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## Why bother?

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### #21felisandria  Members

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Posted 13 August 1999 - 04:38 AM

I would note on the above topic that the "rules" in Myst are shown as boundaries limiting what the character can do, much like an "out of bounds" limit on many games. "You cannot leave the path in this screen" is as much a rule as "You can't step over this line or you're out of bounds" is in basketball.
Similarly, it is not necessarily "hiding" the rules when one has experience points, algorithms for damage, etc, in adventure games. It is the introduction of random chance, which is common in a vast number of games, especially those of the board game variety. For instance, when playing Monopoly, one would not expect to know the exact dice roll they will have in a game, or the property they will have the chance to acquire. The player simply knows the parameters possible (I will be able to move between 1 and 12 spaces when I roll this dice, and the set of possible results of the spaces I land on within those 12 moves is clear). Thinking of the possible outcomes of the dice roll as a (very simple) algorithm makes it very similar to the "rolls" done by computers in adventure games. The main difference is that most people don't want to get out their calculators for Monopoly (alright, take my dice roll times 5, subtract 3, mod it with 3, and... ooh. Baltic Avenue.) while in computer games relatively complex arithmetic is no problem whatsoever.

-fel

### #22ghowland  Members

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Posted 13 August 1999 - 05:47 AM

>- A game must interact with the player.
>
>Playing is a form of interaction so this is a somewhat circluar definition. perhaps

Definitions shouldnt take things for granted IMO.

>- A game must state all the rules (even flexible rules) so that the player knows what must be done.
>
>Myst stated no rules. Is it not a game?

All of the things you mentioned here HAVE rules or all rules. Rules dont need to be specified on the box or a manual or something to be rules. If they constrict the player, they are rules whether they are stated explicitly or not. Obviously in board games you need to specify the rule as you dont have the computer to take care of it for you.

>- A game must be able to have some kind of victory condition. Something has to HAPPEN: win, lose, gain some sort of closure (even if this is just the highest score/level).
>
>I have played deathmatch quake for hours on end and stopped without lookin at my frag score.

Most likely you are playing with short victory conditions of one kill, or avoiding being killed without having it explicitly stated. Explicit rules or goals are not necessary to have rules and goals.

>- A game by virtue of its rules and goals will define a small world/reality that all players understand commonly as the rules are there for all to see.
>
>If all of the players understood the world because all of the rules were plain to see then adventure games would not work. Many games are based upon people figuring out what has to be done and how to do it.

This is incorrect. They do not need to understand all the obstacles completely, they need to understand the rules which make up the world. For instance, in reading, everyone understands reading english you read from the left to right, top to bottom. This could be considered a common understanding that everyone has. This is the type of thing I was talking about, only games define more than one activity, they usually define your entire range of activities.

>- A game is created for the purpose of entertainment.
>
>Some games are created for the purpose of gambling and to make money. Some play these games for entertainment, some play to try to make money.

This is a context confusion. You are confusing the purpose of the developer with the purpose of the product and the purpose of some people playing the product.

Gambling game: Developer makes it for money. The game is DESIGNED for entertainment of the player, taking money (and giving) being the way of entertaining. Some players play specifically to make money.

Whats left here is that there is a design purpose for the game that it will entertain in some aspect. Is all gambling a game? No, I dont think so IMO. But most of the things people associate with gambling probably are.

-Geoff

### #23Lerc  Members

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Posted 13 August 1999 - 07:39 PM

>Definitions shouldn't take things for granted IMO.

In that case you forgot to define interact :-)

>All of the things you mentioned here HAVE rules or all rules.
>Rules dont need to be specified on the box or a manual or something to be rules.

But the original statement wasn't that they should have rules but that they should state them. Some games do not state the rules.

>This is incorrect. They do not need to understand all the obstacles completely,
>they need to understand the rules which make up the world. For instance,
>left to right, top to bottom. This could be considered a common understanding
>that everyone has.

You need to be explicit about what kind of knowledge should be this common understanding knowledge. Otherwise you have merely, 'There must be some premises which are true in the game which the player knows are true in the game'. Given that x=x is probably true in the game and that the player knows that. The definition is too weak without including what type of knowledge is needed.

>This is a context confusion. You are confusing the purpose of the
>developer with the purpose of the product and the purpose of some people
>playing the product.

Well The purpose of individuals is very debatable and many a philosopher has considered the probelm with little success.
That doesn't seem to really be a problem because the purpose of the people is not actually being considered it is their intent.

The intent of the developer was to make money. The intent of the player could be either to entertain themself ot to make money. Traditionally the purpose of an object is considered to be to perfom the function that it's creator intended. You can sit on a computer case but that does not make it's purpose to be a chair. Hence the term, not for it's intended purpose (which also points out the intent/pupose link).

To allow The intent of people into the specification could lead to a subjective definition of what a game is. You need some group definitions of what players should be.

You need a bit of modal logic. I'd write a reasonable appoximation to what's needed for players but I don't have the symbols in this font. (also the symbol set seems to vary from university to university, which is annoying)

You could have as a requirement..

A game is played by some players with the intent of entertaining themselves.

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