Exploring the Topology of a Game

I think of a game as a topological landscape with lots of hills and peaks that represent different tactics/strategies/characters. The higher the peak, the more effective that strategy is. Over time, players explore this landscape, discover more and more of the hills and peaks, and climb to higher locations on the known hills and peaks. Players canít really add height to these peaks; they are only exploring whatís there, though that is a rather philosophical distinction. The problem is that when you reach the base of a new peak (say, the rock ball trap peak), it can be very hard to know that the pinnacle isnít very high. It might be really difficult to climb (lots of nuances to learn to do the trap), but in the end, the effectiveness of the tactic is low compared to the monstrous mountains that are out there. You have reached a local maximum, and would do better to go exploring for new mountains.

In other words, playing to win involves exploring. It involves trying several different approaches in a game to see which you are best at, which other players are best at, and which you think will end up being the most effective in the end.

Notes:

Folksonomies: gaming self-improvement

 Playing to Win: Becoming the Champion
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Sirlin, David (2006/04/24), Playing to Win: Becoming the Champion, Retrieved on 2021-01-26
  • Source Material [www.sirlin.net]
  • Folksonomies: gaming self-improvement