I was born, I live.

Latest Media

We're sorry, but no images, videos or audio files have been added to this gallery.

If you would like to share media with the community, sign up and you can.

Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest Blog: A gamers need to be successful

0 comments by soulrider on Apr 7th, 2014

I am writing a basic game design document for a game/mod idea that I first conceived while playing the Team Fortress 2 beta in 2007 or so.  While going through the design document, I had to focus on player counts for this multi-player game.  I settled on a 6 v 3 format, and I am looking to balance the game around that player count.

It dawned on me very quickly, I would need it make this scale as well as possible for the eventual servers running 19, 27, 36 & 45 player versions of the game.  Experience has shown during my time in the Unknown Worlds community, playing their game Natural Selection 2, and the success of AAA games like the Battlefield series that players like playing a more casual game with more people.

As I am prone to do, I began thinking about this subject.  It seems to me it is about relative sensations of success.  While many games artificially induce this through rewards and achievements unlocked over time, players themselves prefer to do themselves by disappearing in a sea of numbers.  What sensation of success is provided in games by having larger player numbers on a given server?

The first aspect is individual skill is less relevant to the final outcome of the game, rather it's the combined level of the team.  While this may make games more balance, it doesn't contribute to the success sensation that would really drive casual players to want to interact with higher numbers.

Following on from this, if a players personal kill:death ration is largely unaffected by the player size, could it be that the frequency that they make a kill (or achieve an objective) induces that sense of success?  So while a large game may not make you a better player on balance, the feeling of success is increased because an objective can be achieved more often.

Personally, this is what I am leaning towards in my thought process and I think it will shape a lot of the way I design games.  If I am going for a more dedicated 'comp level' player base, I would go for a lower player count.  If I was going for a more casual player base, I would aim for higher player numbers.  In an ideal world, I would be able to create games that scale to both ends of the spectrum.

Titanfall for me is a game that has attempted to address this issue in a unique way.  Time will tell how it stands up, but it seems to receive a generally favourable response.  While they do have a rewards system, they supplement the lower player count feelings of success by adding AI players for you to kill.   That way, even if you are not skilled enough to kill other players, you can still get the feeling of success from taking out AI.  It is not a route I will be taking with my current idea, but it is something to keep an eye on for the future.

The main takeaway from this thought process for me is casual players need to feel success regularly for them to gain enjoyment from a game, higher level players can be more patient.  I will try to think of new and innovative ways to encourage the sensations of success more often, without going down the route of rewards and unlocks, and without just increasing the player size.

Groups
Mod Beans

Mod Beans

Developer with 3 members, invitation only

A collective of modders for the game Natural Selection 2.

Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Level
Avatar
Avatar
Offline Since
Apr 29, 2014
Country
Netherlands Netherlands
Gender
Male
Member Watch
Track this member
Statistics
Activity Points
295
Rank
8,107 of 467,457
Watchers
0 members
Time Online
1 second
Comments
5
Site Visits
400
Profile Visitors
1,445 (2 today)
Contact
Homepage
Modbeans.com
Private Message
Send Now
Email
Members Only
Twitter

Latest tweets from @andysoulrider

RT @tha_rami: I hope we can make games be about learning, growing, fun and communication instead of harassment, hate and gossip about perso…

Aug 19 2014, 7:15pm

RT @GameDiviner: As an #indiedev, it helps to remember that "fan" is actually shorthand for "fanatic." Tread cautiously.

Aug 19 2014, 7:14pm

RT @TotalMonkery: How true? #indiedev #gamedev #gaming T.co

Aug 19 2014, 7:09pm

Completed the first of many additional components for my new project - CompTeamNumber. It's not much, but it's a start!! #gamedev

Aug 17 2014, 5:49pm

RT @Flayra: One of the first real caves we've put in the game (you GO Jonacrab!). Eerie: @subnautica #gamedev T.co

Aug 15 2014, 8:33pm

RT @mikeBithell: When starting a game publisher, it is important to ensure the name does not include an S, which can be turned into a $ by …

Aug 14 2014, 6:48pm

RT @acid_rain: Wonder when @humble is gonna start doing music bundles. Be nice to have my music helping charities out.

Aug 14 2014, 5:56pm

RT @Mendasp: Long pressing the power button is the electronic way of choking a device to death.

Aug 8 2014, 8:53pm

RT @stingreddog: Great read on a skill ranking system for #NS2 T.co

Aug 5 2014, 9:27pm

Designing game entity components, means design game objects, means design the game, before I start. Solid foundations ahead #gamedev

Jul 31 2014, 11:52am

Jibrail
Jibrail friends since Apr 23, 2013
SgtBarlow
SgtBarlow friends since Aug 11, 2012