A Small Treat: When to Reward the Player


Hello everyone, and thank you for coming to my talk. Today I’ll be speaking about player rewards: what they are, why and how you should put them in your games. I’ll start as usual with the obvious. People play games for entertainment. People like being rewarded. Video games can provide both entertainment and reward. Therefore, it follows that good game design is about making a game’s rewards equal and appropriate to its associated challenges. I have dubbed this concept “conflicto-payoff concordance”. An example of a game with poor conflicto-payoff concordance is Solitaire, since you do all this work and the only thing you get at the end is an empty table and a pack of cards, which, as we all know, is what you started with. I had a funny slide here with a photo of an old man playing Solitaire but it isn’t working for some reason. Anyway, you want to space out rewards so that players feel compelled to keep playing, but not so often that the rewards don't feel like rewards at all. In other words, my advice boils down to carefully considering your design and not overdoing anything in one way or the other. That’s basically what we did on War Zone of War 2, and it worked out pretty good for us. Thanks for coming.

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