The idea of the aggro radius is inherently understood by longtime MMOG fans, even if you don’t describe it as such. It’s the knowledge you develop over time, by the harsh experience of repeatedly being attacked, that there’s a magic circle around your enemies which if entered will cause them to start angrily hurling everything they have at you. Eventually, you learn how big it is and how to avoid it…
This is how the aggro radius works. Aren’t pictures great?This concept, however, is completely unintuitive for people who don’t play MMOGs. When my fiancee was first learning how to play WoW, I explained the concept to her. She hated it. Even though she knew there were these invisible circles around her enemies, she could never figure out how big they were or whether she was successfully avoiding them (she wasn’t– leveling with her was interesting in those days). It really annoyed her that she could be standing in plain sight of an enemy whose friends she had just killed, but the enemy wouldn’t even glance at her until she wandered into its circle.
I’m back home from GDC, so now I can catch up on things that have been lingering a bit. Such as finally watching the series premier of Knight Rider.
My presentation on game design documents went well, for what is a decidedly non-sexy topic. The conference associates told me that I had more than 500 people as an audience – not bad for a talk that was basically a revisit of last year’s talk. For those seeking slides, they are here: