RPS in Competitive Game Design

RPS Game Design

 

Interesting that a day after we put out a post about RPS in video games (see below) that the most comprehensive article on using RPS in game development comes out. "Rock Paper Scissors – A Method for Competitive Game Play Design by Victor Chelaru is an excellent piece that while written about game design should be required reading for all RPS athletes, groupies, wannabes and innocent bystanders .

POKER AND RPS
One of the most interesting parts of the article, for us at the Think Three Blog, actually had nothing to do with video game design at all, but with Poker. Many Poker players (not all, Phil Gordon being an obvious exception) do not like to admit it but when you get down to the essence there is not much difference between…READ MORE

RPS Game Design Interesting that a day after we put out a post about RPS in video games (see below) that the most comprehensive article on using RPS in game development comes out. "Rock Paper Scissors – A Method for Competitive Game Play Design by Victor Chelaru is an excellent piece that while written about game design should be required reading for all RPS athletes, groupies, wannabes and innocent bystanders .

POKER AND RPS
One of the most interesting parts of the article, for us at the Think Three Blog, actually had nothing to do with video game design at all, but with Poker. Many Poker players (not all, Phil Gordon being an obvious exception) do not like to admit it but when you get down to the essence there is not much difference between Poker and RPS. Victor explains in the clearest language we have ever seen why this is the case:

When playing poker with experienced players everyone will know the rules, the value of their hand, and probabilities of winning given a particular hand.  If all players have a "perfect understanding" of the rules and the cards are truly random then in the long run no player has any advantage over the other. At this point the game is not as much about making wise decisions with your cards as it is about reading your opponents and being able to bluff. The game becomes less about the cards and more about the players – and being able to predict what your player has planned will make you a better player.

COMPETITIVE RPS IS NO DEAD END
RPS players no doubt will take issue when Victor talks about the 'dead end' principle of simple RPS.

To avoid being predictable, the best thing that the attacker can do is to attack as randomly as possible. If the attacker is able to attack in a truly random fashion, this eliminates the defender's ability to predict and react to the attacks.  This is the "dead end" of a simple RPS implementation of a game.

Because human's can only try to approximate randomness and when they do so actually become quite predicable, especially in a tournament setting like the World RPS Championships where the atmosphere, action, distractions and fear (at least for the rookie) all play a huge role in influencing player behaviour, we know the 'dead end' principle does not apply.

The article is great reading though and if you want to understand how RPS is used in game design it is well worth the read, and if you read it from the perspective of an RPS player will also provide some interesting insights into how you can become a better player.

We will leave you to find those gems though…