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Subject: GGP 2.0 - Task 2.3.2 . Interaction: Competitiveness Level rss

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Oliver Kiley
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(content lifted from other threads)

Interaction: Competitiveness Level relates to the level of competiveness found in the game overall, and has a strong relationship to both the actual mechanisms of the game and the strategy. This trait is attempting to describe a range of game types from "direct conflict to multi-player solitaire." In other words, how competitive or fierce are the interactions? Can you screw your neighbor? Can you destroy their stuff or is just about blocking them or getting to the finish line firs?

Reference threads of interest:

THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION... and how games innovate
Interesting thread discussing how difference games' "Means of Production" operate, which is to say how players build up their stuff, take actions, etc. The link with Competitiveness has to do with the extent to which players can "mess" with each other's MoP. Euro-games are often about "building up" a MoP whereas as AT games are about "destroying" MoP. Are hybrid games those that both build up and destroy?

Nasty Moves and Expectations: Types of Player Interaction in Board Games
Similar set of terms as presented below...



-------------------------------------------------------------
Broad Categories
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Combative - Attacks required
Players interact directly via force; i.e. chess, wargames, etc. You must actively destroy your opponents’ assets to win / aggression is required for victory.

Direct - Attacks allowed
Players can affect each other directly for/with/by their assets, but the aim is to further your own relative position. i.e. You can destroy/block your opponents assets, but it isn’t required for victory. Potentially about diminishing your opponent’s capacities, reducing their score/resource/etc.

Indirect - e.g. blocking, taking something first
Players compete for the same resources in common areas but cannot directly affect another players assets. I.e. You can prevent access to neutral territory/resources/choices (blocking, taking something first, etc.), but cannot directly destroy your opponent’s already acquired assets outright. Often riddled with "negative" interactions.

Limited - e.g. leeching
Players may interact but in limited ways that are often channeled through global game state mechanisms. Can certainly be an important factor/consideration in the game (i.e. Leeching in Race for the Galaxy) but is typically a secondary consequence of players plotting their own actions rather than deliberately trying to spite/undermine an opponent.

Race-Style
Aka pure "Race" style games) where players strive to be the first to reach a finish line (may be construed as multi-player solitaire). Yahtzee is a good example of a pure race game, as there is zero interaction between players.

Non-Competitive
Includes solitaire, cooperative games, or those where there are not winners/looses.


-------------------------------------------------------------
Specifics
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Beyond these very broad categories, to what extent is it worth breaking down the nature of the interaction more? For instance, where does the concept of "blocking" vs. "take that!" fit into the classification scheme. Are these better described as part of the mechanisms used in the game? This geeklist goes into that direction a little:

Types of gaming interaction

Also, here's a passage from the Means of Production Article listed above that might be of interest:

Linoleumblownaparte wrote:

You got me thinking about the different kinds of player interaction that can be possible with MOPs. Not the usual vocabulary of "direct interaction" vs "indirect" - I'm talking about how my MOP and your MOP can interact.

1. Rush For Land
Type of Interaction: A finite MOP is printed on the board in the form of territories/areas, and players are trying to claim as much as they can.
Examples in games: Risk, many 4x games, empire games, Settlers Of Catan to an extent

2. Communal But Finite-Use
Type of Interaction: the MOP are again printed on a central board, players can use any of them, for a turn at a time.
Examples in games: "worker placement" genre e.g. Stone Age, Lords Of Waterdeep, Agricola

3. Burn It To The Ground
Type Of Interaction: A player can block or destroy another player's MOP.
Examples in games: Ameritrash, war-games, sometimes lightly used (provost, robber) in Euros

4. Stealing Your Products
Type of Interaction: A player can steal or destroy another player's production, while not affecting their MOP per se.
Examples in games: Alien Frontiers? games that involve pirates?

5. Let Me Use Your Factory
Type of Interaction: A player can use another player's MOP, either paying him (friendly) or not (hostile).
Examples in games: Troyes, Brass, Road & Boats, The Manhattan Project.

6. Public And Private
Type Of Interaction: the players build their own MOP, but there is also a communal MOP that can be used by all players and can be built up.
Examples in games: ?????????? Texas Hold-Em?


Not the clearest or most useful ideas, but worth consideration.

Thoughts?
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Kevin B. Smith
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Good start.

The description for "Race" should include both "first to" and "best/most at the end". Yahtzee, for example, has a fixed number of turns, so nobody can finish first. But only one will finish "best".

This is only about competitiveness, and not about the nature of the interaction, right? So teams/alliances, negotiation, etc. are not part of this discussion. When I first read it, I focused on "interaction". So I had more notes until I (think I) better understood the context.
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Oliver Kiley
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peakhope wrote:
Good start.

The description for "Race" should include both "first to" and "best/most at the end". Yahtzee, for example, has a fixed number of turns, so nobody can finish first. But only one will finish "best".

This is only about competitiveness, and not about the nature of the interaction, right? So teams/alliances, negotiation, etc. are not part of this discussion. When I first read it, I focused on "interaction". So I had more notes until I (think I) better understood the context.


Thanks for the feedback!

Good suggestion on edits to the race definition, will do.

And yes, this is just about "competitiveness" ... the trait for "Game Format" (which I just updated with a new post) describes how player teams are structured (if any) and who can win/lose in the game.

Beyond the format, specific "kinds" of interaction like negotiation, diplomacy, trading, deal-making, etc. are probably best handled under the relevant mechanics. Although we did kick ideas around for describing a range of experience types that seek to categorize the relative proportions of "above the table" interaction (i.e. actually talking and interacting as humans) versus "on the table" interaction that is a consequence of mechanics.
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David F
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Good start! That just about covers it all.

I'd say destroy/block for 'Combative'.

How about stock-holding games? Indirect looks like the closest, since you can't reduce or stop your opponent's position in a company/country, but you could devalue his stuff.

Looks like a lot of 2er games will be 'combative' (barring a few card games and Eurogames that extend to 2), and multiplayer interaction might be more interesting.
 
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