[MUD-Dev] Simulations - was: 'A flamewar startingpoint.'
Jon A. Lambert
jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Mon Jan 12 22:58:37 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998
On 5 Jan 98 at 20:05, JC Lawrence wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Dec 1997 11:55:29 PST8PDT
> Marian Griffith<gryphon at iaehv.nl> wrote:
> > The same can be said for other simple goals. If you know which
> > monster to kill and how to do it then ordinary muds can be
> > considered drudgery and boring too. In fact I guess they are. The
> > trick is to create a game that has something of all this.
> Agreed, and to me this is the great weakness of the various SimCity
> etc games. The problem is that it very quickly becomes apparent to me
> in playing them that underlieing the game world is a rote equation,
> and if I can merely find and stay on the sweet spot I can build
> whatever I want (and that I have a feel for what that balance is).
> Instantly the game becomes mechanical and loses all charm and almost
> all of its interest. Now its just a mechanical resource balance game:
> not too much of this, not too little of that, make sure we copy the
> game designer's ideas of how it should be and we'll "win".
But, can one maintain the "sweet spot" in the face of other player
collusion, competition and subversion? And more importantly, with a lack
of global and reliable information? With SimCity or Civilation, one has
the advantage of being a dictatorial mayor or emperor for life and being
privy to much more information and control than would be available to one
living _within_ the simulation as a mere 'peep. Another aspect of the Sim
games is the design philosophy that leads to a specific goal. For SimCity
and Civilation this is generally to maximize growth and prosperity of the
entire system, therefore the systems are weighted in a non-neutral
direction. I think PC participants in the simulation will also have other
more self-interested goals rather than it's overall health (unless of
course they _are_ mayor/emperor).
Jon A. Lambert
"Everything that deceives may be said to enchant" - Plato
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