2009-09-14 : Subsystems
Ben wants me to say something new about subsystems, but of course if you tell someone to say something new, they can't. So I'll just quote myself instead.
We Forge-heads are all like, what your game's about? It should do that and do it well. Don't worry about doing other things, make the best thing-for-doing-exactly-that that you can.
A natural extension is, if your game calls for you to do 6 things, make 6 subsystems, each one being the best thing-for-doing-exactly-that that you can make.
I'm a big believer in what a game "calls for," by the way. When you hit upon the subject matter for a game, way back in the early conceptual stages, having done no design work at all - you're already committing, sight unseen, to its subsystems. The design work facing you is to discover the subsystems you've committed to, to learn what arrangement of subsystems gives your subject its expression, not to impose the subsystems you like upon your subject or your subject upon the subsystems you like. You serve your emerging design, not it you.
But here's more.
Right now ... you've got 3 things: learning, socially dominating, physically dominating.
You're going "what's the best single mechanism I can make that does those 3 things?"
You COULD, if you wanted, instead go "what's the best mechanism I could make for learning? What's the best mechanism I could make for socially dominating? What's the best mechanism I could make for physically dominating?"
For instance, it's probably not the case that the best possible mechanism for learning is driven by the same kind of competitive escalation-of-intensity that drives the best possible mechanism for physically dominating.
In other words, any unified mechanism is probably a second-best solution (or worse) for at least one of the three things. If you wanted, you could make three mechanisms, each custom-built, instead.
(from a letter to a friend)
1. On 2009-09-14, Seth Ben-Ezra said:
2. On 2009-09-14, Ryan Stou'n said:
3. On 2009-09-14, Guy Srinivasan said:
4. On 2009-09-14, Ben Lehman said:
5. On 2009-09-14, Ben Lehman said:
6. On 2009-09-14, Simon Rogers said:
7. On 2009-09-14, Vincent said:
8. On 2009-09-15, Vincent said:
9. On 2009-09-15, Joshua A.C. Newman said:
10. On 2009-09-15, valamir said:
11. On 2009-09-15, Simon Rogers said:
12. On 2009-09-15, Vincent said:
13. On 2009-09-15, Ryan Stou'n said:
14. On 2009-09-15, Valamir said:
15. On 2009-09-15, Vincent said:
16. On 2009-09-15, Vincent said:
17. On 2009-09-15, Simon C said:
18. On 2009-09-16, Teataine said:
19. On 2009-09-17, Chris said:
20. On 2009-09-17, valamir said:
21. On 2009-09-17, Vincent said:
22. On 2009-09-18, Ben Lehman said:
23. On 2009-09-18, Zebediah said:
24. On 2009-09-18, Josh W said:
25. On 2009-09-21, Mathieu Leocmach said:
26. On 2009-09-21, Vincent said:
27. On 2009-09-23, Zebediah said:
28. On 2009-09-23, Zebediah said: