Cheats

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by ggambett, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. Black Hydra

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    I think leaving taunting mysterious for how to unlock special things can really keep people playing.

    After seeing that "Special Bonus for Passive Resistance" in Platypus I spent a good part of the demo time trying to figure out how to do it....
     
  2. Anthony Flack

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    People email me about that quite a lot. Did you figure it out?
     
  3. Black Hydra

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    Nope... fun to try though.

    I tried avoiding every enemy in a level. Note: It really isn't nearly as satisfying as killing everything. And I also tried smashing my ship into enemies. But that quickly ended the game.... very cryptic. I'd like to add something like that into my game.
     
  4. Anthony Flack

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    You have to avoid every enemy, and also not die. I think it was actually the generation of an explosion of any kind that de-flagged the bonus.

    Not as much fun as shooting though, yeah. But I do like secrets. I intended to put in lots, but I ran out of time (and steam) so that's actually the only one. Cletus Clay is going to be the most stuffed-to-the-gills with secrets game ever, though.
     
  5. Omega

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    Bejeweled already has secrets!

    All versions of Bejeweled will flash the two gems you need to swap to continue, if you pause for about 7 seconds. I was wondering how my sister was so good, and she told me the secret.

    I have seen a lot of Bejeweled and PopCap discussions here, and about their success, but maybe this 'nobody can be bad at bejeweled' is part of the secret of Bejeweled's success?

    Same with Platypus. I just downloaded the demo, and put in virtual quarters to keep playing after I had already run out of lives.
     
  6. Anthony Flack

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    Can you do that now? Oh.
     
  7. Spaceman Spiff

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    Try this: Start play Bejeweled (1) for a few minutes. Then decide you want the game to end (no more moves). How fast can you get there?
     
  8. James C. Smith

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    I think it is. I discovered this some time ago and have discussed it here many times. Casual gamers like easy game. They like to think they are good at the game. They never like to loose. My gut instinct is to assume that a game must be challenging to but fun and the player must risk death to enjoy victory. I have learned to suppress that instinct. Give the player plenty of hints and don't penalize them for it. Novice players should be able to succeed. But you should still have extra reward for fore skilled players.
     
  9. James C. Smith

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    Yes. It is very hard to looses in the "standard" mode of play in bejeweled. I think that is why I always preferred the "timed" more or "action" mode or whatever they call it.

    I have also found that it is hard to loose a game of Zuma. I once wanted to see how they designed the game over screen. I was very surprised how long it took me to die 3 times when I was trying as hard as I could to die quickly.
     
  10. Savant

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    In Zuma? All you would have to do is not shoot any marbles and let the snake reach the end point ... or am I thinking of the wrong game?
     
  11. soniCron

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    Well, in order to die faster, you'll want to shoot as many unmatching balls as possible. Nobody "playing" the game will just let the thing run out, but if they're trying to play, he's basically saying they can screw up a whole hell of a lot before the game is over.
     
  12. Black Hydra

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    I think one thing that is very good is to create the illusion of a challenge while still letting the player win.

    Good games can do this very well, as you really feel like you are winning a difficult challenge, however it is actually very hard to lose.

    A good method of this can also be in secretly making the game easier just before they are about to lose. So if the game has some sort of meter for time, as the players time drops to a lower amount the rate at which the meter runs out is lowered so it gives them the appearance that they "just slipped by" but really they had a lot more time.

    I haven't played too much of Zuma but the one thing I felt they did well was that when you felt like it was just about to close in on you, you could fire a shot that would collapse it backwards a fair bit. That made you feel like you just dodged a bullet, but I think that their must have been some concious intention on the designers part to make it feel like you are being challenged more than you actually are.
     
  13. James C. Smith

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    Yep that's the game. If you do nothing for long enough you will die. But it takes a few minutes. I tried to accelerate the death process by firing marbles as fast as I could to quickly extend the length of the snake. But random rapid clicking results in enough accidental matches that it still takes a while to loose one life. And then you have two more lives.
     
  14. Abscissa

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    That's just what I was thinking too. I remember playing Super Groovy and finding it a very interesting concept, and well-polished, but I got bored of it almost immediately because there didn't appear to be much of a loosing condition or sense of danger (other than not getting a bonus you were aiming for, and the red-flippy-thing you would have to try to get caught by.)
     
  15. Larry Hastings

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    For another data point, my game not only has cheats, it has a full-fledged cheats console, where you can see the currently active cheats, and activate / deactivate the cheats as necessary. I also threw in "play this song", and some SEKRIT debugging commands like "turn off all sound" (for when I'm running it under the debugger and I left sound on) and "turn sound back on" and such. Plus, the UI is totally old-skool. :)

    (Before you ask, Mike: the game is on the back burner right now, as my current contract is totally on fire. Sigh.)
     
  16. NuriumGames

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    I added a few cheats for BreakQuest (infinite lives, infinite bullets, change to whatever level you want and infinite gravity), I think is good to have and does not hurt if you don't want to use them.

    I sent them to a few places and now these are now in a bunch of cheat sites. They also come very handy for reviewers.
     
  17. Sharpfish

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    I have seen this "random clicking" produces "win-win" situations in MANY casual games. When I first found this out I was dismayed by the apparent lack of real challenge, or incentive to use brain power.. since then I have realised it was possibly (not in all cases) an intentional side effect/trade off of having the difficulty level easy enough for the casual players who seek rewards in the first 30 seconds. I am not saying they would click randomly to beat it (though some may - it is NO fun though) but rather, by making a game that "easy" and casual-friendly, there is the random success phenomenon inherent in the game. I suppose really great games make it EASY while removing the totally random success (through the design of the gameplay from the early stages).
     
  18. James C. Smith

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    I usually let users skip level without having to know a lookup a code. If you want to make it easier on the casual user, why make them know a secret code. In BKR, if you loose a level 2 times in a row then the third time you get an option to skip it.

    We always include cheat codes in the games to help develop and test the game. For Ricochet, we have a special private forum where volunteers help test the user made levels before they are published in the web site. We give those testers the cheat codes to help them test. But we don’t publicize the cheat codes.

    I an not saying publicizing the cheat codes is a bad idea. It can be a good way to get extra free press and more word of mouth. I just think it is a bad way to try to make the game easier or more accessible. But it can be a good way to do other things.
     
  19. lowpoly

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    This is something I was considering myself and I think it's definitely a good idea, but if I can go off on a tangent for a second, how about using this tactic inversely. What's the consensus on ramping up the difficulty level based on player performance? From my gaming experience, rubber-banding is one of those annoying little tricks that make you swear out, 'the computer cheats!' :D

    I like the idea of a dynamic difficulty level, but at the same time I think the player should be rewarded for mastery.
     

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