Friday, November 25, 2016

Day 21: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 21 - Lens 88: The Lens of Interpersonal Circumplex
The relationships between your characters can be understood by creating a graph with one axis labeled hostile/friendly and the other labeled submissive/dominant. Pick a character, put it in the middle, and plot out where other characters lie relative to that character. Ask yourself these questions:

Are there any gaps in the chart? Why are they there? Would it be better if they were filled?
I don't think my game has non-player characters in a way that makes this lense meaningful. It does have player characters though, and while they don't come with personalities that would make this lense useful they are embodied by players. I think it would be useful to look at whether there are methods of interaction available to the players to enact relationships that could be mapped to this graph.

Hostile Submissive:
This would be the act of avoiding confrontation with another player directly. Possibly allying with the player to get victory points and then removing paths or unguarded bases to undermine them. Agreeing to an alliance that is not advantageous to avoid a fight. Moving a base out of a territory under threat. Taking a single additional head at the end to deny it to others. Alliance after an attack.

Hostile Dominant:
Direct attacking and base taking would fall into this realm, also social manipulation of other players into hostile acts. Demanding unequal alliances in the late game. Retaliation after an attack.

Friendly Submissive:
Allying behavior, agreeing to attack someone else's base so that another can have it. Leaving a territory to another player.

Friendly Dominant:
Asking favors of allies, offering further carrots for compliance. Generating plans of attack against those outside of an alliance.

Ok, so it seems like I am pretty well covered here in terms of supporting these kinds of interactions.

Are there "extreme characters" on the graph? If not, would it be better if there were?
It depends on the players... but yes, players acting in the extremes of the graph toward each other makes for a more dramatic and entertaining game. So what can I do to encourage some of the interactions to fall into the extremes?

Are the character's friends in the same quadrant, or different quadrants? What if that were different?
I think that this is situational, but that situations arise reasonable often where players act in accord with or in opposition to players that are like and unlike them on this graph.