By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

Forums - Gaming Discussion - Difficulty vs Accessibility: A responsibility for the developers, not for the players.

Bofferbrauer2 said:

Extra Credits had a Video about that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJoax1Z1x4Y

They focus not only on difficulty, but also making games more accessible to people with disabilities or other problems like low reaction times.

Jim Sterling did one, too: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIWivb-8C1w&list=PLlRceUcRZcK0E1Id3NHchFaxikvCvAVQe&index=46&t=0

He basically says that it's to the developers to include easy modes - but that they aren't obliged to. However, he lambasts the mentality that easy modes are ruining video games since you don't have to play on easy and thus wouldn't be affected by it - but it would allow others to play it who otherwise can't.

Edit: Both are also stressing one thing in particular: That gamers wouldn't lose a thing from it, but rather possibly gain something instead.

*sigh* Seems that many haven't read my original post.

Its not simply a matter of whether the devs should do it or not(though thats the most important point).Its a matter of being impossible to add one without ruining the whole experience, because the difficulty is built into the level design itself, and thus making an easy mode would either ruin the game, because you would become too strong and just breeze through the game, or you would have to make a whole new game, because since the difficulty lies within the level design, you would have to redesingn a good chunck of the game.Which requires money of course.

Some games manage to have multiple difficulty levels without ruining the core experience(though personally, the "hard difficulty" in many games is still easy or jut plain unfair(1 or 2 hit kills), which is why I like truly hard games so much, and kinda pisses me when people say that "But the devs just NEEDS to make a difficult that caters to you!" as if that was easy), but some don't.Its as simple as that.



My (locked) thread about how difficulty should be a decision for the developers, not the gamers.

https://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=241866&page=1

Around the Network
Nautilus said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

Extra Credits had a Video about that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJoax1Z1x4Y

They focus not only on difficulty, but also making games more accessible to people with disabilities or other problems like low reaction times.

Jim Sterling did one, too: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIWivb-8C1w&list=PLlRceUcRZcK0E1Id3NHchFaxikvCvAVQe&index=46&t=0

He basically says that it's to the developers to include easy modes - but that they aren't obliged to. However, he lambasts the mentality that easy modes are ruining video games since you don't have to play on easy and thus wouldn't be affected by it - but it would allow others to play it who otherwise can't.

Edit: Both are also stressing one thing in particular: That gamers wouldn't lose a thing from it, but rather possibly gain something instead.

*sigh* Seems that many haven't read my original post.

Its not simply a matter of whether the devs should do it or not(though thats the most important point).Its a matter of being impossible to add one without ruining the whole experience, because the difficulty is built into the level design itself, and thus making an easy mode would either ruin the game, because you would become too strong and just breeze through the game, or you would have to make a whole new game, because since the difficulty lies within the level design, you would have to redesingn a good chunck of the game.Which requires money of course.

Some games manage to have multiple difficulty levels without ruining the core experience(though personally, the "hard difficulty" in many games is still easy or jut plain unfair(1 or 2 hit kills), which is why I like truly hard games so much, and kinda pisses me when people say that "But the devs just NEEDS to make a difficult that caters to you!" as if that was easy), but some don't.Its as simple as that.

*sigh* Seems like you didn't watch the videos.

Nobody says that you have to include an easy mode - just that it's normally not detrimental to the experience and that it doesn't affect those who don't play on easy or even storymode difficulty in any way. Also, Jim points out that game developers don't have to include easy difficulty if they don't want to. And Extra Credits just points out that including them is easier and less time consuming to do as many think it is.



Bofferbrauer2 said:
Nautilus said:

*sigh* Seems that many haven't read my original post.

Its not simply a matter of whether the devs should do it or not(though thats the most important point).Its a matter of being impossible to add one without ruining the whole experience, because the difficulty is built into the level design itself, and thus making an easy mode would either ruin the game, because you would become too strong and just breeze through the game, or you would have to make a whole new game, because since the difficulty lies within the level design, you would have to redesingn a good chunck of the game.Which requires money of course.

Some games manage to have multiple difficulty levels without ruining the core experience(though personally, the "hard difficulty" in many games is still easy or jut plain unfair(1 or 2 hit kills), which is why I like truly hard games so much, and kinda pisses me when people say that "But the devs just NEEDS to make a difficult that caters to you!" as if that was easy), but some don't.Its as simple as that.

*sigh* Seems like you didn't watch the videos.

Nobody says that you have to include an easy mode - just that it's normally not detrimental to the experience and that it doesn't affect those who don't play on easy or even storymode difficulty in any way. Also, Jim points out that game developers don't have to include easy difficulty if they don't want to. And Extra Credits just points out that including them is easier and less time consuming to do as many think it is.

And thats the key word: normally.Thats the whole point.Usually games that have different difficulty levels can do that, because its easier to modify the game to fit that bill, since the difficulty lies more on the skill of the player(and thus depends more in the overall damage and health of the enemies and the protagonist), rather than strategise and have quick reflexes to adapt to the situations you have on the fly.

Hard games that have just one standard difficulty are few, at least compared to the massive numbers of games being released nowadays.So "normally" dosent apply to them, because they take the difficulty to the next level, at least compared to the satndard difficulty that became the norm ever since the 5th gen.

And Im not even entering into the merit of games being hard because that helps the franchise built an identity, thus functioning as a marketing tool and helping the game sell better.Since thats a whole another discussion.



My (locked) thread about how difficulty should be a decision for the developers, not the gamers.

https://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=241866&page=1

Ka-pi96 said:
eh, as far as I'm concerned games that are either too hard or too easy (don't know why you're not including that in the OP, since it's definitely an issue too) are just hallmarks of bad developers. If you either don't care enough, or simply aren't good enough, to make games that allow for people of a variety of play styles/skill levels to enjoy the game then you clearly aren't as good at making games as you think are.

Yeah, that's pretty much how I see it.

If a game is trying to be bone crushingly difficult, to a point where it ultimately frustrates a use, and causes them to put the game down, then I would easily sum that up to bad game design. 

I know a few here would like to argue differently, but I'd also argue they know very little on how others perceive challenges differently from them. Life itself is considered one of the hardest of challenges, and well, our species works day in and out to make life "easier" for one another, instead of staying stuck in the same spot for centuries (like not including an option or the will to switch said difficulty).

People that think a game has to live by one difficulty setting, and that it's "tough tiddies" to change things up, then really they are no better than old guard gatekeepers, and well, gatekeepers in general are a loathsome lot.

I can understand a game being watered down, but allowing for very basic, very well known, very common staple options for a video game, isn't something that waters it down for everyone else. You just play the game on the difficulty you desire, and leave everyone else alone in their own ventures. 

I do find the Souls influence annoying though, because slowly over the past decade, it's been changing devs from those who allow for innovative and open designs, to "you die once game over" concepts, as well as mechanics that slow you down or try to make you look like some rich man's "whipping boy" (by that I specifically mean the combat mechanics of "commit to action").

DonFerrari said:
Yes we are still at the same point where Souls player really don't want the game to have easier option so they can keep to themselves "clearing the game".
And will fully ignore that what is considered difficult to his ability can be really tonned down to another person and would be about as difficult to that person as it is for you without tonning down.
I know that if I kept forcing myself in Nioh I would finish it, I cleared like 3 worlds of the game, but it is so boring, tedious and slow to evolve and do decent damage that I simply stopped playing. While God of War I liked the game so much that even dying much more than on Nioh (but keeping my items and evolution in a better way) I was able to platinum it on very hard, and Spider Man and RDR were easy enough to clear both on hardest dying just a couple times. Uncharted is a game where the hardest difficult are also enjoyable and they still offer very easy options that doesn't prevent me from enjoying all the other options.
But I can understand people that would play the easier options and then tarnish the game for it not being great.
Still the problem with Souls game is the monotonous and long battle with rolling all over, parrying, etc coupled with the stamina bar, I have zero enjoyment on that.

I find repetitive tasks and mission structures similar to said tasks to being completely boring in a lot of games these days. It's why I'm still waiting for that RPG or MMO game to come out, that doesn't require me to fetch something for someone, or gather X amount of Y, or pressing/flipping X amount of buttons/switches at any given location, because you're apparently the only person allowed to do such a thing. I find those aspects scattered around a myriad of those two genres, that they more or less take over the missions/tasks that are actually fun and have some depth to them.

I look at Souls combat like I look at Fencing. It has some style, but like fencing it becomes predictable, and that becomes a bore, as well as something that cannot really evolve (fencing itself is defined by a very tight rule-set, and it hasn't exactly evolved in a massive way for centuries now).

A game that doesn't treat me like I'm the saviour of all humanity or a chump, is a game I'll likely keep playing.

There are those that can play the game on an easier setting and complain about it, but really they could just crank up the difficulty to a point where it suits their gameplay comfort zone.



               

Bofferbrauer2 said:

*sigh* Seems like you didn't watch the videos.

Nobody says that you have to include an easy mode - just that it's normally not detrimental to the experience and that it doesn't affect those who don't play on easy or even storymode difficulty in any way. Also, Jim points out that game developers don't have to include easy difficulty if they don't want to. And Extra Credits just points out that including them is easier and less time consuming to do as many think it is.

Someone on the Internet said something (and in a really general matter), so it must be true for everything, right? He takes an example, QTE. Ok, I'll create a rythym game with an "easy" difficulty settings: you don't need to press the right button at the right moment, good idea right?

I just finished Hollow Knight. I was terribler at start and now I am bad. Of course, Team Cherry could add an "easy game mode", you have more health, you do more damage, etc. Sounds easy, right? Oh, I can actually face tank the final boss (for 2 endings) without problem already, so it would litteraly defeat a big part of the game, learning how to beat the bosses. They could simply add a "god mode option", it would be a lot easier.

But it doesn't matter, right? Do you know how the soul-likes were born? We were in an age where the difficulty was so low for most games that the whole notion was dead. Why would the developpers create a "balanced" hard mode if most players won't even use it? And if you lock some content behind a "difficulty gate", many will cry (like they are crying about the soul-likes now).

Sure, in theory "more options is better". But when one option is almost unused because it has no incentive to be used, the dev get lazy. And that's how "difficult games" can use it as a marketting tool. But you will never be happy, you don't want games for you, you want to have every single game made for you and you alone.

I do find the Souls influence annoying though, because slowly over the past decade, it's been changing devs from those who allow for innovative and open designs, to "you die once game over" concepts, as well as mechanics that slow you down or try to make you look like some rich man's "whipping boy" (by that I specifically mean the combat mechanics of "commit to action").

I have an easy solution for you. Really, an easy one:

DON'T PLAY THESE GAMES.

I told you, this is easy. There are thousands of games and if you cannot accept that some games are not for you, well you are the problem, not the games. We have seen what the "just some difficulty settings" made to the industry between the NES/SNES era and the PS2 era. From "finishing the game is difficult" to "killing the hardest content of the game can be done by anybody".

There are those that can play the game on an easier setting and complain about it, but really they could just crank up the difficulty to a point where it suits their gameplay comfort zone.

There are those that cannot play the game without an easier difficulty and complain about it, but really they could just play another game. Your sentence is basically "every single game should be made for ME and ME ALONE and if you want it to be more challenging, you should adjust to the game made for ME and ME ALONE".

Last edited by Alcyon - on 11 February 2020

Around the Network
Nautilus said:
Ka-pi96 said:

True, and as a fan of turn based strategy games I definitely know that from personal experience too

You don't need to appeal to everybody, no game will be able to do that. But if there are people that like almost everything about your game but don't enjoy it because of the difficulty, then you screwed up. It's as simple as that. Adding difficulty levels shouldn't be hard, and it certainly isn't going to ruin the game for other people.

I mean, look at FIFA. That's a game that some people are ridiculously good at and play professionally, does the fact that the beginner difficulty is easy enough for even a 3 year old to win at ruin that game for those people? Absolutely not, they just play on legendary difficulty (or more likely online multiplayer) instead. Or as I said I'm a fan of strategy games and Civilization has like 10 difficulty levels, that just makes the game better. Not only does it mean more people can enjoy it, but it also means that as you get better you can up the difficulty and still be challenged.

That logic is so flawed.If I like everything about a racing game(its graphics, atmosphere, story, RPG systems and so on) except the driving itself, it means that the devs screwed up?

Is it so hard to understand that some people just like it hard, and to make a truly hard game, it needs to be made hard from a level design point of view, which simply makes it impossible to have multiple levels of difficulty because its either financially prohibitive, or simply because the devs dont want to?

And I mean, regarding some things that I have seen written here: If the first Dark Souls had ssell well, but then the sequel had done badly, then that would have sent a message that yeah, the public hated the difficulty and just a tiny portion of gamers liked that way.But with every new From games, they jusst sell more and more, with Sekiro selling more than 4 million units, recalling from the top of my head.And thats in less than one year.And Im not even mentioning Nioh, Code Vein, Dead Cells, etc.

Well yes, the Project cars devs screwed up adding terrible controller support. Result, PC2 no buy. It could have been a good series but they want to cater to wheel users only. So be it.

Gamers always want bigger and better, higher budgets, better graphics, yet then they also don't want more people to enjoy their games. Meanwhile complaining that the masses just play Call of Duty and Fortnight. It didn't hurt TW3 one bit to expand to consoles and include different difficulty levels to increase their audience.

Anyway, there are plenty other things to play. I wouldn't mind exploring the world of Sekiro or any of the other games you mentioned. However I still have Bloodborne waiting to be played and it seems more and more unlikely I'll ever have the focus and time again to git gud just for the sake of enjoying the art and work that went into the game.



Nautilus said:
Ka-pi96 said:

True, and as a fan of turn based strategy games I definitely know that from personal experience too

You don't need to appeal to everybody, no game will be able to do that. But if there are people that like almost everything about your game but don't enjoy it because of the difficulty, then you screwed up. It's as simple as that. Adding difficulty levels shouldn't be hard, and it certainly isn't going to ruin the game for other people.

I mean, look at FIFA. That's a game that some people are ridiculously good at and play professionally, does the fact that the beginner difficulty is easy enough for even a 3 year old to win at ruin that game for those people? Absolutely not, they just play on legendary difficulty (or more likely online multiplayer) instead. Or as I said I'm a fan of strategy games and Civilization has like 10 difficulty levels, that just makes the game better. Not only does it mean more people can enjoy it, but it also means that as you get better you can up the difficulty and still be challenged.

That logic is so flawed.If I like everything about a racing game(its graphics, atmosphere, story, RPG systems and so on) except the driving itself, it means that the devs screwed up?

Is it so hard to understand that some people just like it hard, and to make a truly hard game, it needs to be made hard from a level design point of view, which simply makes it impossible to have multiple levels of difficulty because its either financially prohibitive, or simply because the devs dont want to?

And I mean, regarding some things that I have seen written here: If the first Dark Souls had ssell well, but then the sequel had done badly, then that would have sent a message that yeah, the public hated the difficulty and just a tiny portion of gamers liked that way.But with every new From games, they jusst sell more and more, with Sekiro selling more than 4 million units, recalling from the top of my head.And thats in less than one year.And Im not even mentioning Nioh, Code Vein, Dead Cells, etc.

Nah, your logic is flawed since you seem to think gameplay = difficulty. It doesn't. If you don't like the driving of a racing game then you don't like the gameplay of it, that has nothing to do with difficulty whatsoever. The difficulty of a racing game is the AI. If they AI are absolutely perfect, never make mistakes and always accelerate, brake and turn at the exact right time then it's only going to be an enjoyable experience for a very small number of people. It really doesn't take much to add a few other difficulty levels where the AI is more prone to errors. Oh, and the same applies in the other direction too, if the AI is so shit that your only chance of losing is if you drive poorly on purpose then the game's shit as well and should really have some harder AI options.

I challenge you to present a single example that couldn't be made easier/more difficult very easily if the devs wanted to. Seriously, do it!

Racing games = increases/decrease player/AI top speed/acceleration stats
Action games = adjust health/damage stats for the player/enemies
RPG games = adjust player/enemy stats, increases/decrease exp gain rate or enemy encounter freqeuency/size of encounters
Platformers = adjust player jump height, make gaps narrower/wider, increase/decrease enemy frequency, increase/decrease how often health/life items are found
Strategy games = Give boosts/penalties to player/AI economy, increase/decrease unit stats
Sports games = increase/decrease stats, adjust the RNG factor on player/AI actions

There, a whole bunch of ways to easily change the difficulty in a bunch of different games. Level design has absolutely nothing to do with it. AI doesn't even need to be changed for any of those either, so you can save the whole `developing a separate better/worse AI would be expensive and time-consuming` excuse too.



Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

Ka-pi96 said:

I challenge you to present a single example that couldn't be made easier/more difficult very easily if the devs wanted to. Seriously, do it!

Racing games = increases/decrease player/AI top speed/acceleration stats
Action games = adjust health/damage stats for the player/enemies
RPG games = adjust player/enemy stats, increases/decrease exp gain rate or enemy encounter freqeuency/size of encounters
Platformers = adjust player jump height, make gaps narrower/wider, increase/decrease enemy frequency, increase/decrease how often health/life items are found
Strategy games = Give boosts/penalties to player/AI economy, increase/decrease unit stats
Sports games = increase/decrease stats, adjust the RNG factor on player/AI actions

And since you are also the one judging, you will basically dismiss everything because it doesn't suit your narrative.

Racing games are not only about the AI. But it doesn't even matter.

What happened between SNES - PS2 era

Racing Games = why create a good AI, just make a regular one and if you want some challenge, go try to get the best times in time trials!

Action Games = why create some harder difficulty, some don't use some weapons/upgrades!

RPG games = why create harder boss, just do the game underlevelled!

Platformers = why create difficult games, just find some extra challenges yourself!

Strategy games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

Sports games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

In Gran Turismo, the licenses went from hard to lol. So more players can experience the game they said. 

Action Games, I don't have any example, I don't play this type of game.

Final Fantasy, I remember having troubles in the last dungeons in Breath of Fire 2. In 2020, we are trying to find how to beat the final secret bosses at the lowest level possible.

Platformers, from TMT making us cry blood tears to games for kids.

Strategy games, they don't even try to make better AIs anymore.

Sport games, the last FIFA on the hardest difficulty is a joke.



Alcyon said:
Ka-pi96 said:

I challenge you to present a single example that couldn't be made easier/more difficult very easily if the devs wanted to. Seriously, do it!

Racing games = increases/decrease player/AI top speed/acceleration stats
Action games = adjust health/damage stats for the player/enemies
RPG games = adjust player/enemy stats, increases/decrease exp gain rate or enemy encounter freqeuency/size of encounters
Platformers = adjust player jump height, make gaps narrower/wider, increase/decrease enemy frequency, increase/decrease how often health/life items are found
Strategy games = Give boosts/penalties to player/AI economy, increase/decrease unit stats
Sports games = increase/decrease stats, adjust the RNG factor on player/AI actions

And since you are also the one judging, you will basically dismiss everything because it doesn't suit your narrative.

Racing games are not only about the AI. But it doesn't even matter.

What happened between SNES - PS2 era

Racing Games = why create a good AI, just make a regular one and if you want some challenge, go try to get the best times in time trials!

Action Games = why create some harder difficulty, some don't use some weapons/upgrades!

RPG games = why create harder boss, just do the game underlevelled!

Platformers = why create difficult games, just find some extra challenges yourself!

Strategy games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

Sports games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

In Gran Turismo, the licenses went from hard to lol. So more players can experience the game they said. 

Action Games, I don't have any example, I don't play this type of game.

Final Fantasy, I remember having troubles in the last dungeons in Breath of Fire 2. In 2020, we are trying to find how to beat the final secret bosses at the lowest level possible.

Platformers, from TMT making us cry blood tears to games for kids.

Strategy games, they don't even try to make better AIs anymore.

Sport games, the last FIFA on the hardest difficulty is a joke.

What are you even trying to say here? If you read my previous posts you'll see that I said games that were too easy and too hard were BOTH hallmarks of bad developers. So, are you agreeing with me, or what?

Yeah, devs usually take the lazy way of giving the player and/or AI cheats rather than actually creating better/worse versions of the AI. Can't really blame them for that though since actually making different/better AI would likely just lose them money. Those that can't be arsed to even use the lazy way of offering different difficulty options though... just aren't doing their job very well.



Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

Ka-pi96 said:
Alcyon said:

And since you are also the one judging, you will basically dismiss everything because it doesn't suit your narrative.

Racing games are not only about the AI. But it doesn't even matter.

What happened between SNES - PS2 era

Racing Games = why create a good AI, just make a regular one and if you want some challenge, go try to get the best times in time trials!

Action Games = why create some harder difficulty, some don't use some weapons/upgrades!

RPG games = why create harder boss, just do the game underlevelled!

Platformers = why create difficult games, just find some extra challenges yourself!

Strategy games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

Sports games = why create a difficult AI, just play against humans!

In Gran Turismo, the licenses went from hard to lol. So more players can experience the game they said. 

Action Games, I don't have any example, I don't play this type of game.

Final Fantasy, I remember having troubles in the last dungeons in Breath of Fire 2. In 2020, we are trying to find how to beat the final secret bosses at the lowest level possible.

Platformers, from TMT making us cry blood tears to games for kids.

Strategy games, they don't even try to make better AIs anymore.

Sport games, the last FIFA on the hardest difficulty is a joke.

What are you even trying to say here? If you read my previous posts you'll see that I said games that were too easy and too hard were BOTH hallmarks of bad developers. So, are you agreeing with me, or what?

Yeah, devs usually take the lazy way of giving the player and/or AI cheats rather than actually creating better/worse versions of the AI. Can't really blame them for that though since actually making different/better AI would likely just lose them money. Those that can't be arsed to even use the lazy way of offering different difficulty options though... just aren't doing their job very well.

So we had only bad developpers for almost 2 generations, since ALL games were too easy.

Again, if you find a game too difficult for you, just skip it. The only reason why these games exist today is because the difficulty disappeared. Why? Slippery slope, the developpers are not punished (in sales) if they don't implement a hard difficulty.

again, and again: if you find Sekiro too hard, don't buy it. But the difficulty was a reason of the good sales.