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Crafted Reading - Patterns and Trust

Engines of Play: How Player Motivation Changes Over Time

This GDC talk by Jason VandenBerghe, designer of Ubisoft's For Honor, is a great primer on how psychology affects game design.

It's an engaging watch and a dense presentation. One powerful takeaway is that the reasons we start playing a game and the reasons we continue playing have to do with very different personal motivations.

The Chemistry of Game Design

Written by Daniel Cook about a decade before Jason's Engines of Play. It's an earlier look into how game designers were thinking about games in a time before app stores and the current attention economy.

Daniel's work has been massively influential on game design, surfacing primitives (such as game loops) and pioneering today's successful mechanics (such as Merge-3).

Stuffed Blocks

A blog by Tony Sheng, and a treasure trove of critical thinking on game ecosystems. Some great posts:

Web 3 Game Counterparts

Most Web 3 Games take inspiration from other games and media:

Web 3 game Similar to As well as And
Cryptokitties Pokemon Baseball Trading Cards Axie Infinity
Decentraland Cryptovoxels Second Life The Sims
Sandbox Roblox Minecraft LEGO
Skyweaver Hearthstone Legends of Runeterra Magic: The Gathering

What makes each of these games different? Do they have the same audiences? How can they become more successful than their competitor?

Are there any others? Do add more with a PR! 📝

TTV/Drandok's Review of Eve Online

A great real-world example of the oft-quoted truism, "What the game is, defines what the players do." A player eloquently lays out why the game isn't really 'free', and how freedom of choice in the game is an illusion.

A poignant quote: "I just don't feel that this is a 'game' anymore than it is a river, and newcomers are raindrops. Farewell."

Breakout Activity

For each table, each fellow should introduce the Web 3 projects they're conceptualizing / working on. Each other member will then provide feedback, focused on answering these questions:

  1. Identifying Patterns: Are there other apps / games / media that remind you of your fellow's project? What makes them different? Similar? What are some things that these other projects are doing correctly which your fellow's project should take inspiration from? Note that your suggested similar projects don't have to be built on Web 3, it might be even more helpful to share projects from other platforms instead.

  2. Trust: Do you see any part of your fellows' project that can be tweaked in order to build more trust among users? Alternatively, is there anything in their project that stands out to you as a possible opportunity for someone to exploit? If there is, suggest some ways on how to close that exploit.

If the group finds it helpful, someone could use collaborative editing software - such as Miro, Figma or Google Drawings - to facilitate discussions. Please share these on Slack. If you do, your projects might get more helpful feedback!