Zileas' List of Game Design Anti-Patterns

First Riot Post
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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
14 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeves View Post
Who was the designer who RUINED MY ANTI-MAGIC SHELL SO I COULD NEVER AGAIN DO A UNIQUE UNDEAD STRATEGY?

My plan to infiltrate Riot 6 years later and destroy from within has come to fruition. You killed my Banshees!
O'Brien --

You are fired.


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Knote

Senior Member

10-15-2010

.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
15 of 282 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sindae View Post
I think this is a very interesting read, but don't you think some of this is limiting your diversity and originality of champion skills?

I know you've said before that having fun champs is more important than having original champs, and that's great, but after 60 champs and more on the way aren't you afraid of rehashing the same stuff over and over without compromising some of these concepts?

In particular something like "burden of knowledge," "conflicted purpose" and "unclear optimization" can lead to a lot more diversity. Sure, it might cause some disappointing games, but everyone adapts eventually and there's already a fairly sizable learning curve to the game that I don't think having somewhat more complex abilities will exacerbate much.
depth is a design virtue, but you can achieve it a lot of ways. All design is an engineering thought process -- you optimize between pros and cons. You optimize AWAY from anti-patterns, and towards virtues.


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Knote

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Thx for the reply Zileas.


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Ragnaros

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Quote:
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.
TLDNR: Walking the line of catering to noobs/pros is hard, but everyone gains knowledge eventually so go with non-obvious and fun new mechanics when appropriate.

From experience designing UI in software I have struggled with the same thing. However, there is a point at which you have to realize that noobs will eventually become experienced and the value to making things obvious will vastly diminish as this happens. It is a hard line to walk because you want to bring new people in but you also don't want to alienate your experienced user base because you are obviously making design decisions around player ignorance.

I also believe this to be a poor excuse because MOST people that play games have an amazing knack for remembering everything. I remember getting ruptured and thinking "what just happened?". Someone flamed me and explained and I learned so I never wondered again. However, I never once thought "why wasn't that obvious to me?", instead I thought "what a cool mechanic" and it grew on me.


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ThanksALatte

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Now now, we all know how much fun it is when late game rolls around, your premade vs their premade, both going back and forth til someone f's up and starts the fight. SPAM CC! SPAM AOE! GL HF!


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Lord GiantR

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Senior Member

10-15-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlyGoat View Post
I'd rather be manaless than stunlocked from 100% to 0. And yet, I can barely remember either situation happening in DotA, while I know I'm stunlocked from 100% to 0 pretty much every game in LoL. I realize ganks in LoL don't work without CC but, I'm sorry, designing your entire game around the single least fun game mechanic is an atrocious idea. The only worthwhile counters to being initiated on and CCed to death are proactive rather than reactive, and that's why the gameplay is so slow and defense oriented because once you're hit by something like sion's stun, you're going to be chain CCed and burst down and there's nothing you can do about it except maybe tap cleanse if its absurdly long cooldown happens to be up.

In DotA there were stuff like 5 second stuns. And auto attacks hurt like hell (cept techies).
And Huskar.


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

10-15-2010
16 of 282 Riot Posts

Burden of knowledge is worst when KNOWING would create way better gameplay on the receiving end (i.e. victim side), and the skill is tuned to be really punishing when the knowing is absent.

Therefore, it is only present when if you explained to people what was going on with a 5 minute tutorial, they would then choose to take significant action against the mechanic as the victim/target. that's why most of these don't count.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaolla View Post
you have a ton of knowledge burden abilities already in game.

akali mark of assassin
Does not create significant response. It's fine.
Quote:
amumu despair
Does not create significant response on receiving end, it doesnt matter.

Quote:
anivia frostbite
Does not alter response in most cases.

Quote:
chogath feast
Yes, there is some here.

Quote:
mundo sadism and masochism
Questionable, and tends to be more visible anyway. If you can learn quickly what the thing is doing, it's less big of a deal.


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ThanksALatte

Senior Member

10-15-2010

I think we need more melee dps heroes that fit the olaf/garen/xin model. New players aren't confused about them >_<


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Dark Harmony

Senior Member

10-15-2010

Regarding Conflicted Purpose:

How do you feel about Poppy's Ult? You have the choice of doing one (and ONLY one) of the three:

1. Putting it on a target, and being unstoppable while killing them
2. Putting it on someone you don't intend to kill, then taking down a high priority target
3. Using it to get away

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change anything about Poppy for the world, but I'm sometimes surprised it got through Design with how tough it is to use.