Enabling and Recognizing Strategic Play in Strategy Games: Lessons from Sun Tzu

Andrew S. Gordon

The interactive entertainment genre of the strategy game entertains users by allowing them to engage in strategic play, which should encourage game designers to devote development efforts toward facilitating users that wish to employ commonsense strategies, and to recognize and react to specific user strategies during game play. This paper attempts to facilitate these development efforts by identifying and analyzing 43 strategies from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, which are broadly applicable across games in the strategy game genre. For each strategy, a set of specific actions are identified that should be provided to users to enable their execution, along with generalized recognition rules that can facilitate the design of entertaining responses to users’ strategic behavior. Consideration of how the enabling actions could be incorporated into an existing strategy game is provided.

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