Every computer game to become successful must build a perfect game balance. Or at least try. Although game balance, as you know, does not exist, there are hypotheses, myths, and ways of how to find it. This is an attempt to make the game more cohesive and playable.
If the game is too simple, it will be boring. If it is too difficult, it will also not bring fun, but only pain. The challenge for every company is to fall within this very narrow range. This is the very balance.
Difficulty of game balance
Why doesn’t game balance exist? Because it is impossible to calculate it. A table in Excel is a tool where some numbers can be grasped and counted. But at the game, not all of this can be done. There are different contexts in which to consider game balance.
When we talk about single-player games (there is also a balance there), we mean difficulty. Each level in the game should be harder than the previous one, then the player will feel fun, the growth of his skill, changes, and challenges. The balance in single-player games determines the complexity of the game and the relationship between objects in time.
In multiplayer games:
Determining the advantage of one side or the other – when players get different weapons, they choose characters of different classes. The game is balanced when the character classes the players choose are balanced against each other. That is, for example, there are no unbeatable units when you can get a greater advantage with a small skill.
There are 2 basic game systems: symmetric (chess, football, Counter-Strike) – games where both sides start with the same conditions, and asymmetric (rock, scissors, paper, StarCraft).
Symmetrical. It seems that symmetric games are easy to balance: you do one side and the other similarly. But in fact, there are also difficulties there. In chess, there is a strategic weight for every piece. It is also an element of balance, and balancing details is not easy.
In a symmetrical game, variety is very important; it should not be homogeneous. The worst balance is the one in which the difference between the objects of interaction is minimal. Whichever object you play, you get the same experience. It is a homogeneous balance that leads to boredom. Without the horse, chess would not be so fun.
The playing field in chess consists of 64 cells. It is the result of an empirical balance. It turned out that 8 by 8 is the optimal size for the speed of the party’s development and tactical variability.
The point of asymmetric games is that the relationships between objects that compete are not direct. The simplest example: a knight can defeat an archer, an archer can defeat a griffin, a griffin can attack a knight. It is done in order, firstly, to create variety. And secondly, to make different tactics for the game. Understanding the relationship between objects, the player chooses which tactic is especially for him at the moment. Asymmetry creates a circle. There are many such circles in the game StarCraft. Moreover, this game is a universal example of one of the best balances in the gaming industry, where there are many tactics. Asymmetry appears due to the perceptible difference between the initial conditions of the players.
Examples of games
If we take common examples, then chess can be distinguished from the asymmetric game system. Simple yet symmetrical. On the other hand, Street Fighter is a fully asynchronous game. When you have many characters that are difficult to compare due to different abilities, the only way to balance is empirical or statistical.
Methods for creating an ideal game balance:
- From the image. The artist sketches the sketch, and the developer, based on this, comes up with what characteristics the characters should have. This is where you can get the starting numbers from. They can be completely random. The main thing is that the ratio of these numbers is understandable: one is heavy, strong, fat, and the other is thin and weak, but very fast, and so on.
- The method from characteristics. Some games start with numbers. It is quite possible. When, for example, we are talking about sci-fi and not about real life. When a developer makes a sci-fi game, it’s easier to start with numbers, realizing that there must be some kind of fast units. There must be one big one that carries them inside, and so on. Often there is not even an image, but you can build one based on characteristics.
Types of Gaming Balance
In addition, it is worth understanding that there are such types of balance in games:
- Strength. It is the relationship of objects that interact from a position of strength among themselves in the game (units in strategy, characters with mobs in RPGs, cars that drive on the roads and overtake each other).
- Time. A vivid kind of balance is time. Obviously, time is an integral part of the game, in which there is progress. The time context is as follows: the time of waiting for game events, the time of development of game entities, and the duration of game sessions.
- Space. Level design is a work of game design and game designers. Although they don’t make the levels themselves. They should be aware that space is an integral part of the game’s balance. In particular, there are several tricks on how to balance the space. Multiplayer maps are often mirrored. Because all teams that participate in the game get the same conditions.
- Economy. In this parameter, it is vivid to determine the value of all objects in the game. In particular, weapons, cars, maps, and so on, build a resource cycle and divide it according to game activities.
- Complexity. Any difficulty in the game is a kind of increasing function. The trouble is a straight line that is constantly growing. But in reality, this is wrong complexity because it is frustrating. It’s good when the complexity is often pulsating. It’s really just a sequence of calls and relaxation. After the player has received a challenge, you do not need to give him a new challenge, but you need to give him a rest.
As you can see, to build an ideal game balance, you need to take into account many nuances and difficulties, adapt to the playing style and the audience itself. All this makes the very process of building balance incredibly tough but still possible. You can find out more about gambling balance in the article on free bets no deposit on the website with online slot games.