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Eburk
02-26-2007, 04:19 PM
As most of us know, games have varying levels of difficulty. Most of the time it consists of either three difficulties (easy, medium, or hard) or four (easy, medium, hard, very hard.) This usually allows players to play at whatever their given skill level is and slowly improve over time.

However, what happens when that jump from medium to hard is too difficult for someone? Enter the Embedded Difficulty Adjustment theory. Developed by Jenova Chen as part of a thesis project for game design, we may see this design aspect more commonly used in games in the near future.

The most recent game to take full advantage of the Embedded Difficulty Adjustment theory is a game known as flOw, which seems to be a rather simple game that resembled Geometry Wars. To read more about flOw and it's implementation of a new gaming design technique, you may visit it's official website here (http://www.us.playstation.com/flOw/).

Bregalad
02-27-2007, 08:27 AM
Some interesting difficulty systems:
Original System Shock. Four separate diff settings for Combat, Puzzles, Mission (plot and such) and Cyberspace. Incredibly flexible.

Thief series, difficulty does not really affect number of guards or combat - though Thief's health is lower on harder settings. The difference is in number of mission objectives and mission restrictions (i.e. on Expert, you are not allowed to kill, and in some cases, cannot even knock people out or raise alarms)

Not exactly diff setting, Baldur's Gate wanted players to play game without reloading after every 'not as good as it could be' encounter - reloading for anything other than full party wipeout often ramped up difficulty/numbers of mobs in the area.

Can't recall names, but I know some games 'help' the player a bit if player keeps dying and reloading. Like causing a mob to miss, or 'aiming' a hard jump.