Saturday, February 4, 2017

Day 79: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 79 - Lens 98: The Lens of Community
To make sure your game fosters strong community, ask yourself these questions:

What conflict is at the heart of my community?
Strategy sharing is probably a big one. Hopefully like in Chess or M:TG the strategies of players are deep and varied enough that people want to talk about how to deal with them.  The competition within a game is very strong, but establishing some way for players to rank themselves would be good. Maybe total VP gained in wins / number of games? Provide a log book as part of the game and encourage sharing ratings on a forum/leaderboard. I could have a google form where you could enter your scores and a page that displayed the rankings...

How does architecture shape my community?
The fact that the game requires six players means a large number of players to copies of the game ratio.  I think that the game plays very well in public so having regular tournament play at game shops could do a lot to make the game a social event. Having a listing of places to play on the website to facilitate that kind of play could be important.

Does my game support three levels of experience?
Yes, I think it does that pretty explicitly. The question of whether is continues to be fun for new players to play with mid/upper level players is still open. But the game needs teachers so upper level players should be engaged with that part of the game. Building tools for tournament play would give advanced players another way to be involved.

Are there community events?
I think that there should be. I want to facilitate that. I think that I can start that as I move into the Kickstarter by holding games both on twitch and using Table Top Simulator, as well as at some local gaming venues.

Why do players need each other?
In the game players need each other as allies in order to maximize their victory points.  You really want six players to play the game so that is a built in need. The game is not PvE so there are fewer co-op elements or group puzzles/challenges. However one alliance deciding how to address the actions of another requires that kind of cooperation.