Rules to Multiplayer : How players and designers optimize fun out of their game experiences

This thesis examines the concept of different rules within large multiplayer games, how we play thegames and what leads to different rules within a game. It establishes that rules can be explicit andimplicit, as well as based on digital hard rules, softer rules, such as community or social rules and...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Rodin, Emelie
Format: Others
Language:English
Published: Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för speldesign 2021
Subjects:
Online Access:http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-455899
Description
Summary:This thesis examines the concept of different rules within large multiplayer games, how we play thegames and what leads to different rules within a game. It establishes that rules can be explicit andimplicit, as well as based on digital hard rules, softer rules, such as community or social rules and thatplayers will design and build their own games out of these rules.The thesis performs a case study on World of Warcraft: Classics game mechanic, “World Buffs”.Extremely strong buffs that players set-up logistics and organizational tools to have access to during playsessions. As the game progressed through its 6 phases, it became more and more apparent that to raid, orparticipate in “End-Game” content, players had to collect these world buffs, which was costly, either ingold or time.In this thesis, a set of semi-structured interviews were conducted on a couple of “end-game” raidingguilds, to determine why they used world buffs in this content, what drove them to spent the resources tocollect these world buffs, even with the fragility of them, as well as if they enjoyed this practice or not.Interviewed players were both allowed to answer in public and private forms, to examine if there was asocial pressure to oblige, either way.The thesis found that there were three large themes of players, players who enjoyed world buffs, but hadproblems with implementation, players who used world buffs to save in-game resources in some wayshape or form, and players who felt they had a social obligation to bring world buffs to be allowed toparticipate. There were no players who did not take world buffs that were interviewed and only playerswho felt that they did have a social obligation answered in private.The thesis then discusses these results and what implications this can have for multiplayer design andtries to identify further studies on how we can think when designing multiplayer games in the future. Thethesis concludes that yes, players are bound not only to game rules, but also to social rules while they play these games, sometimes even at the cost of their own enjoyment.