Today I want to talk about the Driver’s Points system in Mario Kart 8 (MK8) cups. Grand Pix Mode is a style of racing within the game. It consists of 4 races and according to the finishing places of each race the driver earns points. In MK8 the points are distributed as follows:
As you can see from the picture the distribution follows a straight pattern up until 1st and 2nd place where 4 and 1 extra points are awarded respectively. This game mechanic is a brilliant in keeping all the players engaged until the las minute of the championship. Why? you may ask, well the answer is pretty simple, it relies on the fact that all player get at least one driver point.
First off the last place always gets at least one point fulfilling even the last player’s sense of achievement. Rewarding the player for just completing the race leaves the player wanting more rewards as little as it might be. But that’s the obvious part let’s go ahead and analyze the rest of this score system.
To make a game so that the difference in points from one spot on the table to the next is just one point serves for two main purposes. First off the game does not seem daunting when a small number shows up so the casual player can feel comfortable around a grading system. Secondly it creates an easy path for the player to set his own goals. Believe it or not some players do not compete for the gold when racing in MK8 but rather try to beat the NPC right on top in the ladder. Phrases like “one more point and he’s mine” or “I’m going to end in a better position than that NPC” are often one’s used by players and work as in game goals that the payers can set on themselves.
If going one point at the time makes the game more friendly to players and helps them minimize the challenge of being in a bad spot why is it that the first two places have a bigger gap than the rest? Well the answer is easy, it works as as promise to the player something among these lines: if you race better than the rest you can catch up and even beat the players that are out of your league. This hope is what keeps the racer clenching his teeth until the very end. The difference between 1st and 2nd works with the same logic, imagine a tight racing game where you and another character have been fighting head to head for the entire Prix and in the last race the other character has 37 points and you have 35 that final lap is going to be crucial whoever gets in first is going to be the definite champion a 2nd and 3rd place won’t cut it since it would leave the two in a tie. That’s the reason 1st place is different it’s design to make the game competitive to the fullest and give hope even to those in 4th place, remember nothing says race as uncertainty because if we knew the final standings the game wouldn’t be fun anymore.