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I don't post on forums much, so I'll admit I'm not quite experienced with this kind of thing. However! I wanted to try and shed some light on recent updates to Kingdom Hearts Union χ in terms of how a game developer thinks. I do this because I've heard many complaints about the game (a good chunk of which are entirely justified) and I wanted to try and point out how the developers are trying to make things function. Easier Attainability of Jewels: One of the earliest complaints I'd heard about the game was that in the Japanese version it was easier to earn jewels. For definition's sake (and for those who don't play the game), jewels are a freemium currency in that they provide a means for players to spend money on their otherwise free-to-play game. The in-game functionality of jewels is primarily to obtain attacks, but they can also be used to revive you in a pinch or fill up your Special Attack Gauge. In a recent update, daily login bonuses were increased from awarding 50-50-100-100-200 jewels to 100-100-200-200-300 (from 500 to 900 every five days) and quests that provide up to 300 jewels per day were added. This increase was an attempt to provide one of two things. First was to provide a catch-up mechanic for players who are new to the game or haven't played in a while. No one likes feeling left behind for extended periods of time, and people usually enjoy getting stronger very quickly. The second thing was to make sure players were more motivated to spend their jewels on things. If something is rare, people are less inclined to spend it. The dev team doesn't want people sitting on large stashes of jewels, since that means people aren't being encouraged to spend them. If jewels are more plentiful, people are more willing to spend. From a more pessimistic view, the more players get used to spending money, the more likely they'll want to purchase more. From an optimistic view, more jewels means more ability to purchase strong medals when they come out, but I'll get into that in a sec. The Shop's [EX] Banners (+ Premium Avatar Boards): In a good economy, people regularly spend money. KH Uχ has a fake economy where money can spontaneously erupt, but it's still ideal for these half-existent video game economies to have players who spend. Initially, shop incentives were fairly slim, getting a medal guaranteed within 10 pulls and they would have no special attack slots filled out (henceforth "pips"). Over the time this game has existed, the developers have lowered the number of pulls required or given other incentives like having pips filled out or decreasing the cost with every pull. You could always obtain those super-awesome medals in other pulls, but in most cases the deal that promotes it is the best way to obtain them. With the recent jewel supplement updates, the shop has emphasized the phenomenon of [EX] medals, which are only obtainable through a deal that promotes them. This may seem like a step backwards, though in actuality it isn't. Part of the problem with the setup of this game is that it always feels like it wants you to buy everything as soon as it comes available. In the friend medal list, the game will happily show you that Illust. Kairi [EX] medal that's got three abilities and a Special Attack Multiplier of 200%, making many players feel like "gee, I sure wish I could have afforded that medal, thanks for rubbing that in my face." The important thing to consider is that you don't have to buy anything. The store page is the equivalent of the front of a brick-and-mortar store, only instead of being able to walk past it without a second glance it takes up your whole attention. The developers give you multiple chances to obtain otherwise unique things, often in cases like the premium avatar boards providing them at a discount the second time 'round. The [EX] deals are to give more incentive to buy from a promotional deal instead of using something like the daily deal (which provides 3 any-rarity medals at 50% discount). The important thing to keep in mind is to not feel pressured into trying to obtain a specific medal if you don't feel you can afford it. I know it hurts if you're a completionist and you want at least one of everything, but it's important to be patient. Sure, you just spend all your jewels on that Illust. Kairi [EX] and now they've got that awesome-looking Dual Wield Roxas [EX] in the store, but you don't have to buy it now. When the promotional deal ends in a few days, that Roxas medal will be inaccessible. But Roxas won't go away forever. He'll come back……… ¬_¬ Anyway, at a glance, it does look like the developers just want the player's money. In part, they do. The video game industry is actually quite cutthroat, particularly in the case AAA developers. Some companies (who shall not be named) will literally reduce or cut pay of their artists / programmers if the game they worked on doesn't score more than 80 on Metacritic. Mobile games are considered successful if they have a high download count and make a lot of money, and the most consistent way to do that is to be free to play to provide the download count with freemium currency to provide the income. Of all the games I've seen with a freemium system, KH Uχ has one of the least in-your-face approaches and gives a relatively large number of opportunities for players to earn jewels outside of paying money. In theory, console video games are supposed to cost [a dollar] for every hour the player spends enjoying the game (plus or minus, depending on how open-ended the game is). While free-to-play games such as this one often work on a different metric, the primary part of the game costs players literally nothing. It's important to keep in mind that game developers are human beings. They have a job, they're trying to do their job so they can afford food, and they don't always have control over all the decisions made. All they can do is try to fulfill the requirements put to them while also making a fun game at the same time. KH Uχ's dev team is actually remarkably on top of fixing bugs and even does a lot of back-end fixes to make the game easier on the devices themselves.
Not sure if any of you guys have already notice this but we are all becoming more and more like Terra. I can't help myself but to think this way. You see, at the beginning of Kingdom hearts Unchained X, we players as keyblade wielders, are thought to use the power of light to fight the darkness. The medals, represented by the lights from the future (if i remember correctly), are used since the start, thus we are kinda using the power of light. As the story progress, we begin to fight for power because we want to become stronger than others. Then, the reversed medals joined the game. They are called the reversed medals because they are represented by the darkness from the future. So we came across this new power, power of darkness. We are trying to wield them, we are trying to use the power of darkness. Realize how some keyblades are starting to allow wielders to use the power of darkness more efficiently? It means that the wielders are getting corrupted. We are actually the ones that the Foretellers mentioned in mission 3, those that walk the path of darkness. Or at least we are starting to walk the path of darkness. So yeah.. are we not Terra? I hope you guys can get what I'm saying here. It's not a huge thing but I really think that to come out with something like this, intentionally or unintentionally, is very impressive. What are your thoughts?