Designing for Social Play

 Posted by (Visited 844 times)  Game talk
Apr 092021

Oops, I forgot to post about this yesterday when it went up!
I wrote about designing for social play for the Playable Worlds website. As you can see, I’m doing an article a week for now… that will probably change once we get more folks writing about what we are doing and inch ever closer to an actual reveal of what we are making.

In the end, good social design is about good society design. That’s what underlies the buzzword, and why it’s so sad that the word “social” gets reduced to mindless clicking or dark patterns on a social media site.

Diversity of people and of play makes for a more robust society, a more enduring community, in every way. That’s good for us as a business. More importantly, it’s better for players. It makes for an online world that doesn’t chase you out or make you feel insignificant or unwanted. A world where you can pursue your own dream.

From up close, from where we stand, we cannot see the shape of the whole. My hope is that by playing in a world like this, players come to realize the interconnectedness of all things.

If the ideas discussed there sound of interest to you, and you are a game dev — you might want to check out our jobs page — we’re hiring for a bunch of roles!


  2 Responses to “Designing for Social Play”

  1. I don’t know who, what, or the where of how this needs to happen, but the Star Wars Galaxies universe needs to be revived. Think about galaxies with today’s graphics and tech. We need a world to invest and build in again. Nothing out there has even touched what the game once had. Please somehow make this a comeback revamp.

  2. For both this and the previous post on economy – how do you balance for the meta aspect?

    On the one hand, something like the Goonswarm – a large group, communicating and organised mostly outside the game channels, working together to dominate the economic game through economies of scale and all the usual systems in an unregulated economy – monopolies, espionage, selling below cost, etc.

    On the other, say a fully dedicated griefer, someone who assigns no value to anything in the game and whose only goal is to make other people’s lives miserable – to which end they’re happy to ‘throw away’ large amounts of time and money on cultivating ‘throw away’ characters to be used as disposable ‘weapons’, while skirting the edge of what the TOC defines as acceptable behaviour to avoid being permabanned. Or not, if they have multiple credit cards to burn.

    In either case, people out to break your systems and your players, and against who you don’t have any coercive power of note.

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