Earlier this year we launched our Mid-Game Structures series; a few perspectives of how games change their environments to keep the experience engaging. This article is part of our ongoing series titled Game Structures in which we continue to build on a foundation of game design concepts.
Building on Concepts: A Quick Review of Player Interaction
When we last left off, Matt looked at Player Interaction in games, which used a multi-category approach to help define the type and significance of interaction between players:
Degree of Interaction: This is an assessment of the degree of overlap or intensity players have with one another within the game environment. It creates spectrum ranging from No Interaction (which is akin to individual players quietly working on puzzles in opposite corners of a room) to Direction Interaction (which would be more like if the players needed to steal pieces from one another in order to finish their own puzzle).
Our topic today is Player Strategies and we’ll be pairing this axis with a second criteria to help us categorize how games influence the starting strategies of players. Let’s look at that second criteria:
What is a player’s time horizon to plan actions?
The next thing we want to examine is how short or long-term oriented player decisions tend to be in a given game, or what we call our Time Horizon. If you’re more comfortable with it, you can think of this as our comparison of Tactics vs Strategy; strategy being the large scale focus or objective(s) needed to achieve success, and tactics being the specific steps or tasks you need to perform to implement your strategy.