Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

First Riot Post
Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Arc insanity

Senior Member

10-16-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldgeist View Post
These are admirable philosophical principles, and if there are many creative ideas to choose from, it is indeed best to avoid these somewhat problematic cases.

But what if there aren't? Interesting designs are quite limited in practice. What if your only choice inside a realistic timeframe is to add the interesting design that violates the ideology, or to add the safe design that your game has used a dozen times already? Both choices are risky; the first risks frustrating the players, but the second risks boring them by lack of differentiation and variety.

that is the point of this thread imo. this list is a list of problems that in the end are unavoidable and neccesary in a game in order to make it unique. one must take into account all these problems and optimize what they can and balance the negative aspects to were the positive out weigh. examples of all these problems can be found in any game, but how they are dealt with to make the game enjoyable is what makes a good game.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Nhan Fiction

Senior Member

10-16-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
What ends up happening on fundamentally OP champs like TC is you either nerf the abilities in power to the point where everything does everything but is underwhelming unless used perfectly... or remove components to make them have intrinsic downsides. Much harder...
Ya, a lot of the newer DotA heroes started to get too complicated for their own good. I am just afraid that LoL might come across this same problem as the champion total rises.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Morinav

Senior Member

10-16-2010

It's interesting that you posted this, and I appreciate that you did. However, I'm curious, why did you post it?


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Lord GiantR

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

10-17-2010

bump


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Realaz

Senior Member

10-17-2010

I actually read the whole thing and still don't get what he tried to say and what this thread is about.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Raptamei

Senior Member

10-17-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coug54 View Post
Awesome post. Basically, pretty much everything on the list emphasizes elements that are the opposite of what DotA embodies. I played DotA for years, and I will admit that the game was horrible in terms of balance on a technical level. There were so many overpowered skills in the game, such as Fissure and Ravage.

But these moves were simply chump skills compared to the truly overpowered ones.
Dota employs balance by audacity. All of its characters are OP; either they have some crazy damage ult or they can perma stun or teleport gank anywhere or have a 5 second team root (if you thought Amumu was bad...).

So if everyone is OP it balances out.

This is the same balance strategy employed by the first Starcraft. You can rush to cloaked units which, if not scouted, arrive before your opponent can even reveal them. Psionic storm, scourge and reavers do huge damage and can destroy waves of enemies worth ten times their cost. Plague reduces the hp of multiple expensive targets to 1. Corsairs can wipe out stacked air in 2 seconds no matter how many units there are. Tanks do terrible damage to anything on the ground and are almost impossible to kill from the ground without losing an inordinate amount of units. EMP leaves Protoss units with no shields whatsoever. Defilers have a spammable cloud that prevents ranged opponents from attacking in an area (terrans have exactly one melee unit). There are abilities to lock down any mechanical unit for 30 seconds leaving it dead in the water, or to remove multiple enemies from a fight or to destroy units instantly or to block anti-air for a whole minute.

It is all fairly crazy, but every race gets crazy stuff and this is why Starcraft is a spectator sport. If used properly, this crazy stuff is incredibly effective. In Starcraft 2, everything has been toned down so fights are far more predictable and fewer surprises happen.

This might be why Dota is a better spectator sport than LoL...


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

GhostDieM

Senior Member

10-17-2010

Nice post, I'm sad that you don't make champions more complicated though I like not knowing how to play a champion right of the bat and having to invest time and energy into figuring him or her out. That's called skill. Sure there will always be people who don't understand how to play them but they can just go back to their Nintendo Wii :P (I'm kidding). But seriously a bit more depth to the champs might not be a bad thing. Just make a clear destinction or something between easy to pick up champs and the more 'advanced' one's other then slapping on a 'recommended' label.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

zzSleeper

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Member

10-17-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptamei View Post
Dota employs balance by audacity. All of its characters are OP; either they have some crazy damage ult or they can perma stun or teleport gank anywhere or have a 5 second team root (if you thought Amumu was bad...).

So if everyone is OP it balances out.
[...]
This might be why Dota is a better spectator sport than LoL...
A good design should make players feel empowered and DotA succeeds there (at least when you're winning), but it makes a lot of trade-offs (suboptimal design decisions) to accomplish it.

In order for a game to be entertaining to watch, people generally like to be able to understand what's going on. This why DotA is terrible as a spectator sport, and if you have ever tried to show the game to someone who has never played then you will understand exactly what I mean. LoL's accessibility actually gives it a lot of potential in this area.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

KirbyHero

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

10-17-2010

Yay, now I have a buzzword for why I don't enjoy playing Vlad!
His use pattern mismatches surrounding gameplay.

Most games he's forced to kite with Q and use W to escape if enemies attempt to close in on him to punish him for kiting. I want to use his E really bad, but I can't. It just doesn't fit.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Dreamcleaver

Senior Member

10-17-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Burden of Knowledge
This is a VERY common pattern amongst hardcore novice game designers. This pattern is when you do a complex mechanic that creates gameplay -- IF the victim understands what is going on. Rupture is a great example -- with Rupture in DOTA, you receive a DOT that triggers if you, the victim, choose to move. However, you have no way of knowing this is happening unless someone tells you or unless you read up on it online... So the initial response is extreme frustration. We believe that giving the victim counter gameplay is VERY fun -- but that we should not place a 'burden of knowledge' on them figuring out what that gameplay might be. That's why we like Dark Binding and Black Shield (both of which have bait and/or 'dodge' counter gameplay that is VERY obvious), but not Rupture, which is not obvious.

In a sense, ALL abilities have some burden of knowledge, but some have _a lot more_ -- the ones that force the opponent to know about a specific interaction to 'enjoy' the gameplay have it worst.
I concur with most of what u had written but this is just BS.

We live in the age of internet. LoL has his own Learning Center and there is info on the skills even in the launcher. What you should look at is why the innate passives of champ's aren't listed (Annie comes to mind for example).

Rupture is a bad example because it's an extreemely un-fun mechanic but not because it's hard to figure out. It's just plain frustrating.

On the other hand there are a lot of complex mechanics that would be great fun in LoL but you guys are afraid to implement them.