Thursday, November 24, 2016

Day 20: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 20 - Lens 40: The Lens of Triangularity
Giving the player the choice to play it safe for a low reward or to take a risk for a big reward is a great way to make your game interesting and exciting. To use this lens, ask yourself these questions:

Do I have triangularity now? If not, how can I get it?
There is triangularity in almost every choice the player makes. Recruit or move? If you move attack or be defensive.If you place a base, keep it in your territory or expand. If you Challenge fight or ally... The question is whether the players perceive these as a set of triangular choices, easy either or's that are meaningful, or if they all just become a cloud of confusing possibilities. I think that my playtesting shows that the game starts out with too many choices, players are overwhelmed, but after a few rounds they see the shape of the main gameplay and enjoy it. I don't think that they see the larger goal based triangularity of the overall game. The choice of prep for taking the city or gather bases, or the taught balance of both. Or the choice of trying to get ahead yourself or weaken other players. Or of focusing on tactical decisions of being a social leader and manipulating your allies and enemies into doing what you need to win.

Is my attempt at triangularity balanced? That is, are the rewards commensurate with the risk?
I hope so? That's a very weak answer but I am still unsure. I have mostly tried to guess and playtest. I watch players and tried to change the rewards so that players would choose each option evenly. I have not done the analysis of who made what choices and who won. That is something that I should track over many games... I should add a section to the survey!

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