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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Gameplay Help

One of the downsides of designing so many original games is that the players don't know how to play them. Most games are variations on previous designs, so the players have a pretty good idea of how to play before they even fire up the game. Not so with my unconventional designs; players are often at a loss to figure out what's going on and what they should be doing. Therefore, since Patton Versus Rommel, all of my games have sported some sort of intelligent help facility. In most cases, I simply supplied some of the AI routines to the player. For example, the geometric AI for Patton Versus Rommel traced and measured the robustness of the front line; this measurement could be fed back to the player as a warning that the front line ...

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