Let’s talk game design! Specifically, I’d like to ruminate on one of the most common game-isms out there: “XP” (or experience points) — and I want to talk about when that system is detrimental to the game.
Typically XP is either a resource you spend directly on improvements, or a sort of progress bar to the next improvement. And it seems like every game nowadays has some sort of XP mechanic. But for game designers, XP is actually a way to tell the player what they should do. Kill the goblin? You get XP! Explore a new area? You get XP! Play the game? XP!
XP is a tool to incentivize specific behaviors and goals. However, it’s up to the designer to make sure that the behavior being incentivized is fun. When this isn’t true is when we have a problem. It’s my plan to find those instances, and then make fun of them on the internet.