[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Fri Oct 5 18:50:40 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag at ifi.uio.no>
> Dave Rickey wrote:

>> theory (which is related).  Make any game design assumptions that
>> do not carry the implicit assumption that the players will pursue
>> their own interests and rewards above all else, and you're
>> guaranteed to end up disappointed.

> Not really sure what you meant by this in this context.

Don't assume that the players will pursue a group interest that
conflicts with personal interest.  They generally won't.

>> Not from what I've seen.  People roleplay when roleplay is a
>> means to a desired goal, period.  Oh, you always get abberations,
>> but when

> This is not true.  Drama is a goal in itself.

In LARPing or a passion play, maybe.

> What is the reward in Myst?

Solving puzzles?

> Drama and sensations I'd say. To some extent it is progress, but
> that is not what drives me most of the time anyway.

Most people seemed to want to uncover the meaning, what is all this
widgetry here for?

> Heck, I prefer games with unlimited everything cheats, such hacks
> proved to be extremely popular when I was in my teens.

Yeah, I loved Doom, and liked Quake.  But the gameplay itself left
me cold, I played both in Invulnerable mode, and never got into them
as multiplayer environments.  Yet I played Tribes obsessively for a

>> the system does not reward them, that's all they are.  In a small
>> group with a dedicated GM, it is possible to make RP a rewarded
>> activity, and you can get a lot more of it.

> I don't view "get a lot more of it" as something that is
> necessarily desirable. I view self-realization as something
> desirable.

The self-realization as a means of growing in power and influence
within the game context, yes.  The problem is, right now most of our
mechanics for doing so in an MMOG center on rather simple, linear

>> Most of the problem comes from recognizing the behaviour, a
>> computer can only reward what it can measure.

> Explicitly maybe, implicitly...  I don't think so.  You can make
> roleacting rewarding for those that care by making lots and lots
> of costumes and other props and suitable mechanisms available.  A
> good tool makes any activity rewarding.

Maybe.  Problem is, technical limitations trump all, if the hardware
can't handle it, you can't do it.

>> more precisely, can only be manipulated in desired ways).  It's
>> much more difficult for an automated system to measure and reward
>> social activity, or building activity, or other internalized
>> activity, in a way that is not subject to manipulation that is
>> more focused on tricking the measuring system than actually
>> pursuing the activity.

> Yes, but I doubt that you have to reward building, it is an
> intrinsically motivating activity, and the result is indeed a
> reward by itself.  The same goes for social activity. However if
> those explicit power-up scoring systems become too visible,
> unidimensional and effective, then I believe you will see other
> areas suffer. I.e. the uni-dimensional social status, "reason for
> living" or whatever, becomes prevalent.

I had a great deal of fun playing 10-Six, mostly centering on trying
to create better defensive layouts given limited resources.  But the
concept didn't scale well.

>> So our systems *don't* for the most part.  AC's allegiance system
>> was a primitive attempt to measure and reward social activity,
>> The

> Anyone seen anything written on that?

Written on what it was trying to accomplish, or on what it actually

--Dave Rickey

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