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The Progression Principle

 

Disciplines > Game Design > Principles > The Progression Principle

Principle | Action | Discussion | See also

 

Principle

People like to feel a sense of achievement and advancement.

Action

Give them ways to learn and visibly improve. You can also offer ways for them to be promoted or achieve higher levels.

Ways of doing this include:

  • Game rules that may be learned along the way rather having to be learned in detail beforehand.
  • Tasks, missions, objectives, game levels, etc. within the game that, when completed, mark a level of achievement or skill achieved.
  • A ratchet system whereby achievements do not have to be repeated, so the player can restart at a previously achieved level.
  • A system of seniority.
  • Titles for skills and positions achieved.

Discussion

We have a deep need for a sense of achievement. When we reach a goal or do something we thought we could not do, we feel a sense of elation, of an extended identity, of somehow being greater than we were before.

Achievements can be planned and deliberately worked towards. They may also be opportunistic, being gained as the chance arises. Opportunistic achievement may seem like luck, but happen mostly by being prepared and alert.

See also

The Need for Growth

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