Many cooperative games end up being controlled by a dominant personality or a gamer who has a lot of experience in the game being played. Group decision making is fine but one person making the decisions for all is not. So, how can a cooperative game be designed where everyone makes up their own mind and creates their own strategy. Some strategies include hidden information (Lord of the Rings to a certain extent) and simultaneous decision making (Space Alert – everyone agrees to do something but then the programming happens simultaneously).
I have another idea. What if the decision a player makes might not be the best for the team in the short term but may help in the long term. Imagine a game where players take on the role of a police detective. All the detectives are working to solve a big crime while solving smaller crimes along the way. The smaller crimes do not give any benefit to the team but allow the player to ‘level up’ who solves them. This levelling up gives benefits to the team in the long term. Now, I know many will say that the dominant player may still control the game by ‘telling’ the players when to solve small crimes as opposed to going for clues in the big crime but I think it might help. Just another brain cramp I had while at home 🙂