Thursday, April 6, 2017

Day 114 FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Wait... It's day 114 and you said there were 113 lenses! What kind of shenanigans are going on in this place?!?
Ok, so there are 113 lenses. But when I started down this road I was using the physical deck of them to draw from. Later I switched to the app. Somehow I screwed it up and ended up repeating a couple of lenses. No one noticed because there are 113 of the little guys and some of them look quite similar. In any case I am almost done, but I will end up with 115 lens posts once I track down all the duplicates and make sure I have answered all of the lenses at least once!

Day 114 - Lens 90: The Lens of Status
When people interact, they take on different behaviors depending on their status levels. To make your characters more aware of each other, ask yourself these questions:

What are the relative status levels of the characters in my game?
With respect to each other the player characters all have the same status... except that one person has taken the role of the person who found the game and is teaching it to the other players. So their wasteland game player character will have higher status. The role that character is playing in the game will be the same as all of the other players though.

In terms of NPC's the Teller has high status as he/she is the narrator.  The players are all playing tribal leaders so they have the highest status in their tribes. With tribal warriors below them.

In the larger world the tribes are below the citizens of the City. In a previous version of the game there were NPC tokens for the 'City Heads' who would have the most status in the game world, until the end of the game anyway.

How can they show appropriate status behaviors?
While all of the players are the 'same' status and are all working together to take down the City, they all know only one person will win so they are vye for power and status throughout the game. At the same time they need to know the rules and will listen to the player who is teaching the game.

Conflicts of status are interesting - how are my characters vying for status?
Throughout the game the players are trying to win, but being in a winning position involves acting against the other players. So players damage their social status with the other players by advancing their game goals in one sense. On the other hand being in the winning position and winning the game confer status in the normal way so players must balance that internal conflict.

How am I giving the player a chance to express status?
The status of players is important every time they enter into a challenge rather than just as a end game result. So having the mechanical advantage throughout the game has ongoing social consequences that affect the game outcome as much as the tactical aspects of the game.