a) I think paper scissor rock is a perfectly balanced game. Every player has exactly the same options. Every option has exactly 1 advantage and 1 weakness. More importantly, players make decisions at the same time. So assuming no cheating, it is perfectly balanced.
b) In Warcraft, when playing against high-level AI, the AIs are getting double income and double experience. They are designed to make the game harder, because the AI is not so clever as human. But it is definitely an imbalanced design.
c) It is almost impossible to design a perfectly balanced asymmetrical competitive game. And the level of skill of players can vary largely. These games can only bring players a “feeling of balance”, like a approximately equal chance of winning. This result can be achieve by many ways. The most common way is mass testing. Test, get feedback, modify, test again, etc. Repeating this loop millions o times can eventually reach a state in which players get close chance of winning.
However, in many commercial games, designers leave imbalance in game intentionally. This will lead to a trend of exciting people using the advantageous strategy and a number of new strategies against the imbalanced one. Then the producer will come up with a patch or new version, with a number of ways suppressing the imbalanced strategy, but also with some ne imbalanced ones. By this mean, the producer can keep its fans exciting and constantly trying new stuff.
Cookie Jar: Agon + Alea Ludus game
It is competitive, but also depends on probability.
Frog Wrastlin: Agon Ludus game
Competitive strategy game.
Soul Fishing: Ilinx + Mimicry Ludus
Focusing on physical and imaging as fishing.
Mushroom Soccor: Ilinx Ludus
Focusing on physical play.
Monster Lava Fight: Agon + Ilinx Ludus
Competitive game focus on Physical play.
Flow is a state when one highly focus on and enjoy doing a thing, like when a guitarist playing guitar. It occurs quite often in many people. The common thing behind them can be categorized into 8 components:
1. There is a challenge, and it’s possible to be solved.
2. The person is concentrated.
3. The goal is clear so it’s easy to be concentrated.
4. There is immediate feedback.
5. The person is temporarily freed from worries and frustrations of everyday life.
6. The person has control over his action.
7. Loss of self-consciousness. But the sense of self will come back stronger afterwards.
8. Transformation of time.
Flow is important because often game also share these 8 features. People getting into the flow state is usually an evidence that the game is successful. So it is useful to address that in game design.
To create the condition of flow, a game would want to be:
1. create challenge, but solvable.
2. Let the player understand the goal easily.
3. Provide the player with feedback as they progress in game.
4. Give the player enough control.
5. Leave uncertainty.
If a game fulfills all these prerequisite, it is very possible that the player will be intrigued and get into the flow state.