Saturday, 8 February 2014

Game balance and stuff

It's rare to see, a good and interesting balance in a game its sad but true. The problem is that rock paper scissors its not a good example of a good balace, dont get me wrong, its perfectly balanced, but its naive and boring, you know each outcome and you can predict the result very easy to make an example we can go to the MMORPG games well almost each and one of them are have this issue, allways the same story tank healer damgedealer blah blah blah you can say, "But Ater, what should we do? Who can help us to make an interesting balance?". Well my young friend there is only one answer, your imagination, combination and random!

To make it more appliable for any kind of field where balance is needed we will find out the objects of interest, what fields of an object can participate in balancing? Here some examples:

  outcome (what pluses item,object,story,event can give to player and minuses)
  accessability (how easy player can get it)
  timed usage (we can balance it with timed usage like, for example some bonuses can be recived only for 15 minutes in hour)
  usage (how easy, or hard to use this object)
  random (how random this object, is it more predictable or it can give awesome results but its fairly based on random)

And this is just an example, you can add any field that you want, but goal is to make object more better in one field then we need to balance it from another field or mabe fields, or give a good range results for several fields and make one field really really bad, this is and example of interesting balance!

I will give an example:

In a MMORPG game, we can make an really OVERpowered class with higher damage and tank abilities than other classes on a field, and to defeat this guy you need the same class or several guys of another class, someone can say, HEY its not fare, why there can be one class that so overpowered so I cant take it with my perfect archer!?!? Well, the point is, first, Deal with it, the real life outside is NOT fare and this is why its so interesting, some people get results really easy and someone put a lot of hardworking to get the same reults and other examples, SO say to me, why should we make games different from our lifes? But its not the one point, to balance this guy we can make his leveling process really hard, put some problems with quests, like some NPC wont give him quests cause of his class, like you know random NPC: "Oh you! <class name> I hate you! I dont need help from your kind go away!" but only this, to make his life even more complicated we can make him to use only really rare weapon that can be found in shops or crafted, only taken from monsters with reare chance, so after that, this class is not so overpowered huh? Yeees, but still, there is a lot of nolifers that will go to doing all this to get this overpowered class, and he will ruin the balance of us, normal lifers, well, you know what can I say to it? If this guy can pull of all this why should we dont revard him with this benefits of beign so powerfull? If he can do more and better and put more himself in game, why for the gods sake he must be on the same ladder then you? My dear normal player? If you want to deal with this guy, get some friends from you life, cause you knowm you have your life, you have friend, and he dont, so its even more balanced that you think!

So think about it, if you are involved in game creation process in some kind, say to your fellow  game-designer: "Hey, lets make it more interesting, shall we?" and if he will answer, screw you, I will go with a safe way, than, I have a secret for you, here it is, read it in whisper: "he is, not a real game designer, he is an alien, imposter, agent, Sam Fisher, 47, or anyone else. It seems to be like this guy killed a real game designer or taked him somewhere far far away and taked his place, you need to help him! Rescue him! Faster while we still have time!"

Andrey "Ater" Goncharuk