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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Making It a Game

The game took shape during the fall and winter of 1984; by early 1985, it had reached an early alpha stage. All the important features were in place, considerable debugging and polishing remained, and some housekeeping functions still needed work. But one problem towered above all others: The game just wasn't entertaining. It functioned well as a simulation, but it didn't grab the player. I struggled with this problem from January until it was completed in July. The problem broke down into several sub-problems.

First, there was too much information for the player to assimilate, and little of that information was truly significant to the player's decisions. The solution to this problem was to simplify the game by lobotomizing ...

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