Monday, March 20, 2017

Day 107: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 107 - Lens 48: The Lens of Simplicity / Complexity
Striking the right balance between simplicity and complexity is difficult. Use this lens to help your game become one in which meaningful complexity rises out of a simple system. Ask yourself these questions:

What elements of innate complexity do I have in my game?
The basic rule structure of Fall of the Last City has some innate complexity, but I don't 'think' too much. It has more than Go, but less than Chess.

Is there a way this innate complexity could be turned into emergent complexity?
I think that there may be a little to be eked out in this direction. I think that I need to write down all of the rules without thought of explanation. All of my rule sets so fer have been aimed at understandability and explanation. That has made it difficult to look at all of the rules in there most reduced form. The rule set for the game is not something like 7 pages with illustrations. That's low for a game that has worker placement and resource management etc. But it's too much to keep in my head all at once. I think that a minimal listing of the rules might let me see where the actual innate complexity lies and how to trim some of it away.

Do elements of emergent complexity arise from my game? If not, why not?
Yes! There is a huge amount of emergent complexity. I have a hard time not including explanations of some of it in the rules. I want players to understand how the rules generate the complexity so that they don't miss the possibilities in their play. Hopefully my hint system will allow me to introduce the emergent ideas that might be missed into play without bogging down the game.

Are there elements of my game that are too simple?
I think that the endgame, which was too complex with the taking heads mechanic, is now to simple. I am not sure what a better end game would be. Perhaps alliances should factor into it somehow?