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Desrtopa comments on Justified Expectation of Pleasant Surprises - Less Wrong

10 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 15 January 2009 07:26AM

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Comment author: Desrtopa 30 May 2014 02:16:56AM 0 points [-]

Okay, this is a reply to an old comment from a member who's probably never going to see it, but I've been discussing this recently on the RPGMaker Network forum, so this has been on my mind. In situations where online competition with other players isn't a major component, I would say that-

Offering the player no information from the beginning of the game, in a situation with branching skill trees or other major tradeoffs where the player can lock themselves into an unwanted gameplay situation due to poorly informed choices is bad game design.

Offering the player full information so they can inform their choices and decide in advance what tradeoffs to make and determine their playstyle in advance is... not terrible game design.

Offering the player limited information from the beginning, with more becoming available over time, through which to direct their growth, without giving them significant opportunity to screw themselves over, or making the game too easy given a total lack of attention to growth direction, that's good game design. It's definitely doable, but it takes finesse. That's what makes it good and not average; there isn't a cut-and-paste way to imitate it.