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December 23, 2008



I'd personally say that the ARs damage should be 29 or 30. That way, it's still powerful, but a tiny bit of falling damage won't turn the gun into a 3-bullet killing machine. However, your point remains the same.


This was a very simplistic example. I wasn't taking into account falling damage.

I'm still not sure I'm going to allow falling to kill you.


Of course :) I was just nitpicking the numbers. I look forward to seeing how the game ends up. The blog has been quite interesting so far.


I'd also go for 30 Damage, getting hit by 3 bullets of some weapon seems to be a too common thing to bring a player down to 1 health. If a player is at 1 hp all it also makes him lose the thrill I think. If 1 hp is a rare occurance you can boast around that you killed someone while you only had 1 hp left but if that happens every game its not special anymore. 25 Damage would be certainly stupid indeed, its more thrilling to walk around with 10hp than with 25hp.

I also prefer round values for anything than 10.

Dying from falling damage is annoying so you shouldn't allow it , unless you do a realistic shooter where people expect a somewhat high degree of realism. Giving a player some other penalty from falling from a high position, like a temporal speed reduction is much less annoying I think; if some sort of penalty for falling is actually even needed to ensure good gameplay.


it should read :
I also prefer round values for anything *bigger* than 10.


It's just a simplistic example to outline the idea that you can create emotion around the balance. There's certainly much more that goes into it. After all you are usually getting hit by more than one weapon and getting into situations with different amounts of health.

I tend to not use round numbers when I do damage values and do use round numbers when I do health values. That tends to give you interesting health values during the game.


I think generally there are two forms of "balance" that most people are familiar with: "developer balance" and "player balance". (Now, these aren't used in reference to the audience that typically uses these forms of balance. These terms generally refer to whom the onus of balance relies upon)

"Developer balance" is defined by the ability for all players to have a theoretical "fair chance" at success. This is usually attained by symmetrical balance; for example, Halo sports a multiplayer in which the characters are exactly the same. Everybody is Master Chief. That way, nobody really feels cheated by the game when they're bested in a shooting bout. This is usually achieved by good design choices, and proper implementation into the game.

"Player balance" is defined by any number of players that are allowed to approach the game and still succeed based on differing, but equal skill sets. This is most achieved by asymmetrical balance, and generally has more to do with the metagame than with the actual numbers that the game runs on. This is generally achieved by pinpointing the games target audience and even cultural demographic.

... I actually wrote out a long story exemplifying these details, but I realized how irrelevant it was, so I tossed it. In the end, it seems that this is more or less something you've already realized; that you shape the game's internal balance by tweaking the numbers, but that designing scenarios around the emotive reactions from the player helps to refine the experience.

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