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Author Topic: Actor and Author Stance  (Read 4900 times)
Cassidy
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2002, 04:45:45 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
Consider:  The CHARACTER knows he is taking great risk with his personal saftey for the lives of the children...and the CHARACTER feels that saving the children are WORTH THE RISK.  

However, the PLAYER clearly does not.  There is a disconnect between the two value systems.  One could argue that this is "bad roleplaying" on the part of the player, but what's the point of forcing the player to play in a manner he doesn't enjoy.  The key is to make the player make the same KIND of decisions that the character would...even if its not for the same reason.


If the underlying premise for the game doesn't coincide with a player's own premise for playing then is the approach of using 'rewards' to motivate the player really accomplishing anything?

For example, a fairly common premise of most role-playing games is 'Exploration of character within the setting'. Typically a player acts out out the role of their character in a chosen setting. The GM structures the game so that situations and events arise which provide opportunities for many types of character exploration to occur.

Assuming that a player is interested in 'exploring their character' and that the situations and events that occur in the game are engaging and enjoyable then actually playing the game by acting out their characters role within the game is reward in itself.

If a player is not interested in 'exploring their character' then without some alternative method of reward the player is unlikely to enjoy the game. There will be little to hold their interest and their level of particpation is going to be minimal or even disruptive.

You could as suggested use a 'reward' mechanism to encourage the player to direct their characters actions in a desired way such that they would appear to be acting in character.

"Hmmm...I want to run away and save Tyrus but if I stay then the GM may give me some extra dice for my roll in which case I can probably beat the Brigands."

Sure, their characters actions would appear to be played 'in character'  but in reality the motivation behind the players decision to have their character act that way has nothing to do with a desire to 'explore their character' which is the premise of the game.

Virtually all of their characters actions will be taken from an Authorial stance. The fact that the actions that the player assigns to their character coincide with their characters perceived role and personality within the game would rely heavily on whatever reward system is employed.

This is all well and good but is there really any point in the player particpating in the game when they just aren't interested in the games premise?
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Valamir
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2002, 06:04:45 AM »

Well first there are alot more reasons to play a game than exploration of character.  If exploration of character is the primary goal and and your players are all deep immersionists and acting heroic is the way the character would act...then you don't have an issue at all.

The premise of the initial question was that you had a player who was "acting out of character" and whether or not the GM should force him to act in character.  The alternative being presented is to reward rather than punish.  

Quote
Sure, their characters actions would appear to be played 'in character' but in reality the motivation behind the players decision to have their character act that way has nothing to do with a desire to 'explore their character' which is the premise of the game.


Couple of points.  
1) How would the GM step in to question the player on his choice be a superior solution...which is the solution you first presented.  It would break the flow of the game.  It would put the GM in a position of direct confrontation with the player (who most likely won't enjoy being policed) and their motivation for acting in character will still have nothing to do with a desire to explore their character...rather it will be coerced by threat or implied threat or simply threat of disapproval.

2) Who cares what his motivation is as long as the player is enjoying the experience and his enjoyment isn't disrupting anyone else.  If the other players are all very into playing their character, which is likely to cause them them more anxiety: a) having a player clearly not acting in character, b) having to stop play to reprimand such a player, or c) having that other player voluntarily act in character.

I suggest the answer is c) and whether that player is doing so out of motivation to explore the character or motivation to get the reward makes no difference to the enjoyment of the other players and may be totally invisible to them.
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2002, 07:07:43 AM »

Quote from: Cassidy
Quote from: Valamir
Consider: The CHARACTER knows he is taking great risk with his personal safety for the lives of the children...and the CHARACTER feels that saving the children are WORTH THE RISK.  

However, the PLAYER clearly does not.  There is a disconnect between the two value systems.  One could argue that this is "bad role-playing" on the part of the player, but what's the point of forcing the player to play in a manner he doesn't enjoy.  The key is to make the player make the same KIND of decisions that the character would...even if its not for the same reason.

[Emphasis mine.]

If the underlying premise for the game doesn't coincide with a player's own premise for playing then is the approach of using 'rewards' to motivate the player really accomplishing anything?

...Assuming that a player is interested in 'exploring their character' and that the situations and events that occur in the game are engaging and enjoyable then actually playing the game by acting out their character's role within the game is reward in itself.

If a player is not interested in 'exploring their character' then without some alternative method of reward the player is unlikely to enjoy the game. There will be little to hold their interest and their level of participation is going to be minimal or even disruptive.

...This is all well and good but is there really any point in the player participating in the game when they just aren't interested in the game's premise?

Whoa!  Aren't we making a few unfair assumptions here?

First of all, unless a game either has poor focus or sells itself as something its not, can't we assume that the player will want to [fill in your playstyle of choice] with it?  Really, are we talking about designing a game that will 'force' people to play it the way the designer wants?  I don't think that's at all productive or even what's going on here.

I think Valamir is mostly talking about a time when a player is 'out of sync' with the game (you know, lost interest, got distracted, or whatever).  Then the game, in its function to reinforce it's focus, will act to 'nudge' the player's choices with the character's actions back towards the focus that was the reason that the player chose the game in the first place.

Simply put, "if a player is not interested in 'exploring their character'" then they have chosen the wrong game if it is focused on 'character exploration.'  I think we can safely assume that is not a likely case and skip arguing over whether a game designer (using rewards systems or whathaveyou) can force them to play a certain way.

Cassidy, I suspect that you don't really think that Valamir was talking about a "player participating in the game when they just aren't interested in the game's premise."  That would be bad 'choice of game' and there's nothing that can be done about that (at least not in the rewards systems).  I believe what he's talking about is when a game has rewards that suit its explicit focus.  Or he's saying that a game that says it's about 'character exploration' and yet rewards 'character survival' at the expense of 'character exploration' is a badly designed game.

Basically, there'd be three ways to design a game then:[list=1][*]With a rewards system that has no connection to the focus of the game (meaning that rewarded play can and often does go against the game's focus).

[*]With a rewards system that does not interfere with the game's focus (meaning that, while it doesn't facilitate the focus, rewarded play does not impede it either).

[*]With a rewards system that encourages play that matches the focus of the game (meaning that rewarded play feeds back positively into the game's focus).[/list:o]Elegant design suggests that a game will fall only into one of these categories.  While there are many extant games that do not, for the sake of a directed discussion, I believe those examples are of no use.

And there would also be three ways to play:[list=a][*]The player actively doesn't pursue play of the game's focus, preferring some other approach.

[*]The player isn't actively engaging in any specific type of play (for any reason).

[*]The player is actively 'going after' play in line with the focus of the game.[/list:o]Unlike directed design, I believe that all of these 'ways to play' happen to every player throughout the play of any game.  While it's important to be cognizant of all of them, I don't think there's much point in over-stressing the first one (or two) because if anyone consistently plays that way, it means they've simply chosen a game not suited to them.  (You can't design a game for everyone, can you?)

When you line these up you get nine different permutations.  We seem to be slipping into an argument about a '3a' situation.  I believe any 'a' situation can be eliminated because, as a game designer, there's no point in making a game for people who don't want to play it.  While it is possible that a game might 'force' proper behaviour when a player 'happens' to be playing in the 'a' way, I don't think that approach to design is productive (and is quite probably antagonistic toward one's customers).  If we drop 'way a,' I believe we can also drop 'way c' because that player 'does not need' a rewards system to encourage what they are doing. Situation '1c' also suggests that there are certain benefits in staying away from 'design way 1' because it will confound people who actively want to play the game as focused.

That basically leaves two combinations (we eliminated conflicting design, contrary players, and players who need no 'help').  This is where I think this particular sub-topic seems to be going.  Do you prefer situation '2b,' where the system offers no direction to a player who's indecisive, or situation '3b,' where the system suggests its focus to the indecisive player?  I think Valamir is suggesting the latter.  (Personally, I believe the former almost falls into unfocused design, which is not something I am discussing here.)

As for games that are consistently unfocused, I believe on the rare occasion, situation '1a' can yield rewards that 'give the player what he wants,' but this frequently leads them into conflict with the rest of the group.  (Otherwise it becomes a situation where the players, collectively, reinterpret the game such that it does suit their preferred focus, but you can't design for that on purpose, can you?)

So in the interest of avoiding unnecessary conflict, can we drop the assumption that a player will be playing a game that does not suit their play preference and leave out the idea that a game can 'force' them to play otherwise?

Fang Langford
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Cassidy
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2002, 08:23:26 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
Couple of points.  
1) How would the GM step in to question the player on his choice be a superior solution...which is the solution you first presented.  It would break the flow of the game.  It would put the GM in a position of direct confrontation with the player (who most likely won't enjoy being policed) and their motivation for acting in character will still have nothing to do with a desire to explore their character...rather it will be coerced by threat or implied threat or simply threat of disapproval.


How indeed, which is why I asked the question.

Quote from: Valamir
2) Who cares what his motivation is as long as the player is enjoying the experience and his enjoyment isn't disrupting anyone else.  If the other players are all very into playing their character, which is likely to cause them them more anxiety: a) having a player clearly not acting in character, b) having to stop play to reprimand such a player, or c) having that other player voluntarily act in character.


I don't follow why you think (c) would cause the other players more anxiety. If the player is choosing to voluntarily act in character, and thats the desired mode of play, then why would it make the other players anxious.
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Cassidy
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2002, 08:53:36 AM »

Quote from: Le Joueur
Whoa!  Aren't we making a few unfair assumptions here?

First of all, unless a game either has poor focus or sells itself as something its not, can't we assume that the player will want to [fill in your playstyle of choice] with it?  Really, are we talking about designing a game that will 'force' people to play it the way the designer wants?  I don't think that's at all productive or even what's going on here.


I'm not talking about game design from a commercial viewpoint designed to appeal to an unknown public.

I'm talking more specifically about a GM running a game for a group of players.

Sorry if that didn't come across.

Quote from: Le Joueur
I think Valamir is mostly talking about a time when a player is 'out of sync' with the game (you know, lost interest, got distracted, or whatever).  Then the game, in its function to reinforce it's focus, will act to 'nudge' the player's choices with the character's actions back towards the focus that was the reason that the player chose the game in the first place.

Simply put, "if a player is not interested in 'exploring their character'" then they have chosen the wrong game if it is focused on 'character exploration.'  I think we can safely assume that is not a likely case and skip arguing over whether a game designer (using rewards systems or whathaveyou) can force them to play a certain way.

Cassidy, I suspect that you don't really think that Valamir was talking about a "player participating in the game when they just aren't interested in the game's premise."  That would be bad 'choice of game' and there's nothing that can be done about that (at least not in the rewards systems).  I believe what he's talking about is when a game has rewards that suit its explicit focus.  Or he's saying that a game that says it's about 'character exploration' and yet rewards 'character survival' at the expense of 'character exploration' is a badly designed game.


I was trying to highlight the issue of players who may be playing the game with a premise at odds with that of the players and the GM, and querying the worth of a reward system for that type of player.

Valamir makes some good points on character reward.

Quote from: Le Joueur
So in the interest of avoiding unnecessary conflict, can we drop the assumption that a player will be playing a game that does not suit their play preference and leave out the idea that a game can 'force' them to play otherwise?


If you like.

Oh, and I go with 3b as a model for a reward system.
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Valamir
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2002, 09:12:55 AM »

Quote from: Cassidy

How indeed, which is why I asked the question.


Well, IMO, it wouldn't be the reward system would be superior.

Quote

I don't follow why you think (c) would cause the other players more anxiety. If the player is choosing to voluntarily act in character, and thats the desired mode of play, then why would it make the other players anxious.


I don't follow it either...probably because that should have read "LESS anxiety"...bet it would have made a whole lot more sense... :-)
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2002, 09:35:52 AM »

Quote from: Cassidy
Quote from: Le Joueur
Whoa!  Aren't we making a few unfair assumptions here?

First of all, unless a game either has poor focus or sells itself as something its not, can't we assume that the player will want to [fill in your playstyle of choice] with it?  Really, are we talking about designing a game that will 'force' people to play it the way the designer wants?  I don't think that's at all productive or even what's going on here.

I'm not talking about game design from a commercial viewpoint designed to appeal to an unknown public.

I'm talking more specifically about a GM running a game for a group of players.

Sorry if that didn't come across.

That's okay, I thought we were talking about 'set' rewards systems.  Although I'm not sure how you can talk about changing a specific game's reward system without talking about design.  (Or how we can discuss a specific gamemaster running a game on a public forum without an example; doesn't the lack of example pretty much force us to talk about "appeal to an unknown public?")

Quote from: Cassidy
I was trying to highlight the issue of players who may be playing the game with a premise at odds with that of the players and the GM, and querying the worth of a reward system for that type of player.

Valamir makes some good points on character reward.

Are you saying that you are highlighting a dysfunctional situation?  Should a game try to handle dysfunction?  I don't think so.  If players are playing in a game whose premise is at odds with their preference, it is dysfunctional.  Is there any point in hiding the fact that there is a problem by trying to force anything, rewards system or not?

Changing a rewards system will not change the dysfunction, better to move to a functional game rather than attempt a 'patch.'  Either way, would it not be the exposition of Premise, early on, that could prevent having to make all these adjustments.  (Does that get this back on topic?)

I'm just wondering about the benefit of talking about a dysfunctional set-up and then trying to 'fix' it by adjusting part of the game.  Can you explain your goal here?

Fang Langford
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Cassidy
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2002, 09:46:19 AM »

Quote from: Valamir, (redited)
Who cares what his motivation is as long as the player is enjoying the experience and his enjoyment isn't disrupting anyone else.  If the other players are all very into playing their character, which is likely to cause them them less anxiety: a) having a player clearly not acting in character, b) having to stop play to reprimand such a player, or c) having that other player voluntarily act in character.


:) in that case I'd go for (c) also.

Generally I think that whatever reward system is used it should aid the players further their goals (both character driven and player driven) and build upon their premise for playing in the first place.

i.e. In a head on dungeon bash where the PCs wander around killing monsters in a dungeon then XPs, level advancement, finding treasure to buy better weapons, armour, etc, are the order of the day.

i.e. In a story-telling game then good story-telling may get rewarded by 'story points' which the player can use to further influence the development of the story.

i.e. In a character driven sim game then in-game development of the character and furthering the ability of the players to interact with and influence the setting/story through their characters seems like the best reward. Using Tyrus and his fellow protagonists as a simple example, lets they manage to save the village. Their heroism brings them to the attention of the local Baron who they then gain as an ally The Brigands they fought manage to escape and the characters thus gain the enmity of their leader who will no doubt seek to balance the scales at some point in the future.
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Cassidy
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Posts: 165


« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2002, 11:06:48 AM »

Quote from: Le Joueur
That's okay, I thought we were talking about 'set' rewards systems.  Although I'm not sure how you can talk about changing a specific game's reward system without talking about design.  (Or how we can discuss a specific gamemaster running a game on a public forum without an example; doesn't the lack of example pretty much force us to talk about "appeal to an unknown public?")


Well this discussion started off about Actor/Author stance and sort of made it's way to a discussion of reward systems. Since the discussion was rather generalised the example I presented wasn't too detailed.

Quote from: Le Joueur
Are you saying that you are highlighting a dysfunctional situation?


Although I never referred to the example I presented as being a dysfunctional system I do consider it to be one example of the type of dysfunction that can occur in a game.

Quote from: Le Joueur
Should a game try to handle dysfunction?  I don't think so.


I disagree, I think a game (and I take that to mean game system) should try to handle pre-emptively handle dysfunction that arises as a consequence of incoherent game design. In the case of a typical RP game system the key elements of character/setting/premise/etc should gel together could be considered a functional system.

You can't legislate for the players and GMs though. Depending on how they play the game any functional game system can become a dysfunctional one.

The example I presented in this thread is unsuprisingly derived from an experience of my own. The game system I used to run the game seemed to be sound and functional, or at least it was until I started to run it.

If I had been more forceful in explaining beforehand what type of game I was going to run then the player in question would hopefully have come to the conclusion that it wasn't going to be suited to them.

The player contributed to the dysfunction independent of the game system as did I for allowing him to participate in the first place

Quote from: Le Joueur
Is there any point in hiding the fact that there is a problem by trying to force anything, rewards system or not?


In the case of the example I presented I don't think there is any point in hiding the fact that there is a problem. It's an opinion I expressed in a previous post. It's more trouble than it's worth.

Quote from: Le Joueur
Changing a rewards system will not change the dysfunction, better to move to a functional game rather than attempt a 'patch.'  Either way, would it not be the exposition of Premise, early on, that could prevent having to make all these adjustments.

I share that opinion also.

Quote from: Le Joueur
I'm just wondering about the benefit of talking about a dysfunctional set-up and then trying to 'fix' it by adjusting part of the game.  Can you explain your goal here?


I presented the example of a dysfunctional system but someone else raised the point about using a reward system to keep players on track so to speak.

When reward systems were suggested as a means of maintaining a coherent game I raised the point that using a reward systems to fix the example I presented wouldn't in my opinion fix anything.

Quote from: Cassidy
If the underlying premise for the game doesn't coincide with a player's own premise for playing then is the approach of using 'rewards' to motivate the player really accomplishing anything?

For example, a fairly common premise of most role-playing games is 'Exploration of character within the setting'. Typically a player acts out out the role of their character in a chosen setting. The GM structures the game so that situations and events arise which provide opportunities for many types of character exploration to occur.

Assuming that a player is interested in 'exploring their character' and that the situations and events that occur in the game are engaging and enjoyable then actually playing the game by acting out their characters role within the game is reward in itself.

If a player is not interested in 'exploring their character' then without some alternative method of reward the player is unlikely to enjoy the game. There will be little to hold their interest and their level of particpation is going to be minimal or even disruptive.

You could as suggested use a 'reward' mechanism to encourage the player to direct their characters actions in a desired way such that they would appear to be acting in character.

"Hmmm...I want to run away and save Tyrus but if I stay then the GM may give me some extra dice for my roll in which case I can probably beat the Brigands."

Sure, their characters actions would appear to be played 'in character' but in reality the motivation behind the players decision to have their character act that way has nothing to do with a desire to 'explore their character' which is the premise of the game.

Virtually all of their characters actions will be taken from an Authorial stance. The fact that the actions that the player assigns to their character coincide with their characters perceived role and personality within the game would rely heavily on whatever reward system is employed.

This is all well and good but is there really any point in the player particpating in the game when they just aren't interested in the games premise?


Hope that clears things up.
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2002, 11:43:26 AM »

Quote from: Cassidy
Quote from: Le Joueur
Should a game try to handle dysfunction?  I don't think so.

I disagree, I think a game (and I take that to mean game system) should try to handle pre-emptively handle dysfunction that arises as a consequence of incoherent game design.

You can't legislate for the players and GMs though. Depending on how they play the game any functional game system can become a dysfunctional one.

I don't know.  How do you predict what will go wrong?  It was that kind of second-guessing that kept me from actually doing game design for years.  I think the better approach is to just design it according to an 'ideal of play' and then after testing see what needs to be improved or better explained.

Going into it with a "Here's what to do when this goes wrong" only creates a negative or self-defeating product.  Likewise trying to prevent people from 'doing it wrong' is not something you can do in a game text, why try?  Just design and explain how to 'do it right' and write off the rest, I say.

Fang Langford
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2002, 12:22:39 PM »

Hello,

I suggest that this thread is suffering from a lack of actual, concrete role-playing to talk about. "The" player or "the" reward system are too abstract for arguments to carry any weight, at least to me as a reader.

I suggest that someone propose a given game title, a given situation of play, and a given reward system in order to discuss what th'hell might be going on.

Best,
Ron
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Cassidy
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Posts: 165


« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2002, 02:20:49 PM »

I didn't originally intend this thread to be about player rewards although thats the turn it took.

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4075

Discusses player rewards in each of the GNS modes.
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2002, 05:41:12 PM »

I was just going to call attention to this other thread, and Cassidy beat me to it:

Quote from: Cassidy
I didn't originally intend this thread to be about player rewards although thats the turn it took.

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4075

Discusses player rewards in each of the GNS modes.


I was going to point to that in response to this:

Quote from: Fang Langford a.k.a. Le Joueur
Basically, there'd be three ways to design a game then:[list=1][*]With a rewards system that has no connection to the focus of the game (meaning that rewarded play can and often does go against the game's focus).

[*]With a rewards system that does not interfere with the game's focus (meaning that, while it doesn't facilitate the focus, rewarded play does not impede it either).

[*]With a rewards system that encourages play that matches the focus of the game (meaning that rewarded play feeds back positively into the game's focus).[/list:o]Elegant design suggests that a game will fall only into one of these categories.


I think Fang has missed

4. With no rewards system to either encourage or interfere with play of any sort.

I cite the other thread because there I suggest that it is quite possible to design a game in which the rewards are derived totally from the outcome of play itself, and not incorporated via system or mechanics.  I give some examples of how that happens in my own games, where I think it happens constantly for those players who are interested in those rewards.

I then provide some examples of what I think might be purely gamist, narrativist, or simulationist reward systems, in that they give rewards for the desired conduct which themselves facilitate the desired conduct in the future. I think that perhaps this aspect of reward is sometimes overlooked. To take the gamist model as the easiest to describe, the idea of experience points earned for killing monsters which increase the abilities of the character reinforce gamism twice. The fact that I earned the points for killing the monsters is a reward for gamist conduct; the fact that the points increase my ability to engage in killing monsters in the future is an encouragement of gamist conduct. Often when I read comments about reward systems, they seem to focus on the first aspect, giving rewards for the desired conduct, and overlook the second, facilitating future conduct of that sort. A good example of this dichotomy is the D&D3E idea (I think it was found in 2E to a lesser degree, and there were hints of it in relation to some classes in OAD&D) of giving experience points as a reward for story resolution. The notion here is that the referee can use the experience point system to encourage more narrativist play by giving experience points in response to narrativist acts, decisions, and outcomes. What is overlooked in this is that the points are still designed to buy up the character's powers, thus facilitating better gamist play. What a game system needs for "a rewards system that encourages play that matches the focus of the game (meaning that rewarded play feeds back positively into the game's focus)" is not merely that the reward is given in recognition of desired play but also that the nature of the reward facilitate such play in the future.

The examples of such paired recognition/facilitation reward systems in the linked thread are, I hope, instructive, although I would like to see the thoughts of others (perhaps on that thread) as to other ways to create a reward system in which recognition and facilitation are both focused on the same type of play.

--M. J. Young
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2002, 09:36:44 PM »

Quote from: M. J. Young
I was going to point to that in response to this:

Quote from: Fang Langford a.k.a. Le Joueur
Basically, there'd be three ways to design a game then:[list=1][*]With a rewards system that has no connection to the focus of the game (meaning that rewarded play can and often does go against the game's focus).

[*]With a rewards system that does not interfere with the game's focus (meaning that, while it doesn't facilitate the focus, rewarded play does not impede it either).

[*]With a rewards system that encourages play that matches the focus of the game (meaning that rewarded play feeds back positively into the game's focus).[/list:o]Elegant design suggests that a game will fall only into one of these categories.

I think Fang has missed

4. With no rewards system to either encourage or interfere with play of any sort.

Actually, no.  I felt this might be small enough to include in #1 (hence "no connection").  That I focused on 'contrary to focus' rewards was merely for simplicity's sake.

I realize on first read it looks like you're offering 'irrelevant rewards' model.  I have to argue that a "no rewards system" does not exist.  In-game rewards are still rewards even though not 'meta-game.'  Worse still, what about fun?  I don't believe people consistently play an unrewarding game.

Quote from: M. J. Young
I cite the other thread because there I suggest that it is quite possible to design a game in which the rewards are derived totally from the outcome of play itself, and not incorporated via system or mechanics.  I give some examples of how that happens in my own games, where I think it happens constantly for those players who are interested in those rewards.

I then provide some examples of what I think...in that they give rewards for the desired conduct which themselves facilitate the desired conduct in the future. I think that perhaps this aspect of reward is sometimes overlooked. To take the gamist model as the easiest to describe, the idea of experience points earned for killing monsters which increase the abilities of the character reinforce gamism twice. The fact that I earned the points for killing the monsters is a reward for gamist conduct; the fact that the points increase my ability to engage in killing monsters in the future is an encouragement of gamist conduct.

Often when I read comments about reward systems, they seem to focus on the first aspect, giving rewards for the desired conduct, and overlook the second, facilitating future conduct of that sort.

Yeah, positive reinforcement schemes can get that way can't they?  We chose the 'carrot and stick' approach; with very little efficacy advancement, you play how you like, if you want the 'make the game do what you want' reward, you have to play in a fashion that very closely matches the game's focus.  You don't get that terrible spiral because narrowly following the game's focus isn't that interesting; bringing the game back to that every once in awhile keeps it satisfactorily 'on track.'

Quote from: M. J. Young
What a game system needs for "a rewards system that encourages play that matches the focus of the game (meaning that rewarded play feeds back positively into the game's focus)" is not merely that the reward is given in recognition of desired play but also that the nature of the reward facilitate such play in the future.

Especially without the 'Gamist death spiral' you describe.

Good points overall.

Fang Langford
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Cassidy
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Posts: 165


« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2002, 03:52:01 AM »

Quote from: M. J. Young
What a game system needs for "a rewards system that encourages play that matches the focus of the game (meaning that rewarded play feeds back positively into the game's focus)" is not merely that the reward is given in recognition of desired play but also that the nature of the reward facilitate such play in the future.


Absolutely, I couldn't agree more.
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