[MUD-Dev] Continuous versus Discrete Functions

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Fri Dec 21 10:24:22 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


-----Original Message-----
From: John Buehler <johnbue at email.msn.com>
> Dave Rickey writes:

>> From: John Buehler <johnbue at msn.com>

>>> This pattern is fairly common and I'm stumped as to why the
>>> discrete function (apparently implemented as tables or cascading
>>> conditionals) is the function of choice for system designers.
>>> My time on flight simulators showed me the power of continuous
>>> functions - especially when multiple continuous functions are
>>> contributing to the outcome of any activity.

>> Two reasons:

>>   1) Players seem to hate discontinuous feedback from the system.
>>   To them, something either works, or it does not.  This tends to
>>   reflect itself as extreme criticism of any portion of the game
>>   system that provides a spectrum of outputs.

> So you're stating that, in your experience, my expectations are in
> the distinct minority?  That players prefer on/off and
> success/fail behaviors?

Not quite, I'm saying that most of them interpret almost everything
as a success/fail, and given a broad spectrum of partial successes
treat only the top fraction as "success"

--Dave

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