Look, the concept of risk is universal regardless of how much luck a game is perceived to have. There is luck that you cannot control at all: the hand you get in poker, your starting position in StarCraft, the kind of turnip that Peach will pull out in Super Smash Bros., whether Focus Blast will hit or not in Pokemon. On the other hand, there is skill in the ability to make smart decisions. Sure, there still is luck involved whenever you make a decision. Why did that guy raise? Is my opponent going to go standard build against me or try some ballsy play like Dark Templar rush? Will Fox recover high or low? Notice that there is luck involved even in these "skill-based" situations, such that sometimes the end comes down entirely to the equivalent of a rock-paper-scissors throw. But surely you see the difference between luck as something that no one controls, and luck as a psychological factor?
Sure, there are things about my concept submission that I felt could have been clearer. For example, I kind of regret mentioning prediction at all, even though my submission was meant to be an improvement on similar submissions that had been made in the past. So I understand the two or three people who have come up and asked for clarification on what I meant by risk without luck. I was happy to explain it to them. Yet, it puzzles me that someone would so fervently deny the very existence of a concept that is universal in games of strategy
, including something as simple as iterated rock-paper-scissors
or iterated prisoner's dilemma.
I'm not suggesting that my concept was the best concept that could have been chosen. I'm saying that blaming the concept in post-mortem
sets what I think is a dangerous precedent. If a concept is along the lines of what people want to explore, but it's not clear to some or many people, I'd still consider that a good concept worth pursuing. The whole point of concept assessment is to set a clear initial direction.
To me, blaming the concept for being unclear (and it's difficult to be completely clear to everyone) is tantamount to saying that concept assessment is a pointless stage and that concepts themselves should be severely limited to exploring things that are already clear to us. That, to me, would be just kind of fun at best, and a counterproductive circlejerk at worst. I'm not saying that doing what we already know is bad, just that doing what we already know all the time is pointless.
What I don't get is when people go along the lines of, "This concept is pointless without factoring in luck. Isn't risk all about luck? In high-level play, both players are aware of the potential consequences of..." Wait! IN HIGH-LEVEL PLAY! Why didn't this come up during the project? Ever? Why did we not have a legitimate discussion on how high-level play works? Didn't people see that this is what concepts like momentum and risk aim to achieve?