# Rejoice!

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The first page is no longer completely dominated by "rate my MMORPG medival-fantasy game idea" posts! Perhaps now we can get back to some more...design discussions? I'll start: If you were a designer, and your goal was to create a fun game (As opposed to say, a commercial game just for profit, etc.), would you use ahievement based reward systems in your games, or systems meant to be enjoyed simply through the use of them, or both? An achievement based reward system would expect players to feel reward through gaining some more or less material thing - a "level up," a new item, a bigger gun. The other kind of system would be one where players are meant to enjoy the gameplay directly, regardless of what they may or may not get for completing a task. The other other system would be one where players complete an enjoyable task and get something for it. Here are some good (I hope so!) mesh analogies: Yet another system would add in elements of exploring as opposed to doing fun things and/or getting stuff. Exploring in this case would be getting to places in the game world or finding things by wit as opposed to luck. Devil May Cry meets Dungeons and Dragons Halo meets World of Warcraft Counter Strike meets Diablo II. Ideas? [Edited by - Nytehauq on September 21, 2006 12:41:29 PM]

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I wouldn't enjoy your suggested offerings, because I don't find "levelling up" or "getting a new item" in a game exceptionally fun. My idea of fun in a game is exploring new areas and finding obscure things which are out of reach for most players... not due to statistical difficulty, but rather because I spend most of my time in games (that allow for it) searching for obscurities.

For example, being rewarded in a RPG for going out of my way, finding a lost ruin or treasure-trove (even with useless stuff in it) is the most rewarding to me, simply because "it's there, and I found it by accident because I explored".

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Personally what I find fun in games is learning how the system works, and having a plan *I* (or at least to my perception, I) came up with pay off.

I like that moment of realisation that you get when something 'clicks'. The see-saw with the cinder blocks in half life 2 springs to mind.

I like playing with the game as a toy -throwing corpses through basketball hoops in Deus Ex 2, planning the biggest multiple pileup and grenadefest I can in GTA... oh - not to mention the unique stunt bonuses. I *loved* looking at the world with a 'how can I catapult a fast vehicle off that' bias.

I don't find 'grinding' enjoyable. Repetively performing a single-minded task for the purposes of getting better at that task brings me no joy. Conversely, I do like getting better at the things I do a lot, I just don't like being forced to do them.

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Quote:
 Original post by MatrixCubedI wouldn't enjoy your suggested offerings, because I don't find "levelling up" or "getting a new item" in a game exceptionally fun. My idea of fun in a game is exploring new areas and finding obscure things which are out of reach for most players... not due to statistical difficulty, but rather because I spend most of my time in games (that allow for it) searching for obscurities.For example, being rewarded in a RPG for going out of my way, finding a lost ruin or treasure-trove (even with useless stuff in it) is the most rewarding to me, simply because "it's there, and I found it by accident because I explored".

Oh no, I agree. I don't find getting "things" fun. I'd prefer if there were games that blended the various gamertypes into one: an exploring, rewarding, hacking and slashing, character developing game, role playing game. Let me add the "explorer" game type into my OP.

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Well I don't really understand your post, so the value of this comment may well be dubious. Anyhow, achievement is subjective, and it's not equivalent to reward. Achievement depends on the players objective at a particular moment, and more importantly, what gets them off. Reward is about coaxing the player to do something by inviting them to consider it an achievement.

For me, in Diablo, killing a monster is an achievement, when I see the beast explode in a shower of blood and entrails thats a reward, an additional drop is nice but that's also a reward. But that doesn't change any part of my achievement of killing the monster - because that was my objective - the rest is unsolicited reward; like the smell from freshly cut grass, most people don't cut grass for the smell.

I guess what i'm trying to say is, the distinction comes from the player. It may well be a design choice to include a range of rewards (in the form of blood, death scream, item drop, exp) but these are all rewards, whereas the players objective may be to kill as many creatures as possible, or gain as much exp as possible or a range - his actual achievement is measured by him, based on the value he places on a particular reward which may be anything, from the spray of blood from a monster, to the clink of placing a potion into his backpack.

I guess if I were to extend this to it's logical conclusion, it's safe to say that any action in a game (or any computer application for that matter) should have some kind of reaction to the players action, the objective with a video game is to make those reactions rewarding to the player, in obvious ways such as item drops in Diablo, to the less obvious things, like a footprint left by a character who's running in snow. The objective of the designer in any situation is to provide a range of reactions – rewards - to the players action. Ergo, your post confuses me.

And if you understand that, you are far more awake than me.

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Fun, for me, depends on the type of game.
In Adventure Games, it's solving a particularly hard puzzle, and unlocking a new area or part of the story as the reward.
For RPGS and 3rd or 1st person adventures, it's exploration, especially in games like Ultima VII, Ultima Underworlds, Outcast, Omikron, Gothic etc.
However, in Diablo, for that game it was what I call the "Ding Factor". I loved that sweet ding sound of a gem, ring or amulet falling when a foe was vanquished and was always excited to discover what it was that I'd just been rewarded with. [lol]

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exploring can be fun, if at least there is something to discover (unexpected things, eastereggs, some item, whatever pleases) from time to time ... i once swam a whole round around the gothic 2 island ... and yes, i found some shipwracks *gg*, but nothing really surprising or big tho ...

exploring in the means of diablo 2 just to not miss any bossmonster, is not fun in my oppinion, because if feal kinda forced to do so ... run the level up and down from side to side ...

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I love the distinction between rewards and achievements that this thread seems to be making!! Personally, I think thatwhat makes a game fun is having achievements to guide the action, so it doesn't become pointless, but having rewards to make it fun. I personally love hte footprints in the snow, lightswitches, stupid little things like tat that make the wold richer, but don''t neccessarily contribute to the plot.

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Fun Game:

Mastery of enjoyable actions is rewarded with new enjoyable actions to master, and the new actions fundamentally change the scope of the game. A game that is fun to play because it is fun to play.

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A fun game is one that allows you to do what you want when you want to.

A large enough and detailed enough (AND unique enough) World to explore when you want to do that. Long distance quests to some great destination or just wandering around admiring the scenery (or poking under rocks for something interesting).
More logical interactions - working physics - things work more as they normally would to simplify learning the game manipulations (pick up a rock to throw at the killer bunny... grab a branch and brain it before it savages you, grab a torch and set it on fire, slam it with a swinging door, etc....)

Monsters/opponents that can challenge you sufficiently (but not when you grow tired of it and dont feel like playing Aragorn slaughtering a horde of Orcs single handed.

Puzzles to find and solve (again when you feel like it).
Items to craft and assemble, etc...

Running a business or managing a town parttime if you want that role....

Interacting in some epic way to solve the problems of the age, or just taking it easy doing some routine activities.....

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