Monday, January 11, 2010

Being too responsible in game design?

I wonder if you can take too much responsibility?

Today I was thinking why do I want to run/make any gamist design - along with the ruminations of a recent post, I had to think of it in RL physical terms. And in the end it meant some sort of primordial fear manifested in a physical task. Which isn't a surprising revelation - something like dodgeball stimulates primal fears of attacks and a desire to dodge them. But we all kind of get that.

The thing is, the fear is a hang up on some RL physical event done in game. It means getting stuck on some mechanic (the one the primal fear has picked out) and staying with it. And that's where the vitality at the table comes from in a PVE game (in a PVP game it's much simpler - your facing real people) - that real fear drives the play to be an event.

But you see, I took the entertainment of my fellow gamers so seriously, so responsibly, and with a natural inclination, I saw everything from the outside. Far removed from any of my own emotions. I didn't want to get hung up on anything and put that ahead of their entertainment. But this vitality comes from my own genuine fear (unless the other people don't get my fear, or don't care, but that's another subject). That genine fear at the table is what makes overcoming the obstacle worth it, even with a simplistic game system. Without that fear, even in a complex system overcoming a PVE obstacle is just an exercise in statistics.

But I tried so hard to give other people what they wanted, I left behind the personal emotions that could fire that up. I was so keen to please...

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