Friday, September 16, 2011

Minecraft: Where quantum ogres breed

All of this talk of quantum ogres has gotten me thinking about minecraft.  Either that or the 1.8 adventure update that consumes my free time like fire to tinder.  My game design extends beyond RPG's to pretty much any game if I play it long enough,  once I start finding what I consider flaws I feel an incessant need to fix them. Why not play a game that does what you want?  Pssh, that's a lazy way out.

So minecraft 1.8 has new features,  one of which is the "stronghold",  a massive underground dungeon complex hidden "somewhere" but only once per world.  The stronghold is in effect a quantum ogre. But this doesn't bother people.  They have no choice,  the world generates as they explore it.  Left, Right, North, or South; it doesn't matter.  The stronghold is equally likely to appear no matter where you go and you have no idea or way to discern clues (really) about what type of terrain it will be in.  It will be where it is.

But no one cares,  people still hunt for the stronghold even if it is just picking a direction and walking in a line.  Why?  because exploring the stronghold will be fun to explore,  because you know it is out there somewhere.  It may be destiny that you will run into it somewhere,  but you don't care.  Part of this is because you know the rules ahead of time.  You know there will be a stronghold, stumbling across it is just part of the game.

Such is part and parcel of the quantum ogre.  Illusionary player agency is only a problem if players don't know that is the way the game is played.  If people all know and are cool with it,  then go for it.  In my case,  planning story lines seems like work.  I like to force the players to be the story tellers, I am just the referee.


  1. In my case, planning story lines seems like work. I like to force the players to be the story tellers, I am just the referee.

    One thing here is different to the other.

  2. I am not sure what you mean, which of course may mean I have just spat out a post of gibberish (I am not going to lie, Minecraft has eaten into my sleep pretty heavily this week)

  3. In the first sentence you're saying that for you, planning story lines seems to work. Then in the next sentence you say that you force players to be story tellers and you're just the referee. It sounds as if you're saying two completely contradictory things about your games.

  4. "seems LIKE work" is not the same as "seems TO work" The first one means it's a pain in the ass. Hence, making the players do it.