Blog #5--Unlockables

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Blog #5--Unlockables

Post  rut on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:24 pm

I was so excited when I finally got around to learning banks (for those of you who are unfamiliar, "banks" are what allow you to save information from one game to the next). However, my excitement faded quickly after conversing with other people about the fun factor of unlockables.

Here's the dilemma: you want to create incentive for people to play without making it impossible for new players to compete. I could easily reward players with unlockable new units, "perks," and other benefits that would increase their chances competitively, but it would also make the game less accessible for new players.

Another issue is that (to my knowledge) bank data does not transfer from one computer to the next. Your information is stored on your computer, not on the server, so if you had unlocked everything possible but played on a friend's computer, you'd be able to use none of it.

The fact that data is also stored client-side makes it liable to bank-hacking. If there is some sort of competitive edge accessible via banks, there is a chance that a person will cheat and bring down the entertainment value for others.

So in the end, I've decided to, unfortunately, limit unlockables. Right now there are no unlockable units and there may never be. However, I would still like to implement aesthetic unlockables. I've been toying with the idea of new skins and even new death animations (ie fountain of blood when you kill an enemy) that you could perhaps unlock by reaching new ranks (which are already in the game) or winning a tournament of some sort.

Anyway, that's why things are the way they are. If you have any suggestions for unlockables I could implement in the future, please share them!

rut

***Update***

So, Blizzard gave me a great suggestion to order the Unit-Select screen by unit difficulty. Realizing how frustrating it is to play a difficult unit (Mutalisk, Thor, MULE, etc.) on your first game and being incapable of doing any damage, I decided to make the harder units locked for the first ranks. Now there is a slight progression of unlocking units, but it goes by very quickly--by rank 3 (of 13), you'll have all the units available. Also, I put in unlockable "perks" that only affect the aesthetics of the game, giving incentive to people to level up, but not putting new players at a disadvantage. Hopefully it's all well-received!

rut
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