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December 12, 2009


John Feil

Having one minute games really brings in the experience of flow, as well, as you can see your scores becoming more solid after 10-15 uninterrupted games.

Jeremy Parker

Regarding the multiplier gems, I just don't buy it. I believe you are correct that players do, indeed, want a sense of randomness. Where I disagree is with the extent of the randomness. The randomness illusion can be achieved with small incentives that don't vary the outcome exponentially, but do provide positive feedback to the player that keeps them coming back for more.

If the incentives are so random, and allow new players to randomly outperform those who consider themselves skilled, I do believe that that mechanic is flawed. Just like you mentioned wanting to come back for more because of these payouts, it can work the other way as well. I don't want to play a game that I can't get that much better at because of randomness. I don't feel in control, or that my actions make much of a difference - which is death in terms of gameplay.

Lastly, I would argue that the PopCap guys are always at the top of your list BECAUSE of the randomness - not in spite of it. What I mean by this is that they have played many more games than you have, so have been exposed to many more opportunities to get that UBER payout. This, combined with their skill-base does, indeed, allow them more opportunities to get higher scores. You said it yourself when you said "most of the strategies seem to be less important than just being able to make a lot of fast matches."

More matches = Higher randomness = Less skill = Less fun :)

In a nutshell, large degrees of randomness takes control away from the player. You might as well be playing Warcraft III or something :)

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game