thread: 2006-10-05 : Reward systems

On 2006-10-08, Valamir wrote:

I totally get what Vincent is saying with respect to the reward cycle being the largest repeating cycle.  But once again I think some folks are really confusing themselves by overthinking this.

Of course there are sub cycles within the larger cycle.  Of course those sub cycles feed into the reward cycle and hence are part of the reward cycle.  Of course there are larger cycles that MAY repeat (but are not required to) that encompasses the reward cycle.  None of those things invalidates the core idea that there is a primary identifiable cycle that drives the system.

D&D is easy because the game makes the cycle obvious.  Its the Level Up cycle.  It doesn't matter where the XPs come from.  At some point you level up.  That's the reward cycle.  Finishing a delve is an important subcycle of the overall reward cycle.  Making it through an encounter (clearing a room)is an important subcycle in finishing the delve.  Killing a monster is an important subcycle of the encounter.  Successfully doing damage or throwing a gnarly spell is an important subcycle of killing a monster.

All of those things are "rewarding" because they all feed into the overall reward cycle of Leveling Up.  Doing damage gets you closer to killing a monster.  Killing a monster gets you closer to clearing the room.  Clearing a room gets you closer to finishing the delve.  Finishing the delve gets you closer to getting out alive with your XPs and treasure.  XPs and treasure get you closer to...Leveling Up.

You can break down all games like that.  Lets not get all tied in knots about seeing things that individually may look rewarding but don't seem to operate on the scale of the largest cycle...and then get all confused about Vincent's definition.  Those individual things are just gears within gears of that largest repeating cycle.



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