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Old 02-11-2013, 04:22 PM
zooom18 zooom18 is offline
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Default Help balancing a game

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Old 02-11-2013, 04:59 PM
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Foursaken_Media Foursaken_Media is offline
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I'm working on my first action game which pits your main character against waves of enemies (more detail in this post here: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=176213) I've got almost all of the systems working and am now starting to think about game balance. Does anyone know of any good resources to help setup the numbers? For example, enemies at wave 1 should have 20HP and give 5xp/10gold, wave 2 should have 25HP and give 6xp/12g, etc...

Not really sure where to even start. currently my player one shots enemies after level 5. I suppose one way would be to just keep adjusting each level over and over and play it hundreds of times but I hope there is an easier way? where is the magical formula haha
Unfortunately, there isn't a magic formula That's likely exactly what you'll have to do to get good balance... play it over, and over again.... then play it another million times... then give it to beta testers or friends to play, gather feedback, and re-adjust... and it probably still won't be completed...

Balancing is actually quite a skill imo, and the better you become at it, the better you'll be able to make extrapolations about the gameplay systems - and be correct... making it easier to do. But it will always be a long, often tedious process...
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:48 PM
Wizardo Wizardo is offline
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Excellent points. The only thing I would add is make sure you start off slow and easy. You don't want to overwhelm the player. Then just gradually ramp up the challenge until you reach something you're happy with.

So just start with something simple and build from there.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:19 PM
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opsive opsive is offline
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Excellent points. The only thing I would add is make sure you start off slow and easy. You don't want to overwhelm the player. Then just gradually ramp up the challenge until you reach something you're happy with.
Just don't make it too slow and easy. We've been collecting data from Terminal Escape, and only about 3% of people make it to the second terminal (which starts at level 16 out of 60). We are working on an update to try to fix that, but we think there are two things at play here:
- The first is that the game starts out slow and easy, and basically the entire first terminal is slow and easy for a seasoned gamer. It starts to get really challenging after that with the third and fourth terminals being really intense, but people lose interest before getting there.
- The game isn't selling too well so most downloads are from the cracked version. People are more likely to stay with it if they paid for it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:49 PM
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AlienSpace AlienSpace is offline
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This might be helpful:

Fibonacci Game Design: Tips From A Combat Designer
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:57 AM
zooom18 zooom18 is offline
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:00 PM
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Thank you, i'm going to read it later today, looks good. I just did a quick skim and saw this: Reward = 50 * (2 ^ Difficulty)

That's what I'm actually using for the enemies health. hp = 20 * (2^strength)
strength increases by 1 every 5 waves
Increasing things exponentially is usually a good idea. I did something similar in a game to increase how powerful weapons are:

power_at_level = initial_power * 1.5 ^ level

So each additional level the weapon is 1.5 times as powerful. I found that to be a good rate. It still gave noticeable increases level over level, but kept the rate fairly manageable. Then I had an equation for determining the "power" of weapons that took into account things like firing rate, bullets per shot, damage per bullet, etc. This way I could compare different weapon types (machine gun vs spread gun vs missiles vs laser) and assign each one a power rating, which is important to balance all of them against each other and as they increase level by level.
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