Adjust the overall balance of the games in a row
In continuation of the previous article , I want to share my experience in the preparation and support of content for the ordinary game three in a row. Let's talk about the global balance curve, the balance of game modes, the assessment of their work and a number of nuances that arise in the development process.
The basic steps to adjust the balance of the game in a row consists of building a curve of complexity and the distribution of the main game mechanics by levels.
Let's start with the complexity curve.
Difficulty is indicated as a percentage and is based on the ratio of wins to losses at this level. Interest is convenient for work, but mean little on their own. It is necessary to tie them to the number of attempts that players spend on passing this level. This can be obtained from analytics, but if you do not have it, then in the next picture you can see the dependence of percent on the number of attempts.
This is averaged data and it may differ from you. The main thing here is that the complexity is not linearly dependent, so the difference between 20% and 50% is actually small. Each percentage is truly important only with difficulty above 80%. You can immediately build complexity in relation to the number of attempts and not get involved with interest - it depends on your preferences.
I think it’s not surprising for you that the first levels have low complexity, and the twentieth and thirtieth are much higher than all the previous ones. In three in a row games, it makes no sense to do all the levels of one difficulty. Athletes do not press the bar 100 times in a row, but break the exercise into several approaches. Everyone needs a respite, encouragement for their efforts and time for mastering the past. Difficulty should increase from level to level, and after the most difficult level - decrease. Complexity will decrease sharply or gradually - a matter of summed up results on collected analytics. What works best in a particular case, then choose.
Let's analyze the curve in more detail:
1. The whole essence of the game. In a good way, you have only the first 3 levels to interest the maximum number of users who launched your amazing and incredible game. A significantly smaller number of players will reach level 5-6, so do not postpone uniqueness for later. From the first level, lay out everything you have. You will say: “But at Candy Davilka Tale is not so! We will lose all users if we do not like them! ”What is the point of responding by the fact that in any case you will lose all users if you do not understand the reason why they leave and copy successful gamesyou are not comrade here. Of course, this is not a reason to immediately teach the player all the boosters, plot twists and modes. Just show your chip, even if it will not greatly affect the gameplay from this level. Show - immediately find out how your creative was effective.
2. Learning levels is a place for matinees and brawls. The new mode is not like everyone else? Go ahead - host a show! It is better to get rid of the text in the training and replace it with the most understandable animations and effects. Learning levels should entertain and present new content to the player, regardless of where the player is now. The first level of the new location is the best place to reward the player with new content. Try to please them more often. And yes, an extra layer for the gamer’s blocker is not entirely new content.
3. Players will forgive you all if you make your mistakes at the last levels of the location. Here you can and should arrange the most difficult levels. At the next location, the player will be congratulated, so why not make a little effort? Don't be too predictable, but complicating the game at the end of the episode is normal practice.
4. The place where magic happens. When is a level perceived to be difficult? Will you be able to determine its complexity from one glance at a level? Probably not. Three in a row are unpredictable and full of surprises. You can rely on intuition, but in reality you will understand the essence of the level only after you lose. Lose once - is it a lot or not? If you have the classic 5 lives, then one loss is not much. The level at which you lose all 5 lives will be difficult for you. Several times in a row. Is it possible to set several difficult levels in a row? It is possible, but wisely - only parsimony pays twice, this does not apply to generous players. A fine line will have to be searched independently for a specific project.
Let's continue the balance of game modes
An example of a simplified table with complexity and game modes. The headings, I hope, are quite eloquent.
The basic principle of the balance of game modes is quite obvious - the player needs to be introduced into the game from simple elements to complex mechanics gradually. For example, descent of elements is not the most suitable mechanics for the first level, because To successfully achieve the goal, you need a relatively large number of effective combinations and knowledge of the bonus elements of the game, breaking the cells can also cause confusion - the most inattentive may not notice them (yes, yes, not all players have a wide gaming experience and your elements may not look like what the player is used to in another game). The first levels are best done with the simplest and most understandable goal, which is easy to achieve, for example, collecting a given game chips. In this case, even an inattentive player has a higher chance of passing the level mindlessly collecting random combinations. The most complex mechanics should be shown only after mastering all the basic elements of the game. Later, you should not repeat the same game mode two levels in a row. This, of course, is not an axiom, but diversity is perceived more positively.
The main accounting tool is a spreadsheet. This is a very flexible option, although not ideal. It’s best to have an advanced admin panel with hundreds of statistics and data right on one convenient screen. The most important thing in the table after the complexity curve is the notes and notes about the content, training, expected results and history of edits. A competent record of data will help you out more than once when it will be necessary to check all the creativity and balance in numbers, for example, how the same level behaves in the presence and absence of some feature on it, etc.
If you have only 3-4 game modes, then you should not mix them within the same level. Why? It’s more difficult to balance, more difficult to make two goals equal in level, more difficult for players to perceive the level itself.
Two goals per level are half the trouble, the biggest problem is when the same element can act as a level goal, or it can appear just like that, for example, helping to score points. Do not do like this.
We conclude with an assessment of the work done.
How to process the received data and check the success of your game? Yes Easy! If the game brings money - you are in chocolate, if you can say exactly why your game brings money - you are the best of the best.
We are trying to figure it out on the basis of understandable entities and without unnecessary mystification. For a developer, effectiveness is determined by the amount of resources that players spend at different levels. Three in a row effectively monetize only the defeat of players, which means that there will be no special expenses on light levels. All hope is complex and challenging. And here you can already try to draw conclusions and experiment. There are no ready-made cases for all cases, but general principles can be identified.
When balancing a level, there are the following most useful parameters - the average percentage of completion of a level when losing, the frequency of losing with a lack of 1-3 moves before winning and the level of monetization.
Percentage completion is more apparent:
The average completion percentage is useful in assessing the quality of difficulty level. In a more global sense, this parameter will be needed to assess the intelligibility / accessibility of the entire game mode as a whole. The higher this percentage, the more players have a situation where it is profitable for them to buy additional moves to complete the level. The highest result, of course, will be at easy levels, because there losses are rare and in most cases a step away from victory. The flip side of this indicator is the level that out of 10 attempts 10 times ends in a step from victory, is not always perceived as difficult. Another problem of the indicator is that the descent level of one element cannot be performed 99% in principle, or you will have to collect analytics for such levels by the position of the element on the field.
A completely different situation is at the levels where a loss a step before winning occurs once every several games (FUUU-factor), for example, every fifth - these levels are perceived completely differently. In some situations, these levels are useful, but their number is directly proportional to the popularity of your game. Demotivating and losing players in this situation is very easy. However, such levels are excellent payvols.
By the way, about payvols - it’s best to put them after the first 2-3 locations, when players have clearly got acquainted with all the modes and understand how and when to use bonuses and boosters. As a rule, it is somewhere between 40 - 70m levels. The specific situation is important, but you should definitely not put them too far, where a small number of players will reach. The general recommendation is the most understandable, gambling and interesting level you can think of. Be sure to take care of the reward for your efforts.
The most interesting, in my opinion, when analyzing the game is the comparison of game modes among themselves. To get the most reliable results, try to choose levels that will have the same position relative to their locations. The same level, being at different positions in the same location, will have a different degree of monetization due to the fact that spending on boosters makes more sense at the last levels.
Then you can go into details infinitely, linking the results to a weather forecast, the average percentage of good mood and other fortune-telling. But this is a topic for another discussion. I hope that my experience was interesting to you, you have questions and a desire to brag about your data analysis methods and the results of decisions made.