[MUD-Dev] GDC 2002: Beyond Psychological Theory: Getting Data that Improves Games 

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Thu Jun 20 14:34:53 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu (Sasha Hart) writes:

> leveling. Why should we care about levels at all? What makes us
> care more or less?

Social comparison and access to content? Or? (I probably
misunderstood something here) I find it somewhat interesting that
some EQ roleplayers level up in order to reach a state in which they
feel to have obtained enough functional expressiveness to roleplay
their character. (i.e. work first, then play)

> know). For my part, in games with levels that are more than
> nominal, I find that I tend to settle in games that are about 1
> level a day,

I've also found that players set goals for the day, in order to
fight boredom within the gameworld. I've argued before, and Brenda
Laurel too of course, that each sessions should end by reaching some
kind of closure. Obtaining a new level, going to a party or
whatever. And preferably by opening up new avenues. I.e. hinting at
new goals to be had the next few sessions. Perhaps fairly trivial
when stated like this, but more difficult to achieve in a particular
design... Although one could do a lot more than what is common in
current designs.

Designers seem to be very reluctant to use timecaps in their
designs. I think they could be utilized with good effect. I.e. put a
20 hours timedelay on the release of resources obtained from
reaching a new level, and so on... Of course, wrapped up and
disguised as natural to the fictional world of the game...

> ETS (the company that does SATs/GREs/etc.) routinely puts
> experimental sections in its tests. Good information is
> outstandingly cheap to us in much the same way (computers being
> great measurement devices, and players already practiced with
> feeding them). Really it's just taking the interest.

Mmmh... How do you suggest that one should go about this then? When
it comes to measuring effects you want to change only one parameter
at the time...

Ola - http://folk.uio.no/olag/

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