Quote:Should game designers stop including these addicting reward systems into their games and focus more on other ways of making their games fun and innovative? Or do you think that the blame rests more with the players -- after all, they're the ones who buy these games, and as long as they continue doing that, there's no reason for game designers to abandon something that works? Please share any other thoughts you have on reward systems in video games! I'm currently in the process of writing a paper on the topic and your input would help. Alternative viewpoints welcome -- you can probably tell what mine is (I didn't put much effort into hiding it). Thanks!
That kind of reward system is very easily turned into a Pavlovian or Skinnerian scheme. It's considered best practice: schedule rewards for your player so that they don't get bored and give up on your game. That's actually exploitation. . . . Developers should provide activities that interest players rather than stringing them along with little pieces of candy so that they'll suffer through terrible game play, but keep playing because they gain levels or new items. 
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seriosoMember Since 12 Oct 2009
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18 May 2010 - 12:12 AM
What is the rationale for including achievements, experience points, leveling systems, emblems, and other such "reward systems" into games? I've been seeing this happen more and more in FPS games (most recently Modern Warfare 2) which don't have "monthly subscription fees" like many online RPGs. With monthly subscription games, the benefit of reward systems is relatively obvious: if you get your players addicted, they'll continue playing -- and paying -- and the game company will profit. But with FPS games, the benefit (if any) is much less obvious, and I'm trying to figure out what it is. Is it as simple as games designers just wanting to add some more spice into their games? Make an otherwise bland and repetitive shoot-em-up more interesting and varied? Or is there a more nefarious reason? For example, Modern Warfare 2 recently came up with an expansion pack -- basically, they recycled some old maps from the previous version of the game and charged $15 for it. Since the game has been out for some time, you'd think everybody had forgotten about it by now and moved on to something else. But alas, people bought into the so-called "stimulus pack" with record-breaking numbers  which is possible, I think, only because of how addicting that game is. And the addicting element is, of course, the numerous reward systems that are present in that game. What are some other possible reasons why we see reward systems in virtually every game out there today? Is it the game industry's "copy machine" doing its thing -- game designers are including it simply because everyone else is? Do you view reward systems as being exploitative of their players? What do you think of the following quote by Jonathan Blow about the reward systems present in World of Warcraft?
19 January 2010 - 11:55 PM
Hello, I have what is probably a very simple conceptual question, but I'm having some trouble thinking it through. I'm learning OpenGL (using C++) and I'm working on a simple application where the user gets to control a train. (At this point, I don't have tracks for the train, so it's really more like a bus with several jointed segments). Suppose you have a train with 4 cars: And suppose it's moving forward at some speed and the user wants to turn it to the left. I'm a little confused how to go about making the last three cars follow the first one correctly -- in other words, the train shouldn't "fall apart", and also, each car should always face the right direction. At the moment, I have a class for the whole train (Train), and a class for each car (Car). For each Car, I'm keeping track of the current position, the previous position in the last frame, the current direction, the previous direction, and I'm also keeping pointers to the car ahead and the car behind:
float pos_x, pos_y; // Current position float prev_pos_x, prev_pos_y; // Position during last frame float dir_x, dir_y; // Current direction float prev_dir_x, prev_dir_y; // Direction during last frame Car *ahead, *behind; // Pointers to the car ahead and the car behindFor the Train, I'm keeping track of the first car, the speed, and I also have booleans for whether the train is currently accelerating, decelerating, turning left, and turning right:
Car *first; // The leading car in the train float speed; // Speed of the whole train bool is_accelerating, is_decelerating; // Whether the user is pressing up or down bool is_turning_left, is_turning_right; // Whether the user is pressing left or rightI'm probably going to have to have something for how fast the train is allowed to turn depending on its speed. Not yet sure what else. Suppose we also have the following constants:
const float length = 3.2f; const float joint_offset = 1.5f;And just for clarity, the "joint" is what I call the part where two adjacent cars are attached. The cars should pivot about these points. Anyways, here's what I'm wondering about: 1. How do I correctly update each car's direction per frame? Am I supposed to interpolate between the direction of the current car and the direction of the car ahead? Should I subtract the car ahead's position from its previous position to obtain a delta_pos vector and add that vector to the current car's direction vector to obtain the new direction? 2. How do I correctly update each car's position per frame? Obviously, this should (eventually) depend on the speed of the train. Should I just use pos and prev_pos from the car ahead? I apologize if this is a simple question -- it certainly doesn't seem that way to me, but then again, I am kind of a beginner and I've never really coded something like this before. (I'm also kind of sleep deprived.) I hope someone can help me understand the intuition behind this problem. Thanks in advance.
12 October 2009 - 06:06 PM
Hello, I'm currently researching parts to build a PC. I've never built one before, so I could use some help and would welcome suggestions. My budget is about $1,300 and my purpose is to build a relatively high-end gaming PC. Some things I already decided on:
- CPU: I will be buying the Core i7 920 CPU ($280) and I plan to overclock it to a moderate degree. Based on my research, the 920 is the best CPU for overclocking and is fairly cost effective.
- Video card I've spent a lot of time looking at these and I think I should go with EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 "superclocked" edition (Cost: $200, or $170 after MIR). At this point, I will only be purchasing one (I will not be doing SLI), but I want to keep the possibility of adding another one in the future (so I need to pick a compatible motherboard and power supply).
- What I'm looking for: a case that has great cooling and a somewhat attractive design. I also hate noise. Should be full ATX size.
- Current choice: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
- Product Link
- Price: $110
- Possible deal: -$25 combo discount with: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM. $110 case + $90 hard drive - $25 discount = $175 for case + hard drive
- COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
- COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
- Price: $70
- Potential deal: -$45 combo discount with: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM. $70 + $75 hard drive - $45 discount = $100 for case + hard drive.
- Cheaper than the other options here, but doesn't look quite as attractive. Some reviewers point out that the bottom-mounted PSU can be problematic when assembling the system. Cabling may also interfere with air flow.
- Price: $70
- I could use some help here!
- Some basic requirements: it must have an LGA 1366 CPU socket type and should probably be full ATX. Other than that, I like easy settings for overclockers, support for 2 video cards in an SLI config (and perhaps an extra PCI-e slot to spare), and something that will last me a good time allowing for the possibility of upgrades in the future. Also, I value good audio quality (in fact, I might decide to get a sound card at some point). Good reviews and your recommendations will probably be the deciding factor, as I'm not too sure what else to look for.
- List of all compatible motherboards on NewEgg
- My default choice is the EVGA E758-A1 for $280 ($260 after MIR), simply because it has the most ratings and it sounds like a middle of the road kind of choice. It has utilities for overclocking easier, which is also a plus.
- Also, there's a -$20 combo discount for this board with the GTX 260 video card.
- Power supply
- Based on the rest of my config, as well as my intention to overclock, and my desire for upgradeability in the future, I decided to aim for an 850 W power supply. Is that too much, or too little?
- Also, the GTX 260 video card specs recommend 36 amps on the +12V rail. However, I've read many reviews on NewEgg where people post their entire builds, and I've seen that many people successfully run the GTX 260 (even 2 in SLI) on power supplies that only provide 30 amps.
- A modular power supply would be a plus, but they tend to be way more expensive.
- My current choice: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
- Price: $140 ($110 after MIR)
- It has a single 12 V rail, and the output is rated at: +3.3V@30A, +5V30A, +12V@70A, -12V@0.8A, +5VSB@3A
- Would prefer about 6 GB, and the faster the better. Many manufacturers advertise they're "compatible with Intel's X58 boards and Core i7" - I've been going for these, although I'm not sure how much this matters.
- Current choice: OCZ XMP Ready Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3X1600LV6GK
- Price: $130 ($110 after MIR)
- XMP means it should be relatively easy to overclock, which is a plus for me (and for the i7-920, memory needs to be overclocked because the memory clock in the CPU runs at a slower 1066MHz). There's a slightly cheaper version of essentially the same RAM here ($110 after MIR), but many reviewers had difficulties getting it to run with the rated timings.
- Also, there's a -$12 combo discount for this memory with the CPU.
- CPU Cooler
- Since I plan to overclock, it'll probably be a good idea to get one of these.
- Current choice: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler
- Price: $33.98
- Hard Drive
- Looking for about 1 GB and preferably 7200 RPM
- Currently going with the combo deal with the Antec Nine Hundred Case:
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
- Price: $90, but there's a $25 combo discount.
- CD/DVD burner
- No need for anything fancy here, but they're not really expensive.
- Going with: HP Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA 24X Multiformat DVD Writer for $32.
- Are any of these parts perhaps a bit excessive? I'm going for performance, but at the same time, I don't want to pay $100 extra for an increase or benefit that I won't even notice.
- I'm not feeling too sure about the motherboard because I didn't understand a lot of the tech specs - I chose it more or less randomly. Is my choice ok?
- Any other suggestions.