Raph Koster has been with Crowfall® since the early days. He has played a significant role in bringing the world to life as a Design Consultant, and still contributes to design ideas and their implementation. He has a long and storied history in the video game industry, working on the design teams for games such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. He frequently writes about and presents talks on the subject of interactive design. Today, we're proud to present one such article: The Trust Spectrum. If you're at all interested in the psychology and sociology behind video games and game systems, you should definitely check it out! It goes into depth about trust between players, and how to build and design systems that encourage this trust. Enjoy!
"Designing games that move people up the trust spectrum. You have to be cautious about this; we started out thinking that we were going to basically make people into better friends via game design, but because of the domain-specific nature of trust, we came to realize that you have to start by building trust within the game’s domain, and from there work outwards — doable, but a much more indirect process. Plainly put – no matter how good a MOBA team we make, I’m not giving you my credit card number. Most games won’t have domains that are broad enough to really shift people’s friendships around, and the ones that do are things that turn into serious commitments: tabletop RPG campaigns, MMOs, and sports teams. And above all, it makes very little sense to try to forcibly push a relationship up into the affective range of the spectrum; odds are excellent that the game is too narrow in breadth, and if the game is broad, that the players in question already have some deep relationships. You can’t ask them to drop a best friend to make room! In many cases, it might be better to instead design a game to work with the trust level that is already there. Or to effectively work on maintaining it. At the very least, the game should only invite intimacy rather than force it."