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General: Spotlight: Means-Based Game Design

MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 5,724Administrator Uncommon

This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “Means-Based Game Design” by SirBenedict. The post is SirBenedict’s first post, so he has certainly gotten off to a good start! While it’s still early, and there are not many responses at the moment, I found the content of the original post to be quite thought provoking and I’d like to highlight it this week.

In the thread, SirBenedict wonders why we don’t see more “means based” game design, I.E. design based around enjoying the ride, instead of rushing to the destination:

“What if there were a game about means rather than ends, the experience rather than the completion. It appears to me that "leveling up" "beating the game" or "killing the monster" are not the inherently rewarding components of a game. Take sports as an example. People don't play sports just because they want to win. Rather, they play sports because the mere experience of engaging in them is rewarding on a level far below the abstractions of status and hierarchy. Sipping hot chocolate or smelling a frangrant flower are engaged in because the experiences themselves are rewarding, not because once you've drunk the cocoa you get "cocoa xp" or because you "leveled up your flower-smelling ability." In short, I think that the whole concept of designing games around "success" or "end" should be exchanged for games which focus on the experience of the game or means to its "end".”

Read this week's Community Spotlight here.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

Comments

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member
    Originally posted by MikeB


     Sipping hot chocolate or smelling a frangrant flower are engaged in because the experiences themselves are rewarding, not because once you've drunk the cocoa you get "cocoa xp" or because you "leveled up your flower-smelling ability." In short, I think that the whole concept of designing games around "success" or "end" should be exchanged for games which focus on the experience of the game or means to its "end".”
     
    To this I add if we are just talking bout video games in general then I agree. Lets take the most popular game of all time. Mario Bros when you got your FLOWER POWER you loved it because for a few sec you can shoot fire at the Koopas which in short made the game more enjoyable.

    image

  • rewindmadrewindmad Kinnelon, NJPosts: 7Member

    lol because blizzard wouldnt make any money if ppl stopped to smell the roses

    if you think about it, theres nothing really fun about the game anymore

    mmo nowadays are designed to be addicting, not neccessarily fun

    they pretty much just wave around a twinky just out of your reach so every time you come close they move it farther

    its basic psychology.  To most companies its all about money, not making a game with means, and something that truly enjoyable.

    im just biding my time until a company decides to take one for the team and make a game players truly love, and not something that just messes with you into playing nonstop

    too bad its only a naive dream of mine

  • kaiser3282kaiser3282 Phoenix, AZPosts: 2,660Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by rewindmad


    lol because blizzard wouldnt make any money if ppl stopped to smell the roses
    if you think about it, theres nothing really fun about the game anymore
    mmo nowadays are designed to be addicting, not neccessarily fun
    they pretty much just wave around a twinky just out of your reach so every time you come close they move it farther
    its basic psychology.  To most companies its all about money, not making a game with means, and something that truly enjoyable.
    im just biding my time until a company decides to take one for the team and make a game players truly love, and not something that just messes with you into playing nonstop
    too bad its only a naive dream of mine

    this is pretty much why i havent really concerned myself much with playing MMOs of late. Ive gotten bored with the repetition and cloning and unoriginality that has infected the genre. I kept getting excited about new games that promised new features, better gameplay, better lore, etc etc... but they simply dont follow through. At best they take what already exists and just add in 1 or 2 cool new features that are meant to keep you wanting to play, but none of them are ever very revolutionary. Instead I've found myself being drawn back more and more to single player console games due to the massive variety in stories and gameplay.combat styles compared to the MMO Genre. Sure each individual game might not last me a slong as playing an addictive MMO for months and months, but im having a hell of a lot more fun playing these games than the MMOs. Im just hoping that a couple of potentially great games being released this and next year actually do something new for the genre, cause right now its just stagnant and a good like 99% of the market is just full of games that all have the same point... hurry up and get to end game so you can play that content (if youre lucky enough to have even picked a game that actually has some worthwile endgame content) and get the best gear.

     

    I remember getting into RPGs in the first place, not to hurry through them and get to the end as quickly as possible, but to explore and get immersed in the stories & worlds. Unfortunately quality story driven gameplay in MMOs has given way to what keeps you doing the same thing over and over while paying your share of the sub.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    UO was the closest I have come to this concept.  There was really no end game.  Our usual weekend play was doing some activity that the community coordinators had dreamed up.  I was always amazed at the ingenuity of what some of them dreamed up.

    SWG initially had some of this concept inherent in it's design.

    I do think this is more the future of MMO's, not the Wow model.

  • Death1942Death1942 CanberraPosts: 2,587Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    UO was the closest I have come to this concept.  There was really no end game.  Our usual weekend play was doing some activity that the community coordinators had dreamed up.  I was always amazed at the ingenuity of what some of them dreamed up.


    SWG initially had some of this concept inherent in it's design.
    I do think this is more the future of MMO's, not the Wow model.

     

    i agree both SWG and UO and even EVE focus more on the everyday stuff rather than the endgame.

     

    Dakrfall is another good example, sure you have to grind a bit to PvP but everyone is constantly skilling up or changing their characters.  Nothing is static, unlike class based/endgame focussed games where once you hit X level as X class you can do X stuff over and over again.

    MMO wish list:

    -Changeable worlds
    -Solid non level based game
    -Sharks with lasers attached to their heads

  • SkuzSkuz WorcesterPosts: 1,034Member Uncommon

    The sad thing is that our culture is driven by aquisition & goal orientated materialistic consumerism, in that light it's not even remotely surprising that games reflect that & the most successful game reflects it the best.

    Doesn't mean that there isn't room for more games to be journey oriented rather than destination focused, but the "smart money" follows the largest trends, niche games will perhaps look to fill this void, but the pitfalls of open-ended design is that for a goal oriented culture to shift gears & take a more relaxed approach in a game is counter-intuitive, how "lost" do players in sandbox games feel, how aimless, much of our society is made up of sheep instead of goats, they NEED to be told what to do & where to go they get scared, frustrated & eventually bored when they have to figure shit out for themselves, that's a somewhat Mysoginistic point of view but it's my observation, however they are all so blinkered that they can't see their current "lead me by the nose" gaming style is unltimately going to bore them to death anyway.

  • VengerVenger York, PAPosts: 1,318Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    UO was the closest I have come to this concept.  There was really no end game.  Our usual weekend play was doing some activity that the community coordinators had dreamed up.  I was always amazed at the ingenuity of what some of them dreamed up.


    SWG initially had some of this concept inherent in it's design.
    I do think this is more the future of MMO's, not the Wow model.

    And to all the blah, blah blah, WoW haters.  WoW did not invent this design, they perfected it but by no means invented it.  Game design started down this omfg must get next level or next shiney item long before WoW was even a thought.

    I wish this was the future of mmo design but designing holy trinity, hack and slashes are so much simpler then designing online worlds with more to do that simply kill everything that moves.  I wish I shared your optimism.

  • mOoKmOoK Seattle, WAPosts: 26Member

     Sounds like to you want "Mindfulness!® The Buddhism MMORPG!"  "Where loading times are no longer an inconvenience, but an opportunity!"

     

    The "ride" can be whatever you want in an MMOG.  In an MMORPG, it should always be character and plot development and interaction.

  • Excalaber2Excalaber2 Merrick, NYPosts: 357Member Uncommon

    In UO I stayed by my house to hangout or fight with friendly or enemy neighbors.  I fought to get loot on a daily basis because it was fun.  I knew  I wasn't going to get the best of any crazy epic item.  I crafted to craft what I needed.  Not to max it out and everything.  

     

    In SWG I built houses as an architect and surveyed resources and that's pretty much it.  I invited dancers over to my auditorium room that I build and had a good time hanging out.  It was never about being the "best" .... .. .. . until Everquest.

    Disclaimer: This is not a troll post and is not here to promote any negative energy. Although this may be a criticism, it is not meant to offend anyone. If a moderator feels the post is inappropriate, please remove it immediately before it is subject to consideration for a warning. Thank you.

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