Over on ihobo today, discussion of game structures, metagames, and the monetisation metagame. Here’s an extract:
The structure of a game is the framework of the design that compels players to keep playing over the long term. There are numerous different game structures, both chronological, geographical, and in terms of character advancement. Conversely, the metagame is the social consequence of releasing a game into a community of players, an ever-changing set of tactical and strategic considerations that have to be considered if players are going to remain engaged with their community.
Understanding the distinction between these two concepts is crucial to effective game design (although it isn’t strictly necessary to understand these concepts by these specific names, of course). In this piece, I hope to disentangle some confusions about the relationship between game structure and metagame, to emphasise the benefits to thinking carefully about both, and raise some concerns about the ‘monetisation metagame’.