my take on video game difficulty is that bloodborne would have been a thousand times better with a rocket launcher. scientifically speaking
ok here's some real takes

"difficulty" on its own is boring to talk about and has a lot of elitism baggage attached. it's easy to make things difficult. look at mario maker; the bulk of levels by novices are either difficult or sparse
what you probably want is challenge, which is much more subtle and comes in a lot of forms. a lot of puzzle games, for example, try to teach you things as they go and tease out new ideas from you. (baba is excellent at this)
but puzzle games tend to be linear, which causes a problem: if a player can't solve a single puzzle, that's it, they'll never see the rest of the game. that kind of sucks, both for the player and for the designer
for puzzles, a willing player can go google the solution and get past the roadblock, which i guess saves you from having to solve this within the design

but for twitchy games, that doesn't really work. odds are the player might know how to do it, they just can't execute
and, idk, that sucks? you can say the game is just meant to be like that, but it's really weird to shrug and go "well some people just can't see the rest of the story then", imo
one of the great things about doom (and other heavily-modded old games whose engines are now maintained by fans) is that it is rife with cheat codes. gzdoom has a console and you can do whatever the hell you want. kill all monsters, stop time, fly, whatever
you get stuck in a doom map, or it breaks, or it's just actively unfair? no problem, cheat your way past it. don't wanna cheat? you can savescum, it's part of the game. who fucking cares. play what you want and skip what you don't
when we fled our home two summers ago, we were offline for some time, and i ended up playing (most of) bloodborne because i had nothing else to do really

it was fun but... man i have really mixed feelings about the difficulty
because every. single. boss fight. would just be a wall and that's what i'd be stuck doing for hours or days

the boss fights weren't practice for the basic mechanics, either; one big annoyance is that all the animations are big and elaborate and the hit timing is unclear
so it felt like i just had to throw myself at the same bosses over and over, trying to figure out when to use my sloppy dodge roll against their sloppy attacks, and once i beat them, absolutely zero of that knowledge was ever useful again
is that difficulty? it was mostly just boring. it felt like the game was wasting my time. it didn't have enough to offer, so it was stalling. there are levels, so you can grind a bit, but especially in the early game that's just am unreasonable slog
i was definitely pretty bad at it at first, but i didn't mind redoing central yharnam a number of times, because at least i could try different approaches. but boss fights are you in a rectangle with one other thing
the game also has all these weird little tricks like bosses being weak to certain damage types? which nothing ever tells you, and which seem really hard to discover by experimentation? is that difficulty? it seems more like a quirky rpg where the numbers are too high
also why doesn't the game have a map. there's something that really feels weird against the backdrop of being praised as a Hard Game. the world is one big giant maze of similar-looking architecture and there's no map. that's the easy form of difficulty at its purest
i don't know, would bloodborne be worse if you could play it with reduced enemy health or something? i don't see how? you'd still have to do all the same things, you just wouldn't have to throe yourself into the meat grinder
i also tried a dark souls — might've been 3, not sure — and i just could not get into it. even more of a slog, with less interesting combat, so grinding is much worse

is there an interesting world or story in there somewhere? i have no idea, they don't want me to see it
hm i run into this with designing secrets, too. i love secrets, i love finding secrets, and i love seeing people go aha when they find secrets i hid

i want as many people as possible to do that. but the more accessible a secret is, the less hidden it is, and the weaker the aha
You can follow @eevee.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: