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Is there any book or article that describe interaction of RPG elements and human psychology?

For example: what will be more popular and attracting for people - linear function of experience per level or exponential function of experience per level?

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2 Answers 2

Don't design like this.

It is definitely possible to figure out the "optimal" way to design each part in your game to attract some hypothetical average player. Sometimes you'll find books about the thing you're trying to design, sometimes papers.

But the average person is a fiction. No one actually is the average person; everyone deviates greatly in at least some preferences and attitudes. Some what paradoxically, by designing a game for the average person you are designing a game for no one.

Design a game you'd like to play. Design a game your friends, or parents, or partner(s), or kids want to play. Design one your neighbors or church or people from your hometown or people who also like your favorite book want to play. Root the design in a real locus for real people.

Don't design a game that the average person wants to play, because then no one will want to play it. And even if someone does, it will be a thoroughly average game.

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"Don't design like this. Design a game you'd like to play." –  joltmode Jul 14 '12 at 19:44
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Nice points, although I think that there is a set of thing people generally tend to like. That's why novels like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are popular. I know that writers analyze the human psyche and scientists are very curious about what is interesting and why, I see no reason that game designers couldn't do the same... –  jco Jul 14 '12 at 20:07

You don't strictly need to read a psychology book for that, actually, but The Art of Game Design has what you need. With examples by real developers.

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Do you have this book? I want to buy it, but I haven't found any near eshop that sells it and from Amazon there are huge prices for distant countries :/ –  Miro Jul 14 '12 at 18:41
    
Yeah, I have it. I suggest that you order it from a local store, that's what I did... I think it'll be cheaper that way. –  jco Jul 14 '12 at 20:04
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They have a kindle version of that book, that's what's I purchased. When I was living in Eastern Europe. –  nirth Jul 15 '12 at 0:05

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