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Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design by Joris Dormans, Ernest Adams

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Chapter 3. Complex Systems and the Structure of Emergence

In the first chapter, we explained how gameplay emerges from the game’s mechanics. In Chapter 2, “Emergence and Progression,” we showed that the mechanics of games of emergence possess a particular structure in which relatively simple rules create many different gameplay situations. In general, this also means that a game of emergence has a high replay value. In this chapter, we will explore the relationship between emergence, the structure of game mechanics, and gameplay in more detail. We will see that for gameplay to emerge from them, the mechanics must be balanced between order and chaos. This balance is easily upset, which creates a challenge for designers. In fact, designing emergence ...

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