Design Iterations #3 What next?

This month’s Edge magazine has an interesting article by Randy Smith
( on emergence. At the root
of his argument are using the questions “Then what happens?” or “What
else?” as drivers to extrapolate the causal chain of events in your
game design. He goes further and explains that in separating out an
event’s outcome as a communication ‘channel’ it allows the designer to
foster emergence through having your main objects be producers or
consumers of the channels.

Not sure if what I’ve written makes as much sense in words as it does
in my head (sorry, it’s early) but from my experience of working on
subscription based web2.0 and messaging APIs it makes a ton of sense. In fact, we see this sort of emergent behaviour all the time. For example, many of the creative uses for Twitter have sprung up as a direct result of this. The modern web is now a fertile ecosystem of interdependent services and events available to query via RESTful APIs or to be consumed as pushed events, most now with geolocation data tagged to it. 

Going back to my game design (which was trashed earlier this week and
is now slowly being resurrected in parts), there are a few high level objects which from the start were described in terms of the notifications they
broadcast as certain events are triggered. But Randy’s article has
opened up this mechanism for me think a lot more broadly about each object
and how it can interact with the environment to allow for emergence.

More on this later, off to London to meet some old friends for the weekend!

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