Amusement Outline Hypothesis.


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Kriegspieler. Board wargames. Pretending Games. Collectible Card Games ... In life, struggle=pain; in amusements, struggle=pleasure. You need to make the players work ...
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Diversion Design Theory What Is "Great Gameplay"? Greg Costikyan www.ungames.com www.costik.com costik@costik.com

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"The Game" is Plastic Paintball Computer Sports Console Online Casino recreations Arcade The stallions.. "Society" Card & Boardgames Kriegspieler ...and, obviously, remote. Miniatures "Mass Market" Boardgames Board wargames Roleplaying Games Collectible Card Games Play-via mail and play-by-email amusements LARPs LBEs

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THEY\'RE ALL GAMES But what makes them intriguing? What improves one than another? - We require a basic dialect.

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Interactive? Crawford\'s Distinction: Games versus Riddles Are non-computerized recreations "intuitive?" If it isn\'t intelligent, it\'s a riddle, not a diversion. "Intelligent Game" is Redundant

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Goals Interaction must have a reason Decision-production is the substance of gameplay ...or possibly deliberate communication. Objectives, targets, are what make connection intentional Goals don\'t need to be express SimCity RPGs & MUDs & MMGs But regardless you need to guide players to objectives

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Games are Goal-Direction Interaction But objectives aren\'t enough....

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Struggle Plucky Little England Surrender Spit in Hitler\'s Eye! Principle Britannia! Britons Never, Ever, Ever Shall Be Slaves! Competion is one method for making battle Other impediments can do likewise the earth, NPCs (RPGs) Puzzles (realistic undertakings) Tuning "battle": Too hard is disappointing, too simple is dull

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Struggle (con\'t) You need to make the players work A diversion without battle is an amusement that is dead In life, struggle=pain; in recreations, struggle=pleasure There can be no pate without cornichons.

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An amusement obliges players to battle intelligently toward an objective.

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Structure Zimmerman\'s "Structures of Desire" "We should Pretend": Unstructured play Zones of Control: little changes in structure can breed huge changes in play Algorithms (=rules mechanics) are the building squares of diversion structure Digital amusement structures influence player conduct similarly

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Structure (con\'t) Structure shapes (yet does not decide) player conduct You should characterize structure deliberately to accomplish the impact you fancy Game structure is closely resembling financial aspects

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An amusement is an intuitive structure that obliges players to battle toward objectives.

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Endogenous Meaning Endogenous: "Brought about by variables inside the framework." Games make their own particular implications Monopoly cash The Bloodforge Hammer Is the Stock Market a Game? "Fiction" versus "Verifiable"

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A diversion is an intuitive structure of endogenous implying that obliges players to battle toward objectives.

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Interactive Entertainment Can it be something besides an amusement? It could be unstructured It could have no recontextualized meaning It could need battle It could be pointless Interactive Entertainment implies amusements

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LeBlanc 1: Sensation Visuals, sound, material, muscle joy Example: Axis & Allies Sensation expands our pleasure... in any case, it\'s not the center of gameplay Wireless amusements endure on this score

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LeBlanc 2: Fantasy Analogous to "suspension of doubt" Abstract recreations (Chess) have little of this Fantasy makes endogenous implications

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LeBlanc 3: Narrative Doesn\'t actually signify "story" Games as show Easier to perform in pre-scripted diversions

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LeBlanc 4: Challenge Equivalent to our idea of "Battle" At the heart of any diversion Tuning: Neither too simple nor too hard One range where arranged amusements have favorable position

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LeBlanc 5: Fellowship Equivalent to "Group" Shared, Intense Experiences breed Fellowship Online amusements exceed expectations

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LeBlanc 6: Discovery Exploring the world Hidden data Sheer assortment of experience

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LeBlanc 7: Expression Central to RPGs, MMORPGs Vital to social amusements Important in some soloplay amusements Little traps go far

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LeBlanc 8: Masochism Submission to structure: the essential exchange we make with diversions Frustrating to play with the individuals who don\'t purchase in Damn baffling to play with miscreants Gaining objectives inside the structure is the thing that gaming is about.

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Artists.... Start with impersonation... Proceed onward to dominance of procedure... At last work with purposefulness

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What makes it an amusement? What sorts of connection? (Is it accurate to say that they are fun?) What objectives does it support? Does the structure bolster my target? What makes it an enthralling battle? What implications does it make?

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What joys does it give? Sensation Fantasy Narrative (Drama) Challenge Fellowship Discovery Expression Masochism

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One of the most troublesome undertakings individuals can perform, however much others may disdain it, is the creation of good amusements. - C.G. Jung

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Suggested Readings Crawford\'s Computer Game Design www.vancouver.wsu.edu/fac/peabody/diversion book/Coverpage.html). Different rages: www.costik.com/articles.html Marc LeBlanc\'s tirades: world.std.com/~mahk/gamedesign.html Game + Design, Eric Zimmerman & Katie Salen, MIT Univ. Press (in press)