Staredit Network > Forums > SC2 Custom Maps > Topic: Increasing Replayability
Increasing Replayability
Sep 23 2010, 3:30 am
By: payne  

Sep 23 2010, 3:30 am payne Post #1

:payne:

I believe the Replayability is one of -the- most important factors to be taken in count when you decide to create a map.
It's very great to produce an epic single-player RPG, but if it has no replay value (that is, someone not wanting to go through the whole game once again), I do not see much of a point into it.

I'd really love to hear from the SEN Pseudo Game Designers some tips to increase the replay value of our maps.
If possible, try to sort the tips by map type (Arena, RPG, Dodge, Minigame, CTF, etc.).

As usual, I'll keep the OP updated so it contains any relevant information.

P.S. This thread should also serve as a Discussion Thread. If you see some issues in relation with a posted tip, please go on and share your knowledge.




RPGs:
- Randomized quests (can mostly be applied to an ORPG-type map, though I can see it applied to an RPG as well)
- Experience/leveling system providing hero-customization (stats, spells). In terms of spells, designing a spell-tree (think of Diablo II) can be a very good choice.
- Open world (unfortunately :P) & Hack-n-slash (moar unfortunateliness)
- Don't overflow players with tons of new abilities to learn to master at the very start. Try to design the map so you can give the abilities one per one to the players.
- Equipment/Items system
- An original plot and great dialogues
- Custom enemies with custom abilities (keep it simple still, but let the players have a feel of Improvement when they understand there's a strategy that can help them out to kill 'x' type of monster faster)
- Make original bosses


Arenas:
- A lot of heroes with own unique spells
- Level-ups to give the feel of specialization/customization
- Control Points


General improvements:
- Map must be challenging, though not impossible
- Easy to understand, Hard to master
- Try to integrate a feel of Improvement
- Great terrain (that is, effort set into it, though not "over the top")
- General atmosphere: things like background music and custom models/sounds... map's lighting probably goes in here as well.
- Professionalism: no typos, reduce number of clichés (things like "Mwahahaha" lines given to some evil guy)
- Synergy between abilities
- Customization (modes, spells tree, etc.)
- Hidden features/bonus (easter eggs, secret rooms, etc.)


Please consider reading this post as well, as it talks about general replayability.
Same goes for this thread.

Post has been edited 6 time(s), last time on Jan 12 2011, 2:29 am by payne.



None.

Sep 23 2010, 4:00 am Neki Post #2



Single Player RPGs can have lots of replayability, multiple characters, allowing different stat allocations, multiple endings, different paths, it's so easy to make a single player game replayable. The trick is to make a low entry level skill-wise, but allow for lots of improvement from that point on. For example, Battlecraft, very easy to play, very hard to master. Games that you play against other people tend to have higher replay values because humans are so much more unpredictable. :awesome: You also need to make the game hard enough (if not against a human) that people cannot win every-time, but you can't make it so hard that it discourages them from ever trying again. Infested Arena is a great example of a map that would be even more awesome if the map maker could just balance it properly. I tend to think games that allow very divergent paths and strategies are the ones that will last the longest (tower defenses, nexus wars, desert strike, etc)



None.

Sep 23 2010, 4:23 am payne Post #3

:payne:

Would you really replay a Single Player RPG only because it allows you to change the stats you assign to your character? I do not think so...
Now, if you think in terms of Co-Op RPG (such as NOTD), indeed, talent-tree and character-choice gives it quite a great replayability... though I see people getting bored pretty quickly of the final product: always the same missions-order, path, boss, etc.

I guess, in terms of RPG, we could say that these factor are a plus:
- Randomized quests
- Experience/leveling system providing hero-customization (stats, spells). In terms of spells, designing a spell-tree (think of Diablo II) can be a very good choice.
- Open world
- Don't overflow players with tons of new abilities to learn to master at the very start. Try to design the map so you can give the abilities one per one to the players.
- Equipment/Items system
- Map must be challenging, though not impossible
- Try to integrate a feel of Improvement

I can see an other point going in there, though I'd like some suggestions as of how to apply it properly:
- Rewards to the advanced players
For the RPG case, I mostly see it turning into a Visual reward such as attaching an OmniLight to the hero if the player has played 'x' games. Change the color based on the amount of games.
For non-RPGs, I can see Ranking system as a great output.

What do you guys think of the list? (Thanks to Taylor ;))



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Sep 23 2010, 4:25 am Sand Wraith Post #4

she/her

Although I agree with you in that replayability is an extremely important aspect to maps, I think that replayability is a "high-level" aspect that is only obtained through the quality of other more fundamental concepts of a map.

For example, I've played through the first few parts of FF7 (an RPG, for the unaware reader) multiple times in trying to beat the game as a whole and never once was genuinely sick of having to do so because of the visual style, gameplay, music, general atmosphere, plot, sound effects (I worship Limit Break and Magic preparation animation sounds), and to a lower degree, dialogue.

Even at the SC1 campaign degree of mapping, JudasCloud's The Shifters campaign was very enjoyable, and I remember even making it one of my primary modding testing grounds (a loooong time ago).

For another reference, Crash RPG (I think of Badlands version with spawn in NE, and Twilight with spawn at centre) for SC1 was also a really fun, casual game. Although it was very much a grind, it was a rewarding experience to be able to level up, get cooler units, and explore the map. However, I was quite young back then, so maybe I'm overrating the immersion factor. :P

So, from an RPG perspective and under my personal principle that replaybility is something that is obtained by coincidence as opposed to an objective to achieve, replayability is obtained by the development and refinement ofother aspects that include sound, visual effects and style, terraining, non-conflictive resource usage (i.e. I don't want to see anything stupid and unreasonable like a Zergling with Marine portrait and Zealot soundset), plot and story, fun gameplay design, and immersion. The last two in my list can also be considered "high-level" aspects, though, as they depend on other more fundamental qualities.

That's how you can coincidentally obtain replayability and a good RPG, IMO. Granted, the average joe may not appreciate it to the fullest extent, but a well-executed epic single-player RPG can be extremely memorable.

Also, some people don't need an audience to please as the objective for making an epic single-player RPG. Granted, it's pretty powerful motivation, but some just like making epic stuff for the sake of it. ;o




Sep 23 2010, 4:31 am payne Post #5

:payne:

Quote from Sand Wraith
Although I agree with you in that replayability is an extremely important aspect to maps, I think that replayability is a "high-level" aspect that is only obtained through the quality of other more fundamental concepts of a map.

For example, I've played through the first few parts of FF7 (an RPG, for the unaware reader) multiple times in trying to beat the game as a whole and never once was genuinely sick of having to do so because of the visual style, gameplay, music, general atmosphere, plot, sound effects (I worship Limit Break and Magic preparation animation sounds), and to a lower degree, dialogue.

Even at the SC1 campaign degree of mapping, JudasCloud's The Shifters campaign was very enjoyable, and I remember even making it one of my primary modding testing grounds (a loooong time ago).

For another reference, Crash RPG (I think of Badlands version with spawn in NE, and Twilight with spawn at centre) for SC1 was also a really fun, casual game. Although it was very much a grind, it was a rewarding experience to be able to level up, get cooler units, and explore the map. However, I was quite young back then, so maybe I'm overrating the immersion factor. :P

So, from an RPG perspective and under my personal principle that replaybility is something that is obtained by coincidence as opposed to an objective to achieve, replayability is obtained by the development and refinement ofother aspects that include sound, visual effects and style, terraining, non-conflictive resource usage (i.e. I don't want to see anything stupid and unreasonable like a Zergling with Marine portrait and Zealot soundset), plot and story, fun gameplay design, and immersion. The last two in my list can also be considered "high-level" aspects, though, as they depend on other more fundamental qualities.

That's how you can coincidentally obtain replayability and a good RPG, IMO. Granted, the average joe may not appreciate it to the fullest extent, but a well-executed epic single-player RPG can be extremely memorable.

Also, some people don't need an audience to please as the objective for making an epic single-player RPG. Granted, it's pretty powerful motivation, but some just like making epic stuff for the sake of it. ;o
I purposely decided to over-look every single one of these point when I created the thread, kind of funny you bring those in here, though it was kind of predictable.
The thing is that this thread is mainly aimed at trying to figure out good solutions to increase the replay-value of specific type of maps.

I believe stuff like "Great terrain, atmosphere, professionalism" and etc. are just general factors that will make any map-type have a higher chance to get replayed, and thus doesn't fit this topic well. But if people feel the urge for it, I can create a "General improvement" section. >_>



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Sep 23 2010, 4:38 am Neki Post #6



I think Crash RPG is a very popular and lovable map because it's a simple premise with immediate payoff. People love immediate payoff, I mean, look at scratch tickets and stuff. Flashier is not always better, everyone still loves their meat and potatoes. :awesome: It's not too overly complicated, it allowed grinding, allowed you to endlessly overpower monsters and there was big hero variety, I personally liked X-Men RPG better though. I do enjoy the prospect of open world, but no SCI map ever really achieved it well enough to make it enjoyable, then again, I've never really played a single player RPG with a strong linear experience and story. I think hack and slash is so much more popular because everyone loves guts spilling everywhere, and if you do it in such a way to increase the fun one has (by doing spells, making ridiculous amounts of easy units, cool abilities etc) that is why they're so popular. Like I said before, I think skill / freedom of choice (in whatever respect, skills, spells, characters) are the two biggest factors which will greatly increase replayability, and maybe throw in difficulty too. ;)



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Sep 23 2010, 3:58 pm CecilSunkure Post #7



Replayability in bnet maps will require a couple things, but overall it requires a reason to be replayed.

The first thing that will probably come to your head is "RANDOMIZATION". Randomize quests, randomize stuff and the game will be unique during each play! Well, this is only true to an extent. If the only variation in the game becomes randomization, then a lot of new content will need to be displayed to the player during this randomization, otherwise it won't be fun to replay. A lot of content is very cumbersome to the developer of the map, and is very time costly.

The most sure fire way to increase replayability is to have a very easy to use base mechanic of play, yet very hard to master. This will allow a broad range of players to play your map, all the while giving the challenge to the more skilled to keep mastering this main mechanic. A great example of this sort of design would be in any early Nintendo game. I'll take Zelda: A Link to the Past (ALTTP) as my example. The main mechanic in ALTTP is swinging your sword. Boring, right? What's fun about swinging a sword? Well, swinging a sword is extremely easy; you push a button to swing. Although, who would go to say that the entire game is as easy as swinging your sword? Nintendo likes to have a very simple mechanic used in many creative and challenging ways within their games, and it works.

In truth, you don't need vast amounts of developer generated content to have a game with great replayability, you just need clever game design choices.

Another great way to add replayability is to allow the players themselves to face off against one another. This worked wonderfully in Vrael's RPG, as it added an entire new element to the whole RPG, with a very small amount of triggering. Pitting players against one another, as in Vrael's Tenebrous RPG, or as in Bloody Hydras (a modification by me of azala's Bloody Marines), will add in potential replayability and a reason for players to replay your game.



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Sep 24 2010, 12:59 am UnholyUrine Post #8



Okay...

First of all, know thy audience. Recognize that pubbies (at least in sc1) are stubborn, somewhat unimaginative, and sporadic sorts of people. Your map has to be able to capture their attention. Of course, you can make ur map just as sporadic as them, like in Special Forces, Marvel RPG or in Crash RPG... (which are, unfortunately, the most popular RPG's out there now in SC1)... But if you want to make an epic map, then you have to Immerse the players ASAP

Once that's done, your Game Design is also very important. Easy to play, hard to master. Anything that's complicated will leave pubbies running for the hills.
Crystallize a concept and stick with that concept.

Finally, if you want them to replay your map, make it Difficult, but NOT frustrating/boring. Once you catch players thinking that they can pull off an epic win from your epic rpg, you got them sucked in. A easy way to make it difficult is to make the map require teamwork. It is so hard for pubbies to work as a team, but it is a simple enough task for them to understand, and dwell upon. As long as they can't blame your map, it's all good :D.

I think cliches would work in certain context... Like in Brood Whores, the penis joke was cliche but funny because it's quite a joke... Or like in Galactic Gunnerz... evil tux was pretty cheesy... It all depends on the mood/atmosphere and.. well a whole bunch of other things... Anyway, don't "never" do cliches :D



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Sep 24 2010, 3:48 am payne Post #9

:payne:

So both Co-Op and PvP RPGs are a great choice?
Can you guys think of any ways to mix PvP and Co-Op at the same time? I can only think of a general concept being "Players need to help each other because the map is too hard to be beaten alone, though only the best among them will be able to get out of the final PvP ballte"... the ending of the concept-idea looks like an epic fail, but I'm pretty sure we could exploit the start if mixed well with an original ending-formula.



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Sep 24 2010, 5:30 am Sand Wraith Post #10

she/her

You could go the way of Halo: players work together to progress in the story for the RPG, but compete through scoring methods, i.e. how much the players do for the team, which can be measured by kills, score, wealth, EXP, damage dealt (very good measurement, IMO!) etc.

Or, even something as simple as who is the most successful independently.




Sep 24 2010, 7:00 am payne Post #11

:payne:

Damage dealt cannot be a good measurement for a Co-Op RPG... most of these contains classes like Healer, Tank, DPS... damage dealt wouldn't be relevant. ;)



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Sep 24 2010, 7:00 am Neki Post #12



You could always make an RPG with some sort of time attack perspective or something along those lines. :awesome: Moogle made this weird Final Fantasy map in SCI where there was 4 different players and they were all in isolated areas with the same exact terrain and monsters and it was basically a race to see who could get to the end and defeat the final boss first, with SCII, you could even expand this concept further, it'd be some sweet RPG where you race to kill the big baddie. :awesome:



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Sep 30 2010, 9:52 am payne Post #13

:payne:

What about Arena maps now? :O
... what makes a good Arena maps to you?



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Oct 1 2010, 4:55 pm NicholasBeige Post #14



This is applicable to both RPGs and Arena maps. In fact, anything that uses an ability.

It is so commonly overlooked that it sometimes shocks me.

Synergy between abilities / and or / other players abilities. So often do I come across an ability which is just 'Deals x Damage to Target over time' or 'Deals x Damage in a Line'. Some very simple examples, such as in Warcraft 3 - can't remember the exact abilities names or maps but the example goes as such: You cast some sort of flammable liquid on a player - then it remains as a static buff, which slows them by y%. Then, if this slowed unit is to take any fire damage (whether from a special Attack or a Fireball spell etc...) he would start taking damage over time for the remainder of that static buff.

The great thing about this, is it's so simple to implement (but so widely overlooked).

Imagine an Arena map deathmatch setup. One skill could be Shield - Unit gains +50 Shields and +2 Shield Armour for x Seconds.... Another skill could be Shield-Breaker which deals 25 damage to a Unit's Shields, but if the unit has the Shield buff, the unit takes 25 damage to it's hitpoints.

I actually find NOTD to be needlessly boring and repetitive. I refuse to play it any more, until they add a lot more new content. Sure, it is a Team-Survival map, but there is so little synergy between team-mates (except 'give me ammo' and 'medic cure me' etc..)

An RPG in which my Abilities are enough to kill everything is not cool. How about an RPG where my Abilities are good, but if another hero is present they become 2x stronger? For example Bleeding passive skill + poison active skill - both from different hero's, but the Teamwork required to pull it off (or common sense) should reward it with bonus damage/exp/items etc...

Sure, if I play an RPG and I get a sense of 'improvement' it's great. But sometimes I want a sense of 'kicking ass'. These simple synergy and 'combo' abilities are one definite way of giving your audience this feeling.

My two cents.



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Oct 1 2010, 7:04 pm payne Post #15

:payne:

Quote from name:Cardinal
This is applicable to both RPGs and Arena maps. In fact, anything that uses an ability.

It is so commonly overlooked that it sometimes shocks me.

Synergy between abilities / and or / other players abilities. So often do I come across an ability which is just 'Deals x Damage to Target over time' or 'Deals x Damage in a Line'. Some very simple examples, such as in Warcraft 3 - can't remember the exact abilities names or maps but the example goes as such: You cast some sort of flammable liquid on a player - then it remains as a static buff, which slows them by y%. Then, if this slowed unit is to take any fire damage (whether from a special Attack or a Fireball spell etc...) he would start taking damage over time for the remainder of that static buff.

The great thing about this, is it's so simple to implement (but so widely overlooked).

Imagine an Arena map deathmatch setup. One skill could be Shield - Unit gains +50 Shields and +2 Shield Armour for x Seconds.... Another skill could be Shield-Breaker which deals 25 damage to a Unit's Shields, but if the unit has the Shield buff, the unit takes 25 damage to it's hitpoints.

I actually find NOTD to be needlessly boring and repetitive. I refuse to play it any more, until they add a lot more new content. Sure, it is a Team-Survival map, but there is so little synergy between team-mates (except 'give me ammo' and 'medic cure me' etc..)

An RPG in which my Abilities are enough to kill everything is not cool. How about an RPG where my Abilities are good, but if another hero is present they become 2x stronger? For example Bleeding passive skill + poison active skill - both from different hero's, but the Teamwork required to pull it off (or common sense) should reward it with bonus damage/exp/items etc...

Sure, if I play an RPG and I get a sense of 'improvement' it's great. But sometimes I want a sense of 'kicking ass'. These simple synergy and 'combo' abilities are one definite way of giving your audience this feeling.

My two cents.
It looks like you really help the current SEN'S Community Project: http://www.staredit.net/topic/12237/#253846
For now, Temp is still working on the abilities, but everything should be done by this week-end. Once abilities will be implemented. We'll start looking at enemies and do some tests to make sure the abilities-synergy is perfect.



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Oct 30 2010, 10:01 pm Tempz Post #16



To simplify things here...

Rpg
-Side Quests
-Choice Quests (Ie web based questing) for e.g. killing a mercenary camps stops any ability to use said camp.

Arena
-Many different characters with own unqiue/different quarks which make them all easy to play yet hard to master
-Balance of course =p
-Stat level ups
-Control Points
-Equipment
-Different Styles of play (E.g. Elimination Style *3 Lives*)



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Nov 4 2010, 1:11 am LosTZealoT Post #17



What everyone has been orbiting around but no one has mentioned directly thus far is that replayability is directly related to variability. Any map, or game, that has good replayability also has good variability. Variability isn't just simple randomization, its smart and logic gameplay changes that make games much more tolerable and, overall, much more fun. As examples, I'll primarily use Valve games because they are what Ive been playing lately and are good case-studies for the concept, but Im not forgetting this is a StarCraft board.

One of the greatest examples in my opinion of a great game with poor replayability is Portal. Generally considered to be an overall amazing game, which it is, it is very lacking when it comes to replayability. After playing through the game a few times, I found I was getting bored and that the game wasnt as fun as it had been. The main problem as I see it was variability in game play. Portal has a great and original game mechanic, used in a number of ways, a strong, entertaining, and immersive story and overall excellent gameplay. However, this titan in the game design work, has the major flaw of not having enough variety in the game each time you play. The game follows a linear path, both in plot development and the actual levels themselves which makes the game boring after beating it once or twice. Its fine for Portal I suppose, but in terms of replayability, its illustrative that an excellent plot and well-thought-of and well-executed game mechanic do not make a game replayable. I would say the same thing about Half-life 2, Halo Campaigns and pretty much all FPS/RPG type games. Ultimately, the strength of the game doesn't make a game replayable. (I like RPGs and FPS campaigns for the most part, but I can only really play through them once or twice..)

So, if all these games seem to lack variability, whats a game that has it from which we can learn? Well, a good number actually. One of my top examples of good variability, though as Ill mention later could have done much better, in the FPS world is Left 4 Dead, and Left 4 Dead 2 as its pretty much the same thing with some extras. This game does a few things right in the varaibility field that make it significantly more replayable. First, and what helps alot, is the fact that its a multiplayer game. Human allies and/or opponents already add a great deal of variability to game play. Whether Co-op with friends or head-to-head with strangers, a human opponent allows for different angles and different experiences each time a game is played. However, having another human playing isn't the end all and be all. What is required is the possibility of "exploration" of the game. Lets quickly look at StarCraft[II](or WarCraft III) which in my opinion exemplifies variability in the RTS world. You have a "base game" or a game mechanic, in the case of StarCraft, building up units and technologies with resources, which most RTS's have. However, in StarCraft, the variability is immense. Its not just the different tech trees and different, unique races, but also the interactions when played. Theres a number of ways to play each race, and none are the absolute best. It all depends on a number of very dynamic factors, including, opponents race, opponents strategy, opponents counter strategy, all of those for allies, if you have them, all of those for opponents allies, if he has them, and, of course, the map itself. The maps in StarCraft also allowed the game to be transformed for its very replayable melee, to a number of good custom games. Games within games made both StarCraft and WarCraft III almost infinitely replayable. It was somewhat hard to get bored when you had a well-executed and customizable game.

Back to Left 4 Dead for a more indepth look at what makes a good Co-op game. You have the aspects of multiplayer and co-op combined in Versus mode rather well, but what truly makes it a strong Co-op game is the fact that the other players are more than just floating guns and medic kit lockers. Despite the fact the hordes of zombies are generally too much for one person do take out without running out of ammo, the designers added a feature known as incapped, or incapacitated. Either by losing health, falling off a terminal ledge or getting attacked by a special zombie such as a hunter or smoker, the player in these conditions has no way out from suffering a painful death than another player. A player must rescue the incapped player from the zombie or pick them up after being knocked down. This simple mechanic true makes a Co-op game. It truly makes the difference between all other games, the fact you actually need the other players under very common conditions. However, its not just the other players are needed. A single player must be able to finish the mission if all his friends die trying. An example of a game which does not allow this on some missions is Alien Swarm, in which a technician, a special class of character, is needed to open doors and such. While in Left 4 Dead, a lone player can reach the saferoom by themselves, not easy with all the special zombies, but not impossible either, Alien Swarm declares the mission over if the technician dies before he hacks a necessary terminal to open a door.. However, getting back to the issue of variability, Left 4 Dead again achieves and illustrates a good way of making even a single level replayable. A system called the Director is responsible for spawn not only zombies and special infected, but also things like ammo, weapons, health and objects(pipe bombs, gas cans, etc). This is a prime example of Procedural generation, a technique I think could be used even further in Left 4 Dead and should be an integral part of any game or map that wants replayability. The concept is simple, and wikipedia offers a good description ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedural_generation ). Ultimately, the spawning of additional challenges and supplies is not random, but in fact based on how the players are doing. How well it works it in games so far is up in the air, but it could be used to vary play-throughs even more. While Left 4 Dead does vary gameplay alot with the director, it could have taken a lesson from another Valve game Team Fortress 2. While this game isn't too much a sample of variability itself, it did have a god example of how to turn a decently big level into 8 smaller maps. A rarely played map called Hydro used 6 grid squares to form 8 different playable maps (http://www.tfportal.net/gfx/content/tf2/maps/team_fortress_2_map_overview_hydro.jpg ). Imagine the center being split into 4 regions with the 2 bases on either side as regions, make a total of 6. Using a method of spawning and removing barriers, the large map could be broken into smaller battles. This technique could have been used to make Left 4 Dead's rather linear levels much more dynamic.

Variability is all about bringing dynamics gameplay into the mix. Using algorithms now availible with Galaxy edit, its should be possible to bring this kind of dynamic structure into StarCraft maps. I'm sure I havent said everything on the subject, there are entire lectures and conventions in the industry used to tackle the question of what makes a game good. But step 1 is original concept and mechanic. Step 2 is unique, yet immersive and familiar environment. Step 3 is integration of variability.

Edit:
Sorry this is so long, just kept typing.....



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Nov 4 2010, 1:27 am Fisty Post #18



Replayability relies on the fun in doing just general stuff, like killing mobs. Adding side quests and the like would be neat, but really don't make it replayable. I can't think of one game that I would replay just to experience all the side quests (not even Morrowind).

More importantly, don't flood the player with dialogue to sit through. This was what ruined a game like Assassin's Creed for me, because I loved to replay all the assassinations and try to perfect my takedown (read: just generally being awesome and badass).



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Nov 4 2010, 2:20 am Decency Post #19



I'm a firm believer that games need to give the player tools and let the player choose how to use those tools. For example, making a map where a player can find items to use that have a natural progression of "this item is better than this item" is a fundamental flaw. Instead, consider "this item is better than this item in these scenarios, but falls short in these."

Another simple feature is competition. Even the most simplistic game can foster a vast competitive community if it encourages the user to innovate to beat others. The best example I'm aware of are the Snipers maps for SC1. You probably don't understand the gameplay in much depth, but I can assure that it's far, far more than a point and click reflex test. The original mapmaker didn't know this, so you can certainly say it's a case of a happy accident, but by giving the tools and making a basic player versus player map, dozens of techniques were created to get the most out of the game.


Mixing PvP and Co-op is simple; you have to give reasons for players to work together and yet make the ultimate goal be individual victory. Or give reasons for players to fight and make the ultimate goal be team victory. Maybe there's a monster that takes 3 people to kill but runs you the risk of being backstabbed by enemies. It could be a system as basic as Diplomacy (board game), where players ally for the simple reason of not being allied against. The game takes maybe 10 minutes to learn but it's very strategically deep and that's why it's still played and enjoyed- every game plays out somewhat differently. On the other hand,



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Nov 5 2010, 12:39 am NicholasBeige Post #20



FaZ- has hit it pretty much on the head.

To create replayability - you need a game which is 'quick to learn, but difficult to master'. To rephrase this in FaZ-'s analogy, The game must appear simple on the surface, but have strategical nuances and tactical ploys hidden deep within its gameplay mechanic.

Everything you implement must be dynamic as opposed to linear. For example, the player finds items in this order over the space of 10 minutes, Dagger, Sword, Scimitar, Katana. After the first 5 minutes he has all but forgotten about the Sword and the Dagger because his Scimitar is now one-shotting most creeps. To put this analogy in a dynamic perspective (again, FaZ- said it first), why not make the Dagger awesome at killing Civilians quietly but make it terrible at killing heavily armoured Knights. Make the Katana dominate against groups of medium-armoured foes by doing splash damage, but make it pretty low dps against a single target.

This Linearaity / Dynamism argument applies to all aspects of games. In Starcraft 2, make units dynamic, make abilities thoughtful and make items interesting and unique... But, you also want to instil a sense of progression, and this is often best done in a linear fashion, such as Level 1, 2, 3, 4... and so on... You must learn to disguise this linearity by giving your player choices at each occasion that he levels up. Make him choose his abilities, choose his attributes, choose his specialisation and his skills. The more dynamic options you give your player, the more chances you create for him to engage with your map - and this is very important as we see later on.

You must also take into consideration your target audience. At the end of the day your game is going to (hopefully) be unique, and as such this uniqueness will be liked by a certain type of people more. For example, Nexus Wars and Income Wars are loved by little kiddies who like to see hundreds of collosi getting torn to shreads by thousands of corruptors. Try not to design a map with a niche market, try to design something that is a useful blend of generic genre and complex mechanic, and as such, develop mass appeal. Innovation is everything.

If you are going to create a game which engages your audience to think, make their thinking and therefore their playing of your map enjoyable by rewarding them. The typical carrot and stick method often applies here. It can be as simple as a cool effect and sound being played when they level up, or it can be as terrible as a camera-disorientating trigger function if they get hit by a concussive grenade. That'll make em learn! And, in learning, they will want to apply their knowledge the next time they play. And therefore, you generate replayability.

Often I find myself replaying a game when I lose it initially, but take away some gem of tactical or strategical knowledge, and find myself saying "if only I did this instead of that", or "maybe I should have made more of those"... Next thing I know I am already joining another game to try out this knowledge. And this idea of create, teach, reward, punish, educate, reapply knowledge - becomes doubly effective in a competitive style game, because it is not a computer AI you are beating, it is real, living people... with feelings and dogs and shit.


I'm running out of 2 cents here :)

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Nov 5 2010, 12:45 am by Cardinal.



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[03:18 am]
Pr0nogo -- it's always unlogged me after 180 days
[02:59 am]
O)FaRTy1billion[MM] -- wtf why did i have to log in
[08:23 pm]
NudeRaider -- Moose
Moose shouted: it is of higher quality and caliber
jesus you must be really bored to have read that shit. Or ... you actually enjoyed it. AND HAD FUN?!
[08:22 pm]
NudeRaider -- NudeRaider
NudeRaider shouted: lil-Inferno listen here you shit ... :P actually just read some of my comments. Many of them are universal and have nothing to do with mapping vs modding. That just happens to be our example.
tl;dr your priorities are not better than mine
[08:21 pm]
NudeRaider -- lil-Inferno
lil-Inferno shouted: Given your idea of fun is arguing the merits of mapping vs. modding (two completely different things) in a game that's old enough to drink legally, ya, probably
listen here you shit ... :P actually just read some of my comments. Many of them are universal and have nothing to do with mapping vs modding. That just happens to be our example.
[08:18 pm]
lil-Inferno -- Given your idea of fun is arguing the merits of mapping vs. modding (two completely different things) in a game that's old enough to drink legally, ya, probably
[08:17 pm]
lil-Inferno -- lmfao
[08:17 pm]
Moose -- it is of higher quality and caliber
[08:17 pm]
Moose -- ya
[08:11 pm]
NudeRaider -- so now your fun is better than mine? :D
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