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Whats worse: too hard or too easy?

04-16-2010, 04:42 PM
#1
Whats worse: too hard or too easy?

What would you rather have, a game that is challenging, but maybe TOO hard, or a game that you can whip right through and is too easy?

Our newest game N.Y.Zombies, even with two difficulty modes seems to be getting reviews saying the balance is either perfect, or too hard. Don't want to make the game too easy and have it be boring and beatable in like 1 sit through, but obviously don't want people getting frustrated with the game and just putting it down.

Which is worse in your opinion? MAKE SURE TO GIVE EXAMPLES OF GAMES!

Last edited by Foursaken_Media; 04-16-2010 at 05:58 PM.
04-16-2010, 04:44 PM
#2
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,099
Definitely too easy... If something is too hard, you will eventually get better and be able to beat it. I'm not saying make a game impossible, but what is a game if there is no challenge?

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04-16-2010, 04:47 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whosatm View Post
Definitely too easy... If something is too hard, you will eventually get better and be able to beat it. I'm not saying make a game impossible, but what is a game if there is no challenge?
You're thinking about something being challenging, not too hard. Too hard would mean frustrating. So it basically comes down to either being bored or frustrated?
04-16-2010, 04:56 PM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foursaken_Media View Post
What would you rather have, a game that is challenging, but maybe TOO hard, or a game that you can whip right through and is too easy?

Our newest game N.Y.Zombies, even with two difficulty modes seems to be getting reviews saying the balance is either perfect, or too hard. Don't want to make the game too easy and have it be boring and beatable in like 1 sit through, but obviously don't want people getting frustrated with the game and just putting it down.

Which is worse in your opinion?
It really depends how rewarding the game is, how the action is broken down, and how entertaining the game play is. On a game like Jet Car Stunts, failing to hit a ramp is almost as entertaining as actually hitting it, so in the beginning when everyone sucks at the game (and pretty much everyone does) it's still entertaining to fail. Now, what makes that bearable is that practice does make perfect; if you keep failing at the same task with no discernible progress, then you're going to give up in disgust. NY Zombies has a good balance overall, but I'm currently stuck in the first darkened lobby level and am not making more progress every time I play (can't figure out how to kill the giant zombie). That's frustrating and not that much fun (sorry).

Too easy is just infuriating, and unless the gameplay is just stellar, and it feels like a ripoff. Perfect example is Dungeon Hunter, a game that had a lot going for it, to the point where it should have been the best dungeon crawler RPG in the platform. But for whatever reason Gameloft decided to pretty much remove the entire challenge from the game (except perhaps in the last few bosses). Gameplay was reduced to button-mashing and spamming the health potions, and the whole thing just feels cheap.

Difficulty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, and it can be a tricky thing to balance in a platform that attracts a lot of new/casual gamers. What seems like a reasonable challenge to a hardcore gamer may come across as unfair and impossible to a less experienced one. In the end, the best thing is to allow for failure, but don't make it ridiculously punishing -- if getting killed involves losing 30 minutes of gameplay, then perhaps the balance is not quite right .
04-16-2010, 05:01 PM
#5
Thanks for the opinions so far. I think that's part of the problem. One mans "hard" is another mans "challenging" and ultimately you're probably going to screw over a % of people no matter what unless you have like 20 difficulty modes (even then most players wont know what to pick!)

My opinion, btw, is that a game that is too easy ruins replay value and overall satisfaction/a sense of accomplishment, while being too difficult ruins the "in the now" game play. I think if I absolutely had to lean on one end of the spectrum, I would rather have it be too hard then too easy.

About Dark Lobby, its being nerfed and should be in a patch soon, as well as some other adjustments to the pace of the Contained mode (btw using rail gun or brain bomb will kill the giant quickly -- in fact Brain bomb kills the giant in one direct hit).

Last edited by Foursaken_Media; 04-16-2010 at 05:04 PM.
04-16-2010, 05:02 PM
#6
I'd probably prefer an easier game. If it's too hard to beat, what's the point in coming back and trying it again? Hell, I usually turn cheats on with RPG's regardless of the difficulty. I tend to prefer the story and gameplay over the challenge. I'd say this applies even more so with the Iphone. With major consoles, you'll have spent upwards of 20 bucks on most games so you'll be looking for your money's worth. On the Iphone, you don't really have that. However, that's not to say I always want an easy option. With FPS's I generally want to go for the most difficult level possible. Honestly, the best option is to just include three or four levels of difficulty to cater for all types of players.
04-16-2010, 05:06 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foursaken_Media View Post
Thanks for the opinions so far. I think that's part of the problem. One mans "hard" is another mans "challenging" and ultimately you're probably going to screw over a % of people no matter what unless you have like 20 difficulty modes (even then most players wont know what to pick!)

My opinion, btw, is that a game that is too easy ruins replay value and overall satisfaction/a sense of accomplishment, while being too difficult ruins the "in the now" game play. I think if I absolutely had to lean on one end of the spectrum, I would rather have it be too hard then too easy.

About Dark Lobby, its being nerfed and should be in a patch soon, as well as some other adjustments to the pace of the Contained mode (btw using rail gun or brain bomb will kill the giant quickly -- in fact Brain bomb kills the giant in one direct hit).
Ah, the rail gun. Thanks, will try that. (love the game otherwise, by the way).

I think Enzo is right that including multiple levels of difficulty is the best option. But make sure that Normal really feels balanced.
04-16-2010, 05:16 PM
#8
I hate it when a game is too hard. I'm the type of person that seems to never get better at a game, unless I dedicate hours and hours to it at any given time. If you've seen my posts on here, I've made quite a few asking about the difficulty of some games. If a game is too hard for me, I don't get my money's worth, since I can't progress far enough to beat it.

However, if it's too easy, I know that I'm guaranteed a win, and as such, I get my money's worth out of it.

So my choice for what's worse: "Too hard"

Just my two cents

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04-16-2010, 05:16 PM
#9
I'm definitely more likely to come back to a game that I find too hard (for example, the original Megaman games when I was younger) than too easy (like New Super Mario Bros DS, which was the most disappointing and unfulfilling game in the series by far).
04-16-2010, 05:28 PM
#10
Haha, seems split down the middle so far

Btw of course multiple difficulty options are ideal, but lets just assume for argument's sake that you HAD to pick a side: too easy or too hard.