Player interaction shaping gameplay

We have barely scratched the surface of how game design shapes player interaction but it is also important to remember that the players themselves shape gameplay to a certain extent.  As in Dota 2, the player’s personality as well as their experience with the game influence the types of interaction they will partake in.  But with other games I find this reverse effect where players shape the gameplay to be more prevalent.  A game series that I have a lot of experience interacting with other people is Super Smash Bros.  This interaction is typically done in real life in the setting of a living room.  So naturally the interaction will be vary from Dota 2.  I find that my friends and I put “rules” into the game that we make up ourselves that we follow as we play.  These rules are not programmed into the game, but they are typically ones that we follow out of respect and we expect each other to follow them.

An example of one that we set is to allow players who are off of the map a chance to recover and to not block them from recovering.  It is a common courtesy that we give to each other while playing the game.  This is very interesting as competitive players obviously do not follow this rule as it would impact how well a player can perform.  Other casual players believe the opposite of how my friends and I play and they will punish the player for being off of the ledge.  I have also talked to people who play the game across the country and they too have similar rules that they set up while playing the series of Smash games.

I think it is worth mentioning that in the latest game in the series, Nintendo has actually made it where players cannot grab the ledge in order for a player to not recover.  Whether or not this comes from the community typically wanting a system like that cannot be confirmed, but it is interesting to see how player made rules and interactions in a game can become what is actually put into the game.

The following forum post by a player of Super Smash Bros. shows that different players of the game will come up with their own rules as they play.  These rules can then influence the way players interact with the game.

10 commandments of C-Falc

This post is supposed to be comedic, but it does exhibit that “silly” rules such as these can be enforced by players of the game.  I think that these types of community made rules are more prevalent in games that stress the importance of a friendly community or it requires some type of system where players have to govern themselves.  Creative games such as Minecraft where the actual game design is simplistic can fuel this governmental and creative interaction.  Dota 2 does not necessarily support this kind of interaction with its main design.  I will be making a post about the custom game modes in Dota 2 in which I discuss how design that gives the player more freedom encourages the players to govern themselves.


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