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[Game design] Letting rewards get in the way of gaming.


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There's been quite a bit of discussion on the forum about the emergent gameplay in Xenonauts. Things like the stories people share about what happened in their game or how people have worked out their own way to kit their troops.

I've just read a very interesting article on the PA Report by two of the developers of Klei Entertainment. They talk at some length about how presenting players with rewards can have the players just focus on the rewards, rather than play the game (which sounds like an a-dhoy! statement, but there's more to it than that). Why not go take a look. And when you come back, have a think. Now, this game is in alpha, so we pre-orderers haven't had the luxury of a quest system or tutorials (the dev team have been waaaay too busy on other stuff), and have pretty much had to figure it all out on our lonesome. Is that the right way to go with Xenonauts?

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In the "should there be a tutorial" thread I've tried to express somewhat similar views to this but not really gone as far. (If there is a tutoriall I don't want it to tie into a new game or the games story). I think those devs are on to something.

I'm against bonuses for going through the tutorial. Imo it shouldn't be tied to a new game at all, not even through checkboxes. Imo it should be standalone and in chapters, so you can choose which part (geoscape, Ufo crashsite, terror mission, night mission, base defense etc.)

Possibly even make the tutorial available during a current game without you needing to go back to the startup menu. meaning once you finish the tutorial it goes back to where you were when you opened it. (Wishlist item. I can see it not being worth coding though)

I feel that with stand alone chapterized instructions you get to learn how to perform an action outside of context. You don't get fed a structure by the game (that these Canadian devs found to be harmful to their game) but you still learn how to perform certain tasks. How you put them together is your choice. How you explore the game is still your choice.

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