Video game balance is a multi-layered topic that varies depending on the genre and design. From spells in a RPG to cards in a CCG, we could have posts dedicated to all of them. However, every game ever made in terms of balance boils down to three variables for the designer to think about.
For today’s Critical Thought, we’re talking the ever debatable topic of buffs and nerfs in game design. When it comes to balancing a game, you need to understand when something is a problem, and just how much you should change it.
I recently tried to get into Skyshine’s Bedlam following its 2.0 update. The game came out of the gate with numerous problems about difficulty and imbalanced game design which the developers attempted to fix. After trying to get into the game, I found a major problem with the game’s combat system that has become a big point for any strategy-based title. Today’s post is about overbalancing design and when the AI gets too much of an advantage.
With X-Com Enemy Unknown this past week, we got to see what a re-imagining of the original X-Com would look like today by Firaxis. In my analysis of EU, I mentioned the biggest fundamental shift in terms of design: going from a stat heavy pen and paper design influence to a board game design influence.
Board game design has become a viable option for strategy designers both as a way of creating gameplay and getting around having to create a complex AI. While it does have its advantages for the designer, they do come at a cost as I’ve been seeing in EU.