Thursday, December 8, 2016

Day 31: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 31 - Lens 13: The Lens of Infinite Inspiration
"When you know how to listen, everybody is the guru."
-Ram Dass
To use this lens, stop looking at your game, or games like it. Instead, look everywhere else. Ask yourself these questions:

What is an experience I have had in my life that I want to share with others?
A great many, finding the ones that would make this game better is the challenge. I have many times gone down the path of adding a bunch of cool ideas only to weed out most of them as weakening the game. That's part of iteration of course, but when looking this broadly I think I need to take each experience and view it through the lense of the purpose of the game. So...

I think one of my peak gaming experiences was when I was 9 or maybe 11 and on a train in europe with my parents. We were playing Pinochle and I was able to take every trick. My parents didn't see it coming and the nervous excited feeling as I took trick after trick and they realized what I was up to, reminded me that it was very hard and that I might lose everything (as I had the many other times I had tried) and then finally realized that I was going to pull it off was amazing. As much as I prefer cooperative games I'll never forget that and it keeps me coming back to competitive games even thirty years later.

In what small way can I capture the essence of that experience and put it into my game?
So, there is a lot of opportunity for this kind of thing in my game... but I think it's underutilized. Every challenge has an element of the bluff and gamble, but they are fast. Could I do something to make the reveal slower and more intense?

I think the larger challenge is that the board is SO dynamic and hard to predict that the kind of long term grand strategy that Pinochle taps into is hard to see. Will that come out in repeated play? Are there any things I can add to the game or emphasize that would capture that feeling? It will take me more that a morning of writing the figure that out, but I'm thinking about it.