Saturday, November 12, 2016

Day 11: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 11 - Lens 20: The Lens of Pleasure
To use this lens, think about the kinds of pleasure your game does and does not provide. Ask yourself these questions:

What pleasures does my game give to players?
I don't have a pat answer for this one. The pleasure of competition? Of deception? Perhaps of being deceived? I think that the game does a pretty good job at making both competition and social betrayal fun. It does that by setting the stakes high enough to be meaningful but low enough that players don'f feel bad for loosing. Inspired to feed into the competitiveness of the game but not become actually bitter and vindictive.

A second kind of pleasure that I put in the game naturally but didn't identify as critical or important to me until later is tactile pleasure. The game components strongly support the fiction and 'feel' real and authentic. I have received many comments on how much players appreciate the physical aspects of the game and how much better it makes their experience.

Can this be improved?
There has been a lot of iteration on the parts of the game that contribute to both kinds of pleasure. I don't see ways to improve them right now, but I am sure they are out there and I will keep thinking about it and watching in play tests.

What pleasures are missing from my game's experience?
There seems to be a conflict in the way that players interact with the ame. There are players that find the language of the rules charming and engaging and those that feel like it gets in the way of them getting to the rules of the game.

Why?
The pleasure of immersion in narrative conflicting with the pleasure of understanding.

Can they be added?
Perhaps I should provide a bare bones rules summary. That would allow players from both sides to find their pleasure. The thing I worry about is that the kind of game that FotLC is, is more attractive to the kind of players that don't like the heavy narrative theming.  I know that narrative focused players end up liking the game because of the narrative, and that rules focused players like the game once they get past the narrative... but am I working against myself? Am I limiting my audience by using heavy narrative theming in the rules...