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Scalabity (difficulty and amount of players)

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/26/2013

I am working on a cooperative game and I was shooting for a maximum of 8 players and a minimum of 1. I think that may be large of a range for me scale properly.

I am starting to think I might be better reducing the maximum number of players to 6 and the minimum to 2.

Does it make sense to actually make the game playable by 1 person?

If I decided to expand it what market is larger the 7-8 person group or the solo gamer?

The second part of this is difficulty. My goal is to allow people the ability to choose difficulty, in a much more real sense than a game like Pandemic.

There are 3 levels of game play. Right now I am calling them easy, medium, and hard. I don't really like those names though. I am worried that some players might be turned off or feel lessened if they play on the "easy" level. Does anyone else think that defining something as "easy" can be a detriment to the game?

Candi's picture
Joined: 04/24/2013
I play board games solo

I play board games solo sometimes, so making a game "for 1" does make sense (I've myself designed at least a couple of solo games, and have bought a few games on the premise that they play 1, such as Onirim which has the nice properties of plays 1 and fits on an airplane table tray).

1 to 8 is a large range, and depending on the system will be difficult to scale up without having it adversely affecting your difficulty ratings. Compressing to 2-6 will make balance easier. I'd probably expand in the 7-8 direction (with a co-op game usually a 1 player variant is pretty straightforward to make).

With regards to the difficulty, I see no problem calling the came levels "easy" "medium" and "hard" - but if you are worried about the names then "Introductory" "Standard" and "Advanced" are synonymous and don't carry the same relational connotations.

Joined: 11/19/2012
I often use "Solo Play" as a

I often use "Solo Play" as a way to learn the game and practice core concepts before bringing new players to the table. Besides, I've found it far more likely that I'm alone and need a game... then I have 8 people sitting around in need of a game. So I'd recommend solo over a larger number of players.

As for the wording of "Easy", "Medium" and "Hard". Some players may be turned off by playing on easy... but the number would be small enough that I wouldn't worry. Just remember that the naming convention makes "Medium" sound like the balanced difficulty. This means that many player will start playing medium and switch difficulties once they find their own skill level.

If want to encourage players to start on easy... rename it something like "Standard", "Hard", and "Insane". These will make it clear where you expect the player to begin.

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