thread: 2006-10-05 : Reward systems

On 2006-10-10, Vincent wrote:

Okay, so we've got the timeframe down. Remember in the old days, when it was "an instance of play" not "a reward cycle"? And I always described an instance of play as "like, hours, maybe most of a session, maybe a whole session, maybe multiple sessions"? That's still the timeframe we're talking about.

So now consider what can happen over the course of hours or sessions of play. I see two variables, four possibilities:

Variable 1: The fictional in-game situation. Is it different at the end of the measured time than it was at the beginning?

Variable 2: The players' in-game positions, reflected by what's on their character sheets (or whatever the game uses to track the players' positions). Are they different at the end of the measured time than they were at the beginning?

Cross them and you get four possibilities: neither change, both change, one changes but not the other, the other changes but not one.

Consider the "neither change" case. We play a game for, let's say, four hours. At the end of the four hours, our characters are exactly where they always were with regard to everything that matters, and as players we're exactly where we always were too. Like if we were to play Chess, except that no piece is allowed to capture any other piece; for four hours we just move our guys around without anybody making any advance toward anything.

Confirm for me that this sounds unfulfilling? I mean, maybe tolerable once in a while, but unfulfilling if that's the way your games pretty much always go.


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