I was thinking earlier today about what the most successful game genres are that exhibit emergent gameplay most successfully. This is interesting to study, but also necessary to think about when designing our own games to exhibit emergent gameplay and simulate markets.
To a large extent, the success of game in exhibiting emergent gameplay is a function of its popularity: as the more players there are playing a game, the more (diverse) content they will generate, and the more likely players will substitute their own ideas for inefficient game mechanics, others imitate them, and ultimately ingrain them into unintended game institutions.
Sometimes this also requires the ability of developers to scale a game, to expand it to massive gameworlds on servers capable of servicing thousands, even millions, of players. But again, this seems to be a function of the demand for a particular game – you won’t see massively multiplayer games that players by and large do not like. Small, independent games can still attract players and/or turn a profit, but they do not garner a critical mass to require large servers or worry about scaling. Perhaps this is because their genre only has a small group of devotees, and a “mainstream” game requires a genre that can capture the masses. Continue reading →
I want to take a quick post to describe the evolution of the ideas that ultimately prompted me to seek out my colleagues here and develop this thing called Sporder. This is as much a personal narrative as it is a development one. It is a tale of gaming, of politics, and of liberty.
I have always had two dual passions that drove my online existence for the past 10 years or so – political engagement and the desire to design a game that simulated life. I sought for these to work as complements, but at times they have clashed as they moved from clumsy exploration to a more nuanced program. The central irony is that despite my dedication to designing the optimally balanced game, I am not a big gamer myself – nothing beyond casual games that require a minor investment of time. Continue reading →
We’re making it happen. ”Sporder,” is short for “spontaneous order” and is used to describe any scenario where such an order can be found. It’s catchy, economical, and intuitive and it requires but 2 syllables as opposed to 7. We have come up with a precise definition for a sporder, as well as categories the various types of sporder found within our universe. Continue reading →
It was once a goal of mine to create a basic economic simulation. I wanted to recreate the process of actual markets. I never got to the point where I realized how difficult this would be. Luckily for me Ryan Safner had a similar vision, and had worked much longer than I had to create a world with an integrated economic system. He realized, and I have come to realize, that to create a working economy there has to be an efficient, effective, and motivated feedback mechanism. The easiest way to achieve these goals is to introduce a human element to the system. Continue reading →
Welcome to the official blog for Sporder, a simulation in spontaneous order. Sporder is a sandbox social strategy game that emerges entirely from the interactions of players pursuing their own goals. The Sporder engine will serve as an online game, an educational service, an institute for policy advocacy, and a springboard for social science research.
This blog will serve many purposes and cover many topics related both to Sporder’s development and commentary on issues relating to spontaneous orders in our society.
As the main developer’s blog, we will post our progress as we design the most basic foundations of Sporder – as the players will do most of the designing! We will describe our visions and various ideas that we come up with, and look forward to your input in the design process.
We will also use this blog to comment on issues relating to spontaneous order, both in other online games and in society.
As this is still the first post, the website for Sporder is currently under development. The main page accessible to the public is at sporder.net. The development area and testing site for the game will be at dev.sporder.net. Currently, it is identical to the public site, but will soon be closed off to all but the development team. We will be updating the blog and the website to more accurately present our vision here at Sporder, and answer any questions that you might have.