[MUD-Dev] Protecting the Player's Suspension of Disbelief

Paul Schwanz pschwanz at comcast.net
Tue Feb 11 20:07:59 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


Ron Gabbard wrote:

> My question is this:

>   Where do you draw the line between increasing the
>   convenience/playability of the game and protecting the player's
>   suspension of disbelief (SoD) with regards to the immersive game
>   world and/or storyline you're trying to create?

> I'm running across various design decisions that have clear
> trade-offs

> between making the game more playable/less exploitable and
> stressing the player's SoD.  Some examples:

> "Lore Item" flags .

> "Personal dungeons with common entrances"

> "Inventory systems with no encumbrance penalty"

I'm going to also bring your own words from another thread into this
discussion if you don't mind.

> If one reads enough of Raph's writings on MMOGs, it's very clear
> that he has a vision for creating a virtual world versus a buffet
> line of content for players to consume.  That said, it shouldn't
> be surprising that design choices are made that emphasize
> community and society over content consumption.

I really liked this quote because I think it hints at a very
different sort of approach to these games.  An approach that I
personally find very appealing.  It seems to me that the different
examples where you'd sacrifice immersion for gameplay that you cite
above are not nearly as useful where you are not concerned an awful
lot about a buffet line of content to be consumed.  Some people want
to experience immersion a virtual world and not just run a treadmill
of content.  For those people, I expect that the convenience of
repopping static content, personal spaces to consume content, and no
encumbrance penalties to get in the way of the accumulation of
content will not be nearly as important as suspension of disbelief.
I imagine I lean heavily in this direction myself.

--Phin


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