Game Design (or related) Articles

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by keithburgun, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. Jon Perry

    Jon Perry Well-Known Member


    As I said on twitter I love this article and the framework it implies. I think it should continue to be worked on and made more rigorous.

    A lot of this model depends on end conditions. This is a really key sentence in your article: "The basic idea is that winning the match happens when you spend a significant enough amount of time with your power above that of the opposition. " You obviously knew this was a critical part of your argument or you wouldn't have bolded it.

    One problem I see in the article right now, is that if we take this seriously as the literal end condition in a toy game example, then your defense graph doesn't make sense. The defense graph shows the pink player with higher power for an extremely long time -- implying that the pink player, not the green player, should win.

    So either the precise end conditions needs to be fleshed out more, or the defense graph is backwards.

    You could define the end condition more carefully, perhaps as not just being about being above your opponent for a period of time, but about being significantly above your opponent in *degree* as well. (EDIT: You could borrow from calculus and say that you win by building up a significantly large area between the two curves.)

    Alternately you could flip the pink & green lines in the defense graph, which would imply that a defense play is actually about being barely *ahead* of your opponent. Which make some sense in many battle-themed games, where investing in defense means you get an incremental advantage in the attrition process.

    Or you could adopt some combination of the above two fixes. But basically, I'd like to see a more fleshed out & air tight toy game example that illustrates how this triangle can work.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  2. Jon Perry

    Jon Perry Well-Known Member

    Alright, so I went ahead and made a toy game myself.


    The Game of R.E.D. (Rush-Econ-Defense)

    2 six sided dies for tracking each player's income
    2 Rush cards
    2 Econ cards
    2 Defense cards
    a bunch of poker chips

    Give each player a six sided die and set it to "2"
    Give each player 1 Rush card, 1 Econ card, and 1 Defense card
    Pile the chips in the center of the table

    Both players choose 1 of their 3 cards and simultaneously reveal. Depending on what cards the players choose, they take varying amounts of chip income.

    Your "income" is represented by the current number on your die. So both players start with an income of 2.

    First player to acquire 12 chips wins immediately. If both players reach 12 in the same turn, the player with more total chips wins. If tied in total chips, the player with higher income wins.

    What the cards do:
    RUSH - If not defended, take double your income. If defended, take only half your income (rounded down).
    DEFENSE - Defends against rush. Take your income.
    ECON - Take your income. Then increase your income by 1.


    It's almost certainly a boring game (I've not played it yet) but it is the simplest game I could come up with that exhibited the correct dynamics:
    --Rush beats Econ, Defense beats Rush, and Econ beats Defense
    --Pure Rush wins early (3 turns), pure Econ wins mid-game (4 turns), and pure Defense wins late game (6 turns)

    Here are the results of pure match ups

    RUSH vs ECON
    1. 4 vs 2
    2. 8 vs. 5
    3. 12 vs. 9

    1. 2 vs 1
    2. 4 vs. 2
    3. 6 vs. 3
    4. 8 vs. 4
    5. 10 vs. 5
    6. 12 vs. 6

    1. 2 vs 2
    2. 5 vs 4
    3. 9 vs 6
    4. 14 vs 8

    If you graph those, you'll see that they differ somewhat from Keith's diagrams.

    What I learned:
    --A simple race to VP end game structure actually works fine to support this dynamic.
    --You need a point of interference between the two players to create a proper triangle. In my example the point of interference is the way the Defense card hampers the Rush card. Without some element like that to throw a wrench in things, the Defense strategy tends to just evaporate, and the game just becomes a more binary game of Rush vs. Econ.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  3. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Here is a new YouTube video about stories in games that I thought was okay (@Kdansky suggested it). I replied with my counter-arguments, which hopefully this URL links to.


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