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Eliezer_Yudkowsky 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: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 15 January 2009 07:11:14PM 2 points [-]

Yes, obviously you can't delete the advance information and keep the progressive irreversible skill tree which as the name "tree" implies is full of single possible paths and limited frangible resources.

The challenge would be to design a game that, oh, say, had more than one way to do something, like say real life, so that your choices were meaningful without having to hit an exact keyhole sequence in order to achieve the desired end. Which is the main point at which you start needing a "walkthrough" when you get "stuck". Then, perhaps, you could deliver pleasant surprises to the player without requiring them to plan out their whole future existence in advance.

I am not a game designer, but it still looks to me like what we have here is poor game design compensating for poor game design. There's only one way to do things and lots of irreversible choices, therefore, we have to give the player too much information about the future. This is easy on the game designer but hard on the player.