Escapist Expo: Strategy of Playing Games

Strategy of Playing Games

Audio Only. You're a thinking gamer. You assign every weapon and accessory to perfection in your favorite RPG, think through the best ways to counter attacks in a brawler, and would be great at RTS games if they weren't such click fests. But, how strategically do you really think? Join Dr. Chris Hazard (CEO of Hazardous Software, creators of the time travel RTS Achron) on a discussion about the principles of strategy in gaming, from game theory, to foundations of trust and reputation, to strategic revelation of information, to how others' beliefs affect your best strategy.

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Wow, I haven't heard such a serious application of game theory to video games ever. Loved all the examples and I'm seriously considering buying Achron and playing against all my friends that love RTS games. Great job!

I've only listened through the first 15 minutes so maybe my points are addressed later but I got bored and the whole rest of the internet awaits. The problem with game theory is that it removes an element of agency from the player. The real world makes for a crappy game and real world game theory would appear to do much the same. I do not, ever, enjoy getting screwed by forces beyond my control. I generally stop playing if forced to fight a boss over and over for that 2% drop or whatever. Likewise, I would stop playing if forced to rely on the probability of my fellow players or AI being helpful. I play, in part, to feel empowered, and the more probability of forces beyond my control interfere with my gaming experience the more likely I am to stop (that might be a curve worth mapping...)

An interesting podcast subject but lacking in video game examples that would lead me to believe it was going anywhere useful and with no dialogue clues as to where it was heading I did not find the risk of future utility worth pursuing (did like the gargoyles reference though).

After 5 minutes: As far as I can tell this guy is just rambling randomly.

Game theory 101: There is zero-sum games, which basically cover common games in that whenever there is a winner there is also a loser. And there is non-zero-sum games, which is what game theorists spend practically all their time on since that is where you find all the funny mathematics.

A large portion of the rambling seem to indicate that he thinks all the non-zero-sum theories can be applied to multiplayer computer games, which is odd since any kind of competitive multiplayer is pretty much bound to be zero-sum.

12 minutes: Now I know why Achron failed so hard, this guy can't keep a coherent train of thought for 30 seconds.

30 minutes: Some of this is actually reasonably interesting, still hasn't got anything to do with computer games though.


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