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I was browsing the Internet, tonight, and happened upon a few select quotes pertaining to Jim Landes' game design philosophy. Specifically, the ones that I want to single out for discussion are:

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"The strength of a game is not how you play, not how long you play, but rather how often you think of the game when you are not playing."
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"It is always about that unanswered question that makes a game "strong". Whether it be what is around that next corner, or the myriad of "What if" questions that come to the player and sow the seeds of inquiry. The mistake I think most designers make at this moment in time, is that they equate "content" with "Strength". I believe this to be an error of perception."
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"Strength is fluidity of play, unique and changing situations, new information, and what amounts to be non static interaction with both the players and the game environment. This type of strength is not generated by eye-candy, but by the underlying game simulation that runs the game system and what has been all but ignored for the last 20 years."
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Jim Landes' remark about content being equated with strength, and that this is an error of perception by game designers, has much truth in it, I think. Lots of games with lots of content falls by the wayside. Content is king on the World Wide Web, or so it has been said, but is content king, where PBM game design is concerned?
These quotes are years old but still valid.

We play games, all types of games, to satisfy needs. The needs can be light-hearted such as the need/desired to be entertained, or deeper, such as the need for social acceptance and validation. I can elaborate on this in detail if someone really wants to have this conversation.

When engaging in more formal games, such as PBM games or computer games, the titles that "hold us" tend to have one thing in common: They generate an "unanswered question" that is relevant.

We play the game until we no longer have relevant unanswered questions to ask.

In PBM these questions generally revolve around "how to do" something or the implementation of certain tactical elements in our game. We play a game one way, then we want to try it from another perspective, or with this approach or that approach. Once a player is satisfied and no longer has that "unanswered question", they put the game down and move on. We can see this occur in computer games all of the time, when we put down the game well before the game has “ended”. The reason is that we no longer care because we have already “been there and done that”, and there are no more questions that are relevant that need answering.

In PBM, especially in team play, this can last longer due to social obligations. We see this phenomena with on-line games such as World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot to name a few that facilitates team play and players continue to engage in these offerings because of the social connections they have there. There is a little web based game called Astro Empires that did a great job of capturing the essense of political/social obligation and has tens of thousands of players even though the game itself is painful to play.

I do not feel that content is not King. I believe that this mantra originates from marketing and financial folks who subscribe to the “bigger is better” philosophy and do not fully understand the nuances of this ever-changing and converging entertainment field.

I feel engaging content is the key. The content that captures one of the “I”’s: Imagination, Intellect, or Individualism of the person who is “consuming” the content.

Kindest regards,

Jim
Good to see other veterans around, like Jim Landes.

I came across a game that on he surface looked good: http://www.eternal-lands.com. But it is essentially a kiddies game. Nothing wrong with that, but not my kind of game.

But it is games like these that are the future to a thriving game sector. Many 5 year olds have a tablet computer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_computer and if PBM is going to survive and thrive this age group needs to be shown the fun in pbm.
(09-18-2015, 07:14 AM)Greybeard Wrote: [ -> ]But it is games like these that are the future to a thriving game sector. Many 5 year olds have a tablet computer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_computer and if PBM is going to survive and thrive  this age group needs to be shown the fun in pbm.

And how will that happen, since there are no PBM games designed for kids?

Then again, kids are often quite capable of comprehending more complex games than people give them credit for.
(09-18-2015, 07:14 AM)Greybeard Wrote: [ -> ]Good to see other veterans around, like Jim Landes.

I came across a game that on he surface looked good: http://www.eternal-lands.com. But it is essentially a kiddies game. Nothing wrong with that, but not my kind of game.

But it is games like these that are the future to a thriving game sector. Many 5 year olds have a tablet computer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_computer and if PBM is going to survive and thrive  this age group needs to be shown the fun in pbm.

Grim, eternal lands is a kiddies game. Give it a go and you will see...
(09-19-2015, 04:58 AM)Greybeard Wrote: [ -> ]Grim, eternal lands is a kiddies game. Give it a go and you will see...

Is it a PBM game?