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Question/suggestions about the Challenge/difficulty level.

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Sep 24, 2007 at 12:12 AM
Lurking in the Shadows
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Join Date: Jul 5, 2007
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#1
Hi my first post, have been registered for couple of months, but as there is so little discussion at the moment. I decided to create my own. Anyone can write freely what they think.

So i confess, i have been looking to the main page, waiting eagerly something when the next update about the Calatia would hit. I decided to write to you with my concerns, that if taken to consideration could make the game better. What i am concerned of is , how much more or less challenging it will be compared to the original or other hacks?. That usually are on the hard side because they want to bush the limits of the gameplay. And are designed from the standpoint of designing levels that look insanely awesome after the elite play it trough. They show creativity but are chore to actually play through instead of enjoyment. And for a new player, that kind of design is a detriment for the progression towards player seeing the full vision the designer had.

So the challenge level that pushes gameplay is a tricky thing to do right, because when you do this you also want to match perfectly this for your target audience Zelda fan (If you want them to enjoy it to the maximum extend with you without going to long save/load vortexes). And at the mean time not giving too much of frustration to the guy who is new to the game and not the beta tester who knows it inside out, but wants to experience its awesomeness too and knows how to play well. I know hacks usually are too difficult for 98% of the players to play through without dying all the time, which can be game brakingly annoying because the designer or the testers got too good playing the game over the years compared to the new players who experience for the first time. And from designers viewpoint its okay to start locking these challenges to be the new defacto standard. Because that particular tester/designer is succeeding against gameplay pushing level design and new invented mechanics newer found to be in particular engine to be bushed like that before. The majority of players in the other hand often find cumbersome with the little amount of practice they had to enjoy it fully without the before mentioned save load vortexes that are taken as standard difficulty in the hack world. So designers often loose track how to convey the challenges to the new gamers in a way that would eventually lead to a understanding of the way the designer intended for the scene to unfold, or they just pretend that its fun for us because so often its not. So i hope Zelda 3C is not designed solely for someone who knows Calatia, who has been cumulating skills while making but for a gamer that wants to experience what the world of Calatia and is a Zelda player and does not need to try to see it from the perspective of the designer to appreciate it (that is more often than not the case, because people are not trained to see world through the eyes of another being. Even they usually want to think they know what others want).

I am one those who can play through hard hacks with will power if nothing else (Nowadays i dont have the time though). But i think parallel worlds hack, was too difficult for me even as i played through a lot of it in a speedy manner, it was because i Saved/Loaded A LOT!!!. I liked the way it bushed me to the limits, but it did needed too many savestates to be loaded because there was so little healt to get when wandering around back and forth trying to spot the routes that unlock items. Dont get me wrong, i like it to be very challengin in all the ways possible. But im wary that it does not force to the levels of savestate abuse for all the time from the first castle onward. I dont want to master the game in the first hour or two, no commercial game witch is played even professional competitions never does this in the beginning. I want to experience its awesomeness while trying my best. I do like to be needed to feel that im very good at the game when last levels hit the screen im needed to pull all the skills together. but sometimes i feel the hacks are just morseless for the player, giving little to nill rope for the player when he/she is drowning in the pits of even less hope and is forced to give up. This is what i want you to remember ,when laughing at the though of putting 100 knights in to a dungeon and thinking the sweating foreheads we are going to have when trying to drop down this sucker with little to no health when wondering where is the next key.

So obviously one method to see how a new zelda gamer would fare with the challenges of Calatia. Is to ask one over and take notes how it goes. Perhaps from this new information and viewpoint, make it little bit more smooth there and there for enjoyment. Designers like shigeru miyamoto do it this way, And stuff like this makes us gamers happy, And is the mark of a truly awesome game.

-Is difficulty hack is possible?: Easy , normal, hard?. Easy example would give plenty of healt in all places and lower the damage the enemies , More enjoyment for not so avid players?,

-Or could there be three different versions that come in the same patch baggage all having more or less health and damage needed to make against bosses/enemies?.

So thats all for now.
Thanks for making this gem for us, i am eagerly waiting to play it.
 
Sep 24, 2007 at 1:50 AM
Lurking in the Shadows
"No! Don't OPEN that DOOR!"
Join Date: Nov 16, 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 0
#2
There was a post similar to yours recently, so I'll go ahead and quote my own reply:
Reshaper256 said:
I'll let you know that GameMakr24 and I have had some serious discussions on this very topic (how challenge isn't synonymous with fun, although the right amount and type of challenge can be fun). And we agree that having a good, enjoyable, playable experience comes first; the "challenge" aspect of Zelda3C will not be one of tedious frustration and/or the "cheap" sort.

Challenge should not be achieved by artificial means, such as giving monsters ridiculous HP and bump damages, or by requiring very repetitive, boring, unnecessary backtracking through room after room filled with such enemies. And although it's impossible to remove the temptation for the player to use savestates, there shouldn't be any point where you feel "forced" to use them.

In other words, while still being more difficult than Zelda 3, this game will not be for experts only, nor will it expect you to know and exploit glitches, or anything of that sort. The game will still, however, provide fresh challenges for those who have mastered the original Zelda 3--via new and thoughtful, albeit still "Zelda-style" puzzles that will leave you scratching your head for a while.

And in the end, I believe that's what most people want: A new Zelda game with heightened challenge--but that is still enjoyable, fair, and fun for anybody who picks it up. So... have I put your mind at ease?
This all still holds true, and I'll add that what I personally believe in most is a "learning curve," as in, the game is easy to start and learn, but the difficulty of Zelda3C should steepen more quickly and reach a higher level than the difficulty of Zelda 3. As for your comments on beta testing, I agree, and don't believe that GM24 would choose only "experts" as beta testers, since beta testing involves more than just searching for bugs.

Anyway, I'd like you to know that your concerns are also some of our primary concerns, and that they will not be taken lightly.
 
Sep 24, 2007 at 11:56 AM
Lurking in the Shadows
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Join Date: Jul 5, 2007
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#3
Reshaper256 said:
There was a post similar to yours recently, so I'll go ahead and quote my own reply:
This all still holds true, and I'll add that what I personally believe in most is a "learning curve," as in, the game is easy to start and learn, but the difficulty of Zelda3C should steepen more quickly and reach a higher level than the difficulty of Zelda 3. As for your comments on beta testing, I agree, and don't believe that GM24 would choose only "experts" as beta testers, since beta testing involves more than just searching for bugs.

Anyway, I'd like you to know that your concerns are also some of our primary concerns, and that they will not be taken lightly.
Thanks for the reply, that was pretty much what i was hoping to hear and put my concerns to rest. I agree with you that the learning curve should ramp up above levels of the original. I wish all the good for you guys with the project.
 
Sep 30, 2007 at 8:16 PM
Lurking in the Shadows
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Join Date: Jul 2, 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
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#4
Just so you know... the game is going to be hard. Comparing it to classic Nintendo games, it's going to be Castlevania 2 hard, but not Ninja Gaiden 2 hard. The skill challenge will be Super Mario 3 hard, but not Lost Levels hard. The layouts will be Zelda 1 hard, but not Master Quest hard.

There will be plenty of times where, if you're not playing your best, you're going to see the Game Over screen. The puzzles will not be a simple change of pace -- they will be stumbling blocks until you solve them, and they won't be confined to one room. But on the flip side, you won't have to slash through endless hoardes that may cost you 30 minutes of travel time, nor will you have to backtrack across the land for some small, required token.

Zelda 3 - A Link to the Past - was fun, but sometimes it was too easy. In Zelda 1, I would wander the overworld and find myself wishing a faerie was nearby. In Zelda 3, faeries were a bottled convenience. In Zelda 1, I was scared of what I might face in the next dungeon room. Zelda 3 was an obstacle course that happened to have monsters. My goal, then, is to create a challenging Zelda game with a fun world to explore, but with monsters you have to take seriously.

I've been a gamer since before Mario left Brooklyn. I've been creating & rewriting game scenarios since middle school. (I'm beyond college, now.) I feel that I have an excellent sense of what's fun & challenging, and what's obnoxious and frustrating. Fear not -- I'm putting my best judgement into every situation I devise, and I'll get additional opinions from others before the game is finalized. :)
 
Oct 8, 2007 at 10:13 PM
Lurking in the Shadows
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Join Date: Jul 5, 2007
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Posts: 0
#5
GameMakr24 said:
Just so you know... the game is going to be hard. Comparing it to classic Nintendo games, it's going to be Castlevania 2 hard, but not Ninja Gaiden 2 hard. The skill challenge will be Super Mario 3 hard, but not Lost Levels hard. The layouts will be Zelda 1 hard, but not Master Quest hard.

There will be plenty of times where, if you're not playing your best, you're going to see the Game Over screen. The puzzles will not be a simple change of pace -- they will be stumbling blocks until you solve them, and they won't be confined to one room. But on the flip side, you won't have to slash through endless hoardes that may cost you 30 minutes of travel time, nor will you have to backtrack across the land for some small, required token.

Zelda 3 - A Link to the Past - was fun, but sometimes it was too easy. In Zelda 1, I would wander the overworld and find myself wishing a faerie was nearby. In Zelda 3, faeries were a bottled convenience. In Zelda 1, I was scared of what I might face in the next dungeon room. Zelda 3 was an obstacle course that happened to have monsters. My goal, then, is to create a challenging Zelda game with a fun world to explore, but with monsters you have to take seriously.

I've been a gamer since before Mario left Brooklyn. I've been creating & rewriting game scenarios since middle school. (I'm beyond college, now.) I feel that I have an excellent sense of what's fun & challenging, and what's obnoxious and frustrating. Fear not -- I'm putting my best judgement into every situation I devise, and I'll get additional opinions from others before the game is finalized. :)
Hello again, it took me time to lift out of the story vortex i was in, so i could convey what i think from my true self. That challenge level sounds like a pretty good mix, i just wanted to be sure of what are you guys aiming towards.

By the way, now with the new hack breakthrough. How much will this effect the design and overall structure of the game. I mean How much are you willing to expand the project size due the new hack possibilities. Will you only release it after everything that is possible is in it. Bosses and totally new enemies with New AI and animation, Puzzles that use these new possibilities ect. Or will you settle for Less for the sake of dev time?

I dont mean to cocktease you to making it to the verge of megalomania. Just picturing in my head. How you are seeing things with this new perspective. The overall picture of how things are going to balance out and how this development will implement the overall project vision. I know its too early but what the heck i ask anyways ;)
 
Oct 9, 2007 at 5:29 PM
Lurking in the Shadows
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Join Date: Jul 2, 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 0
#6
The way I see it, we didn't come this far just to stop short of the game's potential. The design and overall structure isn't harmed at all -- I can just use better sprites instead of what's available in the original. Wherever there should be wizzrobes, there will be better wizzrobes. Wherever a story event takes place, the story will be told better. Wherever there are puzzles that use old sprites, I'll continue to use the same (or improved) sprites -- not every monster, character, and trap needs to be replaced.

Development time isn't reduced very much. Reshaper256 is taking the time to create these sprites -- I'm simply putting them to use. Josh is creating the graphics for the different frames of animation. My own humongous task of rewriting the adventure is simply made more rewarding.

In summary, I plan to take full advantage of this breakthrough, even at the cost of more development time, to make it as fun and challenging as possible.
 
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