And as balls drop around the world, guys grab the nearest gal to plant one on, predictions get made, resolutions as well… all over a single digit passing the torch to its neighbor. Well, in the spirit of numbers, there are many things MMORPG designers should be considering when implementing their number systems.
Welcome to the new residence of Endgame Farming, 101 Game Design Ct, WordPress MMORPG 02012. Pardon the mess as final boxes are being unpacked, but even making the move couldn’t have happened without the help of willing movers. Allow me to show my guests around the locale. All posts should be now easier to follow, and updated follow feeds on the sidebar lawn to the right should assist as well. Saving the best for last: hanging above the front door, you will take note of a very vibrant and breathtaking banner. This was generously provided to the Endgame Farming Estate by Aidrana. Quite the housewarming gift, she did absolutely wonderful work and recommend everyone swing by her place to check out not only her welcoming blog tone, but her gifted artistry as well. I’m particularly fond of the design process of the banner- I’m partial to design processes, what can I say? 🙂 A huge thank-you to her for her professional product that I’m honored to enjoy.
Aaand We’re Back
Numbers carry so much significance in what we do everyday. From religious pertinence to common base-ten applications, we live in a world of numbers. How we relate to them is of the utmost importance. Given that MMORPGs are coded into binary systems that ultimately are nothing but numbers, it’s due course to consider their value to the user.
Context is everything. Just like money isn’t wealth, but representative of wealth, so too do numbers not replicate a thing, but represent it. Ask any child the value of ten dollars. Well, you might be told that ten dollars is the equivalent to a haircut, or 2 Subway footlongs, or a movie ticket. Ask an adult the value of 500 dollars. You might be told that it is worth a month’s rent, a 50k mi car checkup, a new computer. Ask someone the value of 10000 dollars. Already, the responses begin to become more and more generalized.
We cannot fathom numbers that are too huge. We equally cannot fathom numbers that are too small. We can calculate them, but understand them? We, as humans, understand that which we interact with on a daily basis, but more-so we operate in as simple terms as possible. What exactly does 1 micro-second mean? Who can truly fathom this quantity? And those blasted civil engineers, do any of them truly understand the value of a GPa? We tack unit systems onto our numbers so as to provide a reference point, but anything not immediately surrounding the number 0, in integer form, is foreign.
What’s The Problem?
Given a context, even if we truly cannot appreciate the actual value of the number, we can place in amongst other things, events. Where the human mind truly reaches information overload is when the context of the numbers in a system is spread too far. When you go from game boot-up to endgame.
You have players who reject the system. It’s unnecessary- it means nothing to the gamer. It’s a huge thing, but it is void of meaning.
Ask someone, like before, the value of 1000000 dollars. Well, you’d get a couple answers. Ask them then, the value of 1123821 dollars. There is no variance between the answers, because their mind cannot function on both the 1’s place value as well as the millions place value.
Circle The Wagons
Next time a developer gets a grand idea of ‘bigger is better’, ensure they still stay grounded. Less is more where numbers are concerned. The tighter the shot group, the greater the meaning of the variances therein. The larger the shot group, the greater the risk of alienation.
Oh, and Happy New Years. May the increase in the 1’s column hold meaning to you in this 2-value thousand’s column.