Game Design: Resistance II

By 25/10/2017 Game Design

Now listening to: “Baket Street”, by Gerry Rafferty

It’s been months, and what I wrote last was “know your audience”. I was missing a small additional sentence.

Know thyself.

This is the slowest book I’ve read in my life. Ironic, since this subject interests me immensely. I feel, though, that there’s an underlying fear crippling my efforts to move forward with this. So back on the saddle for me, I guess. There’s other stuff I want to read at least. 2017 will be a very slow book year for me otherwise, and the Discworld series is long.

I’ve learnt something reasonably important as far as skill and challenge go. Games that offer too much of a challenge drive players away out of sheer frustration. The task is so beyond your skill and reasonable chance to accomplish that you just give up. And before someone bleats “Bit whit abit Dirk Sils!”, because I just know you fucking trolls are out there, know that the Dark Souls series and roguelikes in general are a reaction to decades of dumbing down games to the mainstream audience.

There’s a band of difficulty that generates pleasure when overcome, and this band is different for everyone. Some people get off on a band that would bore others to tears. Others get off on a band that would generate despair on the hardiest of gamers.

Why am I talking about skill and challenge? Because it ties to my last post months ago. You have to know your audience, and the bands of difficulty that they get off to. If you try to peddle the Assassin’s Creed series to Dark Souls junkies you’ll burn up on entry. I myself, from time to time, like a challenge. Is it the same level of difficulty every time?

Hell no. I went on an Enter the Gungeon binge a few months back. It was fun as hell until I hit a brick wall that I just couldn’t get over. Then I scaled it back to Darkest Dungeon. That held my interest for a while until it got repetitive. Now I’m looking at Stellaris and lusting after it.

Who’s to say that in a few months I won’t be back to hardcore roguelikes? I just might. But you know what I get tired of far less frequently?

Multiplayer games.

I recently went on a WoW binge and dropped it. The challenge is kinda sorta there but there’s just so much grey paste to chew down with it that it’s just not worth it. I dabbled in LoL again. The only role I find actually fun, the jungler, holds little to no secrets I find worth exploring anymore. I’m doing a bit of Overwatch, and it’s fun. The only problem is that the difficulty levels from match to match vary so wildly that it throws me off completely.

There’s a real problem lately for me in finding the game that appeals to my specific flow of difficulty.

#22 Flow

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