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Theory of Fun and Game Design

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  • Theory of Fun and Game Design

    Theory of Fun and Game Design

    There is one overriding design criteria in all game design. It is the cardinal rule: players are there to have fun.

    Many rules which seem perfectly logical extensions of the real world will be rejected by players. For example, if the game designers create a rule that states: "you must eat to stay alive", the players will complain: "I don’t want to worry about keeping my character fed! If I wanted to worry about that, I would ‘play’ my real life!"

    Game designers are frequently confronted with the following dilemma:

    *All elements of the game need to be fun.
    *Much of the real world is not fun.
    *Elements which are unrealistic are often counterintuitive.
    *Counterintuitive rules are difficult to learn and not fun, at least at first.

    Therefore, fun and realism are frequently at odds. The game designer’s difficult job is to balance the two.

    Quote from UO Designer Raph Koster:
    "As originally designed, Koster admits, the closed economic system of UO wouldn’t have worked perfectly either; he calls it a “mistake,” with mechanics that ended up gutted because they just weren’t fun."

    Quote from UO Evolution Owner Dante:
    "Our team kept this in mind when developing UO Evolution, and removed some of the "grind" by increasing the skill gains, speeding up veteran rewards, removed arrows, removed the hunger penalties and many other minor distractions from the game that are not considered "fun" aspects of the original game."

    "We also added many convenience items such as gold ledgers, loot bags, and storage keys to cut down on tedious tasks and weight limitations."
    UO Evolution "The Game Has Evolved"

    http://www.uoevolution.com
    http://www.uoevolution.com/forum
    http://www.uoevolution.com/wiki
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