Game Idea #24

This week’s game idea is an experiment on contingencies and reward schedules. I will need to add some diagrams to it, but later, when I’m finished preparing them. Here comes…
Game Idea #24

Spirit of Khan

Spirit of Khan is a contingency experiment for an interaction scheme based on a point-and-click type interface like in the Diablo series. The experiment tries to combine variable ratio and fixed interval schedules for the creation of a reward structure that can maintain the highest possible level of player motivation.

Variable ratios  stimulate continuos high-level activity since the player can never estimate when exactly his action will result in reward. It could happen with any of his moves.  So the player maintains a high level of activity, since it depends solely on his own moves if a reward will be triggered or not.

Fixed interval on the other hand causes the player to increase his activity as the moment of reward approaches. It feels like climbing towards a climax and the closer the player gets to the climax, the more his level of activity.

Most common reward schedules and the levels of player activity they cause

Most common reward schedules and the levels of player activity they cause

The goal in this design will be to achieve a contingency that already opens the game on a high treshold of activity due to variable ratio that is used as the basis. At certain points, the players movement will cause a fixed interval schedule to be triggered which will carry the already high activity level to a climax. This will be a combo of moves that will multiply the reward recieved if all required moves are completed once the fixed interval schedule has been triggered. A reversed version of the same mechanism will cause a negative combo, meaning the later the player stops the enemy to perform the combo, the more damage she will receive.

If combined carefully, higher levels of player activity can be achieved

If combined carefully, higher levels of player activity can be achieved

The story wrapped around this formal design will take place in the settings of medieval Middle-and East Asia. It will make use of the mythology of those regions. The goal of the game is to bring together the Spirit of Khan (a divine power) which has been stolen by the evil Xuan Hu in order to be “injected” into the Terracotta Army to create an unbeatable force. You must enter the Forbidden City and fight the already “injected” Terracotta soldiers, Xuan Hu’s special forces and generals, and eventually Xuan Hu himself, before he can finish his evil work.




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