[MUD-Dev] RP thesis...

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Sun May 11 22:10:28 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sun, 11 May 1997, Jeff Kesselman wrote:

> Some opinions.  This is destileld fro ma larger talk on deisgning
> world-games i just gave at the computer game develoeprs conference.
> (1) Rp is by definitio nsocial. if yo uwant to encoruage Rp first yo uhave
> to encourage social behavior.

Of course. If one has noone to RP with, one cannot RP. Ack! I'm using the
royal 'we' type form :P But yes, this is true. If you have people who will
not interact socially on any level, they will not be able to successfully
RP together.
> (2) Social behavior is foistered primarily when 2 things happen between
> people;
> 	(a) Communciation
> 	(b) mutual respect

I particularly like that you highlight the second, it's often overlooked.
> Some ways to caue this to happen:
> (1) Design your game with interlocking dependancies, players must need each
> other.

Well noted. Players should be able to play alone to some extent, but
should require other players to progress in any way, shape, or form.

> (2) Design so that groups are mroe efective then individuals.

Perhaps, but it should still be possible to be an individual, and relate
to other individuals and groups. :)

> (3) Design os that just HAVIGNa group isnt enough, that to be effective a
> group must coordinate (encourages interraction).

Yeah - just being in a group gives no latent advantage over an individual
unless the group actually work as a group.

> (4) Do NOt design your game so any single player can., on their own,
> acquire everything they need to be succesful. if yo udo, they wil lstop
> socializing and focus on solo accomplishment.

Right. While it should still be possible to be an individual, and succeed
to some extent in individual projects, one man trying to build a bridge
will take longer than four men working together to build a bridge. One man
cannot open a bar and instantly have a profit - he'll probably need staff,
or at least customers. The concept of a 'group' can be abstract, since
they don't have to share a common goal or aim.

> (5) Design out "dominance games", (Im higher level and can beat you up,
> etc...)
> Tehre is a snmall, EVRY destructive component that wil lotherwise domiante
> your game and ruin almos tal lsocial interraction.
> (6) Make sure that posuitive social behavior is a "winning" strategy and
> that negativ social behavior is a losign one.

While the first is mostly right.. someone has the power (be it someone in
the government, or somesuch). The concept of 'levels' and other such
mechanics should really not feature in RPGs at all, IMHO, since they cloud
everything over. Negative behaviour can be fun, but usually destructive.
It might be fun to RP a bank robber, at least, fun until the cops shoot
you down infront of the bank.

> (7) DEFINE the goals of charactrs in your game (in the large) and make
> palyers aware of them.  The "its just a great big real world" DOESNt work,
> players end up at cross puproses and having no fun.


> (8) DONt expect your players to dveelop a society, most americans dont even
> have basic people skills.  CREATE asociety that they are integrated into in
> the structure of your game.

<g> But to what degree should you guide this once it's formed?
> Tehre are alot of other thoughts but theres some thinsg to get the
> discussion started.

Thats why this is a great topic for discussion, it's very broad, but with
fairly distinct areas we can look at in detail. :)

	-Matt Chatterley
"Fishing is complete and utter madness."  -Spike Milligan

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