This is one topic that has divided gamers for some time. Does Scripting in video games exist or not? A lot of people still do not believe that it exists while some others swear that it does. What is scripting in video games? Does it actually exist?
What is Scripting in video games?
Scripting can be defined as when the outcome of a game is predetermined and cannot be changed no matter what the players do. If one is playing a game that is scripted, and the game has billed the person to win, no matter how badly the person plays, they are going to win. If the game has billed the individual to lose, no matter how well they play, they are going to lose.
Why does Scripting exist?
Whether you agree or not, scripting in video games is a thing now. It is real. Companies may not admit it but they actually need scripting. The question now is “why”?
First off, they need to ATTRACT and KEEP NEW PLAYERS. If the skill gap between new and old players is too wide, the new players might lose a lot of games. Losing multiple games does have a bad effect on a player’s psyche and could cause new players to dump the game entirely. In order to avoid this, these companies write scripts into the game to help new players “win” and form a psychological attachment to the game.
Secondly, they need to KEEP OLDER PLAYERS HAPPY. If older players hit a rough patch of form and start losing a lot of games. Such players may get angry and call it quits. To avoid this, the script intervenes and helps these players win and halt such bad form. This would lift the spirits of the players and encourage them to keep playing.
Thirdly, it is to keep the game from being too easy. The human psyche is always looking for a challenge and tends to get bored or lose interest if the endeavour/game is too easy. One of the reasons why I quit Dream League in 2019 was that it was just too easy. I was beating the AI 12-0 every game. To avoid this, if a player get a very good run of form, winning a lot of games along the way, the script will intervene and cause him/her to lose a few games. This would cause the player to want to try harder and get more interested in the game.
Scripting helps to make the game “equal” in a way.
How does Scripting work in football games (PES/FIFA)
One of the ways that scripting works is that it increases an opponent abilities regardless of the types of players they are using, while it weakens your own players or vice versa. This would cause one side to coast through the game easily whilst the other side is struggling.
This lopsided handicapping can last the entire game but this is not alway true. Sometimes the script could favour player one in the first half and then favour player two in the second half. There is also something known as a kickoff boost, when the player kicking off is presented easy scoring opportunities.
There is also the momentum system or Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment where the game gets progressively harder as you keep winning. The more you win, the harder it gets. This would continue till the game forces the player to lose. The system only resets after the player loses and picks up again.
Why is Scripting in Video games bad?
Video games, especially when competitive or sporting, is supposed to be fair. Scripting is not fair competition.
Scripting makes a nonsense of the skill gap. Imagine practicing and playing a game just to be good at it only to be beaten unfairly by a novice? You attack an opponent from the start of the game to the end but their silver ball goalkeeper is Prime Oliver Kahn or worse, Lev Yashin. They get one corner and your keeper throws it into his own net and he wins.
The goalkeeper saved all 7 of my shots with the last one hitting the post
Your players misplace every single pass. The strikers fall over when presented with an open goal, play shots straight at the keeper or jus inexplicably miss. Your players are so damn slow and refuse tackle and your keeper might as well not have even bothered to turn up.
Sometimes you just go into games hoping that the odds are in your favour.
Scripting also makes the player system worthless. What is the point of spending millions of in-game currency, buying players like Mbappe, Messi, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rashford, Neymar etc. only to lose against a silver ball team?
This system of scripting tends to confuse players as players no longer know their true levels of performance or ability. Sometimes, there are matches that you ought to win based on the skill gap or your match performance. Yet you would lose those matches and then win the ones that you have no right to win. There are games where I have come away with a bad feeling that I did not deserve to lose or could not celebrate victories that felt hollow because I did not deserve to win.
Is Scripting ever going away?
The answer to this question is no. Why?
The companies love it. This way they can attract new players and keep them happy without losing their older players. This helps them to increase their fan/player base and thus increase their potential revenue.
Players also love scripting too without knowing it. The gaming community is ultra-competitive and most players think that they are very good. Everyone has been favoured by the script at one point or the other. To admit that there is scripting, means an admission that some of them are not as good as they think they are. This is especially true for new gamers. Many will fight the idea that they were probably given a leg up by the system.
If the gaming community cannot stand together and call for an end to scripting, it is going to be here for a very long time.
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