[MUD-Dev] Proposed Law

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Sat Oct 20 12:33:39 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Freeman, Jeff writes:
>> From: John Buehler [mailto:johnbue at msn.com]

>> I'm not assuming those things.  They are non sequitors.  I can
>> only repeat myself: if the entertainment of your game is
>> destruction, players look to destroy things instead of interact
>> with them.  The reuse of the content is only entertaining when
>> there are a bunch of different variables in how the object gets
>> destroyed.  My point is that there is far greater bang for the
>> buck from content that interacts with other content - without any
>> destruction taking place.

> So you're saying that players shouldn't be able to destroy things?

>> If an NPC is killed, it shouldn't reappear.  That causes players
>> to consider the impact of their actions.  Just as burning the
>> ship should make them stop and think.  They should value the ship
>> as a source of entertainment, not as a pile of timbers to form a
>> big bonfire with.

> Oh, so players *should* be able to destroy things?

I don't see the confusion.  There is greater bang for the buck when
interacting with and not destroying content.  If content is
destroyed, it shouldn't reappear.

My resulting formula is that content can be destroyed, but that said
destruction shouldn't be encouraged by making it the primary
entertainment of the game experience.

> Seriously, I'm not sure I follow the logic.  You can only destroy
> a castle once, but if you're game focuses on exploring rather than
> destroying...  er... well, you can only "discover" that castle
> once, too.

Yup.  Pure exploration is a very destructive process.  However,
*interaction* is another form of exploration in that it produces new
experiences.  Changing circumstances make for new variations,
keeping the content new.  Thus the comment to Matt about being able
to subtly alter the content - giving the orc a limp.

> Having it repop so that other people can also discover and destroy
> it is not something I've ever liked a whole bunch, but I gather
> for different reasons that yours.  For me it's strictly a matter
> of internal consistency - making games that work mostly very much
> like the real world, except then with some very much Not like the
> real world things tossed in (mobs repopping, say).

It's all about entertainment.  It just so happens that I believe
that the largest group of players can be drawn by using relatively
realistic environments.  Low fantasy, colonial america, near future,
and other just slightly exotic environment are probably the best
candidates for attracting the largest number of players.  Consider
the fantasy environment provided by Disney.  It's not too far out,
and relies on familiar archetypes.


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