Did you know that the word ‘handicap’ comes from the etymology of ‘hat in the hand’, implying a connection between a handicapped person, often called a ‘disabled person’ in the past, and a beggar/handler on the street? 😬 met certainly seems worth using another term in this term instead. In the meantime, I’ve been wondering how this kind of multiplayer “rebalance” tool works in games, what do you think about it, and why so many people always write it I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the years, and I think there’s a much broader game design lesson that can be learned while working on this concept.
Ideally, Players should have an approximate 50% chance of winning a strategy game. This gives players the clearest feedback on what wins and loses mean. They have a 90% chance of winning and if they win, that win doesn’t say much about how they played the match. Likewise, they have a 10% chance of winning, and even if they lose, they don’t get much information.
What players in strategy/competitive games really want to know is, “Am I getting better?” This helps them understand whether what they are learning about the game as they play is the right thing to learn or not. Actually, this feedback is very important. The skill of the game is ultimately demonstrated by its ability to create wins. A pro player who plays against a kid won’t really know whether he’s learning a new lesson or not because he wins 100% when he plays.
I think people are tacitly understanding this. If you had the option of pairing two players of similar skill level with each other, you would always do so more than pairing players with very different skill levels. Of course our matchmaking system does this too, bringing as many people as possible close to a 50% win rate. If you study and get better and get good takeaways, you will start to win more. With a base win rate of 50%, these wins make sense and you can actually “test” certain theories and get good feedback.
single player perspective
has the meaning all The game can be viewed as a “single player game”.. When we play, we are always playing from the perspective of a single player. We perceive things from only one point of view (our own point of view, not our opponent) and choose for one player (the self). For a highly structured and deep strategy game, I think we ~ can We think of games as if they were all “single-player” games, but we should. By doing so, we can focus on getting players to have a balanced struggle, but we can also move away from the rules that lead to “sadness”.
This part is set aside a bit, but I think it’s worth considering at least as an example of this one-player perspective while we’re here. Magic: Gathering Lately (as I mentioned in a recent post) this experience has made me feel stronger than ever with this theory, especially with regards to the point of grief. MTG has a lot of rules that are great for players who do the rules and terrible for those who enforce them. Some examples of this are remove (a card that removes another card directly from play), a sweeper (a card that removes all cards from play), and a reverse spell (a spell that negates the effect of another player’s spell). All of this can be pretty fun for the player who plays it, but it often feels pretty bad for the target. In this article, confession of sorrow,
It’s fun to play nice and big dude. It’s not fun to watch them steal, beat, and be sacrificed…
I like to have fun, but my pleasure comes at the expense of others’ pleasure too often to justify.
The conclusion of this article is it’s okay MTG allows you to do very boring things that other players cannot experience. In my experience, a Magic player will defend almost anything as long as there is an opposition to it. somewhere In the huge card world. In my opinion, it’s natural to choose to avoid “player not having fun”. All other conditions are the same.
Adopting a “one player perspective” will take us away from doing “good for you at the expense of other players” because this player is also a “other player” and we are designing for it. from their point of view. The traditional way of looking at two-player game design is to see it as a larger holistic experience with two players each.
It can be argued that all interactions between players are a bit sad (i.e. capturing my piece in Chess removes my piece from the game and makes me feel bad), but I’m not saying all games have to. Become a “multiplayer solitaire” and experience a European-like experience. I think the spectrum is really wide. sadness, games like MTG are at one end and some Euros are at the other end. My point is that this is something we should consider and a single player perspective can help. (It might be a bit like John Rawls’s concept of “veil of ignorance.” When prescribing rules, consider that the consequences of those rules can be worst-case.)
Rethinking the ‘handicap’
As I said, we need a different term for this concept anyway, so in this article, “Difficulty setting“. This may sound strange at first, but it makes sense if you think of the game from a “single player point of view”! ranking In Go it is 1k, and choosing to play with a player with a rating of 5k is very good Choose “Easy” mode. You can then implement it to restore balance. Difficulty setting. In Go, this is done by adding stones to this spot for disadvantaged players.
Fighting games and many other competitive games offer players this kind of difficulty option, but in the long and rich life of playing such a game, I’ve never met anyone willing to use it, even when it’s to everyone’s benefit. To do that. For Go players, it’s completely natural, so I don’t think there’s anything “natural” or objectively correct about people’s reluctance to use these settings.
What are the arguments against players using difficulty settings? It’s that it feels “not fair” or “cheap” in some way. Let’s review to solve this problem. There are two things the outcome of a two-player strategy game can convey to the player.
- Am I superior to this? another player?
- Am I improving?
These are two separate questions. For social and cultural reasons, question 1 puts a lot of weight on the particularly competitive game genre. I think this is a mistake. I would argue that question 2 is a much better and wholesome question. It’s less oriented to “sorting yourself out of other players socially”. This is probably not a wholesome thing to worry too much about. I think the universe where people paid more attention to question 2 is a much more livable universe. And indeed, the most positively sounding explanation for interest in question 1 ultimately leads us to the answer to question 2, anyway. Why do you care if I beat Steven at MTG? Bad reasons are things like “F because of that guy!” Or it could be something like “To show others that I’m better than that!” while sounding good is something like “Because it helps me see that I’m making progress as a player.”
If we started thinking about games and game design from a single player perspective, I think everyone will be able to play competitive games better. Thinking of games this way will move us towards creating games that feel more social, more efficient, less sad and better, where each match tells more about each player’s growth.
question of how Implementing difficulty settings is difficult. There are clearly examples of settings that don’t work properly. This setting messes up the gameplay in a way that doesn’t work properly. There’s also the question of whether players can figure out what difficulty settings are appropriate for themselves and their opponents. (In an online game, this would be much easier to figure out, but in an online game there are usually enough players that you don’t need. You can match a player with a player of roughly the same skill.)
Let’s use a different name for this kind of difficulty setting. Next time you have the opportunity, you can: Try it for real!
This article was made possible by my sponsor at www.patreon.com/keithburgun.
(This article is somewhat related to the article “” I wrote about 5 years ago.The default number of players is one.“, so I recommend checking it out after reading this.)