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moeen k

best way to make game difficulty in video game

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I want to know if you were working on a fps game or a shooter game which way you had to choose to change different range of difficulty to your game.


In many game they just change player health. I think cod is a good example of it.  I think there is nothing just in veteran when an enemy shoots at you you die easier and faster.


in many games they add more or less enemies there or other games work on enemy health or I think that some teams do the hard thing and change the ai in different difficulties.


Now I don't remember an example. but now I'm working on a project that core idea is about ai. I'm trying to make a class of enemies that you cant kill them easily not only because they are only better armed than you but they can behave much better than you.

maybe there are places in games that make you stop in a place to kill just 2 enemies for half an hour because when you change your place for better aim they change their shelter too or when you move your head or move out your hide they shoot you with best accuracy and its great to make a feeling that player is weaker than ai enemies and i think if I make ai best I can it is a good achievement for me(I call it fps chess) but I think it makes my game less likeable.


As I'm a great fan of cod i think its sells most because everyone can play it. there is just an enemy gallery for you to shoot and die for you and it makes game faster but I want to do the thing against that.

I dont want to put an ai dificulty level there and i dont know how to make it that everyone enjoy even little age medicore gamers. thank you

Edited by jbadams
Edited post to be more readable. :)

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There's no best way, but shooters have more variables than just health to tinker with. And to be honest, changing the health values or the quantity of enemies is kind of the lazy solution, when you have possibilities such as:


- Hit probability (can be split between "player is moving", "player is behind cover", "player is stationary")

- Headshot probability (same)

- Grenade launch rate and accuracy

- View distance (from how far they can notice you)

- How fast they forget about you

- Depending on the game, what kind of gear the NPC have

- Likelihood of getting out of cover


And so on. Once you have working hostile NPC, changing those values is (usually) a trivial task that doesn't require to "change the AI". I'd even say that having different AI for different difficulty levels is a sign of pretty bad design. Disabling some features, sure, but a whole different AI component, certainly not.


In my opinion, what are the decisive variables to alter are the hit/headshot probability and the view distance. But here again, that depends on the game, I wouldn't use the same setup for a game like Serious Sam where there's tons of enemies and for games like Stalker where enemies come in much smaller groups.



PS: and please use your [enter] key and use capitalization. Your text is seriously painful to read. [edit: Thank you]

Edited by SerialKicked

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Well I think there would be a better way, or better a most less wrong way. Or better you need to decide in allotted time what to do and what could be done in time. Which often is a compromise. When is there the time to do it right. it's done when it done. 


Example of more health. Any thing could influence the gameplay. Health to more leeway to take huge risk. Faster pace more rushing. Other way  

like If enemies are less accurate, you just keep more distance but in close range it doesn't matter. Games could be linear and corridor based with lots to close encounters.

More health means. Much more time to react. Making wrong responsive decision don't weight that heavy. Having much more chance to get through a ambush. Wenn not you move slower and more observing to spot first the opfor dose you.


What this means if you go for action rich epic story regular game are hanging back. Might not be the game flow you intended.


I do think there is a right way but it's to costly to develop.


You also need to know very much about the gamer. Ask that when showing the difficulty screen. |then the game adopts to player in way he prefer.


If you are into deep story you want a good story flow game experience. So don't replay a part to much better not at all.

If you are a action gamer you want to have fun it's less about survival but more ammo rich environment. high number but effective weapons.

Then those very hardcore player who want to be challenged.


these kind of gamer exist in all skill levels but need different adoption.


Also mostly the game flow difficulty is very variable. While mid and end part should be going up they could be walk in the park, but there are point replayed dozen times.


A very costly to implement way could be. Taunting and reputation. If you are good the AI adapts to more care full approach. Calling reinforcements before they going in.

while if your barely move forward. The opposing force get more risky and let it know by letting you know your time has come and going after you without backup.


I more a games who want to shoot and just follow the story line. Having some core gameplay action. Without end bosses QTE or cut scenes.


Normally I choose Easy or normal. But some games Hard is easy.

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Objective based FPS games such as GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, and TimeSplitters handled different levels of difficulty in similar ways. In harder difficulties, there were often more objectives that had to be completed. Sometimes this completely changed the way one would progress through a level - TimeSplitters in particular often placed the level exit closer to the starting point on easier difficulties so there were portions of the level you would only see on the harder difficulties. Also in all of these games, guards were given slightly more health, their reaction speed increased, their accuracy increased, and they did more damage. Pickups also were different - on easy difficulties, ammo is not a problem and guards drop plenty of it, but in harder difficulties ammo becomes a scarce resource that you must carefully manage. Harder difficulties also had fewer body armour placements.

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I like the objective-based approach that Ludus mentions - give them additional challenges or handicaps to overcome. I like limiting resources or enhanced enemy AI (e.g. special tactics), I can deal with increased enemy numbers or toughness. I really hate turning every enemy into headshot kings. That falls into cheating/not fun territory for me. I feel that from a game narrative perspective it's always better if the player understands why and how they were killed in most circumstances, and has the opportunity to think about how to fix the problem. If your "fault" was that all enemies know your exact X/Y/Z co-ordinates and can fire perfectly in one frame... that breaks the narrative. There's no "what could I have done better?".

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