Resolving Power Creep in games.

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The right one can do more than the one on the left for the same cost…

If you have read the last article I wrote, you would know that “Power Creep” is a pretty big issue to cover when designing games. Gamers would often give up on your game, if they always have to face agaisnt the same overwhelming opponent.

So power creep, it stinks, causes problems to the balance fo the game and overall removes the fun from the game. So how do we prevent such issues when designing a game?

Well, one of the best ways is to introduce incomparables.

Both are healthy fruits, but which would YOU choose to stay healthy?

What do I mean by that?

Let’s say we have a game with two classes, one a wizard and one a golem, the wizard has the ability to cast powerful magic and deal a mouthful of damage while the golem has the capability to absorb a lot of damage and deal a fatal blow.

Both skills are unique! It’s like comparing apples to oranges, and you can deal with this design problem easily! Just make sure that the elements in the game are not too powerful and can be countered by each other. Circle of Life Baby!

Take League of Legends (LOL) as an example. The game has been running since 2009 and with over 90+ characters, the game is still relatively balanced. If you have played LOL before, you may have noticed that the most powerful characters in the game are actually from the first models they have built!

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Over the years, the developers have understood the effects of new incomparables and further improved on their game into the game millions of fans enjoy playing worldwide. The players of the game can debate everyday over who is best pick, but they will never reach a solid conclusion. Because:

The better choice depends on the situation the player is facing or his/her playstyle!

Take another example of the currently popular game: “Overwatch”. Each Hero has a unqiue skill and class which fulfill certain roles during the game. If one was to ask who is the Hero to pick, there is no clear answer!

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*trumpets in overwatch*

Though some Heroes can be better than others in their respective roles, power creep is barely seen in the game as the Heroes strengths cannot be compared to one another unlike two weapons in a First Person Shooter.

With this, you will be able to have more breathing room when designing in the future. As long as there are enough elements in the game that are unparalled to each other, the player is able to have fun withour needing to worry about Power Creep. So, if you have done that, then Congratulations! You have solved the design issue of Power Creep.

So, power creep! A simple mistake game designers run into. If you are interested in making a game, try and think twice before adding a new character or skill to the game. Remember, power creep will always exist in any game, it’s just how well you keep it at bay!

Next Time: Writing in Gaming

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