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Subject: Solitaire Game; How often do I allow Failure? rss

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John A. White
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So I have a WIP and I'm using it, but I had a question that needed more input.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1666794/wip-ubored-parasitic...

How Often Should a Player Fail in my game? I appear to have some control (assumption).

You guy most of come across this in Development. It's kinda feels like co-op "one-op". Like starving in the grizzled. or No cure in a Pandemic.
 
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Alex
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If your game has scenarios, the solution is simple: just have different Scenarios with varying difficulty. If not, something around 40% winrate should feel fine. 50% is too lenient, won't feel like an accomplishment, 30% might feel too punishing. Or maybe have some mechanic included which makes it possible for Players to adjust difficulty themselves, in case they crave a bigger challenge, something across the range 30-40% (Hard-Easy) would feel fine for me.
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The way I see it, if you play a four player game with evenly skilled players, then you should win 25% of the time. So a similar win rate for solo play would provide a similar experience as far as winning is concerned.
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patrick mullen
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Everyone has their own numbers that they like. Some people do like to win every time (although probably with some tension in each game). Some like to have many losses before they can manage to pull off a win. I'd be willing to bet that most people who like Forbidden Desert don't like Ghost Stories (although I like both!).

If you take player skill out of the question, I personally would consider a game that is only winnable 50% of the time to be broken. That is, even if the player's decisions are optimal, 50% of the time the layout has no solution. Even that may be acceptable depending on how early in the game it becomes apparent that they layout cannot be won.

Just judging on concept and art style, I would veer more toward the Forbidden Island side of the equation than ghost stories. On "normal" difficulty, non-skilled players should win somewhere around 50% of the time. When they lose (perhaps their 1st or 2nd play), they should feel like they could have won. When they win (hopefully by game 3), they should feel like they almost didn't. To keep them playing, you can have harder modes that keep this kind of tension, as they eventually become skilled and find they can win almost every game.
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Jeremy Lennert
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If your game has a significant skill component, then the answer to "how often should the player lose?" cannot be expressed as a simple number. Having multiple difficulty levels is very helpful here, for providing a challenge to skilled players without making things impossible for less-skilled players.

Even when it comes down to luck, the exact odds don't matter as much as you might think, because most players aren't going to play your game a hundred times. After 3 games, a typical player probably can't tell the difference between a 30% win rate and a 70% win rate, but most people will probably have decided whether they like your game or not. The perception of "how close" you were to winning is probably more important than the actual odds until someone gets a LOT of plays under their belt.
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John A. White
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saluk wrote:
depending on how early in the game it becomes apparent that they layout cannot be won.

Hmm... I'll keep on this. I'm getting varied results. It's still early in the testing.
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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I do not like it when I play a solitaire game one or two times and then feel like I have figured out a good enough strategy that if I just keep playing 5 or 10 or 100 times I know I will eventually win. While I prefer lots of randomness in games I want to feel like I can try out many different strategies and that there are many little tricks to learn until I can come up with something that even has a chance of winning. Hopefully at that point I will actually win almost every time.
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