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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Directness of Conflict

Conflict can be prosecuted with varying degrees of directness. The most direct conflict places the two combatants face to face at arm's length; whether they are punching each other or insulting each other, their conflict is about as direct as it can get. But conflict need not be so simple; recourse to indirection can often yield more interesting possibilities.

The simplest step here is to increase the physical distance between the two combatants. Guns do this admirably well; but there are plenty of so-called “indirect weapons” that project an explosive to a distant location. I still recall the great satisfaction I felt while playing Doom, sending a rocket into a distant target. The bad guys were just a few moving pixels. ...

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