7 min read


There are more than 190 techniques in both “free style” and “Greco-Roman” Wrestling. Techniques that each one of them is spectacular. We won’t forget 90′s wrestles, full of 3 or 5 points techniques.

There are more than 190 techniques in both “free style” and “Greco-Roman” Wrestling. Techniques that each one of them is spectacular. We won’t forget 90′s wrestles, full of 3 or 5 points techniques. And knockout meant reaching the 10th point, or get the rivals shoulders to the mattress.

But with an unwise decision from FILA, which made the wrestling in two rounds of three minutes, and in case of equal points, the draw will decide the winner, now we’re hearing about removing wrestling from the Olympics.
Although this was bad news for all those who love the wrestling, but it should be noted that the wrestling is pushing the rival out of the mattress now. In a full match, from all those 190 beautiful techniques, probably less than 5 of them will be used. The truth is removing it from the Olympics wasn’t far-fetched.

This was a prologue to make your mind ready!

In the book “Fundamental of game design” written by Ernest Adams, an important point is been noted about game design principles. In this book author divides the game in 3 levels for the player.

ٍErnest Adams

First part, introducing the game to the player:

Adams believes a game has only 15 minutes to attract the player! That’s why in all successful games an extraordinary event occurs that attracts the player; a high quality demo, murder of someone, an explosion, or an important part of the story line. If you remember, in “Need for Speed” series, in the beginning of the game the player starts a primary race with one of the best super cars. The player starts the game with full options, and he/she has to resume the game with an ordinary car with no options. In assassin’s creed 1, we watch a demo when the game starts: one of the assassins throws down himself from a tower, to create fear in the heart of enemies. Apart from games, in movies or TV series beginning events of the films are extremely attractive. If you follow the “Supernatural” series, you have noticed that at the beginning of every episode an attractive event happens with a question mark, to encourage the viewer to continue watching it.
Also, at the first part of the game, the player must learn about the game instructions step by step. Designing 15 minutes of instructions and attractive start plays an important role in designing an exciting game.

The second part, dominate the game:
In design of the game, the player who passes half of the entire game must have sufficient proficiency in the game. The player should know how to play better, so he/she no longer would be recognized as a rookie. The game should train the players, so they can use the opportunities created by game to enjoy it.

The third part, master of the game:

One of the biggest questions in front of game designers is: what features of the game makes it addictive?
In one of the most popular games of the world “WarCraft”, especially in “DotA All Star” map, the player must play for years with different heroes, learn different levels, and test different items, to become a master. Certainly you’re agree with me, that even watching a “DotA All Star” game is fascinating.

A clear example of being a master of a game:

X O is a game that we all played it when we were younger. We should place X or O in 9 places. If your Xs or Os make a line you’ll be a winner. In a few rounds of playing, you’ll know how to win it. How to start the game. In a few minutes you’ll be a master of the game. This is the time when the game becomes really boring. And even for a observer the game looks ridiculous.
As much as being a master in a game takes longer time, the player becomes more addicted to the game. In FIFA or PES, if we all learn how to make a goal from a shot behind the box, the game becomes boring.

With these three parts of the game we reach to a concept: “The player has to learn the game easily, and mastering the game has to take lots of time.”

A flash back to wrestling: pushing and a few primary techniques are easy to learn in a few weeks. More complex techniques need years of training. Which one is more attractive for a viewer? Primary or advanced techniques?

Third part of the article: all these concepts in eRepublik

First part, introduction:
The players after signing up and reading the letter from the president start the game. In tutorials the players learn how to train, fight, work, complete daily tasks and recover energy. With missions the game continues. But with these tutorials and missions players can reach to level 20 in a few hours. While doing it, the players consumed their wealth, have no money, have less than 50 strength, maybe they consumed their gold and bought a q1 company, or even worst, they may consumed their gold on a battle.
In this part designers of eRepublik showed their game’s charm to the player. Or let’s say they crushed the player with it!
The players consumed whatever they had; now game designers leave them with level 20, empty storages, zero gold and low strength. Apart from that, players reached level 20 and for lots of days they can play the game for only 5 minutes and for playing more they have to get busy with something to be present in the game at least for an hour.
Looks like eRepublik can’t get an acceptable score in the first part of game designing. This issue caused that the education teams in all eCountries work so hard to teach the players to do against design of the game.

Second part: dominate the game
After a month of playing and reaching level 23 or 24, players know the game. They know how to fight, train and work. They know their government, parties and elections or maybe they create a newspaper. They also know how to get a medal, what’s going on in battles and details about companies. They dominate the game.
Considering the media structure in eRepublik, we can say that in second part and giving extra educations to the players, eRepublik gets a great score.

Third part: being a master in the game
How many players in eRepublik know everything about it? Or a better question: how many details eRepublik has that after 6 months can not be learned?
“Civilization” has a 10,000 pages manual.
In wiki of “Tribal Wars” there are more than 100 kinds of strategies. There are more than 20 ways of “Nobling” and not get “Nobled”, each.
Can anyone name 50 war strategies in eRepublik? Being a master in eRepublik needs more than 6 months?
The fact that eRepublik now is even easier than the first version creates a big question mark in minds. Apart from the time that eRepublik designers spend on balance correction and completion the new map, they also have to think about adding some details that make it harder for the players to be masters. They have to add more details to the wars so we can see the real strategic concept of the game. A suggestion for expanding war strategies is special fighters and special defense shields with more details. The fact that in eRepublik the players can only play militarily or economically (which leads to the military path again) and they can’t play the game in another way, makes the game become boring. Even playing the game militarily or economically doesn’t have many details and if it wasn’t for the love of the country and in-game friendships we would see more high level players leaving the game as we are seeing it now.

For sure in game design point of view, eRepublik doesn’t get a good score in third part and it has to add new mechanics for the next years so it keeps itself enjoyable.

Alireza Yarmohammadi
March 2013

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