Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Getting blown into traffic is never fun.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Automatic Game Difficulty Level Generator

fair games
  (+4, -5)
(+4, -5)
  [vote for,

I've been sitting in my living room, playing Major League Baseball 2K5 on the hardest mode. While beating the Yankees 7-3 (with the Blue Jays) on the hardest game mode, I realized that what games these days need is an automatic difficulty level generator. Based on how you are doing, it can increase or decrease game levels by a couple points. Let's say that you beat the Yankees three times, 5-0, 8-0, and 6-1, with the Devil Rays. If this was because you were hitting lots of home runs off of mistake pitches and striking out 15+ batters a game, but your defense needed work (you'd have three or four errors almost every game), the game could increase the difficulty level of hitting home runs, getting mistake pitches thrown to you, and throwing pitches over the plate, while decreasing the fielding errors.

This would be extremely helpful, not only in sports games, but other games. Here are some examples:

Flight Simulator: Are landings too tough? If the game detects that you crash during a descent too often, the difficulty for landing would decrease. Making perfect takeoffs in an average thunderstorm? The game could greatly increase the wind speed and realism settings.

Dance Dance Revolution: For every AA/AAA you get, the game could tighten the timing windows just a smidgen, until you were at a comfortable skill level.

First Person Shooters: If you are dominating everyone else, the game could decrease your ammo (requiring you to pause and reload more), decrease the chances of finding ammo/weapons/armor/etc., increase the speed it takes to deplete your health, and decrease your rapid fire rate.

Rollercoaster Tycoon: Beating scenarios with room to spare? The game could increase guest generation difficulty, rating increasion (is that a word?) difficulty, and slow down the research rate.

Also, if you're a cheater, you can always turn off the automatic game difficulty level generator.

Nemmy, Sep 11 2005


       I take it u've never played Unreal Tournament then? It assesses ur frags (probably the frag/death ratio) and changes the difficulty level accordingly if u select the option for it. I don't know if it does it during play but it definitely changes from map to map.
squigbobble, Sep 12 2005

       Doesn't this just mean that every game against the computer will get to a level where you 'just' win or lose. No fun.   

       Standard difficulty levels are fine. Unless you can turn this off and not be labeled a cheater it is too arbitrary.
Germanicus, Sep 12 2005

       I just like to switch to god mode.
zeno, Sep 12 2005

       On an almost entirely unrelated note, 2k5 means 2.5 thousand, not 2005.
calum, Sep 12 2005

       That's the name of the game. I'm just quoting off of the box.   

       No, I'm not into MMORPG's/whatever Unreal is. I don't even know what the main goal of the game is. *shrugs*
Nemmy, Sep 12 2005

       Ha ha. Unreal tournament. What a funny game. With all the death and... Death. Yeah i like this idea. I think the game could have a regular difficulty thing, then this as an option.
Chickenbreadthe1st, Sep 13 2005

       There are four problems with this.   

       1) It's very baked. And not usually appreciated.   

       2) Making it work correctly is difficult. For example you spend a while taking out enemies with a sniper rifle and not getting hit at all, then find you are up against supermen when you can't snipe. Or you easily beat a few levels you know then die when you reach the levels you don't know.   

       3) It undermines efforts to get better at the game and instead rewards learning how to manipulate the system.   

       4) People have different opinions about difficulty, even after adjusting for differences in skill. Some people like a walk in the park, others like a challenge. This preference cannot be determined from game play, you have to ask the player. But if they have to set a difficulty level, why not make them real difficulty levels?   

       For any game with an auto difficulty system you can have a difficulty slider instead that requires only slightly more work from the player but gives so much more control. And saves work for the dev team.   

       Do a search for "rubber band AI".
Bad Jim, Sep 07 2008

       Do a search for "flow in games." This idea is baked and was the central theme of a grad student's thesis before this was posted.
haruspex, Sep 08 2008

       Rather than setting the game difficulty based on how successful the player is, how about setting difficulty based on how much mental exertion the player is experiencing?   

       Last night, I watched the TV show "PopSci's Future Of," specifically the "Combat" episode. One of the inventions was a device that could strap onto the user's forehead, and detect how mentally stressed the user was.   

       This would be the perfect means to decide how to adjust the game's level: If you're playing a very relaxed game, the difficulty increases until you're moderately stressed out. If you're exerting yourself to your fullest, the game dials down the difficulty.   

       This would allow, for example, a flight simulator game to make your landing less difficult *before* you crashed, simply by detecting that you are mentally experiencing information overload.
goldbb, Sep 08 2009

       "a bus crash wipes out the visiting team, you win"
FlyingToaster, Sep 08 2009


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle