Tag Archives: General

Personality in games

Recently my dad was talking about how you can really get a glimpse of someone’s personality by watching them play the game 10,000. If you haven’t played, it’s a dice game where as long as you keep scoring points you can keep rolling, but if you ever roll and don’t score you lose whatever points you had built up that turn. So there’s an element of risk involved, and that’s where personality comes into play.

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Rules vs. Fun

There are a lot of people out there, both hardcore gamer types and people who just play games occasionally, that have this idea that the rules just sort of get in the way and keep you from having fun. It’s an attitude of “well I’m just here to have fun, I don’t care about the rules”. I believe that following the rules in fact makes games more fun, not less and I’d like to talk a little bit about why.

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Optimal strategy vs. Fun Part 2

[continued from the previous post]

It’s actually reminiscent of the very early days of MtG. Originally there were no rules about deck composition other than you had to have at least 40 cards in your deck, so people would make decks that had 30 of one card (Lightning Bolt) and 10 of another (Mountain). Then the creators quickly realized there needed to be a little more variety, so the now standard rule of no more than four of any one card was adopted. Something similar would be easy to do in Dominion and for me at least would make the game a lot more fun. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be done or that the game would be better. I look at it as more of a personal hangup on my part then a shortcoming of the game. Playing the game the way it’s “supposed” to be played isn’t all that fun for me, so I simply don’t play it. “Well that’s just part of the game” people will say, and my response is “Yeah, and that’s why I don’t like it!”

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Optimal strategy vs. Fun Part 1

I was playing a game on Kongregate earlier today called GlueFo2.0, which is similar to the all-time classic Asteroids. For my younger readers who have never played Asteroids, you have a little space ship in the middle of the screen that you can move around and fire shots from. Giant asteroids appear, and you have to destroy them. The first time you hit them they break into 2 smaller pieces, then those 2 can each be broken down into 4 smaller ones, and finally those can each be broken down into 8 tiny ones. Once you hit the tiny ones they disappear altogether. While I was playing  GlueFo2.0 I was of course thinking about the best way to win the game (the optimal strategy).

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Aggression in games

In almost every game I can think of one of the hallmarks of a good player is aggressiveness. In fact, I actually can’t think of a single game where being aggressive isn’t a good thing. Whether it’s pinochle, poker, backgammon, basketball, or anything else, aggression is generally the way to go. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to always keep the pedal to the metal; sometimes you have to back off a bit and slow down.

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What Makes a game “good” conclusion

In my last post I talked about various game elements that make a game fun and entertaining: strategic options, luck, twists and turns, the addiction factor, and physical skill. I’d like to talk about one last element and then wrap it up with an example. I was originally going to conclude with a general discussion of how the different elements could be combined, but I think an extended example will serve very nicely.

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What makes a game “good”?

It’s a question that’s been on my mind lately. And of course it’s something I’ve always spent time thinking about. There are lots of different answers and I want to just talk about some of them a little bit. This is the rare post of mine that I don’t have basically written out in my head, so bare with me if it’s scattered or wanders around a bit 🙂

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