systemic problem

The person at the store with food stamps isn’t the problem. A corrupt tax code that allowed 8 dudes to accumulate as much wealth as 4 billion people is the problem.

"Whoa, What Are Those For?" CF Medications In Public

If you know anything about Cystic Fibrosis, you probably are aware of the insane amount of pills and other therapies that we require in our everyday life. While there are a lot of medications, patients with CF, like me, still have to go on with our lives like a normal person. This includes having to do our medications in public. When I have to take my Cystic Fibrosis medication in public, I am usually pretty discreet about it. Although, sometimes it’s hard to keep them from being seen. When I was in elementary school at lunch, I was asked many times about my enzymes. Being that young, I only understood that I needed them to digest my food. So, that’s what I told my classmates. Nowadays, people are aware I have something going on due to my constant supplemental oxygen. When I go to eat and pull out my 6 horse-sized enzyme pills, I get a “Whoa, what are those for?” or a “What are those for? They are HUGE. I can hardly take one small pill!” I use this time to create awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and explain that while CF affects my lungs, it also affects my digestive system causing a problem absorbing nutrients and breaking down food. 

Another medication that is hard to hide is my breathing nebulizer machine. Sometimes I have to do it in public. When I was younger I was embarrassed, due to all the stares I received. Now, I do it with confidence because there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Some people come up to me and ask me about it. Like the enzymes, I always tell people about Cystic Fibrosis because it’s impossible to get awareness out without talking about. Plus, if the public is not educated about it, then there likely won’t be enough funding for a cure or drug development. When I get asked about my breathing treatment, I explain that I have a genetic illness called CF that causes my lungs to fill with sticky mucus that will eventually grow bacteria and cause my lungs to scar, which is irreversible. This can lead to needing a double lung transplant when the lungs are too scarred up and the lung function drops too low. So, in order to get this junk out of my lungs and to breathe easy, I need nebulized breathing treatments. 

I am never embarrassed when people ask me questions in public about my medication. I find it as a way to open up someone’s eyes and heart to the struggles of a person with Cystic Fibrosis. I always hope that after speaking to the public, I spark an interest in them to go research it and hopefully get involved with their Cystic Fibrosis community to find a cure. Hopefully one day we will have a cure. That’s a world I dream about :) 

-Tiffany Rich 

Liberals, we need you now to join an actual #Resistance to Trump, fascism, and capitalism, the latter of which will perpetually produce the conditions that breed the former. Support us in the battle against oppression, understand that these problems are systemic, and move to the left. Oppression can’t be defeated with centrism.

Oh and stop calling the cops on direct actioneers.

How to make study dates more about studying (and have fun at the same time)

7 useful tips on spicing up and/or sweetening the productive study sessions with your luvah 🔥


  1. If a class includes requires reading, curl up on the couch and read aloud to each other. If you have the time to goof off a bit, read it in funny accents or voices, just for shits and giggles.
  2. It’s a no-brainer that during a study date, you’ll need some snacks. Stay productive and spice up the date by feeding each other *healthy* and romantic food like chocolate covered strawberries or dark chocolate in general.
  3. Use each other as a reward system. For every maths problem you correctly complete, you get a kiss or a hug or a neck massage.
  4. Go somewhere to study together. Have a picnic in the park or visit your local coffee shop and type away while playing footsie under the table. New environments are exciting and refreshing and add a sense of occasion to an otherwise boring cram-marathon.
  5. Make a game out of it. If you two have the same assignment that has numbered questions like maths, see who can correctly answer the most amount of questions in a limited amount of time. This will introduce competitive motivation and help identify where the holes in your understanding or process may be, as well as make it more fun.
  6. Make it a group date. Invite another couple(s) to join you to pool resources in case they can help you with an assignment, and to make it more fun.
  7. Flashcards can be fun with a partner, and bring in the aforementioned reward system. Boom. You’ve got a nice and steamy game show

Request another prompt list/ writing advice post here

  • What people think gaining a lot of fictive headmates at once is like: Oh hooty hoo wowie look at all my favorite fictional characters gosh i love this UwU
  • What it's actually like: WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU WHY ARE YOU HERE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON AAAAAAA GO AWAY WE DONT NEED MORE WHAT THE FUCL

anonymous asked:

Do you have any tips for designing great puzzles?

Sure. When designing a puzzle, a designer must think of the process by which the player interacts with them. Specifically, there are four steps:

  1. The player sees and recognizes the puzzle goal
  2. The player discovers the clues/objects needed to solve the goal
  3. The player associates the relationship of the clues with the puzzle and each other and works out potential solutions
  4. The player solves the puzzle with the proper solution

The designer must make it clear to the player what is happening and what to look for each step of the way. This means that the designer needs to clearly establish context for all four of the elements above. More specifically:

  1. Show the player the goal - a locked door, a treasure chest, an object they want, etc. - but also clearly show that it is not immediately attainable.
  2. Place and advertise the clues to the puzzle goal within the environment. This can be subtle or it can be obvious, depending on whether the puzzle is optional or part of the critical path. 
  3. Provide a way for the player to experiment and learn how the clues interact and behave. This doesn’t have to mean that the player can make attempts until they succeed, but it does mean that they get enough tries with the puzzle to learn the rules.
  4. Create a solution for the puzzle that isn’t too difficult or too easy for the challenge level the designer has chosen.

These are the basic elements that a designer must create in order to make a good puzzle. Missing one of these elements is a recipe for player frustration, and that is something we always want to avoid.

The second layer of designing a puzzle is deciding on the distribution. Puzzles have two primary elements to them - discovering the clues, then using clues to solve some sort of pattern. Some puzzles are 100% clue-finding, such as “find the key to unlock this door”. Some are 100% pattern-solving, such as the Tower of Hanoi. Many are a combination of the two - e.g. the player can play around with this pattern, but is missing a critical piece to finish it.

When designing the pattern, make sure that the pattern is clear and makes sense once all of the pieces are known. If the designer presents a pattern or set of rules to the player for a puzzle, it’s a promise that those rules will be followed. A good puzzle design will let the player make certain assumptions and have a way to test those assumptions. The solution should require some kind of non-obvious, lateral thinking that still satisfies the rules that the designer has set. If the solution breaks the rules or pattern, it will be extremely frustrating to the player.

A good designer will also use multiple solutions to the same puzzle judiciously. Under such circumstances, it’s important to communicate to the player that there are more than one solution and which solution each clue belongs to. Otherwise, the puzzle can cause frustration by making players think that they are missing something when they aren’t, like the nagging feeling one gets when there are leftover parts when building something. One good strategy in puzzle design, in my experience, is to provide a secondary optional bonus puzzle that uses the same rules as the puzzle on the critical path, but provides some additional content or reward to the player for completing it. 

Remember the fundamentals of puzzle design when constructing them. They might seem obvious, but it can be extremely easy to skimp or skip in the creation of one or more of those basic elements. It’s important to get playtesters who aren’t familiar with the puzzle to test it, especially noting any frustration points. Show the player the way first, point out the necessary elements to complete it, and then let the player make those connections and solve it.


Got a burning question you want answered?

DID problems
  • Me, trying to get on with "adult" life: rapid switching, littles wanting to play at inappropriate times, noisy head, unable to concentrate on anything for long, alters fronting for days at a time etc.
  • Me, when the body is ill: silent head, little or no switching, feeling completely alone in dealing with illness.
9

WHAT KEEPS ME GOING AND PLAYING OVER 200 HOURS  (ノ ;▽ ;)ノ 

my obsession is real AND I CAN KEEP GOING FOR THAT 200 PHOTO ALBUM LIMIT.. Another Prompto appreciation post!

BONUS: 

PERFECT TIMING

If you’re passionate about race inequality, police brutality, Black Lives Matter, or whatever—your cause will be forgotten the instant you’re seen as being unpatriotic. These guys could have waited until after the game to say what was on their mind through press conferences, interviews, social media, their agents etc., instead they decided to pull this stunt and forever throw whatever cause they’re passionate about into the trash. No one cares when you bash America.
— 

An idiot writing for Townhall.

I saw a quote somewhere today that said (paraphrasing): Racism is such a fundamental part of America that protesting racism is seen as an attack on the country.

So what this idiot is suggesting is that the players wait until after a game, when a fraction of the audience is watching, to address a systemic problem that is killing black people every day, and has been doing that for years, without any meaningful consequence or effort to address it. I wonder if this idiot is the kind of idiot who is, like, super supportive of people who protest but only when the protest is quiet and unobtrusive and doesn’t inconvenience anyone in any way.

It’s always helpful when a person who isn’t black lectures black people about their experience and how they’re responsible for the violence and racism they have directed at them every day of their lives. 

MBTI Types’ Shadow

“The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.” ~ Carl Jung

ESTP

Flexible and tolerant, they take a pragmatic approach focused on immediate results. Theories and conceptual explanations bore them – they want to act energetically to solve the problem. Focus on the here-and-now, spontaneous, enjoy each moment that they can be active with others. Enjoy material comforts and style. Learn best through doing.

  • ESTP  Shadow: ISTJ.
    Can become stubborn about their perception of the past and fixated on its relation to the present (Si). Can become critical, disgruntled with disorder, illogical, or inefficiency (Te). Rigidly following a belief system or what they personally think is important, with accompanying childish and/or selfish behaviour (Fi). Over-reading between the lines, often misinterpreting someone’s actions and seeing negative intentions where there are none (Ne).

ISTP

Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency.

  • ISTP Shadow: ESTJ
    Can become stubborn about organising things and insist on a systematic approach (Te). Prefer not to focus on the past but can be quite critical of past performances and overuse negative experiences to inform decisions (Si). Interpret situations in a naive way, inferring malice where none exists (Ne). Spend money and time on things that are unimportant and care little about the value of things (Fi).

ESFP

Outgoing, friendly, and accepting. Exuberant lovers of life, people, and material comforts. Enjoy working with others to make things happen. Bring common sense and a realistic approach to their work, and make work fun. Flexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to new people and environments. Learn best by trying a new skill with other people.

  • ESFP Shadow: ISFJ
    Can become stubborn about their perception of the past and fixated on its relation to the present (Si). Can be quite critical and disgruntled about the expectations of the group to the point of rebellion and disengaging (Fe). May make statements or believe in ideas that are contradictory and illogical (Ti). Over-reading between the lines, often misinterpreting someone’s actions and seeing negative intentions where there are none (Ne).

ISFP

Quiet, friendly, sensitive, and kind. Enjoy the present moment, what’s going on around them. Like to have their own space and to work within their own time frame. Loyal and committed to their values and to people who are important to them. Dislike disagreements and conflicts, do not force their opinions or values on others.

  • ISFP Shadow: ESFJ
    Stubborn about how others affect them and resist being pulled into being responsible for others feelings and choices (Fe). Prefer not to focus on the past but can be quite critical of past performances and overuse negative experiences to inform decisions (Si). Interpret situations in a naive way, inferring malice where none exists (Ne). Caught up in pointing out others’ inconsistencies, with a dogmatic tendency to adhere to one principle rather than seeing its distinctions (Ti).

ESTJ

Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive, quickly move to implement decisions. Organize projects and people to get things done, focus on getting results in the most efficient way possible. Take care of routine details. Have a clear set of logical standards, systematically follow them and want others to also. Forceful in implementing their plans.

  • ESTJ Shadow: ISTP
    Can be stubborn about the models and principles they’ve adopted, categorising everything simplistically and robotically following the principles (Ti). Go on about “facts,” blocking others’ proposed actions, or get caught up in the moment and engage in impulsive behaviour (Se). Envision how something will play out and ignore signs that it won’t work out, foreseeing disaster or nothing at all (Ni). Convinced others don’t like, appreciate, or need them, and over-accommodate others needs (Fe)

ISTJ

Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.

  • ISTJ Shadow: ESTP
    Stubborn about going on impulse and insist that they have an accurate read of the situation (Se). Prefer not to articulate operating principles and can get stuck in models and frameworks they have learned or adapted (Ti). Over-address others’ concerns and feel disappointment over a false sense of closeness (Fe). Make dire predictions with certainty and mistake deep symbolism as a guidepost for life (Ni).

ESFJ

Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute.

  • ESFJ Shadow: ISFP
    Be stubborn about values as they crusade for a particular cause, turning off people instead of mobilising them (Fi). Go on about “facts,” blocking others’ proposed actions, or get caught up in the moment and engage in impulsive behaviour (Se). Envision how something will play out and ignore signs that it won’t work out, foreseeing disaster or nothing at all (Ni). analyse, lash out if others criticise their logic with emotional arguments, and make subjective arguments (Te).

ISFJ

Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.

  • ISFJ Shadow: ESFP
    Stubborn about going on impulse and insist that they have an accurate read of the situation (Se). Dwell on conflicts in beliefs, being critical, and locking into their desires by bulldozing others (Fi). Spend unnecessary time establishing order, planning, and misguide themselves and others in the process (Te). Make dire predictions with certainty and mistake deep symbolism as a guidepost for life (Ni)

ENTJ

Frank, decisive, assume leadership readily. Quickly see illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems. Enjoy long-term planning and goal setting. Usually well informed, well read, enjoy expanding their knowledge and passing it on to others. Forceful in presenting their ideas.

  • ENTJ Shadow: INTP
    Can be stubborn about the models and principles they’ve adopted, categorising everything simplistically and robotically following the principles (Ti). Oblivious to unspoken potentials and get off track with inferences and interconnections (Ne). Cling to what they are used to; repeat themselves in ritualistic fashion (Si). Convinced others don’t like, appreciate, or need them, and over-accommodate others’ needs (Fe).

INTJ

Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.

  • INTJ Shadow: ENTP
    Be stubborn about responding to emerging information and locking on to a hidden meaning (Ne). Prefer not to articulate operating principles and can get stuck in models and frameworks they have learned or adapted (Ti). Over-address others’ concerns and feel disappointment over a false sense of closeness (Fe). Get stuck in impressions of how things were and resist change; waste time reviewing the impact of the past (Si).

ENTP

Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and outspoken. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems. Adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically. Good at reading other people. Bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another.

  • ENTP Shadow: INTJ
    Be stubborn about perceptions of how the future will be, and lock onto a vision that won’t happen (Ni). Can become critical, disgruntled with disorder, illogic, or inefficiency (Te). Rigidly following a belief system or what they personally think is important, with accompanying childish and/or selfish behaviour (Fi). Excessively seek physical stimulation or following the urge to do nothing; zero in on isolated details, acting impulsively on them (Se).

INTP

Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.

  • INTP Shadow: ENTJ
    Can become stubborn about organising things and insist on a systematic approach (Te). Indulge negative thoughts of how events will unfold (Ni). Dwell on the perceived “realities” of a situation; act highly impulsively (Se). Spend money and time on things that are unimportant and care little about the value of things (Fi).

ENFJ

Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and provide inspiring leadership.

  • ENFJ Shadow: INFP
    Be stubborn about values as they crusade for a particular cause, turning off people instead of mobilising them (Fi). Oblivious to unspoken potentials and get off track with inferences and interconnections (Ne). Cling to what they are used to; repeat themselves in ritualistic fashion (Si). analyse, lash out if others criticise their logic with emotional arguments, and make subjective arguments (Te).

INFJ

Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.

  • INFJ Shadow: ENFP
    Be stubborn about responding to emerging information and locking on to a hidden meaning (Ne). Dwell on conflicts in beliefs, being critical, and locking into their desires by bulldozing others (Fi). Spend unnecessary time establishing order, planning, and misguide themselves and others in the process (Te). Get stuck in impressions of how things were and resist change; waste time reviewing the impact of the past (Si)

ENFP

Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of possibilities. Make connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency.

  • ENFP Shadow: INFJ
    Be stubborn about perceptions of how the future will be, and lock onto a vision that won’t happen (Ni). Can be quite critical and disgruntled about the expectations of the group to the point of rebellion and disengaging (Fe). May make statements or believe in ideas that are contradictory and illogical (Ti). Excessively seek physical stimulation or following the urge to do nothing; zero in on isolated details, acting impulsively on them (Se)

INFP

Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are important to them. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential. Adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a value is threatened.

  • INFP Shadow: ENFJ
    Stubborn about how others affect them and resist being pulled into being responsible for others feelings and choices (Fe). Indulge negative thoughts of how events will unfold (Ni). Dwell on the perceived “realities” of a situation; act highly impulsively (Se). Caught up in pointing out others’ inconsistencies, with a dogmatic tendency to adhere to one principle rather than seeing its distinctions (Ti).

anonymous asked:

Based of your recent post on leveling where you explained everything that was wrong with the said system, could you go into depth about what makes a good leveling system?

This particular topic can be a real rabbit hole, but let’s try to keep it to the basics for today. At its core, a leveling system is a series of goals and rewards for the player. The player plays the game, reaches certain pre-determined requirements, and obtains discrete new rewards for doing so. Because this is a system that dispenses rewards to the player, it needs to meet a few criteria:

1. The rewards must be meaningful

There has to be some sort of tangible benefit to rising in level - the authorization to use better equipment, a new power or more currency to buy/improve powers, etc. This builds anticipation - leveling up should be something that the player looks forward to doing, and that isn’t possible if leveling up doesn’t actually do anything. A good leveling system will excite players and encourage them to keep playing - they want to get one more level, because they get something good at level N+1. 

Consider Dungeons and Dragons, the tabletop game. Each character level is a really big deal in D&D - you get significant choices to make at each level that will (usually) greatly affect your character’s power. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the PSX had an almost-useless leveling system. The primary methods of gaining power in that game stemmed from collecting useful items from defeated foes, while leveling up provided small incremental amounts of HP and magic power. The character level in that game was practically vestigial. Nobody who played that game looked forward to leveling or cared what level they were.

One of the biggest things that a system designer has to do when creating a leveling system is to come up with a variety of rewards for the player to look forward to. Stat improvements, authorization for new equipment, new or improved powers, new visual effects, and opening up new areas to explore are the most common rewards for leveling, and it makes sense because the player should naturally be interested in obtaining these things. Furthermore, there has to be a good variety of rewards to leveling up, or else the player will get bored. More HP and MP at each level without any other benefit stops being appealing really quickly. If you vary the rewards and keep them interesting enough that the player will look forward to them, you can keep interest for a lot longer.

2. Rewards must arrive in a timely fashion

A good leveling system must take timing into account. Earning a level should be a fairly uncommon experience - players need time for the anticipation of the next level to build or it won’t feel meaningful. If a player gains a new level every few seconds, that player will quickly grow indifferent toward leveling because of how often it happens. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we designers also cannot let the player go for too long without a reward either. If a task seems too difficult, troublesome (especially if it lacks a reward befitting the effort), or like it takes too long, players will tune out and won’t bother with or pay attention to it. The reward must be delivered somewhere in that sweet spot between, where the player feels like they have accomplished something, but not so far away that they feel it isn’t achievable. This time length is informed by a number of factors - the type of game (e.g. leveling a champion in League of Legends vs leveling a character in WoW), the platform (mobile vs console vs pc), and even the length of the game.

3. Rewards must be earned by player action

Rewards exist to encourage players to do things actively in the game. Experience points are just smaller rewards that build up to earn larger ones (levels). The designer uses these smaller rewards for completing in-game tasks, like defeating enemies, completing objectives, winning matches, and so on. The nature of experience point rewards does two things - it provides a sense of scale for the value of each action/objective relative to others, and gives the player a sense of progress towards the bigger goal of leveling up. If the player just passively earns experience by standing around or is disproportionately rewarded for completing repetitive tasks (e.g. grinding), it can short-circuit the sense of accomplishment that they would get by playing the game as intended. It’s important to keep this in mind - a good leveling system preserves the sense of player accomplishment by rewarding different player actions.

So how do we actually bring all of these concepts together practically?

Design principles are all well and good, but how does this actually translate to designing an actual leveling system? This is where system design’s mathematical nature kicks in. We start by asking ourselves questions and choosing answers for them. As we start answering them, we can start building up a mathematical system to generate the specifics. Here are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves:

  • How many levels do we want at maximum? 

This decides how many different level rewards we have to create or assign.

  • How long should it take to reach maximum level, on average? 
  • If this is a single player game, at what point in the game do we expect the player to reach maximum level? How many hours do we expect that to be?

These questions combined with the other question above determine how long we expect each level to take. If we have 30 levels distributed over 60 hours of gameplay, then we expect each level to take two hours on average to earn. That might feel a bit long, so perhaps we can make 40 levels and a new level every hour and a half instead, assuming we have enough rewards. This gives us a target levels per hour (or LPH) value to earn X levels in Y hours. 

  • How many LPH should the various activities provide?

Remember, we have a specific target value of LPH in order to reach maximum level by the end of the game. We can decide that breakdown here. Maybe killing things is the most efficient means of leveling. Maybe it’s completing quests. Maybe it’s exploring. What factors might affect this? In World of Warcraft, for example, grouping up will split the experience earned from kills among group members, lowering the LPH from killing things. We have to make sure that we tune the LPH of the various activities in aggregate to match the target LPH for the full game. We can then break down the components for the activities… traveling, interacting/talking with NPCs, fighting, etc. as well. Having a target LPH can also be used to check for efficiency - if an activity has a higher LPH than average, it can potentially be used to advance faster than we expected.

Let’s assume we have a 40 hour game with 40 level rewards to distribute, we can expect one new level roughly every hour. This means that our level-appropriate activities should add 1 LPH. If we want a quest-centric game, we could make quests provide +0.75 LPH and the mob killing associated with it provide +0.35 LPH (and have most of the quests require killing stuff), so the player can do both at the same time. If we wanted to emphasize the killing, we could make quests only +0.2 LPH and the killing 0.9 LPH. We can adjust these ratios as we like in order to direct the gameplay experience that we want for the player. You might have noticed that I had these examples add up to over 1 LPH at perfect efficiency. That’s intentional - we don’t expect players to be perfectly efficient, so we build in a bit of buffer for them. 

If we decide we want 1000 experience to gain a level, this means that we’d want quests in a quest-heavy game to provide 750 experience per hour and killing things 350 experience per hour. If we then extrapolate that to mean that we expect the player to complete 10 quests per hour and kill 70 things per hour, then we can figure that one quest should reward 750 / 10 = 75 exp per quest, and killing 10 things should yield 350 / 70 = 5 exp per kill. We can then try these values to start with for our playtests and see how they feel.

You may have realized that what we’re basically doing here is working backwards from our goal to calculate what the exp reward values should be. That’s no coincidence; it’s the core of systems design. We’re starting with the sort of play experience we want the players to have on a macro level, and breaking it down into systems and formula by using math. This is what systems designers do - they look at the large scale goals and the experience that they want the player to have, and break it down into a bunch of numbers and formulas that will take the players to the goal. Unsurprisingly, this means that there’s often a lot of spreadsheet work involved with these calculations. The actual math here isn’t particularly difficult, but it can be very fiddly because of all of the potential factors involved. The math also is not the end-all and be-all of it. It gives us a point to start with - tools with which to work. Once we’ve built the foundation with it, we can then play with and tune them until the experience feels fun and engaging. That’s a critical part to it too. It’s like constructing a cyborg - you need both the mathematical robot aspects of it as well as the human feeling parts to make it really live.


Got a burning question you want answered?