FW: [MUD-Dev] Interesting EQ rant (very long quote)

Matt Mihaly the_logos at www.achaea.com
Sun Apr 1 18:41:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Fri, 30 Mar 2001, John Buehler wrote:

> Matt Mihaly writes:
>> I don't really see the relevance of claiming that in an ideal game
>> there'd be no metagame methods. I am all for metagame methods as
>> I'm interested in entertaining players, not characters. Characters
>> are datasets and have no money to give us. Without a metagame,
>> you've just got a simulation with no player input.

> That's called a movie, and many people find them very entertaining
> :)

Indeedy, but we're in the games business, not the movie
business. There are parallels, but it is interactivity that defines
games (there's no such thing as playing a game where you don't make
any choices).

> It's simply a question of degree.  Limiting metagaming has nothing
> to do with attempting to 'entertain characters'.  It has to do with
> entertaining players in a specific way, of setting specific
> expectations among the player base.  An extreme form of metagaming
> is Quake, where even my real world dexterity skills have an impact
> on gameplay.  Typically, graphical genre-specific games assign
> manual skills to the characters.  It denies players the
> entertainment of using those metagame skills, but affords them the
> opportunity of developing their character skills.  The player is
> entertained, just in a different way.

Well, similarly, an extreme form of metagaming is every
non-completely-chance-based game I've ever played online, as my "real"
world intelligence/skill/amount-of-time-available/money are the
determining factors. In fact, I've never seen an entertaining game
that wasn't entirely chance-based in which success wasn't almost
entirely related to meta things like attributes of the player
(intelligence, free time, money, etc).

>> No doubt Achaea would make many people cringe. But like you say, so
>> what. It's fun to discuss our preferences here, because we can
>> speak as both players and designers. As a player, for example, my
>> preferences are much different from those of the designer side of
>> me, and Achaea suffers to this day from decisions I made at the
>> beginning when I was designing as a player, rather than designing
>> as a designer.
> Well, this was my point in another post where I was jumped on for
> making the statement that game designers need to be able to think as
> players - but not be restricted to that mindset.

I would say, instead, that a designer needs to be able to incorporate
elements of player-think into his worldview, but that thinking
strictly as a player is rarely useful from a designer's
standpoint. Just my opinion of course.


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