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Page history last edited by Artemis Editor 9 years ago

This is a rough draft meant to capture the game design principles behind Artemis. These principles guide the development of the game and outline the axes on which changes are expected to affect the playersm experience.


While Thom has mentioned several of these in other words, this collection is unofficial and doesn't reflect any hard and fast rules pertaining specifically to Artemis.


0. Keep it fun: All of the below are observations and guidance; the overarching rule of Artemis is that it's supposed to be fun. For the captains, for the players, and yes, even for the developer. In Asimovian fashion, ideas for development and extensions of game concepts should--even if they look great against any and all of the below concepts--be evaluated against the basic criteria of "Will this make the game more fun for more people?". 


1. Emphasize the social element: The killer app of artemis is the flesh and blood players that you've brought along on the mission with you. All of the on-screen elements, challenges, and missions are really just inputs to drive the social interaction between the players. Game design decisions have--and game development suggestions should--be calculated to maximize this interaction.


2. Include everyone: The bridge stations on the Artemis are deliberately designed in a counterintuitive fashion. These odd separations of duties and information bottlenecks mean that it takes cooperation to accomplish core tasks, which is the essence of this being a social game rather than simply a multiplayer game. This principle implies that, though it might be nice to, say, give the captain a detailed overview screen or put enemy status updates on the Weps screen, these eminently sensible decisions for a *real* warship bridge would reduce interaction and cut against the first principle. Same goes for ideas like exploding stations that "kill" the player or an attack that completely blacks out sensors. That said... 


3. Make roles meaningful: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, and...Heart? Wtf is Heart? Everybody wants to be important and in on the action. Including everyone does not mean needlessly multiplying the number of steps that go into an action. A bucket-brigade does include everyone, but it's not fun because roles are not distinguished and individual autonomy isn't rewarded. Instead, suggestions for changes should strive to understand the unique role of each station and emphasize what that station does best. (Valve has some textbook-worthy case studies) A player should have control and mastery of his domain, and other players should depend on (and benefit from) this mastery rather than from merely having a warm body in the chair to quickly rubber stamp some other player's action. If the role (and the game) is made more fun by cutting out some of the less interesting middleman activities (less inclusion) so that a station can focus on those that are more fun and meaningful, then make it so!


4. Reward skill without punishing newbies: This is often called a shallow but deep skill curve, or referred to as "a minute to learn, a lifetime to master". Make sure that core tasks are straightforward to perform with at least moderate effectiveness, but include factors that reward greater understanding of the workings of the game. Things like manual targeting, shield frequencies, and energy allocation reward skilled crewmembers for clever and dextrous management of their station.

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