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Old September 12, 2018, 08:10   #32
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 527
Carnivean is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by the Invisible Stalker View Post
I agree with most of this. I do think there's a fundamental problem with Angband though, that its early game encourages bad habits. This is something Eddie used to complain about a lot and I would probably still have many of those bad habits if I hadn't found his rgra posts. That can make the game quite frustrating. One way around that is to tweak the game so that you can still win with bad habits, but a better way is to make it easier to understand why you just died. By that I don't mean proximate causes like 'killed by an orc' but deeper reasons like 'stayed too long on a level with a low stealth character'. I don't really know how to do that, which is one of many reasons I'm not a developer.
Part of the meta-narrative is that you have to evolve the way you think about the game and how you play it. If you responded to the initial set of conditions in a way that you perceived to be optimal, but actually only worked for the limited conditions that you encountered, and then stubbornly followed that same way throughout the rest of the game with disastrous results, then you will get frustrated and quit. However if you followed the scientific method (get data -> hypothesis -> test -> update hypothesis -> repeat) you'd evolve the way that you played the game. This is part of the fun of the meta-narrative.

The problem, therefore, with Eddie's suggestion is that you reduce the options in the meta-narrative and only deal with the options within the game. Eddie's meta-narrative wasn't trying to beat the game but beat the game faster than anyone else. If you were to simplify the options presented to the player then you are locking them into an easier version of Phillip's meta-narrative.

My contention then is that presenting the player with a bewildering selection of methods and having them learn which is better overall by progressively attempting and discarding theories as more data becomes available.

If you limit the options to a handful of pre-selected optimal choices then you're changing the fundamental nature of the game to something different. It's no longer about learning the game but rather about mechanically progressing through each game.
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