如何圍繞Sculptable難度進行遊戲設計

作者:Josh Bycer

本文將着眼於一種較少出現的難度設計形式,sculptable難度。我們曾看過一些帶有能在遊戲期間改變難度的遊戲選擇,而sculptable則更甚,即讓玩家能夠去創造他們想要的挑戰。

設置難度:

sculptable難度指的是玩家能夠自由改變難度並從中獲得獎勵。這與主觀難度或者其它基於玩家技能的遊戲難度都是不同的。相反地,這種難度讓玩家能夠通過不同方式去改變難度並影響難度。

通常突出sculptable難度的遊戲都結合了玩家技能和抽象設計,即你需要使用不同方法去挑戰玩家並影響遊戲。

從遊戲設計來看,遊戲總是需要圍繞着一種“基本”體驗進行創造。如此玩家便可以通過提升或降低難度而在不同方面讓遊戲變得簡單些或困難些。sculptable難度的重要元素便在於玩家可以超越屬性的變化去控制難度,並影響遊戲的發展。

如此玩家便可以在艱難的時候降低遊戲難度或者在想要推動某些事物發展的時候提升遊戲難度。

平衡規模:

今天我想要談論的一個例子便是來自我近幾年非常喜歡的一些遊戲。首先便是我一直都很喜歡的《美妙世界》。

這款遊戲讓你能夠基於設置,你所面對的敵人羣組的數量以及你的最大生命值去影響難度。這些因素將決定你能夠獲得多少經驗值和金錢,以及獲得不同道具的機會。

玩家可以在戰鬥之外的任何時候去改變這些設置,雖然玩家需要遵守一個基準,但他們也可以隨意提高難度去獲取更棒的獎勵。

而《堡壘》更是使用一些特殊難度圖騰去改變每個人的遊戲。這些圖騰會在遊戲期間影響敵人及其能力。

當更多圖騰被激活時,玩家便能獲得更多經驗值。真的,玩沒有圖騰和有圖騰的《堡壘》真的有很大區別。來自Super Giant Games的《Transistor》也讓玩家能夠改變遊戲難度。

最後一個例子則是《Kid Icarus Uprising》,它擁有1到10的難度範圍。如果玩家選擇更復雜的遊戲,他們能找到的武器質量也會更高。

如果玩家所面對的是高於一般難度級別的內容,遊戲便會爲他們開啓帶有更多獎勵的不同難度路線。基於這些例子,我們便可以轉向如此設計一款遊戲所具有的挑戰。

設計難度:

你可以看出那些認爲遊戲難度設置是遊戲設計組成部分以及忽視這一部分的開發者之間的區別。擁有與遊戲體驗相平衡的難度設置的遊戲總是更出色。而那些未能有效突出難度範圍的遊戲則會讓人覺得乏味。

爲了圍繞sculptable難度去創造遊戲,你必須在遊戲中添加難度設置/條件。如果你能基於更多不同方式去調整難度就更好了。但是也並不是所有遊戲都可以圍繞着sculptable難度進行設計。

就像平臺遊戲這種只是基於玩家技能而進行設計的遊戲類型便不適合sculptable難度。因爲sculptable難度需要遊戲擁有一些抽象元素。

Bastion (from bilibili)

Bastion (from bilibili)

讓我們繼續着眼於像《堡壘》和《Kid Icarus Uprising》等遊戲,它們都帶有一般或基礎遊戲元素。你必須在開始設計其它修飾元素前先明確這種基礎內容。雖然這點再明顯不過但我還是要再次強調:你的遊戲應該能夠適應任何以及所有修飾元素。並避免將修飾元素凌駕於難度設置價值之上。

最後讓我們再回到獎勵中。除了去完善遊戲外,你還必須明確這麼做的其它原因。主要存在兩個原因。

首先,這能讓專業玩家通過提高遊戲難度而獲得更多獎勵。其次,這也能讓新玩家有理由去更深入探索遊戲並爭取更多獎勵。

結論:

Sculptable難度是你必須在遊戲設計一開始便將其整合到其中的元素之一。儘管它並不適合所有遊戲設計或類型,但卻能夠有效提高那些合適的遊戲設計的質量。

本文爲遊戲邦/gamerboom.com編譯,拒絕任何不保留版權的轉發,如需轉載請聯繫:遊戲邦

How to Craft Challenges with Sculptable Difficulty

by Josh Bycer

Today’s post looks at a rarely used form of difficulty design in the form of sculptable difficulty. We have seen games with the option to alter the difficulty during play, but sculptable difficulty takes things further and allows the player to create the challenge they’re looking for.

Setting the Difficulty:

Sculptable difficulty means that the player is free to alter the difficulty and be rewarded for it. This is not the same as subjective difficulty, or where the game’s difficulty is dependent on the player’s skills. Instead, the player is able to alter the difficulty in different ways to impact the difficulty.

Games that feature sculptable difficulty typically have a combination of player skill and abstracted design, as you need to have multiple ways to challenge the player and impact the play.

In games designed this way, there is always a “baseline” experience that the game is built around. From there, the player can raise or lower the difficulty to make the game easier or harder in different ways. The important factor about sculptable difficulty is the fact that the player controls the difficulty beyond just stat changes, but impacts how the game is played.

In this way, players can make a game easier if they’re having a tough time, or harder if they want to push things, as our examples will demonstrate.

Balancing the Scales:

The examples that I want to talk about today are some of my favorite games in recent years. The first is my long-time favorite The World Ends With You. I’ve talked about it multiple times, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much.

The game allows you to impact the difficulty based on the setting, the number of enemy groups you’ll fight and your max health going in. These factors determine how much experience and money you get, the chance of getting different items and their quality.

The player can change these settings at any time outside of combat. There is a baseline that the player can keep to, but they are always tempted to make things harder for greater rewards.

Bastion takes things further with specific difficulty totems that change the game for each one used. These totems impact the enemies and alter their abilities during play.

The more totems active, the more experience the player gets. There is a big difference between playing Bastion without the totems vs. having all eight on. The follow up from Super Giant Games Transistor also allows you to alter the difficulty.

Our final example is Kid Icarus Uprising who literally has a difficulty scale between 1 and 10. The harder the player makes the game, the higher quality in terms of weapons they’ll find.

The game opens up extra hard paths with more rewards if the player is playing at or higher than the difficulty rating.

With those examples said, we can turn to the challenges of designing a game in such a matter.

Designing Difficulty:

You can tell the difference between developers who think about the game’s difficulty setting as part of the design, and those that rush through it. The games that work have difficulty settings balanced with the experience. The ones that don’t typically feature difficulty scaled so far up that it makes the game a slog to play through.

To create a game around sculptable difficulty, you must include your difficulty settings/conditions in the game’s design. The more varied ways you can adjust the difficulty, the better. Not every game can be designed around sculptable difficulty.

Games built on only player skill, such as platformers, aren’t good candidates for sculptable difficulty. The reason is that there must be abstracted elements to modify.

Looking at games like Bastion and Kid Icarus Uprising, they both have a baseline or normal play. You must get the baseline set before you begin designing modifiers. This point should be obvious, but needs to be said: Your game should be beatable with any and all modifiers on. Try not to have modifiers on top of set difficulty values, as that can add complexity on top of complexity.

Our final point goes back to the rewards. There must be a reason beyond just recognition for modifying the game. This serves two purposes.

First, it allows expert players to get something in return for making the game harder. And second, it gives newer players a reason to improve and see more of the game and get rewarded at the same time.

Getting it Just Right:

Sculptable difficulty is one of those elements that has to be a part of your design from the very start and integrated in. Even though it won’t fit in every game design or genre, it can certainly elevate a game’s design when it works.

Besides the games mentioned, can you think of other examples of games that featured sculptable difficulty? If so, be sure to leave a comment about them below.(source:gamasutra