Experience a Science Fiction Short Story: Leviathan Crossfire is a tactical indie First Person Shooter set in a distant future.
A spotlight on how different difficulty levels are implemented in Leviathan Crossfire. About reinventing the wheel...
Posted by _dhk_ on Sep 21st, 2012
Here are two new screenshots of the small Indie First Person Shooter Leviathan Crossfire - Silent Assault:
Okay, here comes some text... ready for it?
Last week I announced that we are developing a new playable demo. One of the new features I told you about was adjustable difficulty. Sounds like simple thing, right? You click a button before the game starts, and that's it, right?
It is that simple from the perspective of the player. Many players of the Revelation demo mentioned that it is way too hard to beat. Therefore, it is obviously necessary to adjust the difficulty for the nxt demo. But how far? Will it be too easy, yet too hard? The solution is simple: You decide how to play.
But the freedom of choice needs some planning before it can implemented: How does the choice the player makes affect the game? Which parts of the game need to change dynamically depending on the chosen difficulty? You can decide whether to play on Easy, Normal, Hard or Insane.
We had ideas of different accessable rooms or collectable items depending on the difficulty. But that went too far, sometimes the easiest solution is the best: In the end we decided that only the enemy bot skill will be affected by the mode you choose. The game experience as such should be the same, no matter how experienced you are with the FPS genre in our oppinion!
So here is the planning chart as a proof that difficulty levels are not just some nice button you press with no effect, but a thought-out feature of the game:
Read it like this: From left to right, the game progresses and gets harder. From bottom to top, the bot skill increases (higher probability of headshots, higher damage by higher precision). The four lines represent the difficulties of the game as the legend shows.
You can see unexperienced players will get a smooth gameplay with the easy difficulty compared to the insane players who will get... insane if they are not already!
Can't decide??! Here is another addition for you: There will be a fifth option called "Auto Adjust". If you choose this mode, the game will permantly track your performance (health level compared to kills in a row) and dynamically adjust the enemy bots during gameplay. This way you can have a cinematic experience that feels challenging but allows you to proceed through the story without trying certain situations over and over again. If you choose it to be that way - it's up to you!
And, just to mention it: It's alredy implemented and works - as far as tested - very well already.
Don't get me wrong, It do not mean to say we reinvented the wheel... concepts like these are pretty common for FPS games. I just wanted to put a spotlight on it for once. For those that are just as interested in the concept behind the games as I am!
Hope you enjoyed this little article (or the screenshots above, that would be fine as well!)