1) Fun Fallacy. Fun is not an inherent property of an isolated activity.
2) Instead, fun is a consequence of the interaction of journeys and destinations, which are nested into each other, interact with each other and interact with everything around them, including the player.
3) Destinations need to feel worthwhile, considering the respective journey.
4) The journey is generated by the rules of the game.
5) Games have only very few natural rules. (e.g. other players)
6) Journeys become frustrating if the player thinks that he "shouldn't have to do that".
7) Thus, one of the most important things that determine whether a player has fun, are his expectations. To a degree, these expectations can be managed. But usually they have been shaped by earlier games and especially earlier versions of the same game.
8) Journeys need to keep the players' minds busy. (Not just the players). Therefore they should be about things like gaining, learning, deciding, and nested Journeys&Destinations.
9) The teardown of rules creates a competitive advantage. This explains why games become more "convenient" all the time without the players reporting to have had less fun in the past.
10) I repeat. Fun is not an inherent property of an isolated activity.
- What influence have rules on goals?
- Do modern MMORPGs try to control the teardown of rules (and thus make it part of the game!) ?
- Is the playground part of the rules?
- Can players' interactions with stories be described within the framework of journeys & destinations?
- Are games just a collection of journeys & destinations ?
Your comments are very welcome. But please make sure they are on topic.
Note to myself: I should stop using ever different words for the same things.
Rules = Boundaries = Restrictions
Goals = Destinations