Rushgames (Fight or Flight)
New Poll: Spring Census!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

An interesting spread of responses, given your comments about your expected result at the start of the poll.

65.6% of people don't want the freedom to fail, it seems.

Peter: yes, precisely - I was and am pleased and surprised by this result, although it must be said this was in no way a scientific instrument, but rather an intentionally spun piece of rhetoric. :)

Bezman: 65.6% of Only a Game visitors, yes, but not two thirds of people in general as the players here are not representative of the wider populace.

It's clear from the Spring Census that 90% of the people who come here are interested in game design, so we're dealing primarily with a game literate, gamer hobbyist style group of people - and even among that crowd a third of them would like freedom to fail!

I consider that to be quite significant, and I'll wager if we did have a larger representative sample, the number would be higher (although such an investigation would require something more subtle than this less-than-neutrally worded poll!)

Still, it encourages me that I am not flogging a dead horse in pursuing this - although one must be mindful that solutions to the freedom to fail problem should take into account the many hobbyists who don't need or want such a provision.

I feel convinced there are structural solutions to this problem.

Thanks for the comments!

My comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Options 2&3 aren't at all mutually exclusive to wanting freedom to fail, so even within this 'game literate, gamer hobbyist style group', I'm sure the % wanting freedom to fail would be far more than the % indicated.

I still think that your mixing two questions ('what would you prefer' and 'how do you normally react') clouds the issue, leaving it a matter of personal choice which question folk answer.

Bezman: sorry I missed your irony; the internet has this problem expressing subtleties. :)

And I agree - this poll question was a mess. But the polls are supposed to be fun, and a spur for discussion, so I never want to spend as much time wrangling these as we have to do on the survey questions for our research - I'm sure you can appreciate the need for fun things to remain fun. ;)

I might try and form a question to investigate this more rigorously in a future survey, though... it's an interesting topic.

Best wishes!

I might try and form a question to investigate this more rigorously in a future survey, though... it's an interesting topic.

I look forward to learning the results!

I'd suggest that having a choice to do X is never a bad thing - it simply allows us to play the game how we choose. However, there have certainly been times in the past when I made choices outside (or - more rarely - inside) a game that lead to a spoiler and instantly regretted it.

I wonder if some of the people against 'freedom to fail' are worried about their own will-power to follow the 'freedom to replay/succeed', when both choices exist?


There are tricky design problems to solve here... the basic problem is the one I've previously linked to game difficulty: how does the player make a decision about how they will play the game *before* they have played the game.

I believe the point of freedom to fail is that no players want to get so frustrated that they stop playing and/or don't believe they can beat the next challenge, while at the same time, some (fiero-seeking) players don't want to be denied the satisfaction (read: fiero) of beating the tough challenges.

Add to this that everyone has different play skills, and you have a very tough problem to solve.

Personally, I feel freedom to fail in the way we've been exploring it (the fail-continue structure) is totally valid - fiero-seekers can repeat challenges till they beat them, but other players can retire gracefully. Plus: you're making your decision *after* playing, so you know what you're up against. (Unfortunately, publishers - and for that matter, developers - don't seem to understand it).

It's an interesting question you raise: would fiero-seekers drop out and take the easy path, when what they would really like is to beat the challenge and win the fiero? If so, I wonder if the fiero-seeking gamer hobbyists are totally incompatible with the mass market, and the games market will have to split down two paths...

Perhaps, it already has! :)

Best wishes!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)