Thursday, February 20, 2014

Difficulty

The challenge in My Very Own Lith is in your patience, your creativity, and your intuition. The idea is supposed to be that the more you understand Lith, the easier it will be to figure out what you should do to unlock whatever you're trying for. The game is designed to challenge you to think about what you would "actually do" in these situations, how you'd try to get closer to Lith as a friend, or a lover, or a master. And the more it forces you to think of Lith as a person, the more invested you are in the game and in Lith, and the more you're immersed in his strange world. This is one of the main reasons to make things challenging.

But at the same time, now that the game is expanding into the later stages, players will need to be able to consistently collar Lith-- it's a requirement for accessing the bulk of content we're starting to see now. It's my sincere hope that everyone that takes the time to play this game and read the prodigious amounts of text packed away in here will be able to play through almost all of the content with a reasonable amount of patience and thoughtful interaction. But this means that I have to offer up challenges in moderation.

One of the challenges of game design that a lot of big-name publishers are struggling with right now is exactly this: game difficulty. Make the game too easy, and it's not a satisfying experience, especially for the core players, the hardcore fans, those who know exactly what they're doing. But make it too hard, and new players, casual players, will get frustrated early on and quite possibly stop playing. I want to give a satisfying experience with Lith for as many people as possible, so this is the balancing act I have to work at.

With all that said, I want to get some feedback from all of you. Listed on the poll to the right are all the main "milestones" in the game as it stands. Each of them are a challenge to acquire, taking some mixture of patience and creativity to unlock. My question for you is, which of these do you feel gave you an unnecessary amount of trouble? At what point, if any, did the game cross the line from engaging puzzle to brick wall, taking too long, or requiring a guide to overcome?

If I get a pretty even spread of results from this, I suppose that would be a good thing, but if one or two results spike higher, that would be a strong sign that I need to work on making those parts a little easier, smoothing the process with hints or tweaked values in the backside code to allow people to work their way through with less trouble. The goal is to let people get to the stone door and beyond without stopping and thinking "well, I'm never going to get past ____, I guess this is the whole game!" Or some such.

So let me know, folks! And hopefully by the time this survey closes, I'll have a progress update for you all. I've gotten a chunk of work in on the next update, but I'm still solidifying how much I'm going to try to pack into v0.15 before I estimate my percentage of progress to that point. Thanks for reading!

5 comments:

  1. Pink Collar and Dominant Lith without a question for me. I can get there, but it can become a rather unsatisfying grind.

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    1. Just want to say since I'm playing through a new save that I double down on my thoughts for these. I forgot just how much grinding there was.

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  2. I agree too, it takes a while of building up lust and submitting yourself.

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  3. YEah getting to see liths dominant side is really difficult right now and takes too long Especially if you want to avoid the overly naughty options, and the pink collar is... Well it feels nearly impossible to do it sometimes.

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  4. Sombody Should Make a Guide Include The Coller Color Difrences Ie What Each Coller Colore Represents Ie Talkative Domance Etc )

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