Gemcraft Labyrinth is a tower defense game that features player-controlled difficulty settings that can be manipulated on several axes. Whether it’s types of enemies, their numbers, level-length or even speed at which the waves come, the game puts the player in command of a lot. The game also scales the rewards of the chosen difficulty significantly through highly-developed achievement and level-up systems.
The question is, what does a robust elective difficulty system mean for our definition of rulesets and possibility spaces? We also might want to consider whether the features of Gemcraft games might suggest that we’re going to see new and meaningful ways that games can use elective difficulty and meaningful achievements, and what that might mean.
The game is free and can be found at http://gameinabottle.com.
We’ll meet this Thursday at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT; voice chat will be over Skype.