17 March 2010

No Let Up

So now tipped from writing Levercastle into editing Levercastle and writing up Shadow Cities. Not due to slave driving, just taking an opportunity to stay on a roll...

I realises this means that blogging time has been severely curtailed but I will be back when I'm done on these tasks.

In the meantime I was corresponding with Matt about a game he was writing and the problems of algorithmic thinking. That in game design Matt proceeds from A to B to C to D and then the players come along and immediately understand C from where they go to B loop back round to D and then finally pay lip service to A whilst really thinking the root of the problem is E through G.

Infuriating to a Host with a linear mindset they regard as logical.

I posted back to him:

The problem you face is not one of logic, it's one of algorithmic thinking.

In algorithmic thinking you have a problem e.g. fierce guard dog between you and open back window.

And a bottom line outcome: Make it through window unmolested.

As long as your algorithm produces the bottom line then you cannot be said to have proceeded in an illogical fashion. All that can be argued is that you reached your bottom line in an innefficient way. To return to the tea example getting someone else to make the tea in exchange for some kind of payment is efficient in the short term as you can do something else while person x makes the tea but inefficient in that it burns up resources you could have used to pay for something more useful.

In the end all players are trying to do is get the most efficiency out of their algorithmic thinking. You as Host may disagree as you see fit but players are entitled to their own reasoning if their solution gets to the bottom line in a way they can live with...

And that's all he wrote. Feel free to agree/disagree whatever in the notes.