# August 2003

- A potential best-seller?
*Richard A. Bartle* - Identifying Players
*Scion Altera* - Identifying Players
*Crosbie Fitch*

- Identifying Players
- Metrics for assessing game design
*David Kennerly* - ADMIN: Crunch thread
*J C Lawrence* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*Alex Chacha* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*Katie Lukas* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*David Kennerly*

- Mapping real money into MUD money
- Mapping real money into MUD money
*Kent Peterson* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*Peter Tyson*

- Mapping real money into MUD money
- Mapping real money into MUD money
*Matt Mihaly* - Mapping real money into MUD money
*Paul Canniff*

- Mapping real money into MUD money
- Research in the Gaming Industry
*Damion Schubert* - Research in the Gaming Industry
*Kerry Fraser-Robinson* - Research in the Gaming Industry
*Richard A. Bartle* - Research in the Gaming Industry
*Matthew S. Ayres*

- Research in the Gaming Industry

- Research in the Gaming Industry
- Mapping real money into MUD-Money
*Henrik Johansson* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Ben Chambers* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Ammon Lauritzen* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*T. Alexander Popiel* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*ceo* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Lars Duening* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Torgny Bjers* - Java or LPC (DGD)?
*Ryan Underwood*

- Java or LPC (DGD)?

- Java or LPC (DGD)?
- Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*J C Lawrence* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*david.l.smith@mail-x-change.com* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*Brian 'Psychochild' Green* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*Andrew L. Tepper* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*Matt Mihaly* - Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
*Vincent Archer*

- Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation

- Reputation systems: a possible path for investigation
- Reputation systems
*Castronova, Edward* - Reputation systems
*J C Lawrence*

- Reputation systems
- Mapping real money into MUD-Money
*Ren Reynolds* - MudDev Faq - part 2
*Marian Griffith* - PHP muds
*Peter Harkins* - PHP muds
*Torgny Bjers*

- PHP muds
- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Christer Enfors XW {TN/PAC}* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Dave Rickey* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Evan Harper* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Richard A. Bartle* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Tamzen Cannoy* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Kerry Fraser-Robinson* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Richard A. Bartle*

- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Dave Rickey* - Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
*Marc Bowden*

- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book

- Slashdot story about review of Bartle's new book
- The lack of Creativity and Beauty a game user
*james_nesfield@nesfieldcapital.com* - Artists and Copyrights
*Derek Licciardi* - Artists and Copyrights
*Paolo Piselli* - Artists and Copyrights
*Marian Griffith* - Artists and Copyrights
*Paul Dahlke*

- Artists and Copyrights
- Using Windows Scripting Host
*Owen Matt* - Using Windows Scripting Host
*F. Randall Farmer* - Using Windows Scripting Host
*Karl Dyson* - Using Windows Scripting Host
*Tess Lowe*

- Using Windows Scripting Host
- Better Game Design through Data Mining
*David Kennerly* - Better Game Design through Data Mining
*Chris "Diamonds" Stewart*

- Better Game Design through Data Mining
- When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
*vladimir cole* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
*Martin Bassie* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
*Craig H Fry* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
*Matt Mihaly* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature ofPersistent Worlds?
*Michael Tresca* - When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature ofPersistent Worlds?
*Baar - Lord of the Seven Suns*

- When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature ofPersistent Worlds?

- When Will Player-Avatar Integrity Be a Feature of Persistent Worlds?
- [Fwd: Metrics for assessing game design]
*ceo* - Examine/Look
*Elia Morling* - Examine/Look
*Ammon Lauritzen* - Examine/Look
*Marc Bowden*

- Examine/Look
- Examine/Look
*Lars Duening* - Examine/Look
*Eamonn O'Brien*

- Examine/Look
- [BUS] Account-management systems
*ceo* - [BUS] Account-management systems
*Rayzam* - [BUS] Account-management systems
*Christopher Allen*

- [BUS] Account-management systems
- Job opportunity on Star Wars Galaxies
*Koster, Raph* - NCSoft yearly report
*Mathieu Castelli* - MUD using the .net framework
*Norman Beresford* - MUD using the .net framework
*John Buehler* - MUD using the .net framework
*James F. Bellinger* - MUD using the .net framework
*Linder Support Team*

- MUD using the .net framework
- Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Koster, Raph* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Nicolai Hansen* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Daniel Anderson* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Kerry Fraser-Robinson*

- Virtual property lawsuit in China
- Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Vladimir Cole* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Ren Reynolds* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*Nicolai Hansen* - Virtual property lawsuit in China
*ren@aldermangroup.com*

- Virtual property lawsuit in China

- Virtual property lawsuit in China

- Virtual property lawsuit in China
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Jeff Cole* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Scion Altera* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Jeremy Hill*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*katie@stickydata.com* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Ben Chambers* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Zach Collins {Siege}* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Ben Chambers* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Robert Zubek* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Kwon J. Ekstrom* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Eamonn O'Brien* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Kwon J. Ekstrom*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Freeman, Jeff* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Zach Collins {Siege}*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Bernard Graham* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Freeman, Jeff* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Jeff Cole* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Koster, Raph* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Katie Lukas* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Fidelio Gwaihir* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Katie Lukas*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Martin Bassie* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Katie Lukas* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Paul Schwanz* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Koster, Raph* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Paul Schwanz* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Amanda Walker* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*John Buehler*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Kwon J. Ekstrom* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Jeff Cole* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Paul Schwanz*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Dr. Cat* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*David Loving* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Pat Ditterline* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Michael Chui* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Kwon J. Ekstrom*Dr. Cat wrote:

> From: "Koster, Raph" <rkoster@soe.sony.com>

>> I must say that the fact that players prefer to play a boring way

>> that gives them advancement over a fun way that gives slower

>> advancement seems to be well-proven over decades of online games.

> I always try to take one step (or more) further back, and ask

> myself what are the unquestioned assumptions that people in a

> field don't even realize they're making? I see a lot of the word

> "advancement" here. Certainly I've observed before that MUD-DEV

> seems to be dominated by people who assume a "discussion about

> muds" is the same thing as a "discussion about combat muds"

Perhaps you should step forward and look at your assertions with

those assumptions.

Most muds contain at least 1 combat element, even if it's not the

primary system... Although there are several "non-combat" oriented

muds... the vast majority of them are. It makes sence that they get

more dicussion.

> Online games don't HAVE to have "advancement", or "numbers players

> strive to maximize". Furcadia doesn't. This debate strikes me

> something like scientists who experiment with laboratory mice

> getting together and saying "It doesn't matter what process we

> make the mice do to trigger the food pellet dispenser, they always

> get conditioned to perform that process". How about the whole

> world of white mice experiments with no food pellet dispensers in

> them that one could conceive?

If you view "advancement" as simply "numbers to maximize" then you

are correct. Perhaps we're looking at advancement from 2 different

viewpoints.

To me, advancement is improving at a specified task. If there is a

task, then you can improve at it... otherwise you cannot. I dunno

how enjoyable a game would be without a "task" to perform.

From what I've seen of this debate, everyone is talking about their

experiences with games that have multiple players. Each human being

is different, with different likes, dislikes, habits, and learning

abilities. As such, most of the responses I've seen are directed at

human nature...

> of areas, different types of games. Some human play is centered

> around advancement (Monopoly) or score (Scrabble, most team

> sports, etc.) Other play doesn't involve that at all - the simple

> and ever popular game of "catch", for one example. One could

> argue similarly for playing house, cowboys and indians, cops and

> robbers, doctor, or post office. Hide and go seek and tag are

> competitive, but don't really have advancement or scoring in

> points.

Catch is a game that is directly centered around advancement. I

don't think you find many people who play catch who for

example... fail their skill roll 90% of the time (oops did I just

drop the ball again?)

If you look at cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, etc... you'll

find some way that the players "advance". Sure, they may not keep

score, but ask a kid who is good at a game, they'll tell you... that

tells me that there is some form of advancement.

In most games, the score has nothing to do with an individual

players advancement... in most organized sports I believe you'll

find this to be true. How many MVP's are the players who actually

score? How many are support role players who assist?

Granted, not all forms of entertainment are advancement oriented.

Yet, even those that aren't generally have some form of advancement.

I used to play chess regularly, there are no numbers to describe

your advancement (although there are several organizations that rank

chess players via a rating). Chess isn't about "advancement" but

there are several axis you can advance along. My team in particular

was extremely good with tactics and position, with alot of

experience in obscure endgame and openings. (try the knight and

bishop endgame, it's a rather fun drill).

> The question of whether one could be so terribly clever as to make

> an advancement-oriented game that doesn't make people do the

> "boring" things is a mildly interesting challenge to me, since

Most games don't make the players do "boring" things... the players

choose a "boring" task in order to acheive a desired goal. Just as

I spend 8 hours a day at work (a "boring" task) to acheive a

paycheck at the end of the week, so will a player perform a "boring"

task for 5 minutes to acheive a reward at the end. That reward

could possibly be acheived by doing a "fun" task, but take

longer... the decision to perform the task is never-the-less the

players.

> But they do it. Maybe we should class it amongst the "guilty

> pleasures", like fattening foods, cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs.

Perhaps, but I think that accounts for a small percentage of

players... I'd personally rather not compare my game to any

chemically addictive substance, that's opening a can of worms.

IMHO, it's the responsibility of the player to do what they need to

do. If a small fraction of your playerbase cannot control

themselves, nothing I can do will stop that and more likely than

not, they will find something else to fulfill their "need".

I hardly believe that because a player performs a task they consider

boring is reason to believe my game has addictive properties akin to

the most addictive substances known to man.

> (Though for somewhat different reasons). Then the question might

> become one of whether you want to try to re-engineer the

> experience to keep most of the pleasure while getting rid of some

> or all of what people feel bad about (the typical goal of the game

> designer), or just convince people to consider the downside of the

> pleasure to be not so bad after all (the typical goal of the

> marketing guy).

There's an old saying:

You can please everybody some of the time or you can please some

people all of the time, but you cannot please everybody all of the

time.

It wasn't meant to describe games, but it does fit... The fact that

players do play (and yes, generate that feedback about the game)

should be an indication that they find enjoyment in your game. That

doesn't mean you should discount what they say they dislike, and

quite frankly... I regularly build systems that players dislike some

aspect of. Ussually it creates a balance of power, or some risk

associated with using the system. In most cases the complaints are

quickly shelved. You see, there's an assumption I make with

players: Every player wants to have as much power as possible.

That's phrased as an all encompasing statement, but in reality, only

a few players really fit this behavior, either way it's a large

enough group that you'll always run into it.

> I will note that when we added cookies to Furcadia, we gave people

> a number they could pump up, try to get the highest number, etc.

> We didn't run into much of a problem with it though - I think

> largely because of our game mechanic of having them all vanish at

> 5AM every day. The kinds of relentless optimization of cookie

> acquisition and "playing in a boring way" one sees in Diku-style

> games didn't happen very much. (We also made them very easy to

> get, which probably helped on that score as well.)

Yet people tried to get the highest number of cookies... sounds like

advancement... and I'm quite positive that some players didn't

participate in this activity (as it was deemed either boring, or had

no observable reward), while others thought this the funnest thing

you'd ever invented.

Amung those, you likely had players who got "some" cookies, but

didn't actively attempt to have the highest # of them.

The point of this subthread (I don't really consider this part of

Expected value and standard deviation) is that players will decide

on their own metrics to measure advancement. In any game this is

based upon observable attributes.

In your game of catch, one could be said to advance when they are

able to catch the ball more often than before. It can also be said

that the player has advanced when they are able to throw the ball

better... half of catching is throwing.

You may not actively look for a metric of advancement, but if you

look at anything you do, your mind does develop a gauge of your

performance.

Even when holding a conversation, I can tell you when I "say too

much" or "not enough" when talking. There's no formal advancement,

but there are gauges. Generally it depends on what I'm talking

about and what the goal is for the conversation... if I'm trying to

relay information the gauge is based on how well the listener

understood my comments... in a debate form it's how well I got my

views across...

These are all simply metrics to gauge a performance and that is

simply what advancement is.

-- Kwon J. Ekstrom

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Chanur Silvarian* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Katie Lukas* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Daniel.Harman@barclayscapital.com*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Oliver Smith*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Daniel Anderson* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Koster, Raph* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Nicolai Hansen*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Dark Lamenth* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Fidelio Gwaihir*

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Ola Fosheim GrĂ¸stad* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*gbtmud* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Tom "cro" Gordon* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Sheela Caur'Lir* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Roger Hicks* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Ola Fosheim GrĂ¸stad*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Freeman, Jeff*

- Expected value and standard deviation.

- Expected value and standard deviation.
- Expected value and standard deviation.
*Matt Mihaly* - Expected value and standard deviation.
*Tom "cro" Gordon*

- Expected value and standard deviation.