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Designing for Intensity

Craig Thomas has a very good article up at Gamasutra today on Using Intensity to Drive Player Engagement.

His game is a WWI flight combat game with factional NPC opponents, so there's a pretty clear mechanical similarity there to LT. That makes me wonder whether LT might also benefit from some kind of "Intensity Manager" system that looks for when a player seems to want more combat challenge and organizes game assets to deliver greater intensity.

OTOH, LT won't (I think) spawn NPCs out of nothingness to be opponents; it's more Simulationist than Gamist. So, as a primary means of controlling intensity, that wouldn't be available to LT. Furthermore, LT isn't supposed to be all-combat, all-the-time -- an Intensity Manager doesn't have much utility for a player who can have low-intensity fun. Finally, why should there be an Intensity Manager specifically for making the player's experience exciting if NPCs are (within reason) supposed to be able to do everything the player character can do?

So maybe LT doesn't need something like this.

Or maybe it's an idea that can be extended to cover more than just your character's dogfighting experience.

At any rate, I thought it was interesting enough, and maybe of some connection to LT's design, to mention it here for discussion.

Re: Designing for Intensity

Well if there is a combat arena mode, this would definitely be a cool, and probably necessary feature. but yeah, for the main game, i don't really think it would work.
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Re: Designing for Intensity

The mechanics wouldn't likely fit within LT but it would be good for information to be available to the player to determine locations of combat zones, hostile pirate lairs, and trade routes which occasionally get assaulted by other hostiles. Do we have an information warfare thread? If we don't I or someone else should probably make one for discussing intelligence and counter intelligence.

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