Funny Dice

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Good Complications

Monte Cook has a good column up today about the considerations of simple vs. complex game design, drawing from his own experience as a designer of Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition. For the uninitiated, saving throws are a core mechanic of the game -- it's how characters resist or avoid harmful magic, dragon breath, poison, and other Bad Things.

The opposite of "simplistic" is not always "complicated." "Simple" is a word probably overused in game design circles. It's almost always a goal and, while not a bad goal by any means, simplistic game mechanics sometimes can lead to a shallow play experience. ... The opposite of simplistic can, in fact, be robust. "Robust," in this context, is a word we used to describe a rule system that offered DMs and players plenty of opportunities for differentiation and varied play experiences.

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