[MUD-Dev] Death among Friends

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Wed Aug 1 10:56:39 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Michael Tresca writes:

> Players need to be threatened.  Surprised.  Ambushed.  They need
> to have their most precious things potentially violated (even if
> it's not a legitimate threat).  This keeps the game exciting.

[...]

> This of course has a downside.  In a virtual reality where people
> come and go as they please, those "random moments" can happen at
> the most inopportune times.

I agree with all of this, and would suggest that anyone interested
in throwing in the 'unexpected' should make sure that the players
involved are going to enjoy it.  The most critical element here is
that these 'unexpected' events must take place often enough such
that players understand that they are a very real part of the game
experience.  Don't let your players think of a given game experience
as being a certain way and then deviate from that once in a while.
Players who are *drawn to the game experience in its undeviated
form* probably won't like the deviation.  Those who engage in a game
experience because it facilitates something else will have a
different reaction - but such obligatory activities shouldn't be
part of gameplay.  On the other hand, if the deviations are an
acknowledged part of the experience, then players who will be drawn
to the experience will be those who accept or actually enjoy the
deviations - because they are part of the experience.

In short, make the unexpected a constant element of gameplay.  It
shouldn't be something that has to be hand-created (i.e. rare).  It
should be a natural part of the game.

JB

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