Battle Encounters - How many is too many ?

Black Pagan

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I'm working on a Mini Game which uses Multiple 23 X 20 Maps. The Main Objective of the game would be for the Lone Hero to fight through "x" Floors of the Dungeon to reach the Top where the Game ends after a Boss Battle. The Story and Planning are all in very early Concept Phase. However, since this was the time to plan my Encounter Troops, I had a question. How many encounters is too many for such a Game ? I want the Player to experience Puzzle Solving, Main Story and Battle elements simultaneously.

The Game only lets you play as a Single Hero so you wouldn't normally face more than 3 Enemies in a Battle Troop. The Maps are averagely cluttered with Terrain Objects so it would take a minimum of 2 Minutes to navigate through each map for a First time Player (Note that the Player cannot dash). Most of these maps also have some kind of a Puzzle element in them like "Find a Key", "Toggle a Draw-bridge", "Find another Exit" etc. Also, Some maps limit Player's vision to quarter of the Screen.

What would be your idea of an "Ideal" Encounter Rate for each Floor in such a Game according to you ? I was thinking of not making it too cluttered and maybe around 1 ~ 3 Encounters per Floor. Would that feel like too many or too little if you were to play the game ? Let me know your opinion.
 

Andar

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The question should be phrased slightly different:

How many percent of the playtime (or minutes per hour) do you want to be occupied by battles?
If a battle takes only a few turns/minutes to complete it is different than long boss-battles that last half an hour.

It also depends on what you want the focus of the game to be - some players are interested in fights (especially if those fights are more than just button-bashing) while others are interested in puzzles and consider a single fight too much.

And the last question would be if the battles are evented (no more battles after each event is defeated) or random (one battle per X steps).

That said, with 23x20 tile maps three battle events should be the maximum unless you place the enemies in a way that avoiding them is part of the puzzles.
 

TheoAllen

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The question should be phrased slightly different:

How many steps on average before the player gets into the encounter? No matter how quick or long the battle is. Steps mean the player is actually moving through your map, seeing the scene, and solving puzzles. Then after they walked a lot, it is expected to have another encounter.

Also, 20x23 is a small map and personally I find 2 encounters should be the maximum. And since every game is different, you should actually focus on actually create a game and guessing the best choice on your own then throw a test to some testers and see if they find it too often or too less encounter.
 

Shaz

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What is the purpose of the battles? If they're only there because dungeons must have enemies then I would limit it to one or two per map - probably only one on such a small map.
 

Black Pagan

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The Game is mostly Puzzle Solving (Nothing fancy just quick Puzzles) and Combat based. Combat plays a major role in the Game, In-fact it makes the Character stronger each Floor, Think of something resembling a typical "Dungeons and Dragons" game.

I am trying to find a minimal setting for such a game, I don't want to over-do the Encounter rate to the point where Player gets annoyed of the Frequent Encounters. At the same time, I don't want it to feel like its just a Puzzle solving game. That's the reason I asked this question.

I was also thinking about slowly increasing the Encounter Rate according to Odd numbers every Third Floor. Even if I have like 10 Floors (An Initial Idea, Might add more Floors later), The Number of Encounters is going to go up pretty fast on top Floors. So I was looking for a way to find a Middle ground. Something that keeps the Player busy but still doesn't feel like a Grind. Just wanted to hear your thoughts about whats the best way to plan Encounter Rate in such a Scenario.
 

Shaz

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Are you using random encounters or events? Maybe you could give the player the choice, via a menu option - if they want to play the game for the puzzle aspect, let them opt for fewer encounters; if they like to grind, let them opt for more.

You might then need to cater for fewer, or more battles, which may make the player too weak or too strong when they reach the final boss. You could give them more or less EXP to compensate, or make the boss weaker or stronger. This might be able to be done via troop events that check what option the player chose (in a variable), then adjusts enemy stats accordingly, or get a plugin to do something similar.

Or if they don't want as many battles, you could add some extra loot that will give items that will make some of the battles a bit easier for them to win - so same number, but can get through some of them a bit faster, and still level up the same way.
 

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