Tag Archives: Difficulty

Table Reflection: Narrative Versus System

One of the major challenges that most GM’s will run into is the fact that tabletop roleplaying gaming has both mechanical and narrative elements, and while this is intended to be a resource for storytelling the two can often trample on top of each other and lead to a gaming experience which is frustrating and annoying for players and the GM alike, requiring careful intervention to save the narrative. Continue reading

Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Intro, Difficulty and Complexity)

There are seven core tenets of game design that are equally applicable to both tabletop and video game creation. Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be writing on all of these, which are:

  1. Difficulty and Complexity
  2. Presentation
  3. Setting
  4. Player Accessible Mechanics
  5. Player Inaccessible Mechanics
  6. Player Role
  7. Market Continue reading

Game Design: Punishing For Success

One thing I’ve noticed when playing games is that many games intentionally or inadvertently punish successful players. Some of this is necessary, to prevent abuse, but other times it feels damaging to play, especially in a single-player experience.

The core example of this would be games with “adaptive difficulty”. This takes a variety of formats; sometimes they’re based off of a universal game slider of difficulty, but sometimes they just determine the challenges faced in the game. This would include something like the AI Director in Left 4 Dead, which will occasionally add more challenges if the players are doing exceptionally well to keep things interesting, but also like GearHead‘s reputation system. The problem inherent in GearHead’s system is that Renown is earned like experience whenever the player is victorious, but can ramp up quicker than players’ levels. Continue reading