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Balancing Games With Positive Feedback

Balancing Games With Positive Feedback

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Published by killsoul

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Published by: killsoul on Apr 18, 2010
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09/13/2010

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Balancing Games with Positive Feedback  
Most of the time The Designer's Notebook is full of opinionated jottings aboutcreativity, storytelling, or the social effects of interactive entertainment - in otherwords, blue sky. Every now and then, though, I feel compelled to write somethingabstruse and technical about game design, something that's more of a how-to thana why-to or a why-not-to. This is one of those times. This month I'm going to talkabout the effect that positive feedback has on game balance. 
, Designer’s Notebook
,
이야기 전달
,
의 사회
 
,
.
 
, how-to
보다
why-to
why-not-to
.
 
.
 
한다
.
What Is Positive Feedback? 
긍정적인피드백이
?
When we speak of feedback in everyday life, we're usually referring to that horribleshriek that happens whenever the microphone in a public-address system gets tooclose to the speakers. The mic picks up whatever's coming out of the speakers andtries to amplify it again. More generally, feedback occurs whenever the output of any system is "fed back" into it as some kind of an input. What happens with themicrophone and the amplifier is an example of positive feedback - a situation thattends to amplify the output of the system.Positive feedback plays an important role in game design, although you don't hearmany designers talking about it. It can gravely harm a game if improperlyimplemented, but it also has significant benefits. It's an element of game designthat every designer needs to understand and learn to use. 
,
 
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좀더일반적으
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.Before I go into how it works, though, let's look for a minute at the way games arewon and lost. When you happen across two friends playing a game, what's the firstthing you say? "Who's winning?" of course. That's not always an easy question toanswer. Some games have a metric that determines who's ahead at any given time;others don't. In ping-pong, for example, it's obvious: whoever has the most points iswinning. In chess, it's less clear because the victory condition - checkmating theking - is not defined in terms of accumulating points. You can very generally saythat whoever has taken the most pieces is winning, but it's perfectly possible to winat chess with fewer pieces than your opponent has. 
,
 
도록 하자
.
게임을 하고 있는 두친구를 만나게 되면
,
처음에 묻는 말은 누가 이기고 있
?’
 
것이다
.
.
 
.;
.
,
. :
 
.
체스에서는
,
 
,
 
.In game design, positive feedback can be defined as occurring whenever one usefulachievement makes subsequent achievements easier. In other words, wheneversomeone gains something in a game, it gets easier to make further gains. If the roleof positive feedback in a game is too great, then whoever first obtains the slightestlead in the game is guaranteed to win, because they just keep getting farther andfarther ahead. This makes it sound as if positive feedback is always undesirable, butit isn't; it's just a question of employing it properly. 
게임디자인에
,
 
.
,
.
,
 
것이마찬가지이다
.
왜냐하면
,
은 앞으
.
 
 
,
. ;
 
.Positive feedback appears mostly in games in which the victory condition is definedin numeric terms, and throughout the game you're working to achieve that victorycondition by accumulating something. In Monopoly, for example, it's money.Obtaining money in Monopoly allows you to buy and improve properties, whichmakes it possible to obtain more money. Positive feedback can also appear ingames in which a numeric advantage of some kind helps to achieve a non-numericvictory condition. Although the victory condition in chess is non-numeric, it doesgenerally help to have more pieces than your opponent. 
,
무엇가를축적하여
 
.
모노폴리자면
,
그것돈이
.
 
.
체스승리조건비산수적이지
,
 
.
Balance Graphs
So what are some of the effects of positive feedback on games? I think it will help tolook at something I'm calling a balance graph, although there's probably a differentname for it in formal game theory. I've included several of them below. A balancegraph plots the progress of a zero-sum two-player game. Time is represented on thehorizontal axis. The vertical axis indicates who's ahead by some numeric metric,usually the difference in points scored by the two players. If player A is ahead, thenumber is above zero; if player B is ahead, it's below zero. At the left edge of thegraph, the beginning of the game, the players are even at zero. Dotted lines at thetop and the bottom of the graph indicate the victory condition for either player A orB.
 
밸런그래
 
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0
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세로
 
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