Crash Bandicoot video game trilogy, one of the items for the Post's annual gift guide, on October, 13, 2017 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Gaming - News
Games You Didn't Know Featured Dynamic Difficulty
Crash Bandicoot 2
In a blog post about the “Crash Bandicoot” sequels, programmer Andy Gavin wrote, "Our mantra became to help weaker players without changing the game for better players. We called all this DDA, Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment.” The game adjusted difficulty elements by counting areas where players would often fail, then bending the odds in their favor.
Resident Evil
“Resident Evil 4” never informs players that things have gotten easier or harder. Endgadget wrote that enemies deal more damage and act more aggressively if a player is having too easy of a time with the game, and the game limits ammo drops for the player's preferred weapon so that they’ll have to vary their approach as the game goes on.
Left 4 Dead
“Left 4 Dead” developer Valve created a new AI called the "Director.” It decides when to throw a zombie horde at the players and what types of specials to mix in; it will always spawn zombies out of the players' view, and weapons and health packs have set locations where they may or may not appear depending on how players are faring.
Mario Kart
“Mario Kart’s” Rubber Band AI causes computer-controlled racers to slow down and hit more obstacles if the player is struggling. On the opposite end, if the player is doing extremely well, the AI will give the CPU racers a bit of a speed boost, making it so they are always at least threatening to get back in the race.
Madden NFL 09
The Madden IQ feature in “Madden NFL 09” would run players through a series of drills: catching passes, covering receivers, and punching through the offensive line. Based on how well or poorly they did, the game would adjust difficulty sliders in order to optimize their experience and match the AI to their skill level.