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Diodor

addiction : good and evil ?

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Some examples: Evil addiction: the average RPG where the character upgrades in a direct proportion with the time spent in the game. I spent times like an hour pressing the left and right keys with a hand so my character moves through a gremlin horde to increase some stats in ADOM (and meanwhile reading with the other hand) Good addiction: Thief - I got addicted on stealing those shiny trinkets. Evil addiction: Wolfenstein - pointlessly moving around finding the keys opening doors and going to the next level and shooting everything that moves and going to the next level and so forth. Good addiction: Counterstrike - the weapons, the feeling, everything about the game is highly addictive Evil addiction : Dune 2 (and many of the other RTSs) - after a very hard beginning lasting a few minutes, the game calms down, and the next hour is spent with routines like building, destroying enemies one by one until the whole map is cleared. Most of the time there is no game: the player already won the fight. Yet time passes slowly blowing up yet another base. Good addiction : Z - small extremely concentrated and tense battles. After the game shifts in the player''s favor, it is only a matter of minutes before the whole map is conquered. My question is : what separates good addiction from evil addiction ?

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A good addiction is one where, looking back upon it years later, you smile.

A bad addiction is one where, looking back upon it years later, you hit your head because you realize how much time you wasted on that stupid addiction while that good addiction only got so little playing time.

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It''s about rewarding the player. The player should be rewarded promptly and appropriately for meeting challenge. Games in which the reward doesn''t match the challenge, or isn''t given promptly, are more likely to give rise to ''evil addiction''.

We''ve got a load of articles about this here. My personal favourites are the Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie and Behavioural Game Design . Depending upon the game you''re making, other articles may be of interest.

All your bases belong to us

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