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Friday, February 03, 2006

Numbers next to names, part 3

Just read a very interesting post by Raph Koster about levels in MMO-type games which ties into my number-pondering. He suggests several reasons why it's compelling to increase the magical number next to your name. They pretty much all boil down to social validation except this one:
Finally, one of the most compelling aspects of levels is the lure of power. Levels promise increments to a player’s health, their damage per second, and so on. People like feeling more powerful — it’s not social validation, it’s the game system itself giving them validation.

As he argues in his article, you don't need to use this in your game design. It certainly causes a bunch of game design issues. I know for sure that you don't need to use power inflation for a compelling experience from the experience in casual games I mentioned earlier.


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