationale behind hard content that's limited to only a couple attempts per week?

In addition to the excellent existing answers, there are a couple of other ways this type mechanic can boost retention. One is by helping to keep a cohort of players on par with one another. When ...
DMGregory's user avatar
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38 votes
Accepted

How to make a 'One Hit and Dead' platformer feel fair

That's the trade-off to this kind of game play design, the player is expected to die many times to learn mechanics and Boss abilities. To make those deaths palatable to the player I have a few ideas: ...
Patrick Hughes's user avatar
23 votes

How to make a 'One Hit and Dead' platformer feel fair

In addition to Patrick's answer: Time it takes to retry needs to be short, borderline instantaneous. Take Super Meat Boy as an example. Compare with Teslagrad's 4 second death animation. Time it ...
Draco18s no longer trusts SE's user avatar
18 votes

What is the design rationale behind hard content that's limited to only a couple attempts per week?

It improves player retention. When you expect the player to take a lot of attempts to overcome a challenge, and you only give them a limited number of attempts per real-world timespan, then players ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
17 votes

Avoid player getting stuck with underpowered character

One of my favourite games from childhood, Zeliard, solved this particularly well I think. The player could always go back to previous worlds, re-visit old shops, look for missed treasure, etc. The ...
Eugene Osovetsky's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

How to determine what difficulty is right for the game?

Playtest, playtest, playtest. Get testers from your target demographic, let them play the game, and see which parts of the game are so difficult they are frustrating and which parts are so easy they ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
13 votes

What is the design rationale behind hard content that's limited to only a couple attempts per week?

Another aspect that hasn't been mentioned yet is basically a variation on "security through obscurity". In this case, it's difficulty through obscurity. The content is hard because you can't ...
Darrel Hoffman's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

How can I test if my rage game's hardest levels are achievable?

One major strategy that helps is something we call level design metrics. Here you work out what kinds of level design arrangements are navigable, by testing them out in isolation. We'll often build ...
DMGregory's user avatar
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10 votes
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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
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9 votes

How to make a 'One Hit and Dead' platformer feel fair

The best thing you can do when dealing with situations like these is to study other games that share mechanics and systems with what you intend. Given your description, the two off the top of my head ...
Lunin's user avatar
  • 1,346
9 votes

What is the design rationale behind hard content that's limited to only a couple attempts per week?

Basically, unlike in most parts of many games where the goal is at least partly to teach you how to understand the game mechanics, the primary goal of limited tries is to cause emotional reactions. ...
Foxwarrior's user avatar
8 votes
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How can I prepare the different difficulty levels for my game?

There is never just one way to do things in game development. But the usual unspoken consensus between developer and player is that "medium" represents the way the game is meant to be played. So you ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
7 votes

How can I make my Color Mixing game more difficult?

Trainyard had a mechanic where if you allowed all three primary colours to mix (eg. a secondary plus the other primary, or two dissimilar secondaries), you'd get a murky brown colour which was ...
DMGregory's user avatar
  • 135k
7 votes

Avoid player getting stuck with underpowered character

There are many solutions: Allow backtracking. Two approaches: Allow grinding. Many games allow you to replay old stages to grind for money or experience to get strong enough to clear the next stage. ...
Mars's user avatar
  • 401
6 votes

What is the design rationale behind hard content that's limited to only a couple attempts per week?

Another reason not yet listed is to increase communication. With limited attempts, what you do outside of the attempts gains value. Sharing info online, talking with guildmates, watching runs on ...
Mars's user avatar
  • 401
6 votes
Accepted

How should I balance temporary buffs to make my game fun?

How should I balance buffs? This can be a tricky area, as realistically, there are a lot of ways you can temporarily buff a players ability. There are some key points I can make, here, though: If a ...
Gnemlock's user avatar
  • 5,263
5 votes

Avoid player getting stuck with underpowered character

Offer the shop also at the beginning of each level but with a caveat. You have to complete a short bonus level at (current difficulty - 1) to access it. It could be about rescuing the shop keeper or ...
datacube's user avatar
  • 213
4 votes

What is the logic behind these design decisions regarding difficulty levels?

First of all: Why someone made a specific design decision is pure speculation. We can not read the designer's mind. Also, do not assume that every design decision you see in a popular game is ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
3 votes
Accepted

Balancing stats for combat difficulty in RPG Maker MZ

If there is one evidently best strategy the game is not balanced. Similarly, to make combat interesting, it must have meaningful decisions. Hopefully you can find ways to achieve that in this answer. ...
Theraot's user avatar
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3 votes

Balancing stats for combat difficulty in RPG Maker MZ

Interesting battles require interesting choices for the player to make. An interesting choice is one where the player has multiple options of what to do, all (or at least some) of the options seem ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
3 votes

How can I prepare the different difficulty levels for my game?

Basically to define a base difficulty to scale (whether down or up), you must considerate a playable difficulty, one that engages the player on your game, with challenges (peak points) and points on ...
LifGwaethrakindo's user avatar
3 votes

How to design simple turn based combat system with multiple difficulties?

Your core combat mechanics seem to be very simplistic. If I understood you correctly, all the player does is pick one of two strategies and hope for the best. There is not much room for skill ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
2 votes
Accepted

Matching game difficulty

Some ideas you can use to change the difficulty: Change the available time to solve the puzzle Add a number of mistakes allowed before losing, or every mistake can reduce the available time Play with ...
realUser404's user avatar
  • 1,057
2 votes

How can I prepare the different difficulty levels for my game?

In general, as a matter of practicality, you might want to find a difficulty level that suits your and your testers' skills and balance around that to begin with. What name you end up assigning to ...
Ruther Rendommeleigh's user avatar
2 votes

How to test if a level is passable?

My advice would be to test each obstacle independently. Since you are using a level editor, make the best out of it by manually moving the player to the obstacle in the editor and then try it. If you ...
Shashimee's user avatar
  • 1,250
2 votes

What is the design rationale behind hard content that's limited to only a couple attempts per week?

Now, usually in games that have really hard content you're supposed to defeat, there is no limit in how many attempts you can do, or the limit is sufficiently high that it makes no real difference. ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 671
2 votes

How to increase difficulty of a catching game

First of all, punish the player for missing multiple objects in a row, so they can not just ignore objects that seem difficult to catch. Increase the falling speed and frequency, so the player needs ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 120k
1 vote

How to increase difficulty of a catching game

You can define the chance to spawn an object and a chance to spawn a bomb into a percentage. As the game progresses you can increase the percentage for bomb spawn while decreasing the percentage for ...
koogel's user avatar
  • 79

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