当更多图腾被激活时，玩家便能获得更多经验值。真的，玩没有图腾和有图腾的《堡垒》真的有很大区别。来自Super Giant Games的《Transistor》也让玩家能够改变游戏难度。
最后一个例子则是《Kid Icarus Uprising》，它拥有1到10的难度范围。如果玩家选择更复杂的游戏，他们能找到的武器质量也会更高。
让我们继续着眼于像《堡垒》和《Kid Icarus Uprising》等游戏，它们都带有一般或基础游戏元素。你必须在开始设计其它修饰元素前先明确这种基础内容。虽然这点再明显不过但我还是要再次强调：你的游戏应该能够适应任何以及所有修饰元素。并避免将修饰元素凌驾于难度设置价值之上。
How to Craft Challenges with Sculptable Difficulty
by Josh Bycer
Today’s post looks at a rarely used form of difficulty design in the form of sculptable difficulty. We have seen games with the option to alter the difficulty during play, but sculptable difficulty takes things further and allows the player to create the challenge they’re looking for.
Setting the Difficulty:
Sculptable difficulty means that the player is free to alter the difficulty and be rewarded for it. This is not the same as subjective difficulty, or where the game’s difficulty is dependent on the player’s skills. Instead, the player is able to alter the difficulty in different ways to impact the difficulty.
Games that feature sculptable difficulty typically have a combination of player skill and abstracted design, as you need to have multiple ways to challenge the player and impact the play.
In games designed this way, there is always a “baseline” experience that the game is built around. From there, the player can raise or lower the difficulty to make the game easier or harder in different ways. The important factor about sculptable difficulty is the fact that the player controls the difficulty beyond just stat changes, but impacts how the game is played.
In this way, players can make a game easier if they’re having a tough time, or harder if they want to push things, as our examples will demonstrate.
Balancing the Scales:
The examples that I want to talk about today are some of my favorite games in recent years. The first is my long-time favorite The World Ends With You. I’ve talked about it multiple times, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much.
The game allows you to impact the difficulty based on the setting, the number of enemy groups you’ll fight and your max health going in. These factors determine how much experience and money you get, the chance of getting different items and their quality.
The player can change these settings at any time outside of combat. There is a baseline that the player can keep to, but they are always tempted to make things harder for greater rewards.
Bastion takes things further with specific difficulty totems that change the game for each one used. These totems impact the enemies and alter their abilities during play.
The more totems active, the more experience the player gets. There is a big difference between playing Bastion without the totems vs. having all eight on. The follow up from Super Giant Games Transistor also allows you to alter the difficulty.
Our final example is Kid Icarus Uprising who literally has a difficulty scale between 1 and 10. The harder the player makes the game, the higher quality in terms of weapons they’ll find.
The game opens up extra hard paths with more rewards if the player is playing at or higher than the difficulty rating.
With those examples said, we can turn to the challenges of designing a game in such a matter.
You can tell the difference between developers who think about the game’s difficulty setting as part of the design, and those that rush through it. The games that work have difficulty settings balanced with the experience. The ones that don’t typically feature difficulty scaled so far up that it makes the game a slog to play through.
To create a game around sculptable difficulty, you must include your difficulty settings/conditions in the game’s design. The more varied ways you can adjust the difficulty, the better. Not every game can be designed around sculptable difficulty.
Games built on only player skill, such as platformers, aren’t good candidates for sculptable difficulty. The reason is that there must be abstracted elements to modify.
Looking at games like Bastion and Kid Icarus Uprising, they both have a baseline or normal play. You must get the baseline set before you begin designing modifiers. This point should be obvious, but needs to be said: Your game should be beatable with any and all modifiers on. Try not to have modifiers on top of set difficulty values, as that can add complexity on top of complexity.
Our final point goes back to the rewards. There must be a reason beyond just recognition for modifying the game. This serves two purposes.
First, it allows expert players to get something in return for making the game harder. And second, it gives newer players a reason to improve and see more of the game and get rewarded at the same time.
Getting it Just Right:
Sculptable difficulty is one of those elements that has to be a part of your design from the very start and integrated in. Even though it won’t fit in every game design or genre, it can certainly elevate a game’s design when it works.
Besides the games mentioned, can you think of other examples of games that featured sculptable difficulty? If so, be sure to leave a comment about them below.（source：gamasutra）