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Old 04-08-2010, 07:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

The surgery game Trauma Center was one of the earliest examples of how the Nintendo DS could change our industry. By turning the stylus into a scalpel, the designers let players immerse themselves into the role of a doctor as never before.

Unfortunately, the game simulated the pressures of actual surgery as well by presenting staggeringly difficult, time-pressured levels. Failure blocked the player’s progress, which proved to be a fatal flaw for the game because there were no difficulty levels at all -- no way for the player to decide what level of challenge was appropriate.

Considering the wide demographic of gamers today, from young children to seniors, this decision doomed the game to a tiny slice of the DS’s audience.

Challenge has always been a core component of game design. However, after video games left the arcades -– in which quick difficulty ramps were a necessity of doing business –- most designers realized that their games could appeal to more people if they tailored the challenge to meet the needs of the individual user.

Gamasutra - News - Analysis: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

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Old 04-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

Tenser this was a fantastic post full of informative information and I thank you for it. If you have any more like this I would be very interested.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

Feda The Emblem Of Justice » Super Nintendo has a great way of handling this. At the start of each mission it gives you a slightly cryptic object. You have to figure out what you are supposed to do such as rescue someone, kill a general, kill everybody, sneak past. You can do a wrong thing, such as kill all slaves when you should of just killed the slave master, and still pass the misssion but if you do then your character becomes more evil. If you do that often enough then evil characters join your group and good characters leave and you get a worse ending. Becoming evil and getting all evil characters and not listing to objectives makes the game easier but doesn't reduce the level of fun at all.

So you can do anything to pass the level but doing the right thing makes it harder and different.

It also uses a calender and if you take too long to do something then I think something happens to affect the ending and difficulty but I don't know what.

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Call of Duty 4, for example, measures the player’s performance during the training level to suggest an appropriate difficulty level.
I think this is a good idea. Adjust the difficulty based on how well you do on training missions and then at the end of the game it should you how well you did so you can go back and do better.

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perfect for the target audience of a dad and a son playing together
THis made me think, with the Wii trying to get NES dads to introduce their kids to Nintendo, they should make a father son game. A game where player 1 is an adult. Player 2 is a child. And the difficulty for each player is vastly different. Maybe all the bad guys attack the adult and the kid can stand back and kick them in the crotch from behind.

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Old 04-09-2010, 10:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

@Kong +1 I would love games with a father/son, mother/daughter, siblings, best friends cooperation going on. Even one for couples!!! And maybe, first you test their abilites, and then decide what character is attacked more, or which is the healer, or something like that.

I just realized what a game for couples could mean... and yeah... both ideas for couples are great
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

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@Kong +1 I would love games with a father/son, mother/daughter, siblings, best friends cooperation going on. Even one for couples!!! And maybe, first you test their abilites, and then decide what character is attacked more, or which is the healer, or something like that.

I just realized what a game for couples could mean... and yeah... both ideas for couples are great
Games used to be made for couples before, Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, and Twinbee come to mind.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

Double Dragon series too, Hawk.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

yeah... but what kind of games are those? Puzzles?... or at leat the bubble double I played was a puzzle. I want something more like RE5 or LBP, but making it different for each player according to their skills or making their interactions special, not just one of them opening the door for the other one.
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

Rainbow Islands is kind of in the same vein as Bubble Bobble (both made by Taito anyways so the style is the same), but Twinbee is a vertical shooter. If you line both ships up together you will shoot out a different and more powerful bullet.

Sorry if you thought my examples were bad, but the 1980's were a different era. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding you.......are you just looking for multiplayer co-op in a game, or something different?
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

I think she is looking for a game that is designed for two different level of players at the same time. Something designed for game experts to introduce newbies to games. I don't think it fully exists and I think it is a market that someone could make a lot of money in.
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

New super mario bros. wii is an good example of this, If your weaker player(s) dies then the can remain floating in a bubble invincible until the hard part is past.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

This is sort of what I had in mind.

An adult plays the dad and a young kid plays the boy. Both play simultaneously co-op but the game treats the two players differently such as all enemies targeting the adult and the boy can just button mash but the controls for the adult are complex.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

LOL, how bout the kid doesnt actually do anything, you just keep rooten'em on while you have the real fun.

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Old 04-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

Thats great for little kids who can't even move the character in the right direction... I used to let my little cousin play Grand Turismo 3, but he couldn't get the car away from the fence so I'd put a replay or something like that so that he wouldn't feel frustrated that the car got stuck every 3 seconds..

But I like Kong's idea better
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

At 6 my boy's already doing quite well without my help. He can get 1st in Mario Kart Wii 50cc and today he just went through the slowpoke well and beat Team Rocket in Pokemon Heart Gold without me even knowing.

I think you're not giving kids enough credit.
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

First off... back then he was 4 or 5, not 6, and yeah, he could play some games, but we spent about half and hour helping him get back on the track only to see him crash again... him and his friend... and then we let him play without help, and then we decided to put the replay video because they seemed happier that way... lots happier... today he probably beat me at almost any video game
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

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First off... back then he was 4 or 5, not 6, and yeah, he could play some games, but we spent about half and hour helping him get back on the track only to see him crash again... him and his friend... and then we let him play without help, and then we decided to put the replay video because they seemed happier that way... lots happier... today he probably beat me at almost any video game
That was directed towards Kong, actually.

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Originally Posted by Tenser View Post
At 6 my boy's already doing quite well without my help. He can get 1st in Mario Kart Wii 50cc and today he just went through the slowpoke well and beat Team Rocket in Pokemon Heart Gold without me even knowing.

I think you're not giving kids enough credit.
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

ok, but I still like his idea... maybe kids can be good gamers, but some kids aren't exposed to videogames so little, and games like the ones kong talks about would help those kids... or even help the parents be more involved.

I don't know if your wife plays video games, but if she didn't... wouldn't she be more willing to play with you if she knew she didn't have to be as good as you, and that the difficulty for her would help both of you have fun?
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

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This is sort of what I had in mind.
What the hell is that from?
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

That's Goro from Fighter's Generation. I think.

We need to have a "classic" mode on modern games. Call of Duty, for example, is fun but it's too easy even on veteran considering the infinite lives and checkpoint system. It doesn't really make someone with a little patience really work. You should have limited lives and checkpoints, but when you run out you have to restart the level completely as punishment for your rashness. Such a challenge would really force a manning up or breaking down on this gaming generation.

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Old 04-12-2010, 12:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

Good idea DN.

It is Goro from King of Fighters
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:51 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Designing Games To Challenge Diverse Players

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Originally Posted by Tenser View Post
At 6 my boy's already doing quite well without my help. He can get 1st in Mario Kart Wii 50cc and today he just went through the slowpoke well and beat Team Rocket in Pokemon Heart Gold without me even knowing.

I think you're not giving kids enough credit.
Got a friend code Tenser? would be cool to mystery gift.
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