Puzzles vs Maximum Interactivity

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Puzzles vs Maximum Interactivity
« on: August 08, 2015, 11:59:24 AM »
Had posted this over there but seemed to be off-topic.

Recently I've been thinking about dice & clouds stuff and I believe that it's a good thing to strive for symmetry. That's what RPGs are all about, right? The symmetry can even go to a point where we try to mesh the dice and the clouds together so that one thing can't exist without the other. Still, it can be more of a push-and-pull where different people may lean towards one side or the other while the game may be trying to keep the back and forth going.

Therefore, I feel that there might be another axis in play whereby the game can either be this very interactive thing or it can almost be a kind of solitary puzzle. And I think that a majority of new designs go for the interactive end of the spectrum where you dice the clouds to cloud the dice so that everything is shareable and playable. On the other hand, I feel that a lot of people prefer something on the puzzle side of the spectrum where they can do their symmetry on their own and eventually share some content and play it with the rest of the group.

An example of this puzzle-like approach: let's say I've got this cloud-thing I've been thinking about and that I show just a little bit to you. If the game tells me to ask the question "This happens, so what does your character do?", you might be able to mess directly with my cloud-thing before I'm comfortable with what I've got. If instead I ask something like "What would you like to do?", I can filter your intent through what I've been thinking about for my cloud-thing without messing too much with it.
And this example may be not just about my preference. Maybe you don't know what to say if I ask you what your character does, maybe you don't feel comfortable messing with cloudy stuff right now in front of everybody.

Personally, I'm totally on the super-interactive side of the spectrum, so this is just the vibes I get from different people I play with. I've also asked about this on story-games: Non-traditional RPGs with less interactivity?

What do you think?

Maybe I can be a little more clear:

On one end of the spectrum, mostly everybody goes left and everybody goes right. Together. I can tell you about my cloud-thing, ask a question about yours and you come back to me on the same side.

On the other end of the spectrum, players spread themselves left and right thinking about their own thing. I can tell you about my cloud-thing, ask what you want to do and you come back to me from the other side saying that you do this dice-thing.
@gamerdreamerman

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lumpley

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Re: Puzzles vs Maximum Interactivity
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 11:44:37 AM »
I'm sorry! I don't think I understand. Try again, if you want?

-Vincent

Re: Puzzles vs Maximum Interactivity
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 05:41:29 AM »
I'm sorry! I don't think I understand. Try again, if you want?

Let me see... does this diagram help?

@gamerdreamerman

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lumpley

  • 1291
Re: Puzzles vs Maximum Interactivity
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2015, 11:20:41 AM »
Well, I think I follow, but...

I use the clouds and boxes thing for talking about individual rules and our interactions in play, not for talking about whole games or even whole subsystems in games. I also don't use it to represent any axis at all, no scale. Rules don't exist on a line between real things and fictional things, they refer to real things or fictional things, and we can look at when and how they do so.

So already you're applying the idea in a way I never would.

Which you're allowed to do! Build on my ideas in whatever way seems good to you. But if you're asking me, I'd never apply the idea that way.

Now, this second axis, more interactive to more solitary, sure, okay. Granted that some games are more interactive, some more solitary, and maybe some people have a preference between them, what next?

-Vincent

Re: Puzzles vs Maximum Interactivity
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2015, 04:29:37 AM »
Quote
Granted that some games are more interactive, some more solitary, and maybe some people have a preference between them, what next?

I don't know, I lean very heavily towards interactivity, so I'm not sure what to say about the other side of things. If we define roleplaying as a conversation, maybe it's also one that you have with yourself? Maybe there are several Shared Imaginary Spaces in play and not just one.

What does this mean in terms of game design? Make mini-games that indirectly play off each other?
@gamerdreamerman