Author Topic: What Makes Outpost Fun?  (Read 1763 times)

Offline BinaryMan

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What Makes Outpost Fun?
« on: January 30, 2007, 02:05:02 AM »
Brainstorm:

I read an article that stated that if you still pick up a game a year after finishing it, it is a good game. Another designer stated that the three essential components to a game are "easy to pick up, hard to master and winning a level grants you a tougher challenge next time".

I still play OP1 years after buying it (even using a PC emulator to make it work!). Why is it fun? I enjoy it because I keep discovering new parts of the simulation which shape my strategy (most are random, and you stumble on them, and they are not obvious). Maybe it's my arbitrary challenges (like the no-mining-SPEW-only challenge) that keep me interested. I do like building things, but the game has no ending really and isn't particularly difficult once you know how the simulation works. Is it the open-ended gameplay? Maybe. I could build until I have 10,000 people, but it's without purpose.

Would scenarios help such a game? Defined goals for each "level" (colony) that I build? I often feel that it's repetitive to have to rebuild in a game each time to meet level criteria. What would you want to see in OP1 to make it more fun?

Offline White Claw

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What Makes Outpost Fun?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2007, 08:12:32 AM »
I think scenarios are a really good idea. The problem with OP1 in this respect is that it is a lot like sim city. You pretty much start from the same point at the beginning of every game and there's no specific goal. Sim Cities do include scenarios though, but they are stand alone type of scenarios that gave you a starting city and specific goals. (as opposed to OP2 which is story line driven and each mission furthers that story).

Since there is no driving story for OP1, I suppose you could create one. But I think I like the stand alone type of scenario better for OP1. With that, someone could still create a continous story if they wanted to by having several related stand alone scenarios.

On the other hand, scenarios might be a bad idea. Why?: They tell you what to do with your game. If you don't want to do that, it's too bad.

I think I like to play OP1 and Sim City (and Civ, etc...) because in the end, I have a civilization that I built. Not just another completed level. Of course, there's no reason why you can't have both ("sandbox" mode and scenarios).