Everybody likes to talk about win states and rewarding the player for playing their game, but there are very few talks on the punishment for failing or fail states. As game design has evolved over the years, so has the different ways to fail a game. For today’s post, we’re going to look at the hierarchy of fail states, and how there is more than one way for the player to feel the sting of failure.
It seems like every time a challenging game is released the argument over difficulty starts again. This time it was Cuphead, and developers arguing regarding whether high difficulty is a feature or limiting. Extreme difficulty by itself is never good, but difficulty does have an important purpose.
Today’s Critical Thought looks at difficulty scaling in game design. I talked about how you can make meaningful difficulty settings, and why very easy and very hard modes aren’t as simple to design.
For today’s Critical Thought, we’re looking at Subjective Difficulty in game design. Subjective Difficulty is the concept of designing levels that accommodate multiple skill levels at the same time. It’s very hard to pull off and not every game can do it, but it can lead to some amazing game designs.