Game Development Reference
a false belief that he is passing through it, but then enter through the
window. In a strategy game, a player might construct an airport, allow the
enemy to scout it, and then never build an airplane while his opponent
invests in useless anti-air weaponry.
These information manipulation design elements can be extended to
develop layers of false information. One player can make the other player
think he knows something that he doesn't. Or he can make the other
player think he's ignorant of a fact that he secretly knows. This kind of
multilayered deception is difficult to design directly, but it's a valuable
result that can emerge from the interaction of the basic deception tools.
Yomi requires small player counts.
It's hard to mentally model the mind of one other player. Keeping
track of the intentions and habits of two or three is on the edge of pos-
sibility. Scale the player count up past four, and it's impossible. So yomi
breaks down beyond two or three players because there are simply too
many minds to think about. With large player counts like this, a game
loses its mind-game aspect and becomes about the mechanics only.
The obvious way to solve this is to keep player counts very small. But
often, that's not an option. In these cases, a game can still create yomi by
temporarily isolating smaller groups of players from the larger population.
For example, World of Warcraft has millions of players, but when they
interact, it is always in small, circumscribed groups. Four players might
raid a dungeon to gather loot, or two players might have a duel. Special
game mechanics prevent different groups from interfering with one an-
other. So yomi can grow within the group as long as it is isolated.
Isolation can also happen through softer, more emergent mecha-
nisms. For example, in many shooters, players compete in large teams of
16 or more players. But not every player is fighting every other at all times.
Rather, they're spread over a large map with many isolated rooms. Fights
start and finish in single rooms without involving more than a handful
of players. This allows players to focus on just the few people in the room
with them, which makes yomi possible even with 32 players on the field.
yomi Case stuDy: moDeRn waRfaRe 2
Let's look at an example of yomi players from the multiplayer shooter
Modern Warfare 2 . This example covers a few seconds of play between
Carol and Dave in a Team Deathmatch game.
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