First of all, I have some comments about one article of reading materials this week. In I Have No Words & I Must Design by Greg Costikyan, the author said he thought game should not be a story, which I’m afraid I could not agree with. The reason he talked basically about was “stories are inherently linear, but games are inherently non-linear”. But in my opinion, game brings players unique experience. We don’t need to care about it is linear or not. Non-linear is exactly what game owns uniquely, but linear could also bring excellent experience. I could list many examples about how good linear game could be, such as The Last of Us, LIMBO, Braid, (and one game I am working on).
The topic of this week is about rules and procedures. Personally speaking, the peak of rules and procedures design is MOBA. But since George is going to talk about this in class, I just say something about rouge-like here, which is second best in my opinion.
As a unique game genre, rouge-like means procedural level generation and permanent death. In Wikipedia, it also said rogue-like is turn-based and tile-based. Basically it’s right, but I have two counter-examples now, one is The Binding of Isaac (real time), another one is FTL: Faster Than Light (scene based?).
The best part of rouge-like is that every game could be totally different. Every game maker knows how hard this can be. The process of playing games is essentially consuming the games’ contents. Once player finished a level, read a dialogue, improved his character to max level, they consumed some of the games’ contents. It means that the more player played this game, the less new things they’ll get in next game. But rouge-like games offer different things: they provide combination of different elements instead of static contents. In every single game, you can collect items which are dropped randomly. The design goal is designing items and update options could work well together, to make these combinations bringing players different experience. For example, in game FTL, in one game you may got some drone controller and powerful drones, you can update your drone tech to maximum your drones, and use drone to win the game. In another game, you may have chance to get a crew transport, which allow you to transport crews to enemy’s ship, and destroy them from inside. In this case, you can update your transport to decrease cool down time, and update you crews’ melee power to make sure they can win the fight in enemy’s place. See, that’s why I treat rogue-like games as second best game in rules and procedures design. They used limited elements to generate infinite experience. Almost infinite.