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1  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: So what's the gameplay in my game? on: 2003-08-21 17:01:32
By "Meta Games" aren't you actually just referring to emergent gameplay? Emergent gameplay is what happens when you mix a number of simple well defined systems, these systems interact in a number of ways to create a depth of gameplay that none of the individual pieces provided.

For the example of the ball, the ball has limited abilities. Basically it's round, it can bounce and it is impeded by forces like gravity and friction.

Then you have a kid, a kid can kick a ball, he can carry a ball, throw a ball, spin a ball, bounce a ball etc.

By himself a kid can merge the two rule sets, he can take advantage of the force of gravity on the ball to spin it in place on his finger, or he can kick it in the air and see how many times he can kick it consecutively without letting it touch the ground.  He can even see if he can kick it through his parents bedroom window.

Add a few kids and a lot of things can happen, Dodgeball, keep away, tag, hacky sack etc.

Emergent gameplay is what happens when you design a few simple systems with well defined rules and don't place any limitation on how they interact with one another (within reason of course).  This allows the player to invent his or her own strategies and goals that the designer of the individual systems never thought possible.
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