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Opinion Difficulty vs Accessibility: A responsibility for the developers, not for the players.

Hunnybun

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Imagine if every piece of game feedback and criticism was met with "don't force the devs to do that" , "just play something else"

Exactly. It's not an argument.

It's clear to me that for a lot of people the difficulty of certain games represents a kind of purity, a hardcore credential that is a good in itself. ("And that's fine! Not every feeling has to be rationally justifiable!").

I just wish people would admit that rather than some BS about the creator's vision or whatever.
 
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Hunnybun

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If we assume zero cost, why have any sort of limitation whatsoever? You may as well argue for an infinite number of difficulty settings!

Ok, allow me to steelman your position with what I believe to be the best real-world example: Remedy's Control.

Control essentially exposes a developer cheat mode, allowing the user to scale all challenge aspects from damage dealt to damage received. You can turn on invincibility and one-hit-kills all without penalty at any time.

In terms of challenge accessibility I doubt you'll find a better and more comprehensive suite of options in any major release.

Do I consider it a good thing? Broadly yes, but not entirely.

Yes, its an interesting choice and its fun to use, but it definitely cheapened the experience for me and I felt like it shortened my playtime with the title. Its simply just too tempting an option to outright disregard.

The bigger issue is whether I feel that such a feature should be implemented in every title. More to the point would I consider it as part of a project of my own?
To which I'd say absolutely not. Primarily for the reason I underlined above.

And that, "creator's choice" axiom, is where the buck stops. I wouldn't choose to do it, and I'd greatly resent feeling obligated to what is tantamount to self-sabotage in my view in order to please those who'd demand such a thing.

Remedy took a different view, and more power to them for that. The overarching point is that the difference in perspective between me and those of Control's designers is a positive thing. Its variety and individuality, so in larger sense its more "inclusive" of alternative schools of design thought.

This is my point about anodyne mediocrity. You cannot please everyone all the time, and the more you try the blander the result.

My honest opinion is you're just trying anything to rationalise what you probably feel intuitively: certain games are kind of sacred in their purity because of their difficulty and must not be touched/corrupted.

There are many obvious ways around all these problems people come up with.

Too much work for the devs?

How about a very basic easy mode with like double the health pick ups? Almost no work. There could be health warnings, stating the game is not intended for this difficulty, and explaining the lack of balance.

Too tempting for some players to avoid?

Why not have a situation where not only is an easy option crap and unbalanced, but only becomes selectable after, say, 15 hours of play? Or after a certain amount of play with no progress? Or certain amount of deaths? ie. for people who have truly given their all and can't progress?

In this day and age these problems are trivial to solve. Yet somehow I feel like some people would always find some new way to object.
 

RoboFu

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Imagine if every piece of game feedback and criticism was met with "don't force the devs to do that" , "just play something else"
What a bad take..

Devs should do what they want( or what their publisher agrees to). If people don’t buy anything they make then they adjust or they go out out of business.
that’s still doesn’t mean they have to make every game easy. Maybe they do a mix of both easy and hard games.

But that’s that’s completely different than trying to force devs to turn all their games into something they don’t like just because you feel entitled and have fomo.
 

June

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Yes, its an interesting choice and its fun to use, but it definitely cheapened the experience for me and I felt like it shortened my playtime with the title. Its simply just too tempting an option to outright disregard.

The bigger issue is whether I feel that such a feature should be implemented in every title. More to the point would I consider it as part of a project of my own?
To which I'd say absolutely not. Primarily for the reason I underlined above.

And that, "creator's choice" axiom, is where the buck stops. I wouldn't choose to do it, and I'd greatly resent feeling obligated to what is tantamount to self-sabotage in my view in order to please those who'd demand such a thing.

Remedy took a different view, and more power to them for that. The overarching point is that the difference in perspective between me and those of Control's designers is a positive thing. Its variety and individuality, so in larger sense its more "inclusive" of alternative schools of design thought.

This is my point about anodyne mediocrity. You cannot please everyone all the time, and the more you try the blander the result.

If it cheapened your experience then why not just dont experience the game that way? It is optional after all. your preferred difficult level is still there for you

And when creating a product its normal to make some comprises of your perfect vision in order to satisfy the wide variety of consumer preferences, setups, and situations. We see this with things like customisable buttons even though the the creator may have had a specific setup in mind; volume controls even though the creator may have a specific tone in mind, and we've seen this been an issue in games where there have been no individual slider for the music and that annoyed people

and lets be clear, this isnt about being obligated to do anything. no one is holding a gun to developers heads or passing laws to mandate difficulty options. It is simply consumer feedback, and any decent company should atg least be taking feedback into account, especially if it's a widespread issue, reasonable, and not difficult to implement
 

Clear

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Video games are entertainment luxury goods, not god-given rights. The players have the responsibility to make their own choices, and one of those choices is to not force themselves to play a game not catered towards them.

Yep. To me its like people going to see a horror movie and complaining that its too scary or too violent for them.

The assumption that their tastes and tolerances need to be catered to, even when it flies in the face of the stated aims of the work is simply unreasonable.

Hunnybun's response to my comprehensive dismantling of their position is a perfect example of this.
 

ZywyPL

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It's a double-edged sword if you ask me - on one side, not every game is for everyone, I think it's clear and obvious, but on the other, people who paid for the game should be able to finish/enjoy it. At the end of the day, everything can be easily adjusted just by various HP/damage levels in almost every type of game, or via extended timers, AI reaction time etc. so that more people can enjoy the same gameplay/story experience, and that would lead to more money for the devs, which I think every single one of them would want.
 

Hunnybun

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Yep. To me its like people going to see a horror movie and complaining that its too scary or too violent for them.

The assumption that their tastes and tolerances need to be catered to, even when it flies in the face of the stated aims of the work is simply unreasonable.

Hunnybun's response to my comprehensive dismantling of their position is a perfect example of this.

Wtf is this? Which response? And which dismantling?

Also, I'd actually omitted to mention it, but have it your way: care to actually answer my post pressing you on exactly why Doom Eternal is an anodyne mediocrity (by your definition)?
 
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Clear

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Wtf is this? Which response? And which dismantling?

Also, I'd actually omitted to mention it, but have it your way: care to actually answer my post pressing you on exactly why Doom Eternal is an anodyne mediocrity (by your definition)?

I opted not to answer that point because it was, frankly, silly and not worth rebutting.

You can't cherry-pick a single example in response to a criticism of the case for making everything the same.

I have no interest in Doom Eternal, its not a game for me. But that isn't to say that it has no right to exist. Which is essentially the point you are making.
 
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Soodanim

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There's an irony in Dark Souls being the poster child, because it's better balanced than any of its sequels or anything inspired by it.

Dark Souls is, making an exception for the unfinished Lost Izalith, only difficult if you're greedy or impatient. There are so many different options in play styles, weapons, equipment and spells that you can get through it however you like. Its sequel even nerfed a number of things as a direct response: including pyromancy (went from no requirements to more requirements than others), backstabs (insane enemy tracking), and of course roll i-frames (a whole new stat needs to be levelled to match the first game).

Dark Souls aside, devs can make a game as difficult as they like as is their choice as a developer/publisher. As long as the balance is there, because bad design is bad design. If it's artificial difficulty (bullet sponges being the common example), it's not a well balanced game.
 

Kev Kev

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Then you are in for some suffering I guess
sorry i didnt have time to respond anything more to half assed "git gud" argument

what i means is, i will continue to complain until devs get the message. you try hards can keep your souls and your blood bourne and feel good about how superior you are at video games (lol) but this whole culture of every new game needs to be uber hard and devs really need to rip the knob off in terms of difficulty is not welcome, and im not the only one, and were not going to just shut up and play something else
 
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Hunnybun

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I opted not to answer that point because it was, frankly, silly and not worth rebutting.

You can't cherry-pick a single example in response to a criticism of the case for making everything the same.

I have no interest in Doom Eternal, its not a game for me. But that isn't to say that it has no right to exist. Which is essentially the point you are making.

Who's making the case that everything should be the same? It's a straw man.

My point is that accessibility is a good thing, and therefore games should be as accessible as possible. That's not the same as saying that everything should be the same, and it's not even the same as saying that everything should be easy.

If a developer wants their game to be challenging and sees that as an essential part of the experience, there are still ways of retaining that while catering to less skilled players. You can have optional adaptive difficulty, or you can have easier options only conditionally available as described above. These things could still retain significant challenge, but just be slightly less punishing for people with less skill or just less time.
 
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Kev Kev

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Who's making the case that everything should be the same? It's a straw man.

My point is that accessibility is a good thing, and therefore games should be as accessible as possible. That's not the same as saying that everything should be the same, and it's not even the same as saying that everything should be easy.

If a developer wants their game to be challenging and sees that as an essential part of the experience, there are still ways of retaining that while catering to less skilled players. You can have optional adaptive difficulty, or you can have easier options only conditionally available as described above. These things could still retain significant challenge, but just be slightly less punishing for people with less skill or just less time.
this guy is the only one ITT offering well thought out arguments. all these "git gud" arguments are shit but its the only argument you guys have so i understand why you have nothing better to say.
 
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sorry i didnt have time to respond anything more to half assed "git gud" argument

what i means is, i will continue to complain until devs get the message. you try hards can keep your souls and your blood bourne and feel good about how superior you are at video games (lol) but this whole culture of every new game needs to be uber hard and devs really need to rip the knob off in terms of difficulty is not welcome, and im not the only one, and were not going to just shut up and play something else
Dude maybe the games aren't that hard and you just suck at them. Have that thought ever crossed your mind?
 
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Saber

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One disabled person being able to play games doesn't prove that games don't need accessibility features. All it proves is one gamer doesn't need them.

This proves one can challenge their own disabilities and play the game which is "difficult for normal people". Also, it proves he doesn't complain on the challenge offered, like many people here do so monthly. Also please, don't pretend to be that silly and think this is a sole case. You can probably find a lot more on youtube if you work harder.
 

sobaka770

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You can have your blockbuster movies - these things need to be accessible to most audiences, be diverse, entertaining etc.
And then you have auteur cinema - Von Triers, Andersons of the world where liking them is an acquired taste.
Sometimes those overlap and you get something like Blade Runner 2049.

Same with games - big budget games will always strive to have different accessibility and difficulty options naturally.
Dark Souls wasn't a AAA overbudgeted game - it's really an auteur game with cult following that blew up and is not part of mainstream.
I think there's enough place in gaming for both. You will have enough games adapted for all audiences because it's stupid not to increase the potential market penetration. From Soft is a different niche - they cater to gamers who want challenge. Just accept that and move on. Nobody who played DS or Bloodborne even knows what it's about - you all watched VaatiVidya channel for that.

An oh God, people complain that Kena is hard but Kena has like 4 difficulty modes. Metroid was always on the harder side of Nintendo games.
 
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lol there it is! "GIT GUD PUSSY"

great argument
Yeah that's basically it, learn to play the videogame or, if you suck, play something else or look for a different hobby. You are not entitled to being able to enjoy everything you know.

I mean, just like you suck at DOOM, I suck at CRPGs and 4x games. The difference is that you aren't going to see me going on an internet forum about how CRPGs and 4x games players like to feel superior to me or whine about how the devs of those games are some kind of maniacs that want to see me suffer. I suck at them, so I just don't play them.

And no my man, I'm no tryhard for being able to beat a fucking videogame.
 
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Gameplaylover

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Different players have different skill levels sometimes even depending on the genre. It's hard for devs to cover everything up. Dead Rising 4, Just Cause 4, Spider-Man or Horizon Zero Dawn on normal for example almost bored me to death, i think i never died in Dead Rising 4. I don't even want to know how those games would be on easy. In Back4Blood i can't even beat Act 3 on easy, no chance. I bet others beat them on hard wothout any problems like i did with Cuphead.
 

MajinSweet4

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Aye it always just circles back to this.

Nobody makes similar arguments for easier games not having harder options, which they would do if the arguments were actually valid.
I have. Some games are better as hard games, and some games are better as easy games. An example I've used before is Resident Evil 6. Me and a friend tried to play it co-op and we put it on the higher difficulty setting because we tend to prefer harder games. And we played RE5 like that so it made sense. We quickly found that the game sucked as a hard game. It made sense to simply race to checkpoint to get fully healed. Why bother actually engaging with the game and waste ammo? We soon lowered the difficulty and the game was a lot more fun to play, because the game clearly wasn't designed around being hard. The difficulty selection didn't do anything for us, it actually made the game far worse. In fact, most people agree RE6 is a bad game. And the worst of the RE4-6 trilogy. I'd say one of the ways to fix it would make it a lot more focused, instead of trying to please everyone. And that's not to say they'd have to get rid of difficulty selection entirely but severely reduce the amount of options and choices given to the player. Options are not always good.

Resident Evil 2 remake has difficulty selection, it has Normal and hardcore and "assisted". Does this mean that a small amount of people might not enjoy the game because the normal mode is probably a bit too hard? Yeah, but the game is supposed to be a survival-horror action game. It makes sense that it isn't a "for all ages" family game. And the developers even put in assisted mode. So if you suck at aiming, you can still get by. It's simple, games are very complex. And different games are going to work better or worse with different systems. Some games can have a simple number adjusted difficulty system that doesn't take a lot of development time to implement. Other games would need to adjust countless details of the game for every difficulty selection that you add, essentially creating another version of the game. Metal Gear Solid 2 comes to mind. That's a game with many different difficulty levels. And each level changes guard placement, changes certain mission objectives, changes how certain boss ai works. A ton of work went into that, but MGS2 is a pretty small and narrow game. It's pretty understandable why a Dark Souls game doesn't do that. Especially when it also has multiplayer modes.

And I'll also address what I consider an elephant in the room on this topic. You know cheat engine exists right? If that's too much work for you, people usually make easy mode mods for hard games 2 days after release. If you really, really want to play a hard game without learning it, you can just do that. Sure, you have to play the game on PC, and it's a little more work, but you can still do it. I think that makes a lot more sense than yelling at developers to make games they don't want to make. I like the Animal Crossing games, if I ever a Hardcore Animal Crossing or whatever, I'd look into modding before expecting Nintendo to make it.

Editing in "assisted" mode.
 
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ShigeruMiyamoto

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This is like saying "so what if you can't get your wheelchair in here, go to another restaurant, there's a McDonald's down the street".

I behooves every developer to make reasonable accommodations so that their game can be enjoyed or at least interacted with by a larger audience. It makes capitalistic business sense by increasing the potential audience for your game, more than making up for money/time spent in the development of the features. It makes moral sense as why would you feel the need to be shitty to disabled people (or just people who can't "git gud" in a reasonable time frame) when you could help them out and share your work with them through fairly minimal extra effort on your part. It makes social sense as the more diverse the people in the gaming community, the better it is for everyone. Also your company is bound to have better PR if you're seen to be accommodating and thoughtful about the needs of your consumers/audience.

Overall, it's a pretty shitty take to dismiss accessibility as unnecessary in any aspect of life, gaming or otherwise. Maybe you just don't know many people with disabilities? Your (OP's) position smacks of the same mindset as people in gated communities calling the police on workmen or black neighbours, or able-bodied people who park in wheelchair parking spots because it's more convenient for them. Ableism is real and you can find out more about it by looking in the mirror.


Watch that and tell me that that guy should just play something else because fuck him and his need for some minor additional accommodations. These people asking for such things have faces and lives and matter as much as you do, probably even more since they're not such assholes either.
 
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Hunnybun

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I have. Some games are better as hard games, and some games are better as easy games. An example I've used before is Resident Evil 6. Me and a friend tried to play it co-op and we put it on the higher difficulty setting because we tend to prefer harder games. And we played RE5 like that so it made sense. We quickly found that the game sucked as a hard game. It made sense to simply race to checkpoint to get fully healed. Why bother actually engaging with the game and waste ammo? We soon lowered the difficulty and the game was a lot more fun to play, because the game clearly wasn't designed around being hard. The difficulty selection didn't do anything for us, it actually made the game far worse. In fact, most people agree RE6 is a bad game. And the worst of the RE4-6 trilogy. I'd say one of the ways to fix it would make it a lot more focused, instead of trying to please everyone. And that's not to say they'd have to get rid of difficulty selection entirely but severely reduce the amount of options and choices given to the player. Options are not always good.

Resident Evil 2 remake has difficulty selection, it has Normal and hardcore. Does this mean that a small amount of people might not enjoy the game because the normal mode is probably a bit too hard? Yeah, but the game is supposed to be a survival-horror action game. It makes sense that it isn't a "for all ages" family game. It's simple, games are very complex. And different games are going to work better or worse with different systems. Some games can have a simple number adjusted difficulty system that doesn't take a lot of development time to implement. Other games would need to adjust countless details of the game for every difficulty selection that you add, essentially creating another version of the game. Metal Gear Solid 2 comes to mind. That's a game with many different difficulty levels. And each level changes guard placement, changes certain mission objectives, changes how certain boss ai works. A ton of work went into that, but MGS2 is a pretty small and narrow game. It's pretty understandable why a Dark Souls game doesn't do that. Especially when it also has multiplayer modes.

And I'll also address what I consider an elephant in the room on this topic. You know cheat engine exists right? If that's too much work for you, people usually make easy mode mods for hard games 2 days after release. If you really, really want to play a hard game without learning it, you can just do that. Sure, you have to play the game on PC, and it's a little more work, but you can still do it. I think that makes a lot more sense than yelling at developers to make games they don't want to make. I like the Animal Crossing games, if I ever a Hardcore Animal Crossing or whatever, I'd look into modding before expecting Nintendo to make it.

I don't have a gaming PC.

Fair enough re your stance on difficulties in general. At least that's consistent.

I personally disagree, but at least it's a coherent position.

For me the discussion you've raised is basically about choice. Ultimately, should someone be able to play a game how they like it, even if that conflicts with the developer's intention? For me, yes they should. I think ultimately it should be their choice to do that. I *might* think otherwise if we were talking about some piece of high art and that somehow the difficulty was intrinsic to its profundity. But almost always those sort of arguments strike me as disingenuous.

Games rarely reach the status of great art, and I can't really think of any that do where that is tied to the difficulty. And, after all, why should it be? Art just isn't about revelation through physical challenge. It's fundamentally intellectual, and spiritual.
 

Sean Mirrsen

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Aye it always just circles back to this.

Nobody makes similar arguments for easier games not having harder options, which they would do if the arguments were actually valid.
Uh. I mean. I've seen people clamor for harder difficulty in Kirby games. They get shot down just as well, Kirby games aren't meant for that crowd (even though they can still be challenging in their own right).

Every game has its intended audience. It can attract an unintended audience, that can be large and/or vocal, but ultimately it does not matter. People asking for easier or harder difficulty to be made the default is the equivalent of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanbase, who went every-which-way with their ideas of how the universe of the show "should have" developed, and were inevitably disappointed with where it actually went because no matter how big that unintended fanbase, the intended direction is the primary one.

-------------
On a different tangent, I think a big part of the problem is that the people who want an easier game, are not content with being rewarded less for completing the easier game. Like true endings only being reachable if you go through the game completing all the difficult side objectives or play on the hard (or at least 'normal') difficulty, extra story bonuses for completing hard challenges, etc. It's stopped coming up in these discussions lately (or maybe I just got banned on Era and stopped reading those threads, heh), but I do remember a whole lot of hubbub over the notion of the game actually changing with difficulty, and only providing rewards appropriate to the challenge it issues. Usually having to do with accessibility.
 
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MajinSweet4

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I don't have a gaming PC.

Fair enough re your stance on difficulties in general. At least that's consistent.

I personally disagree, but at least it's a coherent position.

For me the discussion you've raised is basically about choice. Ultimately, should someone be able to play a game how they like it, even if that conflicts with the developer's intention? For me, yes they should. I think ultimately it should be their choice to do that. I *might* think otherwise if we were talking about some piece of high art and that somehow the difficulty was intrinsic to its profundity. But almost always those sort of arguments strike me as disingenuous.

Games rarely reach the status of great art, and I can't really think of any that do where that is tied to the difficulty. And, after all, why should it be? Art just isn't about revelation through physical challenge. It's fundamentally intellectual, and spiritual.
A developer also has a choice to see the game played a certain way. No different than how a director wants a certain scene in his movie experienced. And you raised a point that I think is exactly the problem. Yes, games can be powerful and yes, the act of playing a game is an important part of that. I guess we'll stick to Dark Souls because for whatever reason that game is what these topics are always about.

Dark Souls struck a chord with a lot of people and the difficulty certainly has a lot to do with that. Often times when people talk about the world, or it's characters, the difficulty was an important ingredient. People absolutely love Solaire. Seriously, look how much fan art exists for this guy. He's just an NPC. He doesn't even appear in a cut scene. Why? Because he helps you beat bosses in Dark Souls. Like, he literally helps you. That wouldn't be possible if the game had an easy mode. Because turning on an easy mode isn't actually apart of the game. It's ironically, to gamey. People bond with Solaire because he was an integral part of them overcoming Dark Souls. This is a really cool thing that only video games can do. And it find it really shitty that often times in these discussions people have the attitude of "Well, nobody really cares about games anyway, right?" Some people do actually. Let them have their fun.

And about people being bad at games, or about the ableism discussion. Those are just massive strawmen, straight up. Gaming is one of the most inclusive and accessible hobbies we have. So many games exist of all kinds, on so many diffiernt platforms, anybody can find plenty of games to play. Chasing down an individual game because it doesn't have a list of certain accessibility features is just plain weird. Inclusiveness is not about every single game being a certain way, it's about the whole. Ironically, if you start trying to demand every game meet a list of check boxes, you're going to chase people out.
 
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Clear

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Who's making the case that everything should be the same? It's a straw man.

My point is that accessibility is a good thing, and therefore games should be as accessible as possible. That's not the same as saying that everything should be the same, and it's not even the same as saying that everything should be easy.

If a developer wants their game to be challenging and sees that as an essential part of the experience, there are still ways of retaining that while catering to less skilled players. You can have optional adaptive difficulty, or you can have easier options only conditionally available as described above. These things could still retain significant challenge, but just be slightly less punishing for people with less skill or just less time.

Reread your own damn post!

You say what you're not saying, then state that the thing you actually mean to be the thing that you just said you aren't saying!

You're argument is incoherent and not only do you have no demonstrable understanding of game design, but a cavalier disregard for the amount of time and effort that goes into tuning difficulty.

I'd love to see you try and make a game, because then you'd rapidly realize the utter nonsense you're talking.
 
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Soodanim

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Nobody makes similar arguments for easier games not having harder options, which they would do if the arguments were actually valid.
I think the main difference there is that a game being too hard is a barrier for entry, but a game being too easy is a desire for more from a game that you can finish and therefore get your money's worth from the product, at which point people often just move on to another game. Spending money without doing proper research and finding it too difficult leads to complaining about it, because it's easily felt to be wasted money unless you take the time to learn how a game is designed to be played. The actual, underlying truth beneath "Git gud" for Dark Souls is that you have to play the game by its rules, not jump in like it's Devil May Cry and go wild. As I said in my earlier post, Dark Souls is balanced just fine and not being able to finish it is a user problem, not a game design problem.

The first example that comes to mind for asking for higher difficulty is Pokemon games. People have been making ROM hacks to make the games more difficult for years, because there is a following for it. Sadly only one pair of games in the series has difficulty modes - Black 2/White 2, where Easy and Challenge mode are unlocked after finishing the game once (or by being gifted the unlock through an obscure trade thing). Streets of Rage 4 is a more recent example. People wanted more from the game past Mania difficulty, so they added Mania+. That's a case of it being both asked for and delivered.
 
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FingerBang

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This is like saying "so what if you can't get your wheelchair in here, go to another restaurant, there's a McDonald's down the street".

...

Watch that and tell me that that guy should just play something else because fuck him and his need for some minor additional accommodations. These people asking for such things have faces and lives and matter as much as you do, probably even more since they're not such assholes either.
How would you make Dark Souls and co more accessible without touching the difficulty level? I don't think the comparison with restaurants is correct. It's more akin to movie/music genres.

If you can play the game, can physically use the controller, how are you not allowed the play the game? I don't get it. I'm all for options of simplified controllers, big subtitles and so on, but why are you entitled to a game that is shaped for you and not the other way around? If I don't like a movie, I don't expect the director to listen to me and sacrifice it's vision.

From my point of view, Dark Souls and co lose ALL meaning without their difficulty level. Without the challenge, those games have no reason to exist. The reason why people love them is that they're rewarding. What is left if you make it easy so that everyone can play without making any effort?
And, as many people have said, you can always summon people to help, and the game becomes ridiculously easy.

Overall, it's a pretty shitty take to dismiss accessibility as unnecessary in any aspect of life, gaming or otherwise. Maybe you just don't know many people with disabilities? Your (OP's) position smacks of the same mindset as people in gated communities calling the police on workmen or black neighbours, or able-bodied people who park in wheelchair parking spots because it's more convenient for them. Ableism is real and you can find out more about it by looking in the mirror.
Dude, what the fuck? Seriously, I get that this might affect you directly, but come on.
 

Hunnybun

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Reread your own damn post!

You say what you're not saying, then state that the thing you actually mean to be the thing that you just said you aren't saying!

You're argument is incoherent and not only do you have no demonstrable understanding of game design, but a cavalier disregard for the amount of time and effort that goes into tuning difficulty.

I'd love to see you try and make a game, because then you'd rapidly realize the utter nonsense you're talking.

I said that making everything as accessible as possible isn't the same as making everything the same. Which it isn't.

I mean, it would make things *more similar* in that one sense, but that's absolutely not the same thing as them being the same, or "anodyne" in an absolute sense.

That would imply that saying everything should be, eg, as good as possible is equivalent to saying everything should be the same. Well, yes, in that absurdly reductive sense, that's true. But it's also a worthless observation. Some kinds of sameness are clearly desirable. Nobody normal would complain about the lack of bad games compared to good games as a lack of variety.

I really don't think you're in any position to comment on my understanding of game design, and I have actually fully addressed the issue of time/effort in several different ways, none of which I think you've addressed tbh - although I could be wrong there.
 
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Clear

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I really don't think you're in any position to comment on my understanding of game design, and I have actually fully addressed the issue of time/effort in several different ways, none of which I think you've addressed tbh - although I could be wrong there.

Over 2 decades of working in game production say yes, I am in a position to comment.

BTW. your worst "tell" was citing adaptive solutions which is fundamentally missing the point because all such approaches can seek to do is to normalize to an abstract, subjective baseline. It really doesn't help at all, at best it can highlight to the player the existence of an "easy" option, which being a thing that by definition needs to pre-exist, its just work on top of more work.

Worse yet, the great risk of more fine-grain adaptivity is to flatten any skill gains made by the player. As they overcome, increasing resistance in lockstep is a decent training strategy but its not rewarding of improvement, its actively punishing and that has a psychological cost to the entertainment value.

Its kinda a messy thing to attempt because a normal part of the design process in crafting a linear experience is to escalate challenge for pacing purposes. Anticlimax is unsatisfying so you always want to build to something and a big part of keeping the player with you (the designer) on the journey is to steady drip-feed ability enhancing rewards. So placing adaptive mechanics on top of this structure tends to betray a lack of confidence in the overall pitching of the difficulty.
 

Knightime_X

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Why do you care so much? This attitude just screams 'Its not fair, I want it', it's very childish.

The souls community love the games because of the challenge they present. Why should their gaming experience be diluted because a bunch of wet wipes don't want to spend time learning how to play, or don't have the emotional maturity to have a little patience.

There is an easy mode, it's called getting good. Or if that fails, you can always summon someone.

The entitlement of some people is a joke. From Software owe you nothing.
Did the experience of Ghouls n ghost Resurrection get diluted?
It has difficulty settings ranging from piss easy to nightmare.

Now don't pull a Neo trying to matrix your way out of this bullet. 🤣
 
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Soodanim

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This is like saying "so what if you can't get your wheelchair in here, go to another restaurant, there's a McDonald's down the street".

I behooves every developer to make reasonable accommodations so that their game can be enjoyed or at least interacted with by a larger audience. It makes capitalistic business sense by increasing the potential audience for your game, more than making up for money/time spent in the development of the features. It makes moral sense as why would you feel the need to be shitty to disabled people (or just people who can't "git gud" in a reasonable time frame) when you could help them out and share your work with them through fairly minimal extra effort on your part. It makes social sense as the more diverse the people in the gaming community, the better it is for everyone. Also your company is bound to have better PR if you're seen to be accommodating and thoughtful about the needs of your consumers/audience.

Overall, it's a pretty shitty take to dismiss accessibility as unnecessary in any aspect of life, gaming or otherwise. Maybe you just don't know many people with disabilities? Your (OP's) position smacks of the same mindset as people in gated communities calling the police on workmen or black neighbours, or able-bodied people who park in wheelchair parking spots because it's more convenient for them. Ableism is real and you can find out more about it by looking in the mirror.


Watch that and tell me that that guy should just play something else because fuck him and his need for some minor additional accommodations. These people asking for such things have faces and lives and matter as much as you do, probably even more since they're not such assholes either.
What are the accommodations? Which disabilities? Which games? There's lots of emotion, but that's about it. I don't even know who you're responding to.

The general response to the business argument is that if there is limited time and resources, it's not always going to be beneficial to sacrifice something else. The likelihood is that that decision was already made, without malice, on the basis of either design vision/intent (see post #119) or market research.
 

MajinSweet4

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Did the experience of Ghouls n ghost Resurrection get diluted?
It has difficulty settings ranging from piss easy to nightmare.

Now don't pull a Neo trying to matrix your way out of this bullet. 🤣
I personally haven't played Resurrection but probably to a certain extent? And that's not nessasarily a bad thing, it depends. But like I said with my MGS2 example in a post above, a smaller more narrow game is more able to fine tune the difficulty of each setting in a precise way to make a more satisfying experience. So maybe they did a great job with it. But a bigger game with more complex options is more likely not going to want to do something like that. Again, depends on the game. Scope, budget, time and artistic vision are all factors that the developers have to weigh when they come to a decision regarding balance and difficulty. Ultimately I judge the game after I play it and determine if they made the right choice. If they screwed up or I just don't like it, I play a different game.
 

ethomaz

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That's not an answer. It's just a circular argument, 'x is good because x is good' etc.
Of course it is a answer… you just seems not to accept it.

Devs design a game for the audience they wanted… if you are out of the audience you are free to try it out of your comfort zone… maybe you will be surprised.

It is an entertainment that have the developer vision of which experience the dev wants you to have and not the opposite.

The media content doesn’t need to be created to give you the experience you want but to give you the experience the dev want.
 
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ethomaz

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No, I think this kind of thing is a distraction from the central point.

Let's assume it away. Say there's literally no cost to implementing an easy mode. Zero.

Would you then support one?
You need to ask you fist if the dev vision wants you to experience a easier mode?

BTW there is no zero cost in development of a software… a easy mode needs code, a lot of code.
 
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Hunnybun

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Over 2 decades of working in game production say yes, I am in a position to comment.

BTW. your worst "tell" was citing adaptive solutions which is fundamentally missing the point because all such approaches can seek to do is to normalize to an abstract, subjective baseline. It really doesn't help at all, at best it can highlight to the player the existence of an "easy" option, which being a thing that by definition needs to pre-exist, its just work on top of more work.

Worse yet, the great risk of more fine-grain adaptivity is to flatten any skill gains made by the player. As they overcome, increasing resistance in lockstep is a decent training strategy but its not rewarding of improvement, its actively punishing and that has a psychological cost to the entertainment value.

Its kinda a messy thing to attempt because a normal part of the design process in crafting a linear experience is to escalate challenge for pacing purposes. Anticlimax is unsatisfying so you always want to build to something and a big part of keeping the player with you (the designer) on the journey is to steady drip-feed ability enhancing rewards. So placing adaptive mechanics on top of this structure tends to betray a lack of confidence in the overall pitching of the difficulty.

Yeah but I'm not actually pushing adaptive difficulty as the major solution.

It was just another possibility thrown out there.

The main ones were an unbalanced easy mode, and a conditional easy mode, or both. The first would be easy to implement so would answer that.

If developers really really felt they don't want players experiencing a worse version of their creation, even if players really REALLY want that option, then you could have the conditional mode.

It could be a conditional mode that was easy but unbalanced - so developers could be somewhat assuaged by the fact that players would only be experiencing a suboptimal version of their creation if they'd ALREADY invested a significant amount of time in trying to play it correctly, and so very very few players who would have experienced it correctly would ever be tempted to play that way, so it'd be hard to argue that much is being lost.

Or ideally it would be an easier mode that is correctly balanced, but still conditional, if resources allowed.

And, for the sake of argument, humour me again and assume zero time cost of implementing a perfectly balanced, and conditional easy mode. So let's say in Dark Souls, a player has to invest 20 hours minimum to unlock this mode. They have to have been killed 50 times. They have to have made no permanent progress for at least the past 10 hours of play. Assume the easier mode is as perfectly balanced as the main mode, just somewhat more forgiving.

Would that still be unacceptable?
 
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ethomaz

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Yep. To me its like people going to see a horror movie and complaining that its too scary or too violent for them.

The assumption that their tastes and tolerances need to be catered to, even when it flies in the face of the stated aims of the work is simply unreasonable.

Hunnybun's response to my comprehensive dismantling of their position is a perfect example of this.
Exactly.

Imagine trying to debate that a serie/movie doesn’t do the things like you want when it is clearly the vision of what the creator wants you to experience.

It is the same for any media content and that includes games.
 
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Hunnybun

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You need to ask you fist if the dev vision wants you to experience a easier mode?

BTW there is no zero cost in development of a software… a easy mode needs code, a lot of code.

You're still just making circular arguments. I KNOW those developers don't want people to experience an easy mode - because they don't offer one!

I realise it's not some oversight.

My argument is that I don't think that's reasonable per se.
 
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Radrigal

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We still on this shit? Still??

Why not just press the "I win" button at the title screen and cut to credits right away.

Video games: where cutting out the 'game' part of the equation is considered a good idea.

Fromsoft games always take the spotlight in these """discussions""" but I imagine what it would be like if these asinine things were implemented in say, Monster Hunter. Freedom 2 on the PSP kicked my ass so hard starting out that I quit playing the game three times. But that was because I went into it assuming my knowledge of other games would be of help. It didn't. It forced me to think: "how the hell is it possible to beat this OP monster with this shitty ass weapon that bounces off half of the time?" I was timing out of quests even though it gave me 50 minutes to hunt. Was everything great? Nah, some of it was bullshit (think plesioth's big hips) but the moment you got that win made everything worth it. There difficulty was by design. Village? Those are meant to be done solo. Guild? You can solo but was better with multiplayer. They were even divided by difficulty with stars. Having trouble? Get better armor and weapons. You farm that shit son. Newer games made it more streamlined, less bullshit, less frustrating and even gave us so much more tools to enjoy. But difficulty was always there by design. Learn your weapon, learn the environment, learn the monster. I loved that. No other game let me experience that at that point. And I remember telling my friends to pick up this game and get ready to have their teeth kicked in.

Imagine Monster Hunter getting difficulty settings. How the fuck do you implement it? Monsters get more HP? You already have that by design. You get excess materials? Why the hell are you playing a grinding/farming game bruh? You have more health that damage becomes inconsequential? So why bother crafting and upgrading armors? Monsters become dumb as rocks and just stand around doing nothing? Why even play???

The point: NOT EVERY GAME IS FOR YOU DUMBASS. I want to git gud at certain games.(fighting games, RTS games) I suck at them and will likely continue to suck at them in the foreseeable future. Should these games change everything they are just for me? Fuck no. There are games that are attractive and appealing specifically because of their design of difficulty. Not every game is like that (or should be like that), but for those that are, leave them the fuck alone.
 

ethomaz

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You're still just making circular arguments. I KNOW those developers don't want people to experience an easy mode - because they don't offer one!

I realise it's not some oversight.

My argument is that I don't think that's reasonable per se.
There is nothing more reasonable than that.
You just don’t want to accept.

Using other user example… you just want that a movie’s creator to remove the horror scenes from his horror movie because you can’t watch them lol

That is how dumb your argument is to be fair.
 
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Hunnybun

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There is nothing more reasonable than that.
You just don’t want to accept.

Using other user example… you just want that a movie’s creator to remove the horror scenes from his horror movie lol

It is a pretty dumb argument to be fair.

Fuck off you cunt.

The movie analogy is invalid because films aren't interactive.
 

MajinSweet4

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You're still just making circular arguments. I KNOW those developers don't want people to experience an easy mode - because they don't offer one!

I realise it's not some oversight.

My argument is that I don't think that's reasonable per se.
??????????????

So the developers of a game shouldn't be able to make a game the way they want to? I've been trying to reasonable and put as much consideration into all my posts in this thread, but this is beyond the pale. So for example, using Dark Souls again, even if adding an easy mode is a bad financial move, and ultimately makes a worse game, they have to just because?
 
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ethomaz

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Fuck off you cunt.

The movie analogy is invalid because films aren't interactive.
We can use any other example it is the same.
It is an entertainment content.

You want a bike to not have pedals because you don’t like to make effort to walk using pedals with the bike.
In simple terms you don’t want a bike but some other product.

Same for games… you don’t want the game the dev made… you want another game.

Luckly enough there are several games that have what you want… so just find another product, game, movie that match your standards and enjoy it.

Not everything in the life is made for you… that why you have options to choose what you want… you are not forced to buy or use a product you don’t want or like.
 
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Hunnybun

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??????????????

So the developers of a game shouldn't be able to make a game the way they want to? I've been trying to reasonable and put as much consideration into all my posts in this thread, but this is beyond the pale. So for example, using Dark Souls again, even if adding an easy mode is a bad financial move, and ultimately makes a worse game, they have to just because?

I don't know what you're getting worked up about - that's just a distillation of everything I've been saying.

How COULD I think the omission of difficulty settings was automatically reasonable if I've been arguing against that over 10+ posts?

A developer should ultimately make anything they want. But personally I think a total refusal to offer any sort of concession to worse players is unnecessarily purist in this day and age.

I've suggested a couple of ways common objections to easy modes could be overcome. I think they are reasonable, good faith compromises. I suspect that any residual objection is really more about a slightly toxic elitism, or at least a weird obsession with the purity of hard games, than an actual genuine concern for creative vision.
 
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Irobot82

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sorry i didnt have time to respond anything more to half assed "git gud" argument

what i means is, i will continue to complain until devs get the message. you try hards can keep your souls and your blood bourne and feel good about how superior you are at video games (lol) but this whole culture of every new game needs to be uber hard and devs really need to rip the knob off in terms of difficulty is not welcome, and im not the only one, and were not going to just shut up and play something else
But you are playing something else. Because you suck at whatever game is too hard for you then crying on a gaming forum board because they are too hard.

I suck at
Souldbourne
FPS/TPS
Battle Royals


Whatever. I'll never get gud. I'll probably never beat a Souls game. But they're fucking cool and I love them and own them all.

I'm pretty good at CRGPs and RPGs and turn based games.
 
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