Starting a game with all levels unlocked

07-12-2014, 08:56 PM
#1
Starting a game with all levels unlocked

I am considering my next game(and all future games) having all levels unlocked to start so nobody gets stuck. Thoughts?

There would still be finish all levels in a world achievements/bonus/special level unlock. But in general the majority (like over 90%) would be available from day 1.

I have noticed people being more focused on completing all the achievements and also I don't want to create a wall to more play if you can't complete a level.

Mario galaxy for me was excellent in that there was choice of levels always and if you found one too hard you could come back to it later. There was also bonus hardcore levels which you didn't need to finish game.

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07-13-2014, 10:40 AM
#2
It depends on the game. Do you start from scratch on every level or does the "hero" progress/level up? Do you want your levels to increase difficulty progressively?

It could be fun to try to defeat, say, foes from level 15 just at the beginning, just to realize you need some training/advancement first...

07-13-2014, 04:09 PM
#3
While initially I thought this was a good idea how would you teach mechanics? Normally progressing through the levels allows mechanics to be taught on the way.

For an rpg style game that level ups it would be very challenging but most of my games ar mainly puzzle of some sort so it is just difficulty and extra mechanics.

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-...6300?ls=1&mt=8
07-13-2014, 07:42 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Auckland
Posts: 115
I think it is quite a good idea to do that. And I think you will find that most people still just start at level 1 and play through, its only if they get stuck that they will skip it and come back to it later. Like Flow Free, on that game, I just played all the levels in order, even though you don't have to.

Also it probably means you don't have to balance the levels in order of difficulty as much, just the first few to get people into the game.
07-13-2014, 07:58 PM
#5
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 723
A halfway house which allows some flexibility and avoids people getting stuck while at the same time not having people blaze through the content or skip levels introducing new mechanics and being frustrated would be to unlock levels in blocks at a time with the unlock criteria being based on how many of the previous levels had been completed e.g. unlock 5 levels at a time requiring 80% of all previous levels to be completed.

That would allow people to move on when frustrated, but not let them get too far ahead of themselves.
07-13-2014, 08:42 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnlyJoe View Post
I think it is quite a good idea to do that. And I think you will find that most people still just start at level 1 and play through, its only if they get stuck that they will skip it and come back to it later. Like Flow Free, on that game, I just played all the levels in order, even though you don't have to.

Also it probably means you don't have to balance the levels in order of difficulty as much, just the first few to get people into the game.
That was my thought. The default will be start at 1 and skip if you can't do and come back to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PikPok View Post
A halfway house which allows some flexibility and avoids people getting stuck while at the same time not having people blaze through the content or skip levels introducing new mechanics and being frustrated would be to unlock levels in blocks at a time with the unlock criteria being based on how many of the previous levels had been completed e.g. unlock 5 levels at a time requiring 80% of all previous levels to be completed.

That would allow people to move on when frustrated, but not let them get too far ahead of themselves.
That is a good idea, but clearly articulating that might not be so easy!

Blazing through the content isn't something I would worry about if they are actually using it! That is a quality problem to have.

Please follow me on twitter @JamesDestined I post lots of development from both my game creation and professional development.
Time to measure - Brain challenge https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time...820864672?mt=8
The light box, can you solve it (free) (on google play too)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-...6300?ls=1&mt=8
07-14-2014, 07:50 AM
#7
Giving me all the levels to play at once I'd get overwhelmed. Even Mario Galaxy limits my choices in the beginning and then branches out giving me lots of options by the time I'm 10% through.

My suggestion would be to have a (mostly?) linear initial set of levels and then allow the player to branch out so you can be sure they know the basic mechanics of the game first.

FWIW, my behavior would be something like (given a game of only 10 levels):
Start with something middle difficulty like level 5 or 6.
If I win try 9 + 10. If I win, I'm done... no way I want to do the basic levels.
If I lose / don't see how I can win it, try 1 and 2. Then go back to 5+6 for revenge.
But I'm the kind of person who started Super Hexagon on hardest...

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07-14-2014, 04:16 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackharon View Post
Giving me all the levels to play at once I'd get overwhelmed. Even Mario Galaxy limits my choices in the beginning and then branches out giving me lots of options by the time I'm 10% through.

My suggestion would be to have a (mostly?) linear initial set of levels and then allow the player to branch out so you can be sure they know the basic mechanics of the game first.

FWIW, my behavior would be something like (given a game of only 10 levels):
Start with something middle difficulty like level 5 or 6.
If I win try 9 + 10. If I win, I'm done... no way I want to do the basic levels.
If I lose / don't see how I can win it, try 1 and 2. Then go back to 5+6 for revenge.
But I'm the kind of person who started Super Hexagon on hardest...
I think the standard casual player would start at level 1 if they were numbered.

I am rethinking this strategy in light of feedback here and on twitter. There were lots of things I hadn't thought of and problems I could run into.

I still want to try and have lots of levels unlocked to reduce the chances of a pinch point where people say screw it I can't do this and move on to the next app.

Please follow me on twitter @JamesDestined I post lots of development from both my game creation and professional development.
Time to measure - Brain challenge https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time...820864672?mt=8
The light box, can you solve it (free) (on google play too)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-...6300?ls=1&mt=8
07-28-2014, 08:54 AM
#9
Depends of what kind of game it is. Usually you start off and play one level after one level.