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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Chapter 5. Conflict

Conflict makes challenge personal. It's one thing to be challenged by a cliff waiting to be climbed, or a puzzle waiting to be solved, but it's entirely another thing to go up against a real live opponent. A simple challenge just sits there waiting for you to come; you can ignore it or tackle it at your leisure. But a challenge coming from a human being is of entirely another order—you can't just sit there thinking about it. You accept the challenge or you slink away.

Conflict is the stressor that reveals character and ability. Challenge without conflict is entirely predictable; when you go mano a mano with a crossword puzzle, you know exactly what you're getting into. But when you enter into a conflict with an active agent, ...

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