I was trying to imagine what the the game might be like if “Degree of Sucess” scoring, or “Quality of Solution” scoring, were to be implemented. I came up with the following, so far:
Since players would receive a higher or lower score based on how _ well _ they had solved the puzzle beyond just finishing with constraints met… I thought this might result in the following possible effects;
+) It might spark competition at all levels by providing scoring incentives to seek better and better solutions; in other words, instead of receiving a blanket 100 to 1000 points just for finishing a puzzle within certain constraints minimally met, there could be multiple score levels possible in any one puzzle depending on _ level of _ constraints met with possible bonus points awarded for exceeding constraint requirements by differing amounts. Competition could then be enhanced by not just counting what score level and rank one had attained in the overall game, but what score level one had achieved against other competitors in each individual puzzle.
+) Instead of publishing 4 or 5 different levels for each puzzle, developers could publish only one, which would then be worth varying point rewards for players satisfying different constraint level parameters levels or optional bonus achievement levels within the puzzle.
+) So, rather than “clearing” a certain level of a puzzle, a player could continue to work a solution until satisfied with the result, -or - upon seeing that another player had exceed his score, re-attempt a better solution later to increase his own score. In this way, players could push each other to find better and better solutions, until finally, none better was possible, or until each player had pressed his or her ability to the maximum…
+) This increased level of competitiveness could also provide players the incentive to hone their skills and knowledge to greater levels.
+) This, in turn, could result in all players achieving better and better results in Lab Competition; the ultimate goal of EteRNA.
All speculation, I know, but I found all this very interesting to think about, and I both hope and believe that some other players and/or developers may have even better ideas or revisions to add.
This is such a unique opportunity (to be in on the beta testing) and not just play and enjoy the game, but also to help evolve and shape the game, that I really hope others become more involved in this evolving and shaping aspect.