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Clowns will melt at 27 degrees

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I'm pretty knackered right now because I stayed up till 6am and it's now 1pm and I've been up for about an hour.

It was worth it though. After I sobered up a little ([wink]) I was chatting to people in #gamedev and I got into a little design brainstorming session with aboom. He was trying to use CRC cards for... well, I'm not entirely sure what for, but he hadn't done much formal thought about his game design other than "BF1942 clone." I fired a bunch of questions at him, and we started hashing things out a little more - destructable objects in the environment, camoflague, and a versatile radio system got discussed. I'm pretty confident that the set of gameplay elements he's now thinking over would allow for some solid gameplay (with the appropriate level design, natch).

Consider this: Every gameplay situation is the result of some combination of game elements. That's kinda like the description of a vector space, no? Every elements in the vector space is the result of some combination of the basis vectors?

It leads me to wonder that an effective design technique might not be to start with a collection of gameplay situations, from which you derive your 'basis' gameplay elements.

I suppose it's sort of like user story driven design.
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1.) your basis gameplay elements are linearly independent (orthogonal)
2.) your basis gameplay elements span the gameplay space.

Nice idea. I'd really like to see this idea explored a bit more - Gameplay algebra ;)

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Well there is a theory that all stories/plots etc are basically one of several categories (I remember there being 19) or a combination of them. I wonder if you can come up with a similar set of basic games that all other games are either copies of or combinations of?

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Well after a little Googling I found this which mentions several different ideas as to what the basic plots are and how many there are. I'd say the basic ideas are not directly related to the genre so you could conceivably come up with a list of basic game ideas which every game could be said to be derived from that isn't a list of genres.

[edit]After thinking about it some more I guess the list would contain genres but I think it would also contain other things, though I can't actually think of any concrete examples atm[/edit]

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