Bastiaan Reinink
Netherlands
Utrecht
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Last week I published an article about what it means for a game to be deep and how to add depth to a game. This garnered a -lot- of discussion, something I'm very happy with! Because one of the best ways to learn is by discussing things with other knowledgeable people.

Those discussions sharpened my thoughts on depth further (or at least, I hope they did!) This resulted in a second post where I try to go deeper (haha) into the subject of depth:
http://makethemplay.com/index.php/2017/08/14/even-deeper-lea...

What is the -goal- of depth? Is emergence necessary to create depth in a game?

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
 
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Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
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Why don't you "publish" your thoughts here on the geek?



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Laura Creighton
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Göteborg
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I don't think that depth -- at least how I use the term -- has a lot to do with replayability. There are a lot of games that I replay quite a lot whose strategic depth I have exhausted a long time ago. You don't get out King of Tokyo to explore deeper emerging strategies. Either you feel like being a monster and battling other player monsters, or you don't, that's all.

On the other hand when people decide that they are bored with playing chess or Go, it isn't because they have exhausted the strategic depth of the game. There are many people who simply hate abstracts altogether, and all the strategic depth in the world isn't going to make the game attractive to them for even one play.

I think that all you can conclude is that if you are the sort of person who likes strategic depth in a game, then you will enjoy a deep game for having it, and thus be willing to play it more often. This assumes you can find an opponent, or the game is solo -- to the extent that your deeper understanding of the game means that you slaughter the opposition, you may find that the opposition is uninteresting to play, or that they refuse to play with you because you always win.
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Adrian Pillai
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Hi Bastiaan, glad the previous thread could give you fresh perspectives into the topic of depth in games.

But I'm with Laura Creighton here, I don't think depth has a lot to do with replayability either. I think if a game is fun, it guarantees being replayed - however if it takes 8 hours to play (or god forbid setup!) then it gets replayed less, no matter how fun or deep it is.

I am of the opinion that enjoyment (fun) leads to replayability (in tandem with a whole slew of other mechanics - randomly generated or otherwise), but DEPTH is wholly enrichment (or enhancement) of a player's participation within the game.

I believe why there are so many games with premium component upgrades is because of the pursuit of enriching the player's experience. Does it make the game more fun? Perhaps. Does it make more... tactile and immersive? Again, subjective.

Yes, I agree with the thought that mechanics and themes that are so perfectly bonded will deliver a game that feels (again subjective) deep, and it will have done so because it feels right and it feels good to do those actions within that game. And I don't mean the physical actions we perform in game - play a card, move a piece, roll a die - but the decisions we are allowed to make are an extension of the role we have while playing the game - be it a master tactician, or a city builder, or a monster in Tokyo.

See, for me, King of Tokyo would be so much more awesome if I could knock down buildings AS WELL as enemies. It's that idea that I took away from that experience to start developing my own Super Powered Beings brawling game -- if I ever get to it.

Sushi Go Party might have more depth if we replaced the cards with dice (with a different type of sushi dish on each side) and had a rolling mat dice tower to simulate rolling sushi, and we score for each combo of same kind sushi we managed to roll (in a literal sense). Would it be more fun? Maybe not, and if it isn't fun, it isn't getting replayed.

Food for thought? Man, suddenly I'm hungry for sushi...
 
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Casey Hill
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Very interesting topic. I agree with much of what some of the other community members have said in that depth is largely connected to replay value. But I would say that having lots of decision modules is, in and of itself, not a direct line to depth. For instance, if in any given situation you have 100 options but 3-4 of those options are always the best, the game will still be flat and have poor depth.

One interesting proxy I think for depth is the skill gap. If you have a game where a highly skilled player wins at a greatly disproportionate rate, like Chess, that is probably a good sign the game is highly skill based, and thus has more depth.
 
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