[MUD-Dev] Male and female brains

Larry Dunlap at ILG larry at intelgames.com
Wed May 21 12:36:32 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

I think that ultimately, a great way to engineer for broad appeal is
to reward multiple play styles.  If I have a quest to capture the
Widget of Exalted Foodlenorking, and bring it back to Dingus, and
the Widget is guarded by Horace the Bleak, what if there were ways
to get the Widget other than killing Horace the Bleak?  What if I
could sneak in and steal it from him?  What if I obtain a special
ring from Burke the Jaded that lets me put Horace the Bleak to sleep
temporarily?  What if I take Horace the Bleak's cousin, Joan the
Loopy hostage, and demand the Widget from him, in exchange for his
cousin's life?  What if I do some research and discover that Horace
the Bleak has an intense weakness for Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice
cream, and I ply the Widget from him through my generous offer?

Yes, then I post to the Web, declaring Horace's weakness for ice
cream.  But, maybe he has learned from this encounter, and won't
fall for such a silly trick again!

Yeah, okay, this requires work.  It's not easy.  Let me dream a
little, would ya?


One of the most important aspects of promoting multiple playstyles
is the reusability of objects. This allows the design to concentrate
on the game mechanics and gameplay and not on the content so
much. With an Episodic Metagame like Imperial Wars
(http://www.imperialwars.com) we have a turn-based game with an rpg
persistent communication between the players wrapped around this
campaign style game. While the universes created are unique for each
play, the objects themselves are reusable. While the character
classes are the same their defintion is so open that they, too, are
re-usable. I think the point you make is a good one and that it is
an additional way to let a player take responsibility for their part
in the game, to meet the challenge of using their own methods in an
environment to determine how they will meet challenges, and of
course this kind of game is a quest by definition, since it has an
end. The truth is, in most pre-computer gameplay scenarios,
different playstyles is the norm not the exception. That is what has
made all the great classics completely and in fact, desirably
replayable without redesigning content.


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