Game Development Reference
the art lead is on vacation for the week. Faster turning animations might
solve the problem, but you're running a critical failure risk of introducing
other balance problems elsewhere. And there's a chance that animation
changes won't even fully solve the original degenerate strategy—but you
can't know until you test.
Another option is to remove the Elixir of Speed. This simple solution
is complicated by the fact that the Elixir was pitched to journalists at a
trade show, so there are a decent number of fans waiting for it. It also
plays a minor role in the tie-in topics, and you're not sure whether McRae
is willing to remove it—he hasn't always been open to making narrative
changes in response to balance concerns in the past. There is also a minor
gameplay sequence based on the Elixir, and it is used as a reward for a
separate quest. The designer of that quest is a friend of yours and is willing
to cut the sequence to help you out, but the quest would still need a new
reward. The Elixir could be replaced with gold, but this might throw off
the economy balance by giving players too much gold.
Another option is to do nothing. The game is a single-player action
RPG, not a multiplayer competitive game, so it need not be perfectly bal-
anced to a stratospheric skill ceiling. Even if the Walrog can be beaten
degenerately, the game won't be completely destroyed. Ordinarily, doing
nothing would be an attractive option. However, McRae is horrified at the
test results of people laughing during his most intense scenes. Selling the
do-nothing solution would be a political challenge.
You could also do nothing for now, and spend some time on analysis,
trying to come up with more options. Have a brainstorming meeting, do
research, write ideas on cue cards and mix them up, or just work on some-
thing else and wait for unconscious rumination to catch up.
This complex situation involves almost every process effect that a deci-
sion can have.
Various solutions have different design effects in how they affect various
in-game balances and economies.
They have different implementation costs : new animations are costly;
removing the Elixir is cheap.
Immaturity burdens imposed by the game's un-tunable animation
system are denying you much-needed knowledge about the effects
a turn speed change on the Walrog would have, which means that
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