Thursday, March 2, 2017

Day 102: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 102 - Lens 37: The Lens of Fairness

To use this lens, evaluate the game from each player's point of view and skill level.  Find a way to give each player a chance of winning that each will consider to be fair. Ask yourself these questions:

Should my game be symmetrical? Why?
Yes, the game should be symmetrical. While asymmetric six way multiplayer sounds interesting, that's not a feat I want to mix with the challenge of real time play and the balance of tactics and diplomacy that I am focusing on with this game. The symmetry makes the fairness of the game more clear, and that's important when throwing a bunch of new mechanics at the player.

Should my game be asymmetrical? Why?
Yes, well I at least think that a little asymmetry to allow handicapping experienced players is on the table for consideration. Things like starting more experienced players with fiewer potential warriors, or fewer paths. 

The board starts out empty but will essentially always be built in an asymmetrical way, so while the game is balanced and each player has symmetrical potential, the game as it manifests will not be symmetrical.

Which is more important: that my game is a reliable measure of who has the most skill, or that it provide an interesting challenge to all players?
Ok, so both is a cheap answer. So, while both are goals I want the game to be an interesting challenge for all players. I also kind of think that that is the wrong answer. I think that I should probably put more focus on making the game a measure of skill, and that is the stone that will polish the edge of the game's interest, particularly in repeated play.

If I want players of different skill levels to play together, what means will I use to make the game interesting and challenging for everyone?
Since the game is social and skill based I think there are two parts. The first is making the new players awair in the rules/tutorial that they should stick together and work against advanced players. Advanced players should be aware that they need the alliance of other players to win, so knocking a new player out of the running makes them a dangerous loose cannon... etc.

However there may also be the ability to apply handicaps to make the game more mechanically balanced for different levels of skill.

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