Friday, January 27, 2017

Day 74: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 74 - Lens 51: The Lens of Imagination
All games have some element of imagination, and some element of reality. Use this lens to help you find the balance between detail and imagination. Ask yourself these questions:

What must the player understand to play my game?
The main goal of the game, To empty the resource pool at the center of the board and win a fight for the city.
Territory control, place and defend control points in each sector of the game board.
Movement, place and remove board pieces on the cloth board.
Fighting, spend warrior resources to remove other players warrior resources.
Challenges, the prisoner's dilemma used when players have direct conflict.

Can some element of imagination help them understand that better?
Yes! The fiction that describes the game action was almost entirely designed to make the rules intuitive. The pieces you place to control territory are your 'warriors' the pieces you recruit (recruit and train?) from the city are citizens. The pieces you put down for movement are paths. The control points that you control parts of the board with are bases, you put warriors in them to defend them, and the sectors they control are territories.

What high quality, realistic details can we provide in this game?
The game is very abstract. Realistic details are limited to things like the numbers of pieces that you have and whether paths are touching. Also the abstract pieces used in the game for your warriors bases etc. are abstract not representational, but the physical objects used are designed to be realistic examples of the abstract pieces used in the game fiction. It's a bit meta, but the game looks like something played in the future after the apocalypse.

What details would be low quality if we provided them? Can imagination fill the gaps instead?
If I made the warriors actual miniatures of wasteland warriors, even if I did a great job they would put the player at more of a remove from the game world than imagining themselves huddled around a fire playing the game.

Can I give details that the imagination will be able to reuse again and again?
I think that I do? That is the choice to make the game abstract, but to make the physical a concrete thematic representation...

Which details inspire imagination? Which stifle it?
The question of how much detail to give to represent the fictional game world is one I struggle with. Do I just sketch it out and allow the players to fill in the details, or do I create a detailed and rich set of documents and artifacts from this imagined future that the players can dig into?