guido.jpg The niche text/graphical/strategy MMO firm Skotos Tech has been going for a few years now, and also publishes a range of articles on game development, many of which are pretty darn interesting.

The latest in Operations Director Shannon Appelcline's previously GSW-referenced series on 'Trials, Triumphs & Trivialities' discusses the game design behind reality TV show The Amazing Race in some fascinating detail. As the intro notes: "Unlike Survivor and Big Brother, The Amazing Race is not a voting game. Instead, it offers up the other gaming element that's very common in reality-based TV shows: straight-up competition."

In a particularly interesting section, Appelcline discusses the concept of teams 'yielding' other teams on the show, suggesting: "Sometimes no matter how strategic of elements that you offer in a game, players will instead make knee-jerk choices. I think this happens more in a real-time high-pressure game like The Amazing Race, but it can happen anywhere, and ultimately as designers you need to decide whether that's a good thing or not. Do you offer players the opportunity, accepting that they'll waste them?" Plenty of suckers out there, or so we heard.