Jon Gill
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mb
I've been thinking a lot about meaningful choice in game design recently, and wrote up some of my thoughts on the subject in a blog. I came to tabletop via video game design, and so a lot of my ideas have been geared around the difference between choice mechanics in tabletop and digital games, and how learning about one can help us design the other.

The blog is on our site here: http://ruddygam.es/tabletop-lessons-for-digital-designers-pt...

If you have time to read it, I'd love to hear your opinions on the subject and on the blog! It's the first in a series I'd like to write, so I'd really appreciate some feedback.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Poon
msg tools
mbmb
Very interesting read and I think a very good place to start. Designing my first game at first things came very intuitive but eventually I got bogged down by the details and lost sight of where the game was ultimately going to go. I started seeing playtests go from fun but unbalanced to clunky and not fun. I had no idea where I went wrong until I took a few steps back.

One paper that helped me on stepping back was the paper "MDA: A formal approach to game design and game research." It was very interesting to read that game designers and players see the game from different angles. It also defined but not limited the experience of playing games to 8 categories of aesthetics (sensation, narrative, fantasy, challenge, fellowship, discovery, expression and submission). In a way, these 8 tie into your blog about meaningful choices. Different players play games for different reasons but just about everyone is looking to satisfy some need for fun. These different needs (at least for me) we're very well defined in these 8 categories. What went wrong with my game was that I lost sight of the experience that made the game fun and started adding things that took away from that. These things that I added weren't meaningful. Some of them didn't have direct value to winning the game and were better left out as people ignored them entirely because by the time they would prove valuable, someone else would have won already. Other choices were ignored like as you said, there was a better choice with more value. I think that goes into balance. I had one character that was vastly inferior to another character and so the inferior character quickly became neglected and no one wanted to use it.

All in all, I'm very interested to see more insights as you cross lessons from video game design with table top. Thank you!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Gill
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mb
Thank you! If you like the MDA paper, you might also want to check out the Bartle Test, which breaks players down into types based on what they like to do (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_Test). It's focused on MMOs, but is pretty applicable to tabletop as well, as they are both generally social in nature.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brook Gentlestream
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm Brook Gentlestream, and I approve this message.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Poon
msg tools
mbmb
Thanks! I'll definitely look into that!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam P
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Good article, (although I need to finish reading it) and a good reminder when designing.

As I was reading the 3-point card versus 5-point card and how a player always chooses the 5-point card, it led me to thinking of situationally valued cards: 3-point card with a +3 resource bonus or a 5-point card. What is more valuable now? It depends on the situation the player is in.

The designer of Musee mentions this, too:
https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/37012/designer-diary-muse...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.