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Codename Entertainment
Challenge Monkey

277 Posts
Link to post - Posted May 30th 2013 at 7:33 PM
Bill Beard
I love the Challenge Monkey, it's sort of like the Quests in BW2 & EB2, but a few tweaks I would suggest to make it more playable:

1) Don't make the challenges appear at random - many days I haven't gotten one until I've burned through all my banana-granted hammers. Maybe have Challenge Eggs appear every few hours on the Challenge Monkey pane to be whacked.

2) Allow challenges to be done across Monkeys - if I've just started a monkey and get a challenge to, say, "Break 769 eggs," it may be mathematically impossible to do without buying permanent hammers, but would be easily done if I went to a more complete/completed Monkey. And for the Monkey Bucks cost I'd need, I could just as easily buy 3-6 prizes outright.

3) If it's not viable to make the challenges cross monkeys, then at least make them scale-able - if a monkey can generate a total of 1400 hammers on 2 eggs, don't give a challenge that may take upwards of 2500 hammers to achieve.

4) Extend the challenge length / save progress. Allow challenge progress to carry forward to the next time you get a challenge egg, but do so at a decrease of the rewards (like a 3 token challenge awards 1 less for each extension you need.)

885 Posts
Link to post - Posted June 1st 2013 at 12:07 PM
Last Edited June 1st 2013 at 12:09 PM
David Whittaker (CNE Dev)
Hi Bill,

Thanks for the feedback.

I notice all of your suggestions would make the challenge monkey less challenging :(

1) Odds of a challenge egg appearing are about 1 in 300, and the average player breaks between 300 and 1000 eggs a day. So it could show on your first egg of the day, or with some bad luck it could not show at all on a given day. This makes the occurrence of a challenge egg more exciting. I am not sure they would be as exciting if they occurred like clockwork.

2) The challenge difficulties are random within a set min and max for a given challenge. Some are very easy, and others quite hard as you noted. Being able to switch to a different monkey would make a lot of them very easy and they are not intended to be easy, they are challenges after all. In regards to the Monkey Buck cost I do appreciate that the prizes are 10 MB each if you just want to buy them (less fun in my opinion) and that 2000 hammers is 60 MB which could instead buy you 6 prizes. I have always thought of buying hammers as buying additional play time and if you buy to complete a challenge you get the play time also, as well as make progress on the monkey you are working on which you wouldn't get if you jumped back to an earlier more complete monkey.

3) Scaling the challenges to the current level is something we did look into. The thing to remember is that there are numerous other ways to get hammers and stars other than just the bananas. Many players build up a large stash of tokens, and crates, as well as you win stars while playing that need to be considered in what is possible or not for a given challenge. So it is difficult to balance for any given player. Ultimately we decided we would keep them random from easy to hard and see how the players reacted to them - a strong dislike reaction would mean we needed to focus them in more. But so far it doesn't seem that it is causing too much of an issue - you can always not accept a challenge or just let it expire. After all they are bonus content and don't effect your current stage.

4) The challenge rewards are tied to the challenge length - 1 hours are rare, 6 hours are 3 token, and 12 hours are 1 token. Carrying them forward would negate the time limit, and I am not sure what we would do with the 1 token challenges in your suggestion as they couldn't be reduced past 1.

Anyway sorry to rain on your suggestions, but we designed the challenges to be random, exciting, and challenging to complete.

-David
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