William – Critical Play: Competitive Analysis

Since the game we’re modding is The Floor is Lava, what better competitor to review than a video game version of The Floor is Lava!

The most popular version I could find is here, with 1.7 billion plays on Roblox. The game occurs in rounds. The player’s goal is to survive the lava in as many rounds as possible.

The most pressing problem I’ve observed for this game is that the game is easily solvable (i.e. look around to find the tallest spot on the map, go there). From one of our previous readings, we know that one of the ways for a game to be interesting is to make it not-easily-solvable, whether that’s through social dynamics, physics, or hard unsolved math problems. This game (and pretty much every other Roblox game) are social games, so a change I would like to see is to better take advantage of the social aspect for survival. Currently, you can climb on top of someone to gain a height advantage, but the person underneath can easily move and you would fall back down. Perhaps a way to make the game more interesting is to make it adversarial, where you can push other people into the lava, and you are trying to be the last player standing. Even just changing the game’s goal from surviving the lava into being the last player standing could probably achieve a lot within the current physics system, since there are usually many winners each round, as everyone is able to find the global optimum point to stand. This would also add challenge as a type of fun to the game.

In our version of The Floor is Lava, we’re planning on doing a team versus team game, so the adversarial nature should be present in a way that also hopefully shouldn’t result in injuries (since rather than pushing other players into the lava, you’re pushing teammates across the lava).

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