Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

10 December, 2006

Weekend Design Challenge: Brute force gameplay
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:17 PM

A great post over at Tales of the Rampant Coyote talks about The “Brute Force” Problem. (Thanks to Damion for the pointer.)

The main point of the article can be summed up by the quote, “‘Old school’ adventures didn’t expect the party to ‘clear out the level.’” The lamentation is that parties expect to go through and kick down every door and slay every monster. That seems to fly in the face of what makes RPGs so cool to a lot of people: the opportunity to live in the world setting. Computer RPGs (including online RPGs) seem to be the worst offenders in this case. The article points out that while you could probably figure out the outcome of a simple battle in a paper RPG given statistical die rolls, MMORPG players have this down to a science. The DPS rating is right there on the sword, after all! It’s all about the wholesale mathematical slaughter of walking bags of xp.

So, I figured I’d throw this challenge out to the smart people that read my blog. Go read the article, then respond here or there. Consider, what can we do to get people not to brute force games? My thoughts after the break.
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