Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Day 8: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 8 - Lens 22: The Lens of Needs
To use this lens, stop thinking about your game and start thinking about what basic human needs it fulfills. Ask yourself these questions:

On which levels of Maslow's hierarchy is my game operating?
Well my game does not provide food or shelter... but it is about survival and safety and love and esteem and maybe even self. I make all of that kind of explicit in the letter that the winner reads. But it's also intrinsic to the gameplay. 
Does it fulfill the needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness?
I very much think that it does. All three of those were major design goals from the beginning of the process, so from the blank board that the players decide how to fill to the social challenges every aspect of the game is bent in those directions. 
How can I make my game fulfill more basic needs than it already does?
Adding the winners letter was a recent step in that direction. Perhaps making the winner the judge for the next round of the game. Do I want to have language or ritual around the Challenge other than just saying 'challenge'. 
For the needs my game is already fulfilling, how can it fulfill those needs even better?
I'm not sure how much more I can turn these things up. The game is an abstract strategy game and it's mechanics suggest a lot... on top of that I have built a setting and context that reinforces those themes. Without becoming a parody of a meaningful game I may be at the limit .