Self-Skill-Balancing With our New Handicap Feature

Hello internet! This week we wanted to introduce to you our new handicap feature, which will be coming out in the next release. A handicap is a game balancing feature that some games implement to allow certain players to score more points, take more damage, or somehow align themselves when playing against players of a vastly different skill level.

In our game, we've run into some issues where players will feel mismatched, and the game doesn't do anything to help that. This is a common problem in competitive games, like Smash Bros (from where the screenshot above is taken). The answer in Smash Bros (a cartoony fighting game) is to give players a percentage which increases the damage that they take, and thus makes it harder for them to win. In our case, we've decided to do a similar thing, but where players have a score multiplier that reduces their score by a percentage:

Of course, players can't add some amount of points to their score, because that would end up with a race to increase the handicap and would lead to a stalemate. Here we count on the players themselves to realize that they're much better, and use the handicap to even things out. This will be easy to do from the Treehouse lobby, and should be simple enough to agree on when playing locally.

We're not entirely sure how the handicap will be used online, and if players will realize that they're better and / or be willing to reduce their score to make a more fun match, but we'll find out soon enough! This feature and a whole bunch of other stuff will be coming in our next major update :)