The Can of Worms

Unfortunately this week we opened a large can of worms. After a few hours of playing I was able to bust the 64bit limit of All In’s scoring system… again.

Can of Worms (at least in our office) are the chain reaction that turns an idea into something unexpected. Usually unexpectedly large!

We decided a much more permanent solution needed to be made instead of just reducing multipliers drastically. The previous solution just extended the game breaking from 1 hour to 2 hours. Obviously that was not good enough.

We’ve introduced a levelling element to our game, which is something RPG fans should like. This levelling mechanic can be used in any kind of game, match-3 (a la Dungeon raid), RPG, racing… the sky is the limit. No, All In was not, and still is not, a RPG; we’ve just turned in-game points into something more useful! Once your points reach a certain point you’ll be promoted to the next level granting skills and bonuses to players as they level.

After making that decision the worms began crawling out of the can. What does this mean for our leader boards? Oh, and don’t forget the achievements! How will the players think about restarting their points from scratch? Maybe we should call the points something other than what we were going to call them. Do we show a progress bar on the game screen, using up even more of the already jam packed screen real estate?

Our Game Center leader board took the biggest hit from the “can of worms” hammer. Now it’s a function of your level and your current points – which means your score is pretty volatile and not all together simple to understand. Every time you level you go down quite a bit, but you have more potential to climb the leader board with every level.

After the dust settled, the change should really improve the game (in my opinion), but it comes at a cost of delaying when we submit the game to Apple for a little bit. Since we’re looking forward to All In being a quicker project than our previous ones, it would have been nice to avoid this.

I’ve learnt my lesson; points being exponentially given are going to break something. Better to be linear next time or introduce some sort of diminishing returns from the start.

How do you score your games? Are complicated leader boards a problem?

This entry was posted in Designer Diary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s