Extra Credits: Intrinsic or Extrinsic

Show Notes:

Be sure to check out the Extra Credits Store.

Would you like James to come speak at your school or organization?

For info, contact us at: kate@extra-credits.net

Apologies for any inconvenience, a better approach to new episodes will be live as soon as possible.

Recent Comments:

  • Very good episode.

    I've actually wanted (and still want to some degree) to post a big post about why I think that "pure" games should be stateless i.e. no savegames, achievements or any progress at all. It's because this framework requires the game to solely depend on intrinsic rewards and that is why I still play stateless games for decades but can't stand modern games which are all about progress, levels, achievements, unlocks and DLCs.

    I agree making it so that every time you go back to a game, you have to start from scratch would give it a "pure" quality. I imagine such a game would imitate life; everything is here and then gone. You can rule the world or build a wonder, and it will die with the recessing of the circuitry. I even think it could be pulled off extremely well. However, I want to draw a sharp distinction between "pure" and "ideal".

    Honestly, I'm more interested in the prospect of permanant changes on the world in a game with 'permafailure' [e.g. permadeath] atm. So, yes, Character #5431 died, but his efforts allowed the building of a Great Lighthouse, increasing the income the Empire has from sea trade, the upgrading of the weapons shop in the capitol, and accidentally unleashed a demon infestation on the town of Cripont, and the ramifications of those deeds will be felt by Character #5432, than the idea of resetting the game completely each time. That works, particularly for more ludo focused works, sure, but... It's hardly new, even ignoring now that games can be saved as the rule rather than the exception - Roguelikes have been working with permadeath long after saving was possible, to name the obvious example.

    This interest may be partially due to the existence of Risk Legacy, but only partially so.

  • This interest may be partially due to the existence of Risk Legacy, but only partially so.

    Oh my god, that game is amazing. I didn't know anyone else played it.

    In a way, that's the opposite of the "purity" that Tony is talking about. It's rich because it's "tainted".

  • This interest may be partially due to the existence of Risk Legacy, but only partially so.

    Oh my god, that game is amazing. I didn't know anyone else played it.

    I haven't, I'm afraid. I just love the concept behind it, have seen mostly positive (and non-spoilery) reports of it, and lack a gaming group for whom it would be suited.

  • I don't know if this needs a new thread or not so I'll put it here.

    I just had a thought on how to improve the extrinsic parts of your game: remove the intrinsic parts and the reasons for doing the extrinsic part. Let's say you are crafting in a MMO. The rewards for crafting are the items you'll be able to make someday. The chore and grind is trying to get enough materials so you can make enough items to progress to the next level. This kind of design for crafting is bad for other reasons I don't want to touch on here.

    How would you improve the process of crafting from start to finish?

    Reduce the number of mats needed per item? Allow recycling of finished goods for a good return of mats? Lower the number of items you have to make to level up? Increase the number of mats per harvest node? Crafting mini game? Flatten the crafting tiers? Make your craft level equal to your adventuring level automatically so the one is always caught up to the other?

    As a developer, you can limit yourself to being able to only make a single level 1 item, with no other items as options and no leveling up of your crafting ability. Then just go through the process have having to go get the mats and make only that one item. With the extrinsic rewards removed, you'll get a feel for the crafting aspect of the game really quick. Let's say you decide to add that minigame. Play it 10 times. Play it 100 times. Play it as many times as you would need to get to the max crafting level... but you are still only making that crappy level 1 item.

    Does the mini game get old? Does it get boring? At a half an hour in, do you want to rage quit even though you still haven't done enough items to level up? Are you able to keep yourself well supplied with mats? Did you get spend everything you had at the AH, realize you might only get one level, then realize the finished goods aren't really selling for enough to get you to the next level of crafting from sales alone? Ask yourself if you'd sell just this stripped down, crafting only experience without the rewards would people buy it? Ask yourself if they'd like it. Ask yourself how much they'd pay just to do this rewardless crafting. If the answer is that a lot of people would by it and like it, you've got a crafting system worth keeping. If not, there's work left to do.

    Or let's say you are playing a JRPG. Now take out the boss fights. Take out the loot. Take out the exploration. Take out the story. Take out leveling. Just spend a day or two doing just non-critical battles with your fodder creatures. Try to do a game's worth of the things without any of the extrinsic rewards and try to honestly answer if the only reason you did all them was because you had challenged yourself to do just this that or because you were getting paid for it. Ask yourself if you wanted to sell a game that was just these menu battles without leveling. story, loot, or even boss fights if people would buy it. If the answer is yes, you've got a menu combat system worth keeping, if not, there's work left to do.

  • Poor Allison, I'm going to miss her. It's ironic, the reason why the show moved to PATV was because of needing money to pay for surgery and therapy for her arm, in addition to a falling-out with The Escapist. Really, she helped shaped the show today, and plenty of other aspects about the show, so it's really sad to see her go.

    On the plus side, I freaking love Scott DeWitt, so it's glad to see him as a permanent member of the team, especially since he mimics the style of the show very well!

    The question of "why am I bashing this monster right now?" comes up a lot when I play action/adventure games, particularly The Legend of Zelda. Some monsters don't seem to be doing that much harm, yet I'm killing them and seeing some in particular dying in agony makes me feel bad...

    Actually this happens when I play Kirby a lot of the time! Thing about that game is, Kirby and his friends are cute, but everything else is cute, so who do you side with? Not to mention, Kirby is more often tricked into doing harm by malicious forces, most of which have a cute exterior at first, so really, Kirby's a horrible monster for killing and eating so many otherwise innocent creatures.

    I like how intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are represented by gold and silver bags. It's cute. This show's really cute. :P

    But anyway, about the subject matter itself... I feel like I could connect this to Super Meat Boy somehow. Like, I played Super Meat Boy for the satisfaction of saying "I beat this incredible challenging game, I rock!" Of course, the cutscenes were a joy to watch too, but I feel like they were much more entertaining to watch after I beat a certain boss, you know? That would be Extrinsic, I suppose. Intrinsic is more like finding the bandages in Super Meat Boy which unlocks other characters, or playing through that one Warp Zone that unlocks The Kid from I Wanna Be The Guy, something I've yet to do, because I just wasn't motivated that much. Which is weird, because I'm usually for 100% completion, but Jumping Jiminy, is The Kid's levels going to take some time to beat...

    lol, "I love the characters (when they're not being stupid)" Yeah, I think the game suffers from being too overly complicated. It's like what if DC/Marvel comic continuity found it's way to Japan, and threw in some Disney characters.

    Oh gosh, the outro music... MUST! DOWNLOAD!!!

Join The Discussion: