I’m playing legends of zork at the moment, and I quite enjoy how you have a number of action points each day and you can spend them on finding more treasure, or banking the treasure you’ve found. But if you get beaten up whilst looking, you lose all the treasure on you since your last bank. But banking uses up an action point you could have used for treasure finding. See the fun dilemma?
Okay, so that’s fun. But I’ve been playing it and saving up for some armour (because everyone else in the game seems to have a huge armour stat and they keep beating me up in PVP).
The thing is, while that fun dilemma is fun, at a bigger picture level, it’s just slow accumulation. The bigger picture game is boring. There is no game of risking for potentially more reward. So that bigger picture, the way it is, actually spoils the smaller picture.
Of course you could just duplicate the smaller game at the bigger picture level. Like perhaps after you get X amount of gold and Y amount of RL time, you can face some risk and increase it by some percentage, or you can bank it and be safe. That’s a quick, clumsy idea for it.
But the interesting thing is how that bigger picture appears and spoils the game. I think this happens in mmorpgs too – I wasn’t thinking of saving up a whole bunch of coins, but because of item costs my mind shifted to it – and when it shifted, it shifted to a larger picture that spoilt the smaller picture/game.
I think it can sort of explain the love hate thing you can get for a mmorpg, where your attracted to it, probably because of a reasonably fun small picture game, but then your mind drifts onto the larger picture and that spoils it.