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Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players by Zack Hiwiller

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12. Goals

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

—CONFUCIUS

A player needs to make informed decisions if he is to be interested in the actions of the game system. In Chapter 10, I discussed decision features that may be interesting to a player, but I glossed over a fundamental requirement native to all games that have interesting decision-making—knowing the player’s goals. What are they? How does the player find them, understand them, act on them, and reach them?

How Players Determine Game Goals

The method players use to figure out what their goals are and how to achieve them in a game system is not wildly different from the scientific method (FIGURE 12.1).

FIGURE 12.1 Astute ...

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