Rock Paper Scissors Online!

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This would be an ongoing work-in-progress for my personal study, thus there is really not much incentive to carry on other than as a toy and subject to satisfy my curiosity. Many pieces of information that are missing, might be added as the game design progresses or would remain missing forever...

Rock Paper Scissors Online! Logo

ROCK PAPER SCISSORS ONLINE!

"Rock, Paper, Scissors Online!" is a game of wits, bluffs, intimidation, statistical analysis, reflex, and luck all rolled into one.

BIRTH OF "ROCK PAPER SCISSORS ONLINE!"

I came up with this video game design after an interesting question that I got on 27th Nov 2008, a Thursday. I was stumped when the question was asked. I answered "no"... but... this question kept bugging me on the way back. The question is...

IS THERE BE A STRATEGY TO "ROCK PAPER SCISSORS" ?

I guess, there really is no strategy to "Rock Paper Scissors"... when it is the first exchange between 2 random individuals who have never played against each other before? It could be after that, that any form of strategy (or anything that could be thought of as strategy) could be reasonably formed.

What happens after the first exchange?

When 2 players play a game, such as "Rock Paper Scissors" which is not based on action, reaction, strength or speed... After the first exchange, some kind of psychological plotting, planning, decision-making and strategising could be starting between the 2 players. Thus the next thing that could be pitted against each other would be:

  1. Psychological Factors,
    - intimidation, mental fatigue...

  2. Understanding of the Opponent,
    - favorite moves and tendencies...

  3. Analytical and Statistical Reasoning and
    - trends or history of moves...

  4. Luck
    - as stated in the article "Understanding Luck and Manipulating Luck in Games", which is actually written for while thinking about this game's design, there is only a higher probability, but there is no absolute...

SOME POSSIBLE THOUGHTS DURING GAME PLAY

"My opponent played this move previously..."

  • would my opponent use the same move again?
  • would my opponent play to counter my current move?
  • should I take the initiative and show my hand randomly?
  • and I won, how about some taunts to unsettle my opponent?
  • my study shows that my opponent has a tendency to use scissors after losing by rock, should I use rock now?
  • ...(insert more reasoning here...)

DO THOSE LINE OF THOUGHTS WORK?

Or are they simply random victories based on pure probability? I don't know, unless they are studied properly, but at least to the player at the point of time, or to me at this point of time, those perceived "strategies" are valid to a certain extent.

GAME DESIGN FACTORS DEDUCED SO FAR

Summarizing what has been studies about "Rock, Paper, Scissors" so far, it seems that a few key factors may come into play to make it more than a series of random exchanges.

  1. Knowledge. Knowledge of the other player (Play tendencies, mental resistances?)
  2. Intimidation. Trying to gain a mental edge over the other player in the hope of the other player giving in to tendencies or mental weakness?
  3. Anticipation. Anticipating how the other player would react and giving an appropriate action in time.

"RPS ONLINE!" GAME DESIGN BRAINSTORM

  1. It should be online because the satisfaction would be greater when you defeat a real human opponent in a game of wits and psychological battle.

  2. Allow some form of intimidation tactics when playing against an Opponent online could be interesting. Could be a form of chat? Or a more interesting idea could be to just show emoticons. Why Emoticons? They are fast to execute, perhaps by mapping a shortcut. They can give a "perceived" emotion of the opponent. (To a loser, a smile might be perceived as a smirk. To a winner, an angry face might be perceived as a tantrum.) These perceptions could all serve a role in the psychological game play of "RPS Online".

  3. A Higher Level Player can only challenge a Player of same or Higher Level. Or perhaps to also allow them to challenge Players of one or a certain number of levels below

  4. Player Statistics. Allow Players to view statistics of each other. Or to make it slightly more interesting, allow high level Players to see statistics of lower level players only, or I think a better way would be, to reverse the advantages. Assisting a lower level Player by showing some statistical trends of the higher level Player?

  5. A common cheat (or a more valid strategy) used by us when we were young was to expose our hands for just that split second slower, in the hope of seeing the other player's hand and hopefully react fast enough to make a split second decision to show a winning hand. Sounds like an interesting idea for a variation to the game, turning it into a more reaction based game different from the psychological game it is meant to be. Possibly capturing another group of players who are more inclined towards action reaction challenges.

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION ABOUT THE GAME

  1. The Logo Design of “Rock Paper Scissors Online!”

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