It’s not the project at hand, but I haven’t been able to get my mind off of the idea of “reinforc[ing] the players’ feelings of might, prowess, and general awesomeness” when the players are directly competing. How does one create a situation wherein both players feel good about themselves and what they’re doing, even when someone is losing?
Legal analysis says that we shouldn’t just wander in the woods trying to answer this question. Instead, we need to define the issue carefully and find out what the relevant rules are.
As we cast the issue we need to be specific about the situation we’re dealing with. The answers might be different for games played by two people, for three people, for two people cooperatively, for asynchronous play over the internet and simultaneous play on the tabletop, etc. Knowing the limits of whatever answer we come up with is important.
Since this is a miniatures game, let’s assume that we have two people playing against each other on a tabletop. That has at least three advantages:
1. Having the players set against each other makes the question harder–and, I suspect, more interesting.
2. Allowing more than two players leads to tricky balancing considerations which could distract from the project as time goes on.
3. Two players against each other in a real-world, synchronous match is the classic setup for a miniatures game. Being traditional isn’t a good enough reason by itself, but if this game is similar to others from a macro-level perspective it gives us some points of reference and examples for comparison. Again, the goal is to focus on specific ideas and innovations; it’s not necessary or desirable to start from scratch in every area.
With that in mind, the issue can be framed as:
How can a two-player competitive game reinforce both players’ feelings of might and prowess, where the game is played synchronously in the real world?
(I omitted “general awesomeness” as a feeling because it’s not very descriptive–we’d end up with a whole new issue of what “generally awesome” feels like. I’m pretty sure that if the players feel mighty and like they have great prowess, they’ll feel generally awesome.)
The more I get into this the more interesting it becomes. Both players have to feel strong, but they’re facing each other IRL in a competitive enterprise. It’s a situation rife with opportunities for one player putting the other down, and we have to build them both up. I love it! Let’s talk rules next time.