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Back in '95 or so, when I worked at the Turner Interactive in Atlanta ( yes, Ted Turner's CD-ROM game company ), our team was working on a racing game.

As one of our group outings, we went to the local Dave & Buster's, which is an adult-friendly arcade ( ie booze & games ), and played a bunch of the sit-in-car racing games.

After playing for a while, one thing we realized that we hadn't known before is that most of the arcade-y racing games cheat to make the game more fun. It appears the one we were playing the most had some logic in there to increase the speed & handling of the cars in the back.

It was tuned to the point where it was best to get in 2nd place with around 1/4 of the last track to go. The game would give you a boost relative to the 1st place guy, and you could overtake him.

So, we ended up putting something similar in our racing game, and it definitely helped out. The fun part of a multi-player racing game for non-experts is passing each other, so this tends to maximize that part. I wonder if Mario Kart did the same thing or just dropped more power-ups to those in the back.

Anyway, I put in a simple but effective scaling system that makes the combat more fair against multiple enemies, and more fun against single ones.

I added a level indicator to the npc status display, and then realized that with the new info, you really wanted to be able to see the text when multiple dudes were on top of each other, so I added each status display to an interval class, which executes relaxation on the displays to keep them from overlapping, while trying to maintain their position over their respective NPCs.

Here is a shot showing the display after I and my unwitting Aakash comerades disposed of some trespassing Bat-aliens :

Here's another shot, showing the menus pushed apart :

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Interesting observation on gameplay - something I've considered on more than a few occasions [smile]

I think it was 'Max Payne' where I first gave it any thought. They had some system (seemed simple enough to me) that scaled the number and strength of bad guys depending on how you were playing. Setting it to 'god mode' was actually quite hard because it generated so many bad guys you couldn't get through the crowd [lol]

Anyway, it got me thinking (hurts) about possibly two fundamental types of players. Those in it just for entertainment and a bit of fun and those in it for the challenge and achievement...

I like that you've considered such things for your game!


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