**Shoe House Goblin Devlog #3** – Difficulty

Yeah. Probably picked the wrong time to start a devlog. The last entry was almost two weeks ago. Since then I have been too busy with my job. I was supposed finish the game in a couple of weeks but that doesn’t seem likely. But I think actual number of days I work on this game will eventually approach close to two weeks. That’s all that matters. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Anyway let’s talk about the current state of the game.

I have added some basic graphics and controls to the game so far. When the game starts, a bunch of boxes with random labels are generated and spawned at the bottom (stacked on top of each other, so you can only see the top label). You can drag and drop these boxes to the gray rectangles at the top (shelves?). At which point the label is hidden.

What this does is let the user see each label in turn as they arrange the boxes into those slots or ‘shelves’. Then the labels are hidden and you better hope you remember where each one is. I’m close to finishing the basic game loop where you’ll receive orders, and you can pick the right box and drop it into the black rectangle to deliver them.

However at this point I’m having some doubts about the difficulty of the game so let’s talk about that.

The fun is the balance between a too easy and a too difficult game. And the difficulty of this game comes from having to remember where you are placing each label. Now looking at the above game, there are four letters in each label, and possibly a great variety between these labels. I feel it will be too hard for any average person to remember these labels. My own head swims just looking at them. So maybe, at least in the starting levels, the labels should only consist of single or two letters.

Then there is the issue of variety. Letters are easier to remember but numbers and symbols add to the difficulty of remembering each label. Essentially I want to ease the player in and gradually increase the difficulty. So maybe I’ll start with something even simpler then letters: Some distinct, basic shapes. Like squares and triangles and such.

I do have a whole bunch of ideas about ramping the difficulty real high but I’ll discuss those some other times. Next I want to finish the game loop and see if I can make a working level.