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Nabisco

How to pace level progression, when a game has no end?

9 posts in this topic

New here, so jumping in feet first with my question...

 

I'm developing a leveling system for a poker game. Players earn XP as they play (each time they play a hand, win a pot etc) and they move up the levels based on their XP. We've already figured out how calculate the XP and the level ramps , which will be based on a classic exponential growth chart.

 

The question really is how to pace the progression. We've already analyzed historical data so we can predict what pace players will move through the levels, so it's really just a question of deciding what's the optimal pace.

 

For example, we could start with 50 levels and set it up so that the most active player will reach this in say 3 months. Or we could set it up with, say, 100 levels and have tit so the most active players gets to level 100 in 12 months. 

 

Once the top level is hit, say it's level 50,  we could wait until, say, 10% of active players have reached it, before adding another X levels and just continue doing that forever.

 

Anybody have any advice, tips or things to consider when tackling this? For example, are there any established rules to help ensure the pace isn't too slow or too quick?

 

Thanks!

Nabisco

Edited by Nabisco
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Eye through some psychology books, especially those that are about memory and habit making. When does these cognitive breaking-points occur? I know that 30 days is about the time it takes to create a habit. 

 

 

Look at learning science. How many times and when should you repeat an action / task to learn it well? Repeating it every day for 15 minutes or should there be several days in between the sessions? There is this rhythm of "practice - rest - repetition -rest- practice -rest" etc. that follows a very specific pattern. 

 

The end goal is to make your players feel like they learn and that they grow the habit of playin your game. The learning part comes from the rhythm, while the habit comes from 30 days. The leveling systems breakingpoints should match these cognitive breakingpoints. 

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Thanks for the speedy response folks. 

 

Orymus3: Good question. The levels are used to unlock badges, for example reaching level X unlocks Silver Achievement Badges (to collect). No doubt they'll be used to compare one player to another. We may decide to use them also for exclusive tournaments and other promotions, but this has yet to be decided. The idea is that they're an indiciation of your loyalty/activity on the site and not a ranking (ie, I'm a higher level than you thus I'm a better player). Hence you get XP even when you lose a hand, if you've been involved in that hand; and you get XP for simply registering to play in a tournament. There's scaling there, so if you're playing in a higher stakes game or a tournament with a bigger entry fee, you'll get more points.

 

Mippy: I agree with your analysis, I think the exponential progression curve fits this nicely, and gives a good flow.

 

One approach might be: So perhaps day 1, you should be easily able to move up to level 2 or 3, then each day after than 1 level for the next 3 days, then maybe 1 level every couple of days, until it settle to 1 level per week, so a player active every day could hope to get to maybe level 75 after a year. Is that the kind of reasoning you think works?

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I also agree with Mippy. At start It's always nice to unlock new level easily, it encourage the player to continue playing, in order to get more rewards. If the reward are to slow to come at first, player will quicly give up because there is no immediate benefits

I think the achievment system on Steam is a good exemple.

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It sounds like it's more of an art than a science, judging how quickly players should get awards in the first days, then first first weeks, then first months etc.

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Thanks for the replies everyone, that's given me something to think about. I'll let you know how we decide to set it up.

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I liked the leveling situation in the old Halo games where losing games/matches also caused you to go down in levels. Kept too many people from peaking and made it easier to get an idea of how good of a player your opponent is.

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