Skip to Content

Difficult Design Aspects

35 replies [Last post]
Lor
Lor's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Difficult Design Aspects

Infernal wrote:
If you stole a cookie from the cooky jar ("Presence of Reward") and you didn't get caught ("Absence of Punishment").

...(edit)...

This schema is a way to help break down the results of a player's actions.

It's also a GREAT way to refine these consequences. I can immediately suggest:

If you are ALLOWED a potential cookie from the cookie jar ("Presence of Reward"). This is a favorable condition, not an action.

If you STEAL a cookie and don't get caught ("Absence of Punishment"). This is a player action with a favorable consequence.

If you are NOT ALLOWED a potential cookie (Absence of Reward). This is an unfavorable condition, not an action.

If you STEAL a cookie, get caught and whipped (Presence of Punishment.) This is a player action with an unfavorable consequence.

That tighter? So you might actually be able to play an ALLOWED COOKIE Condition: Reward card against a STEAL BUT WHIPPED Action: Punishment card to cancel it out.

A variation of Get Out of Jail but using Infernal's grid it can be dramatically enhanced.This kind of schema can definitely be represented in binary. (But, I quickly add, i am not a programmer and I don't play one on the web! But boy that early fun with HyperTalk sure pays off these days. On mouseup!:-)

I guess I'd want to see conditions and actions separated and then given a value of reward or punishment for easier handling.

Infernal wrote:
For example:
In magic I can have a card that says: "Gain 4 life" this is a presence of reward for me, but is it an absence of punishment for the other player.

Is MTG really that baldfaced? That's about as subtle as a train wreck. That is certainly magic. Don't you earn these things anymore? It's just dealt to you? ZZZ

Okay, applying Infernal's grid:

GAIN 4 LIVES card drawn.
Impact On ME - condition: reward
Impact On OTHER - condition: punishment

IMHO, you can't say it's an absence of punishment on others because your new condition will suddenly modify other players' behaviors and plans, now that they know you're annoyingly invincible for 4 cycles. That is a punishing condition they can't welcome too fondly.

Infernal"If however I had a card that says: "Deal X damage to target player and gain X life" then this is a reward for me and a punishment for the other player.[/quote wrote:

Here's my take:

DEAL X DAMAGE, GAIN X LIFE card drawn.
Impact On ME: action: reward
Impact On OTHER: condition: punishment

Here you can't clal the impact on the victim an "action"-- the action is yours. The resulting condition is his.

Geez, I could make money doing this. LOL

Infernal wrote:
With the needs and wants I have seen it as a player "Wants" to win, and to do so "Needs" to perform certain actions.

From my point of view as a designer, just the opposite. Need to win, want to perform, need tools, want to get them.

Infernal wrote:

The other "Needs" I was talking about probably should have been "Drives" or "Desires" rather than "Needs" as it was in the context of the psychology of why someone plays a particular game.

Don't forget Complexes and Syndromes! I use "Player Need" to remind me of all those important underlying motives, which of course vary from product to product.

Infernal wrote:
Two of the strongest of these drives tend to be "Aquisition" or Greed and "Dominance" or Territoriality. Thus games that appeal to these (or both) will be more appealing.

Right on! I especially like those identifications. Dozens of games can be traced to an appeal to those pure motives. Never gets old. Does that mean we have nothing to design but... style? I think it behooves us to find new wrinkles on these motives.

Infernal wrote:
There are other drives that games use but from all the games that I have seen (both board games and computer games) these two drives are the most prevalent.

They are the among easiest vehicles to climb into a game and the toughest to drive in real life without society pummeling us for it.

I still remember my impulse buy of "Postal." I guess that would fall under a "Dominance" kind of game?

Lor
Lor's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Difficult Design Aspects

[Accidental duplicate post]

Stainer
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Difficult Design Aspects

This is quite a lesson we're all learning here.

Quote:
If you combine them then it does make a big difference (you combine them when more than 1 player is considered).

That's what makes this soo interesting. When you combine the Infernal Spectrum with:

Quote:
If I design the game entirely based on Player A's perspective - assigning all of A's possible actions positions on the Infernal Spectrum - I feel confident in assuming that I could plug Player B's name into the design instead and have all the assignations remain coherent and true

Since every game is based on rewards/punishments, you actually get a blueprint for a game.

If you consider what I'm saying in another thread (the one about need), we can really see the backbone of every game. Every game is designed to be fun (Or should be. That's what my theory is anyways... I can debate that till the sun blinks out). The backbone of a game is built on rewards and punishments (the bricks). And is held together with fun (the mortar if you will) If you take anything away, the game falls apart (the house collapses). And if you miss either of these, either in the design phase (blueprinting) or while play testing (testing the structure) then your game will not be a good one (in fact, I will even go as far as saying it's not even a game).

But, what's the catch? Why can't anybody build a game then? Why can Klaus Tuber build an amazing game and I can't? If it's all just rewards and punishments and fun, then can't anybody build a game like his? It's how you use the pieces to build the game. Anybody can build a house with bricks and mortar (really... anybody can do it), but the masons house will stand up longer because he knows the best way to place the bricks and he knows the best mixture of mortar to use. He's more knowledgable with building. And the mason knows how to build a strong design that looks good. That's why a game designer like Klaus Tuber can build a commercial game and most of us can't (Me included - I'm not insulting people here). He knows what pieces to use. How to use them. And where to when to use them. All this to maximize the fun of the game. It's all built with rewards and punishments though (bricks). Every move or piece or rule in a game is a reward or a punishment (or a setback... which is a form of punishment).

Wow... that's insightful.

Rob

Lor
Lor's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Difficult Design Aspects

Quote:

The backbone of a game is built on rewards and punishments (the bricks). And is held together with fun (the mortar if you will) If you take anything away, the game falls apart (the house collapses). And if you miss either of these, either in the design phase (blueprinting) or while play testing (testing the structure) then your game will not be a good one (in fact, I will even go as far as saying it's not even a game).

It's an excellent metaphor. And the house collapses without a strong foundation, which is often invisible.

The foundation is the total acknowledgement of and service to Player Need. It's in every bone of the game. Or it's not a game, just a pasttime.

Infernal
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Difficult Design Aspects

Continuing with the analogy of the house...

If you get a good architect you can have a great looking house as well.

A architect also takes the basics of Foundations, Bricks and Moter and can use the same pieces that others do, but in different ways, and make something that is new and facinating.

Quote:
If it's all just rewards and punishments and fun, then can't anybody build a game like his? It's how you use the pieces to build the game. Anybody can build a house with bricks and mortar (really... anybody can do it),

So even if this is the case (which I think it is) then there is more to game design than "Putting the basics together". Yes anybody can put up four walls and a roof. Just as most people could make a simple (although probably not very interesting or fun) game by applying the basics. It takes real insight and creativity to become a supurbe game designer like Klaus Tuber, they need to become not only a mason but an architect as well.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut