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Lesson 10: Track B Summaries

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Schedule   ::   Lesson 10   ::   Track A Summaries   ::   Track B Summaries

Koster, R.; The Problem With People

Reading summary/quotes:

Koster reiterates his pattern analysis (i.e. we find patterns, we use previous solutions) and applies this theory to game designers. He ends by saying that what is really needed is cross-pollination not derivation in game design.

“The holy grail of game design is to make a game where the challenges are never ending, the skills required are varied, and the difficulty curve is perfect and adjusts itself to exactly our skill level. Someone did this already, though, and it’s not always fun. It’s called ‘life’. Maybe you’ve played it.” (p. 128)

“You see, humans are wired in interesting ways. If something had worked for us before, we’ll tend to do it again. We’re really very resistant to learning.” (p. 130)

“The point at which a player chooses to repeatedly play a game they have already mastered, just because they like to feel powerful, is the point at which the game is betraying its own purpose. Games need to encourage you to move on. They are not there to fulfill power fantasies.” (p. 134)

  • If we come upon a problem, we will use solutions we have previously found effective
  • Presently, a single solution approach isn’t the best, we need a wide range of experiences and points of view
  • Games should always provide a challenge, when they don’t we shouldn’t play them

Related articles/class discussions:

  • General Game Design
  • How the brain works
  • Recognizing Patterns

Discussion points/questions:

  • The dangers of becoming a game designer
Contributors: Tom Caswell, Marion Jensen, Jennifer Jorgensen, Jon Scoresby, and Tim Stowell
Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Lesson 10: Track B Summaries. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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