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January 15th, 2010, 12:43
I think you give developers too much credit for that "pure" experience. I haven't played Demon's Souls but if it is superbly balanced, are you sure it isn't simply because they had the resources to fine-tune it?

Having participated in many betas (often as press - I'm not claiming any grand insight as a tester) and read many post-mortems over the years, I've seen many developers admit to getting balance - or balance in a part of the game - simply wrong.

I'm testing a game at the moment and the developer adamantly feels some key battles need to be toned down. Which is the "pure" or "optimal" experience? The game as was first designed (assuming you could even identify a single point of time), or after weeks and months of careful feedback and changes? If they run out of time and ship the game before those changes, is there are hardcore group praising the difficulty that was never really intended to be?
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January 15th, 2010, 13:33
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I'm testing a game at the moment and the developer adamantly feels some key battles need to be toned down.
Exactly - and when testing such a game multi-platform you get very different views, and depending on whether the folks testing are hardcore or 'normal' gamers you get yet another view.
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January 17th, 2010, 18:25
No, I don't think I'm wrong - but it's still just an opinion.

Obviously the difficulty level will never suit everyone - that's my point. It's up to the developers to decide what kind of difficulty they want, but when they attempt to please two vastly different levels of audience in terms of craving for a challenge - the purity is lessened.

Also, I don't think Demon's Souls balance is about resources. I think it's about passion and vision and a strong adherence to that vision.




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January 17th, 2010, 20:01
Woo how people enjoy follow stupidly a cursor? Watch a movie if you don't want use your brain. Some comments here are so awful, I won't answer, it's too ugly.
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January 17th, 2010, 20:26
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
The option of enabling or disabling convenience features nearly always represents a non-choice. The problem is that, when such features exist, games are usually designed around the fact that these features exist. They have to be. Consequently, these features become an integral part of the gameplay. In the process, however, they are making the gaming experience unnecessarily and unproportionally harder for those people who don't want these "options", were they to disable them.
Quite agree but it's not about difficulty level it's about hint design. Hint design is a hard to design topic. Map signs, exclamation marks above NPC, arrows direction, all of that allow a lazy design, all require zero hints design. That's a lot of time win and that's why it's so popular among game designers.

Moreover games are list of features, hints aren't a feature, map helper, NPC exclamation mark, and more are each a feature, more features sell better a game.

I hate Oblivion for having setup the road but that started quite before, it's probably those first action (fake) RPG that started all. They knew their players was mostly brainless, ie don't want stop the action for thinking about something else. The crap is this spread to games that pretend be more classical CRPG.

DAO is an interesting case, I played the game with no helper, no quests arrows and no NPC exclamation mark. Clearly this has been designed for, most time but not always. Obviously some parts haven't been well designed nor well tested without the helpers.
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