Game Dev: Balancing Adventurer Guild Simulator

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been working on developing a game in my spare time: it’s tentatively titled ‘Adventurer Guild Simulator’, as it’s about running an adventurer guild in a fantasy setting (think Dungeons and Dragons). In the game you’ll be hiring adventurers to go on quests to raise the reputation of the guild and to thwart the plans of villains within the area. Adventurers will be fighting monsters, solving the secrets of locations, gaining experience and collecting riches on your behalf. The game is being developed in Unity, which I can highly recommend to any budding game developers!

In an effort to research game development tips and tricks I’ve been devouring the Game Developer Conference (GDC) videos on Youtube. These are lectures and seminars held by leading game developers within the international game dev community, which are full of interesting anecdotes and lessons to be learnt from their past tribulations. One that left an impression was about balancing a game using statistics and Excel, right up my alley! It was run by Ian Schreiber, presenting the summary of his college-level course on game balance.

While I’ve been mainly using dummy figures for the game as of yet, I’ve taken my first steps into balancing some aspects of the game. This is a work-in-progress, so these figures won’t be set in stone, but for now here’s my attempts at balancing the levelling curve of adventurers within the game, using the average number of encounters per quest (mission) to drive how I want the game to be balanced. As the highest duration an adventurer can be temporarily hired for will be 6 days within the game, I wanted them to level up around once if they were hired with the max duration. With this in mind, I’ve tried to get to an average of around 5-6 missions per level up, where the adventurer is on a mission that is level appropriate (i.e. matches their level).

The experience points (XP) required to level were worked out as follows:


So, broken down it’s 300 as a base, plus 150 * (Adventurer’s level)x, rounded to the nearest multiple of 150. If the level is below 10 the exponent is increased by 0.05 (this was done to try and smooth the levels below 10 to closer to 5 missions per level up for x = 1.6 and x = 1.5).

The average number of missions required to level up was worked out with these formulae:

Average Number of Encounters per Mission:
= 35% (the chance of an enemy encounter) * 7 (the number of times during a mission an event occurs)

XP gained from a monster at X level:

So it’s (Monster Level)1.2 * 35 as a base rounded to the nearest multiple of 35.

Finally, average number of missions to level up:
=XP required for next level / (XP gain from a monster of level X * Average number of encounters per mission)

To make it easier to interpret, I used the following graphs as I moulded the formulae above to fit the requirements. The XP required per level that stays closest to 5 is a choice between XP required(Power 1.6) and (Power 1.5), and as Power 1.6 stays closer to 5 below level 10, I think I’m going to use that as my calculation for now!


Number of Encounters Per LevelXP Requirement Curves