Balance The Game (Including PVP and PVE)
Every player(including NPC) has the same resource, rules, same everything, except the player’s own skills lead to the final result.
In this setting, usually players can choose different roles, and have advantages/disadvantages in a certain way. They can customize. Designer has more room to create dramatic situations. But overall, the game is balanced.
Speed Control Weapon
Plane A Medium Medium Medium
Plane B High High Low
Plane C Low Low High
Or use counter unit. (Rock, Paper, Scissor)
Challenge vs. Success
At this point, we need to balance the difficulty, make sure player has a challenge they can reach for.
The meaningful choice should impact game progress( including gameplay, story, and reward.) For example, long way easy, short way hard.
Choices offered to player should be at right amount.
Choices > Expectation = Player is overwhelmed
Choices < Expectation = Player is dissappointed
Choices = Expectation = Player is satisfied
Balance Skill and Chance
Mental and Physical
Length of Game
Applause: praise player.
Score: Give player something that can show off.
Extended Game Time: More time means higher score and more play.
New Unlock: New way to play.
Marvel: Show eyecandy to satisfy player.
Self-express: Let the player play the game in his/her own way.
Perk: Give player more perks as reward.
Resource: More money, ammo, HP, etc.
Complete: Finished all goals in the game.
The punishment in the game is a motivation for player to win the game. Punishment is the counterpart of reward. If we don’t have punishment in the game, reward will also be less meaningful.
Freedom and Scripted Events
Freedom is not always a good thing. Too many choices can only intimidating player.
Even if you want to make a sandbox game, still fun is your main target, so try filter out the boring part of the real life.
Simple and Complexity
Emergent complexity is what we are looking for, which causes a certain randomness, and dramatically increases the pressure curve, and also creates surprise.
(a simple example would be patrolling hostile NPC.)
Start from simple gameplay, if it’s not fun enough, then look for more complex mechanism.