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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Is traditional themepark PVE design flawed?

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99 posts found
  Hyanmen

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/11/06
Posts: 4951

6/16/12 10:47:55 AM#61
Originally posted by FredomSekerZ

 We know devs can't make this type of content faster than what players can use it, and this creates the problem of people getting bored for not having anything to do besides wait for more. Unfortunatly, this can cause players to just leave for the next shinny new mmo with new content (not saying the games fail).

Devs have all the control in the world over their game. This includes creating ways to make the PvE content last longer.

Becoming stronger one way or the other is the underlying concept behind every progression most players care about. Simply becoming different (through cosmetic options) can be interesting, but not really the main driving factor for most players.

FF:ARR FATE grinding: People not having fun by doing something not actually intended to get to a point that doesn't really matter as fast as possible. Just so they can do the same thing over and over again to gain a piece of virtual loot.

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

6/16/12 11:15:42 AM#62

PvE themepark is not necessarily flawed itself.

Thing is there is too much of them on the market and there is not enough playerbase for it.

 

Many players that played mmorpg's in past and some of which still do, want either very diffrent design of a mmorpg or diffrent group just don't care about mmo and rpg part of game and escape into lobby multiplayer games like MOBA.

Some people want mmo, but does not necessarily want rpg, and those will go towards mmorts and mmofps and other mmo not-rpg variants.

 

=============

 

Mmorpg need to become more varied in order to survive (mmorpg sub-genre will take a hit anyway but...) and one type of variety which is heavy-story focus & many single player elements did not work out so well. 

Thing is part of industry bet on this kind of gameplay heavily. That's why full-VO, movie-like personal experience went into mmorpg's - TSW will be next one.

I bet many of you don't remember or just haven't read, but there were interviews with many devs / managment in first 10 years of XXI century that were saying about cinematic-like, personal experience and soloing, etc 

 

While it had relatively moderate success in single player field, it ultimately failed and imo will continue to fail in mmorpg's if It will be used as main game feature.

It is good as support secondary one, but that's it.

 

Anyway - mmorpg's need 2 things:

1. new innovative concepts & taking risks

2. reusing old forgotten concepts - just executing them difffently and avoiding flaws they had in past (like if you decide to have open world housing you need to implement a system to succesfully get rid of unused ones from day 1 or if there is collision detection in game then game need to have short-long cooldown non-combat pass through other players body option since day 1 - to avoid block-griefing, if you want to do players-economy then you need non-full-loot item sink since day 1, etc)

 

More players will go play non-rpg mmo's and non-mmo multiplayer games, so using standard casual-coveniant mmorpg template for everyone aka WoW or it's story-focused modification will NOT work anymore.

Correction - few games like that will surive since there certainly is quite big group of players that like that kind of design, but as history shows there is not enough space in market for more than 2-3 AAA succesful productions following this design.

  Lawlmonster

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/07/09
Posts: 940

Take my advice, I'm not using it anyway.

6/16/12 11:21:16 AM#63

Yes, and it has everything to do with the promotion of longevity and freedom for players.

"This is life! We suffer and slave and expire. That's it!" -Bernard Black (Dylan Moran)

  User Deleted
6/16/12 11:36:19 AM#64
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Amaranthar

Yessiree, MMO's have a very bright future indeed.

Well you can't dispute the statement.  From Tetris to Mario to LoL to TF2 to MMORPGs, all games are Skinner Boxes in that they reward the player for playing in certain ways.

I'm not disputing it at all. In fact, given a few scripts, I'm pretty confident that a trained chimp can play these games today the same way players are being rewarded to play.

Edit to add: From his very own Skinner Box, of course.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSrN7R61s4auU5PEVzJ35JJr3IQF_1R8LGwLb-ZDMKppbiRdkhX

DING!

  User Deleted
6/16/12 11:50:08 AM#65

I do think PVE themeparks are flawed, but not for the same reasons.  The largest issue I see is that they become top-heavy after a while.  That shifts priority to endgame content, which in turn creates the need to rush to level cap destroying the "fun" of the leveling process.

 

As far as PVE longevity, the issue I see is replayability.  Either the developer keeps cranking out new expansions (think EQ) or the playerbase will eventually get bored doing the same content over and over again.  Even with new content, after a while the same basic game concept gets tired.

 

I think non-combat content is far under-prioritized in MMORPGs.  Diversity in gameplay helps offset boredom.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

6/16/12 6:24:47 PM#66
Originally posted by Amaranthar

I'm not disputing it at all. In fact, given a few scripts, I'm pretty confident that a trained chimp can play these games today the same way players are being rewarded to play.

Edit to add: From his very own Skinner Box, of course.

Well it's unlikely a trained chimp is going to play a complicated game like Starcraft 2 successfully, but at its core it's still a skinner box where a certain style of play is rewarded, which steers players towards not only playing the game repeatedly but behaving in a specific manner.

  Moaky07

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/24/07
Posts: 2199

MMO sandbox games are as exciting as watching paint dry.

6/16/12 8:58:19 PM#67
Originally posted by Amaranthar
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Amaranthar

Yessiree, MMO's have a very bright future indeed.

Well you can't dispute the statement.  From Tetris to Mario to LoL to TF2 to MMORPGs, all games are Skinner Boxes in that they reward the player for playing in certain ways.

I'm not disputing it at all. In fact, given a few scripts, I'm pretty confident that a trained chimp can play these games today the same way players are being rewarded to play.

Edit to add: From his very own Skinner Box, of course.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSrN7R61s4auU5PEVzJ35JJr3IQF_1R8LGwLb-ZDMKppbiRdkhX

DING!

And yet it takes a rocket scientist to farm the exact same things in order to buy the exact same items from Owen?

 

 

Suuuuuuure it does.

 

 

Read the sig....MMO sandboxes are the epitome of boring. I am thankful EQ kicked UO/SWG both back into the stone ages.

Asking Devs to make AAA sandbox titles is like trying to get fine dining on a McDonalds dollar menu budget.

  Theocritus

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3613

6/16/12 9:28:48 PM#68

      The problem isn't PVE......The problem is making every game the same and using quest hubs until our brains fall out...... I just cant believe more people in the genre havent burnt out on this type of MMO.

  User Deleted
6/17/12 9:01:45 AM#69
Originally posted by Moaky07
Originally posted by Amaranthar
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Amaranthar

Yessiree, MMO's have a very bright future indeed.

Well you can't dispute the statement.  From Tetris to Mario to LoL to TF2 to MMORPGs, all games are Skinner Boxes in that they reward the player for playing in certain ways.

I'm not disputing it at all. In fact, given a few scripts, I'm pretty confident that a trained chimp can play these games today the same way players are being rewarded to play.

Edit to add: From his very own Skinner Box, of course.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSrN7R61s4auU5PEVzJ35JJr3IQF_1R8LGwLb-ZDMKppbiRdkhX

DING!

And yet it takes a rocket scientist to farm the exact same things in order to buy the exact same items from Owen?

 

 

Suuuuuuure it does.

 

 

Read the sig....MMO sandboxes are the epitome of boring. I am thankful EQ kicked UO/SWG both back into the stone ages.

I can see you have trouble accepting reality on this issue, but let me explain it yet again.

Raph Koster explained it very well in a presentation at GDCOnline 10 years ago. There's a link in his most recent blog to the PDF that's very easy to follow. You know Raph, he's the guy you've been belittling around here recently.

In it he explains that games are fun because of the little puzzles, and people like to "beat" those little puzzles. In a Raid that comes in the form of figuring out how to beat it. And that's all good up to a point. That point is when we solve the little puzzles, and then it becomes boring to us. We already know it. No more thrill, no more fun.

He compares Tic Tac Toe to Chess. In Tic Tac Toe, there's just a few moves you can make, and the patterns quickly emerge. It's fun at first, but then it gets boring. In Chess however, there are so many options that each move becomes an entirely new game. Each move requires a new effort to determine the opponents strategy. Each game is a new game that's not like the previous games. Chess never gets boring, although you may wish to "log out" often. But if you like playing Chess, you always like playing Chess and it's never boring.

The very limited randomness in Tic Tac Toe quickly disolves, and playing it quickly becomes boring. And you never get that in Chess.

So, in MMO design, it's not the hard coded aspects. It's neither the WoW clone quests nor the Farmville crops nor the UO trade skills. It's the emergent game play.

What it's really about is the emergent game play.

  • In UO, players actually made trade contracts to supply gear and resources. Without any code to support it.
  • In UO, players would go to the banks where players were always going, to hawk their goods. This created a "Merchant's Square" atmosphere. Without any code.
  • In UO player formed auction companies, where an organized group would auction off other player's rare items and mass quantities of goods. Without code designed for it.
-----------Aw hell, I'm tired of taking about it. The point is that UO was the best "Sandbox" game ever made, and it was infinitely more interesting and therefore infinitely more fun to play in, than any game since. It had it's issues, big enough issues to drive players away (rampant PKing, then a bend towards gear grind), but the idea of the game was so much better than where MMOs have gone since. It was the first major MMO, and had a long ways to go in it's own right. But still, the idea is there if anyone wants to take up the challenge.
 
You, of course, don't want to see that, and you can no longer deny that you are a Themepark Hard-on'er like you were.
  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

6/17/12 11:06:43 AM#70
Originally posted by Amaranthar

The very limited randomness in Tic Tac Toe quickly disolves, and playing it quickly becomes boring. And you never get that in Chess.

So, in MMO design, it's not the hard coded aspects. It's neither the WoW clone quests nor the Farmville crops nor the UO trade skills. It's the emergent game play.

There isn't randomness in either Tic Tac Toe or Chess.

It's not about whether things are hard-coded or not, but whether the game produces a wide enough dynamic.

WOW was a "new puzzle" just as much as UO was (and definitely seems like players felt it was more interesting a puzzle than UO; WOW lasted a lot longer.)  And central to the success of that puzzle was the PVE gameplay the OP questions.

  User Deleted
6/17/12 1:06:29 PM#71
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Amaranthar

The very limited randomness in Tic Tac Toe quickly disolves, and playing it quickly becomes boring. And you never get that in Chess.

So, in MMO design, it's not the hard coded aspects. It's neither the WoW clone quests nor the Farmville crops nor the UO trade skills. It's the emergent game play.

There isn't randomness in either Tic Tac Toe or Chess.

It's not about whether things are hard-coded or not, but whether the game produces a wide enough dynamic.

WOW was a "new puzzle" just as much as UO was (and definitely seems like players felt it was more interesting a puzzle than UO; WOW lasted a lot longer.)  And central to the success of that puzzle was the PVE gameplay the OP questions.

There's randomness in not knowing what the other player is going to do.

But you guys keep fighting the good fight, man. The RMT scripters are counting on ya.

Oh, and you won this battle. I'm outa here, done. This crap is for losers, and I ain't no loser. I've been suckered back in several times hoping for some intelligence to come around, but it's pretty clear things aren't going to change. To the victor the spoils, and all that. 

  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

6/17/12 1:40:02 PM#72
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by blognorg

I think there are a lot of games that would be hard-pressed to fit under the Skinner Box umbrella, unless you're talking strictly MMORPGs. This genre seems to be much more proned to it, however that mold is starting to break. Games that stray away from linear advancement are a pretty big step. Some of the MMOFPSs, like Planetside 2 or Firefall, have really limited linear progression in favor lateral progression.

Yeah, but linear progression has nothing to do with a game being a Skinner Box.  Skinner Box is about a game providing pleasure, which then motivates the participant to keep playing or behaving in a certain way.

Every good game ever has been a Skinner Box.

I wouldn't say has nothing to do with it. I mean, look at most linear questing systems. You do the mindless deed, you get a little treat. It's predictable and repetitive. At least when you're carving your own path, you're breaking that cycle a little. I'm not saying that's always the case, but I think over all it's less applicable to the Skinner box stamp than a linear system.

 

Every good game ever has been a Skinner Box.

I'm not sure I agree with this. Boiling it down like that, it could then be said that the Skinner Box can be applied to everything in life. As humans, we're motivated by some kind of reward, and we usually won't do things that are harmful or that won't benefit us. I think the Skinner box refers to a more extreme set of conditions, where we're doing not-fun tasks for a potential reward. If you're having legitmate fun with a game, I don't think it falls under that category.

  Quirhid

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5492

I dare you to pin a label on me.

6/17/12 3:19:40 PM#73
Originally posted by XAPGames

I do think PVE themeparks are flawed, but not for the same reasons.  The largest issue I see is that they become top-heavy after a while.  That shifts priority to endgame content, which in turn creates the need to rush to level cap destroying the "fun" of the leveling process.

 

As far as PVE longevity, the issue I see is replayability.  Either the developer keeps cranking out new expansions (think EQ) or the playerbase will eventually get bored doing the same content over and over again.  Even with new content, after a while the same basic game concept gets tired.

 

I think non-combat content is far under-prioritized in MMORPGs.  Diversity in gameplay helps offset boredom.

Every game with progression gets top heavy* and every game gets old. Hardly a problem for PvE themeparks only.

*(unless there's a way to lose that progression)

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Moaky07

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/24/07
Posts: 2199

MMO sandbox games are as exciting as watching paint dry.

6/17/12 3:19:55 PM#74
Originally posted by Amaranthar
Originally posted by Moaky07
Originally posted by Amaranthar
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Amaranthar

Yessiree, MMO's have a very bright future indeed.

Well you can't dispute the statement.  From Tetris to Mario to LoL to TF2 to MMORPGs, all games are Skinner Boxes in that they reward the player for playing in certain ways.

I'm not disputing it at all. In fact, given a few scripts, I'm pretty confident that a trained chimp can play these games today the same way players are being rewarded to play.

Edit to add: From his very own Skinner Box, of course.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSrN7R61s4auU5PEVzJ35JJr3IQF_1R8LGwLb-ZDMKppbiRdkhX

DING!

And yet it takes a rocket scientist to farm the exact same things in order to buy the exact same items from Owen?

 

 

Suuuuuuure it does.

 

 

Read the sig....MMO sandboxes are the epitome of boring. I am thankful EQ kicked UO/SWG both back into the stone ages.

I can see you have trouble accepting reality on this issue, but let me explain it yet again.

Raph Koster explained it very well in a presentation at GDCOnline 10 years ago. There's a link in his most recent blog to the PDF that's very easy to follow. You know Raph, he's the guy you've been belittling around here recently.

In it he explains that games are fun because of the little puzzles, and people like to "beat" those little puzzles. In a Raid that comes in the form of figuring out how to beat it. And that's all good up to a point. That point is when we solve the little puzzles, and then it becomes boring to us. We already know it. No more thrill, no more fun.

He compares Tic Tac Toe to Chess. In Tic Tac Toe, there's just a few moves you can make, and the patterns quickly emerge. It's fun at first, but then it gets boring. In Chess however, there are so many options that each move becomes an entirely new game. Each move requires a new effort to determine the opponents strategy. Each game is a new game that's not like the previous games. Chess never gets boring, although you may wish to "log out" often. But if you like playing Chess, you always like playing Chess and it's never boring.

The very limited randomness in Tic Tac Toe quickly disolves, and playing it quickly becomes boring. And you never get that in Chess.

So, in MMO design, it's not the hard coded aspects. It's neither the WoW clone quests nor the Farmville crops nor the UO trade skills. It's the emergent game play.

What it's really about is the emergent game play.

  • In UO, players actually made trade contracts to supply gear and resources. Without any code to support it.
  • In UO, players would go to the banks where players were always going, to hawk their goods. This created a "Merchant's Square" atmosphere. Without any code.
  • In UO player formed auction companies, where an organized group would auction off other player's rare items and mass quantities of goods. Without code designed for it.
-----------Aw hell, I'm tired of taking about it. The point is that UO was the best "Sandbox" game ever made, and it was infinitely more interesting and therefore infinitely more fun to play in, than any game since. It had it's issues, big enough issues to drive players away (rampant PKing, then a bend towards gear grind), but the idea of the game was so much better than where MMOs have gone since. It was the first major MMO, and had a long ways to go in it's own right. But still, the idea is there if anyone wants to take up the challenge.
 
You, of course, don't want to see that, and you can no longer deny that you are a Themepark Hard-on'er like you were.

Lets set the record straight shall we?

 

I havent "been on Kostor recently", I have been calling the man out as not understanding PVE is an important thing to a large segment of gamers for yrs now. That he wouldnt understand it if someone bitch smacked him with the idea. He feels gaming should be all about players affecting others, and what do you know? Not all of us feel the same. What is even more earth shattering is that his ideas just dont sell well in the MMO arena.

 

Did I ever say I wasnt a themepark gamer? I have been enjoying PVE content in video games since the 70s. I was never into PnP, nor was I ever into PVP, which these 2 gaming styles most seem attracted to sandbox MMOs. I think they are boring as shit. What is even more boring is the contention that sandbox MMO gamers are somehow "smarter", or that they are the only  "real gamers". Wrong.

 

I have no clue if UO was the best sandbox MMO ever made. I do know EQ smacked it around so hard that the UO devs threw in Trammal, and the games population grew thanks to it. If Kostor wasnt so full of himself, he would realize there is a huge market of gamers not wanting to deal with others bullshit.

 

Had EQ not come along, gamers would be forced to deal with Kostors ideas on gaming. The genre is a better place thanks to him being shown the door. If you want a real dev, get Brad into rehab, and let someone else run the games finances.

 

Asking Devs to make AAA sandbox titles is like trying to get fine dining on a McDonalds dollar menu budget.

  Vermillion_Raventhal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 999

6/17/12 6:49:56 PM#75
Originally posted by Moaky07
Originally posted by Amaranthar
Originally posted by Moaky07
Originally posted by Amaranthar
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Amaranthar

Yessiree, MMO's have a very bright future indeed.

Well you can't dispute the statement.  From Tetris to Mario to LoL to TF2 to MMORPGs, all games are Skinner Boxes in that they reward the player for playing in certain ways.

I'm not disputing it at all. In fact, given a few scripts, I'm pretty confident that a trained chimp can play these games today the same way players are being rewarded to play.

Edit to add: From his very own Skinner Box, of course.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSrN7R61s4auU5PEVzJ35JJr3IQF_1R8LGwLb-ZDMKppbiRdkhX

DING!

And yet it takes a rocket scientist to farm the exact same things in order to buy the exact same items from Owen?

 

 

Suuuuuuure it does.

 

 

Read the sig....MMO sandboxes are the epitome of boring. I am thankful EQ kicked UO/SWG both back into the stone ages.

I can see you have trouble accepting reality on this issue, but let me explain it yet again.

Raph Koster explained it very well in a presentation at GDCOnline 10 years ago. There's a link in his most recent blog to the PDF that's very easy to follow. You know Raph, he's the guy you've been belittling around here recently.

In it he explains that games are fun because of the little puzzles, and people like to "beat" those little puzzles. In a Raid that comes in the form of figuring out how to beat it. And that's all good up to a point. That point is when we solve the little puzzles, and then it becomes boring to us. We already know it. No more thrill, no more fun.

He compares Tic Tac Toe to Chess. In Tic Tac Toe, there's just a few moves you can make, and the patterns quickly emerge. It's fun at first, but then it gets boring. In Chess however, there are so many options that each move becomes an entirely new game. Each move requires a new effort to determine the opponents strategy. Each game is a new game that's not like the previous games. Chess never gets boring, although you may wish to "log out" often. But if you like playing Chess, you always like playing Chess and it's never boring.

The very limited randomness in Tic Tac Toe quickly disolves, and playing it quickly becomes boring. And you never get that in Chess.

So, in MMO design, it's not the hard coded aspects. It's neither the WoW clone quests nor the Farmville crops nor the UO trade skills. It's the emergent game play.

What it's really about is the emergent game play.

  • In UO, players actually made trade contracts to supply gear and resources. Without any code to support it.
  • In UO, players would go to the banks where players were always going, to hawk their goods. This created a "Merchant's Square" atmosphere. Without any code.
  • In UO player formed auction companies, where an organized group would auction off other player's rare items and mass quantities of goods. Without code designed for it.
-----------Aw hell, I'm tired of taking about it. The point is that UO was the best "Sandbox" game ever made, and it was infinitely more interesting and therefore infinitely more fun to play in, than any game since. It had it's issues, big enough issues to drive players away (rampant PKing, then a bend towards gear grind), but the idea of the game was so much better than where MMOs have gone since. It was the first major MMO, and had a long ways to go in it's own right. But still, the idea is there if anyone wants to take up the challenge.
 
You, of course, don't want to see that, and you can no longer deny that you are a Themepark Hard-on'er like you were.

Lets set the record straight shall we?

 

I havent "been on Kostor recently", I have been calling the man out as not understanding PVE is an important thing to a large segment of gamers for yrs now. That he wouldnt understand it if someone bitch smacked him with the idea. He feels gaming should be all about players affecting others, and what do you know? Not all of us feel the same. What is even more earth shattering is that his ideas just dont sell well in the MMO arena.

 

Did I ever say I wasnt a themepark gamer? I have been enjoying PVE content in video games since the 70s. I was never into PnP, nor was I ever into PVP, which these 2 gaming styles most seem attracted to sandbox MMOs. I think they are boring as shit. What is even more boring is the contention that sandbox MMO gamers are somehow "smarter", or that they are the only  "real gamers". Wrong.

 

I have no clue if UO was the best sandbox MMO ever made. I do know EQ smacked it around so hard that the UO devs threw in Trammal, and the games population grew thanks to it. If Kostor wasnt so full of himself, he would realize there is a huge market of gamers not wanting to deal with others bullshit.

 

Had EQ not come along, gamers would be forced to deal with Kostors ideas on gaming. The genre is a better place thanks to him being shown the door. If you want a real dev, get Brad into rehab, and let someone else run the games finances.

 

Actually, he was on the right track really. His problem was belief in the players.  Sandbox needs content almost as much as a themepark do.   EQ simply had the D&D model, safe PvE gameplay and appeared at the right time.  It also had the grind and levels which in large part is the bain of MMORPG's lean on.   UO was highly unpolished as was EQ.  WoW took EQ's methods, put a good story behind t it. and made the grind more quest based than mob killing, polished it and  casualized it.  

If WoW was a casualized Sandbox with the same storyline it would have likely been just as sucessful.   You design Azeroth with space for player housing in mind and you'd have an awesome sandbox.

To me levels in MMORPG's need to go.  They're too divisive and push teir/hub based content instead of content based on locations shared by the community.  Thats why you have so many low level area's ghost towns because everyone is leveled up past the content.  In a skill based game without magic barrier's from levels and extreme HP/MANA/StAM or whatever differences preventing combatants from battle you can do a lot more with content.     

  aries623

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/05/12
Posts: 28

6/17/12 7:11:31 PM#76

Answer to the original question is no, Themepark games are working as intended, they are nothing more than story driven RPG's that are children of a marriage of Final Fanasy type games from consoles and MMOG's like UO. Only problem is that MMOS go through an evolution. Thats why they are failing for the most part at this time. And new ideas like Archage and Guild Wars 2 will set a new standard even if they dont reach 10 million subscribers like WOW did.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

6/18/12 12:40:41 AM#77
Originally posted by blognorg

I wouldn't say has nothing to do with it. I mean, look at most linear questing systems. You do the mindless deed, you get a little treat. It's predictable and repetitive. At least when you're carving your own path, you're breaking that cycle a little. I'm not saying that's always the case, but I think over all it's less applicable to the Skinner box stamp than a linear system.

Every good game ever has been a Skinner Box.

I'm not sure I agree with this. Boiling it down like that, it could then be said that the Skinner Box can be applied to everything in life. As humans, we're motivated by some kind of reward, and we usually won't do things that are harmful or that won't benefit us. I think the Skinner box refers to a more extreme set of conditions, where we're doing not-fun tasks for a potential reward. If you're having legitmate fun with a game, I don't think it falls under that category.

Yes, it can be applied to everything in life.  The experiment studied a fundamental behavior trait many animals (including humans) have.

That's why it makes no sense to use the test as an example of bad gameplay, because you're not going to find a successful game which completely avoids rewarding players.  Every successful game rewards players, which drives them to keep playing.  The exact same behavior Skinner's test observed.

  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

6/18/12 2:47:01 PM#78
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by blognorg

I wouldn't say has nothing to do with it. I mean, look at most linear questing systems. You do the mindless deed, you get a little treat. It's predictable and repetitive. At least when you're carving your own path, you're breaking that cycle a little. I'm not saying that's always the case, but I think over all it's less applicable to the Skinner box stamp than a linear system.

Every good game ever has been a Skinner Box.

I'm not sure I agree with this. Boiling it down like that, it could then be said that the Skinner Box can be applied to everything in life. As humans, we're motivated by some kind of reward, and we usually won't do things that are harmful or that won't benefit us. I think the Skinner box refers to a more extreme set of conditions, where we're doing not-fun tasks for a potential reward. If you're having legitmate fun with a game, I don't think it falls under that category.

Yes, it can be applied to everything in life.  The experiment studied a fundamental behavior trait many animals (including humans) have.

That's why it makes no sense to use the test as an example of bad gameplay, because you're not going to find a successful game which completely avoids rewarding players.  Every successful game rewards players, which drives them to keep playing.  The exact same behavior Skinner's test observed.

I think the reults of the Skinner proved that humans (and animals) can willfully be conditioned. The idea is that people will preform mundane or unfun tasks with the thought of reward. Like anything else, I don't think there's a fine line that can be drawn at where something falls into the Skinner box, but I hesitate to cassify everything that way. Like I said, it seems like a stretch when someone is having legitimate enjoyment, and not focusiing on the rewards. They're not really being conditioned in that way. Just because something has some type of reward doesn't automatically label it as a Skinner box.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

6/18/12 5:22:39 PM#79
Originally posted by blognorg

I think the reults of the Skinner proved that humans (and animals) can willfully be conditioned. The idea is that people will preform mundane or unfun tasks with the thought of reward. Like anything else, I don't think there's a fine line that can be drawn at where something falls into the Skinner box, but I hesitate to cassify everything that way. Like I said, it seems like a stretch when someone is having legitimate enjoyment, and not focusiing on the rewards. They're not really being conditioned in that way. Just because something has some type of reward doesn't automatically label it as a Skinner box.

The outcome of decisions -- whether the results leave someone satisfied or dissatisfied -- has a massive behavioral influence on people.

This is not a trait isolated to bland lever-pushing.  If has a significant influence on just about everything humans do!

Skinner's test didn't ask the mouse whether he found pressing the lever fun; it just observed that the animal did it when a reward was associated with it (including specific ways the reward was even more effective at driving the activity.)  So the experiment wasn't really about whether or not the activity in question was fun -- although really what it comes down to is that when players say something is "fun" they're specifically describing a more rewarding experience.  You cannot have a fun game which isn't rewarding -- because it wouldn't be called fun unless it was rewarding.

  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

6/18/12 5:32:16 PM#80
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by blognorg

I think the reults of the Skinner proved that humans (and animals) can willfully be conditioned. The idea is that people will preform mundane or unfun tasks with the thought of reward. Like anything else, I don't think there's a fine line that can be drawn at where something falls into the Skinner box, but I hesitate to cassify everything that way. Like I said, it seems like a stretch when someone is having legitimate enjoyment, and not focusiing on the rewards. They're not really being conditioned in that way. Just because something has some type of reward doesn't automatically label it as a Skinner box.

The outcome of decisions -- whether the results leave someone satisfied or dissatisfied -- has a massive behavioral influence on people.

This is not a trait isolated to bland lever-pushing.  If has a significant influence on just about everything humans do!

Skinner's test didn't ask the mouse whether he found pressing the lever fun; it just observed that the animal did it when a reward was associated with it (including specific ways the reward was even more effective at driving the activity.)  So the experiment wasn't really about whether or not the activity in question was fun -- although really what it comes down to is that when players say something is "fun" they're specifically describing a more rewarding experience.  You cannot have a fun game which isn't rewarding -- because it wouldn't be called fun unless it was rewarding.

Like I said, you can theoretically make that ergument that everything falls under the Skinner box, similarly how I can make the argument that you don't actually exist. Your arugment is hyperbole. It's true that animals are indifferent to the activities they were performing, but people aren't. Making the comparison between a slot machine and Braid, 99% percent of people would stick slot machines into the Skinner box, but not Braid. You're in that 1%. Not to say that it can't be argued... but then again even Hitler's morals can be argued.

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