Question about Game Speed and Balance

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Rissq 101 Mar 15, 2013 at 06:39

Hey, I have a question that’s been driving me crazy.

I want to know if increasing the pace of the game will reduce the overall balance of the game. “Increasing the pace” can refer to the pace at which a timer progresses, movement speed, the speed at which something dies, etc.

The reason I’m asking is because this is in reference to a PvP oriented turn based game where each player has an equal number of pieces. Chess might be the closest example to this game. Of those of us designing the game; some of us are under the impression that if you increase the rate at which pieces disappear from the board then the game becomes less balanced, while others disagree. There are some of us who find that an increased speed creates a less balanced game because the longer the pieces remain on the board the more strategic options are available to the player, especially since the speed increase prevents players from attempting to “save” their pieces from being removed; it’s also argued that more types of game pieces benefit from a slower pace. While the others argue that if both pieces are removed at an equal rate then that’s technically “balanced”, they also argue that increasing the speed of the game creates an “equal yet different” strategic game.

Any thoughts? It doesn’t have to be specific to my game. Does increasing the pace of your game inherently reduce the PvP balance of a game?

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fireside 141 Mar 15, 2013 at 13:38

Your arguments against seem to be more about game depth than balance. I’m almost always for more game depth if it doesn’t make the game too complicated in the way of controls. I think that’s one of the problems with indie development, you really need play testers to find out what a majority of players like.
As a general rule, I think increasing speed causes less strategy. You don’t have the time to think over all the options, but most people like the natural fluidity of non turn based games even still. If it’s already turn based, then I would think the added strategy elements would be worth keeping.