8.8. Designing DifficultyΒΆ

When done right, we design a game to be challenging enough to engage the player without being so hard they give up. We are trying to stay in that “flow” channel and not veer into boredom or frustration. This is a delicate balancing act with no easy recipe for success. But Extra Credits does provide two good guidelines for designers to consider when flirting with the boundaries of the flow channel:

When shooting for difficult, make sure you are providing challenging play, not punishing play:

At the other end, when introducing a player to the game, or to a new skill, avoid the temptation to just make the game play easy - that is not fun. What you really want is accessible game play:

Materials on this page adapted from:
Game Design Concepts by Ian Schreiber (CC BY-NC 3.0)