What does playability mean to you?

Started by Lotion, July 03, 2020, 12:06:14 AM

Lots of different people throw this word around but I feel like there are very subtle differences in their meanings.
What does playability mean to you?

Quote from: HeeBeeGB on July 03, 2020, 01:40:04 AM
What does playability mean to you?
This sassy reply is really hurting the playability of this thread

Not sassy, more curious what playability means to you as a new player, for a jumping off point.

Quote from: HeeBeeGB on July 03, 2020, 03:16:29 AM
Not sassy, more curious what playability means to you as a new player, for a jumping off point.
I think playability is a quality of either a character or area of a game that represents my willingness to continue playing that character or in that area.

It's hard to give examples of things that have hurt playability without being too specific. Just one bad (my opinion) sponsored role is enough to completely kill my playability for a particular area. Sometimes playability intersects like when I am playing a character with a more social role and that character is in a location where there's not always people around, especially during offpeak. For a different character that area would have really high playability but for my character at the time the place they were did not have good playability and I almost stored multiple times out of relative boredom.

For me right now playing in a clan that contains sponsored roles has no playability because out of my characters that have died two of them were to sponsored roles and the other one was in a situation where they would almost certainly die that they were put in by a sponsored role. The first one might have technically been icly "justified" but I know that the sponsored role who killed that character knew that I was a new player and I absolutely demonstrated through RP that I understood the nature of my mistake but in the end still died. That first PC death put such a bad taste in my mouth I almost didn't make a new character and I really don't want to play in allanak. Since then I did play another character in Allanak but I ended up having to spend a bunch of time around that sponsored role and just really disliked every moment of it and ultimately stored that character because playing him was making my gender dysphoria really awful which killed my playability for that character.

Nak having really bad playability for me right now also makes me really sad because the Rinth has such amazingly high playability for me but its proximity to Allanak just kills its playability for me.

Then don't ever leave the Rinth. You can do that.

Quote from: Saellyn on July 03, 2020, 04:50:03 AM
Then don't ever leave the Rinth. You can do that.

What does playability mean to you?

I wouldn't call much of that a playability thing, so much as you being upset something happened. Playability is more of an overarching concept then it is a personal qualifier.

Playability is: 'Does it work as intended?'

Thats it. That is my definition, as for the actual definition:
1: The state or property of being playable. (Not particularly helpful)

2: A measure of either the ease by which a video game may be played, or of the overall quality of its gameplay

Much more useful, is Arm accessible? Mostly, it is certainly a lot less obtuse than it once was. Is it of a high quality? I'd say it is of quite good quality, there are no bugs that you can super easily find and exploit. Do some of the systems need work? Sure. But thats true of all games and is being worked on, so the rating will only go up.

Playability is the ability for me to engage in simulated interaction with other PCs and the coded game environment. An "unplayable" situation, for me, would be trying to interact with someone who doesn't treat the game world as the simulated reality it was created to present. An example:

>The guy says, "im tired of sitting here wanna spar in my apartment lolol"
>You say, trying to set the example, "No not really. We could go out hunting if you want."
>The guy says, "got any cookies i'm stoned lolol"

That - is an unplayable scene. IT doesn't mean the game is unplayable. But that specific scene is unplayable. At that point I would -not- go OOC to explain to him that this isn't a glorified chat room where he can talk about his real-world thc experiences. I'd wish up, give it a few seconds to see if staff could intervene, if not, I'd remove myself from the scene and do something else - or log out for awhile.

The same would happen if someone were to take their real-world feelings and try and shove them on me in the game. Example:

>The human woman tries to cozy up to the elven woman.
>The elven woman drapes an arm around the human woman.
>The bartender gives them both a look.
>The human woman says, "what's the problem? There's no sexism here."
>The Bynner dwarf at the end of the bar says to his stump pal "damn stupid people, skinnies and roundears. Should whack'em all over the head."
>The elven woman says, "racism is wrong. We should be free to love each other.

When you try to set the example - and portray the game world how it was intended to be, and the participants REFUSE to stay even CLOSE to the lines and challenges you to change the theme of the game in that scene - then it's time for me to bow out of the scene completely and submit a character complaint.

I -could- keep it IC and have the local constabulary remove the elf's ears so now the human has a non-sharp-ear she can play with. But in a situation like this, it seems like the elf player is more likely to submit a player complaint because their sensitive real-life feelings against racism were bruised.

Being put into a position of having to decide which is more important - a single player's feelings, or the integrity of the game theme - well I don't like being put into that position. People should play the game as it is intended, and stop trying to change it to suit their sensitivities.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

Playability: things work as expected, intended, and overall enjoyably.

Unplayability: the opposite.   Some examples:

You're in a workshop with many crates and other containers that seem to have plenty of available space.
You get an item from one of the crates to look at it, then try to put it back.
The game gives you a message: there's no more room for that here.

You leave a building at night to do something. For one reason or another there is no light source on you, and it's too dark/sandy to see.
You try to go back inside, typing "enter building".
The game gives you a message: you can't see that here.

And other strange item mixups. Trying to dust your own cloak off, but you accidentally dust someone else in the room off. Trying to craft, and a few different things that share the same keyword are in your inventory; even differentiating between them properly with numbers, their order tends to rearrange itself and the crafting fails.

Generally any kind of text flooding. Combat with more than two people can get awfully spammy. Same can go for social situations. Also, needing to transfer a large quantity of items, and THAT just spamming everything too.

The game also isn't playable to an extent when there are certain commands and things you should know how to do but can't, either because you never knew you could do them, or you just can't figure out the syntax.

July 03, 2020, 03:23:20 PM #10 Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 03:25:02 PM by Barsook
Quote from: Lizzie on July 03, 2020, 09:19:04 AM
Playability is the ability for me to engage in simulated interaction with other PCs and the coded game environment.
Quote from: Lotion on July 03, 2020, 03:59:35 AM
I think playability is a quality of either a character or area of a game that represents my willingness to continue playing that character or in that area.

This is too and I believe it's also related to Lizzie's reply too. I believe this is the stronger definition that I seen so far hence the topic about Luir's and it's playability, not just for me but others.

And yes, I would post the basic definition but it doesn't really apply to me for Arm aside from what NinjaFruitSalad states as it does break immersion.
i love being a nobles health points

Playability for me is simply my ability to enjoy the game. I've played extremely isolated and extremely restrictive roles before, and I've found ways to make it fun for me. If it isn't fun, I store it and move on to something new.

July 03, 2020, 11:07:57 PM #12 Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 01:23:29 AM by triste
The only time I've felt the game was unplayable has been in certain roles. Recently someone mentioned on the GDB how The Guild and the Dust Runners need more love -- in other words, that they are unplayable. In the case of the Dust Runners this completely breaks my heart because I love what they represent, but I have to admit a lot of factors make them nearly unplayable:
- The profit margins for smuggling spice is something pathetic like 10-15%, yet you risk your life every occasion that you smuggle it*.
- The Dust Runners are extremely constrained in terms of their suppliers, despite literally wading in silt and spice.
- The Dust Runners can't deal their own spice directly despite handling it everyday due to constraints similar to the point above.
- The Dust Runners, because of other clans claim on the spice trade, do not have a lot of room for innovation or even crafting with the thing they trade in. They dumb**.
- Conclusion: The Dust Runners are nothing more than underpaid, low-life-expectancy drug mules, which to most is unplayable.

What playability means to me and why the description above shows something that is unplayable:
- Flexibility in political relations is exciting, while rigidity and constraints are boring, illogical and even painful.
- Flexibility in how your role can expand, rather than strict rules that put the role in a box such as "you cannot do this because Group A and B are more powerful than your scrub-ass group" -- let's see that proven in game rather than have plots shut off immediately in the documentation.
- Flexibility on what allies you can use in your plots (same as point 1, but COME ON if you read the Dust Runner docs you might scream like I did. The docs leave any Dust Runner walking a tightrope and sorry, I don't do straight lines. If I want a predestined plot I'll read a book instead, thanks.), rather than being stuck with some allies who might not even log on.
- Flexibility in what your role can create and do, rather than hard proscriptions banning 90% of logically related plots or crafts.
- [edit/add] Livability. Your role/guild/subguild should allow you to adequately get paid or compensated in supplies, even if it's the near-starvation minimum for a 'rinth role. "'Cause that baby gotta eat when she get hungry." Dust Runner compensation is a slap in the face for the effort and the joy it brings to other players. If you do not compensate Dust Runners well, Dust Runners will not bring that joy to Allanak.

Several roles that were unplayable, such as slave roles, have been retired. IIRC the person who mentioned The Guild and Dust Runners needing more love said, in effect, if these clans cannot be shown love and fixed they should be closed. I don't want the Dust Runners to close -- logically they fill an important niche -- but myself and several others have noted that it is currently an unfun, self-sacrificing role, dare I say an unplayable role.

* edit / annotation: If you ran a quantitative cost-benefit analysis of drug smuggling in Armageddon, it will come down to an expected return of -10000 coins or so. Really. AKA, the 50 coins you might make on a drug run is in no way worth the 10% probability of getting caught and the probability of dying thereafter.
** edit / annotation: JK, they not dumb, but according to Dust Runner docs, if a Dust Runner tries to refine spice they have some sort of magickally-induced-anuerysm preventing them from doing this. Because only Kurac can do that. I mean, wait, why does one clan doing something magickally stop another clan from even trying??? Because... uh... uhm...
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And sorry for the dispersed brain-farts, I've been traveling and just saw this "secret" rolecall and it reminded me of what I liked about a lot of replies here -- the assertion that bad roleplay and metagaming also makes the game unplayable. I also agree with these posters.

I feel like with certain "antagonist" rolecalls, in game behavior is improperly augmented by the OOC knowledge of these rolecalls. When there is a Crimson Wind rolecall, suddenly every random raider becomes "probably a member of the Crimson Wind;" even if a character who is raided has ZERO reason to know that red bandanas indicate the Crimson Wind, because of the rolecall, they will suddenly, and IMMEDIATELY way a Templar the exact facial description of that Crimson Wind raider who was wearing a bandana on their face [total logic in this scenario: Zero]. Suddenly, everyone is spending 70% of their time hunting for Crimson Wind raiders within a week of the rolecall; before the rolecall, everyone spent exactly 0% of their time doing this. Sorry, but no matter how you cut it, it's metagaming. The Crimson Wind always has existed ICly, but when a Crimson Wind rolecall goes up, it's fucking open hunting season. Time to shoot some deer before they get parry past apprentice.

So, all of this said -- whatever the new role call is, I think making it secret is 100% a good call.
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message me if something there needs an update.

I kind of wish for more secret role calls instead of trying to fill a empty leadership slot. Even those could be secret to reduce the metagaming. Although that might not be the case with the last two current GMH family members.
i love being a nobles health points

yeah ofc it is not foolproof because a fool can still disingenuously apply to figure out what the role is, then decline and post all over J Farter's Armageddon Fan Forum about the now-not-secret role call. But something is still better than nothing. And usually the people with the most ability to abuse knowledge of the role call are people who are already in roles with power, and these people are unlikely to bother to apply to a secret role call just to find out what it is. Finally, if nothing else it encourages more people to FOIC rather than suddenly OOCly know, "Oh, the Tan Muark are back, oh, there is a new Desert Elf tribe called the Two Moons." This is all would be much more enjoyable to FOIC, but the fact is most (if not all) people will gain this info by OOC announcement first.

So, TLDR; I think staff has noticed something that affects playability and are trying to address it. Neat.
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message me if something there needs an update.

July 04, 2020, 01:27:40 PM #16 Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 02:35:25 PM by mansa
Playability to me is a complicated concept, 'specially around video games.

Game Playability:
#1 - Does the game respond to actions that I input into it and is the response something I expect the game to do.
#2 - Does the gameworld allow me to use all the options that I have available to my avatar.
#3 - Is there some sort of progression system involved so that my avatar can increase in skills and ability

Story Playability:
#4 - Are the political and power structures of the game world explained and realized in that it is possible to interact with those structures?
#5 - Is there a structure that exists to enable modifications and changes to the game world and story?
#6 - Is there consistency in the game world so that I can expect reactions to various events in game to be similar?

#7 - Is it fun?
New Players Guide: http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,33512.0.html

Quote from: Morgenes on April 01, 2011, 10:33:11 PM
You win Armageddon, congratulations!  Type 'credits', then store your character and make a new one