2014-07-27 : The Days are Few and Busy
...But the work is good.
On Thursday we leave for Italy for two weeks. There's basically no way I'll have a playtest document ready before then. But it's going really well and I'm getting really close.
2014-07-25 : RPGs Have Objects, Q&A
Wrapping up Procedure, Components, Object, Strategy, Style; Strategy vs Style; Objects of RPGs; Non-Endstate Objects, Strategy & Style; Aside: Designing a Bell Curve; The Object and Particular Strategy; Reminder: Object Schmobject; The Trouble with RPGs; and The Trouble with RPGs (ii)
Let me tell you my platform:
It's good to make a good game even if it has a small potential audience, even if few people would enjoy it.
It's good to make more games, weirder games, and easier games to play.
Procedures, objects, components, players, strategy, style; these are words, ambiguous, not jargon. I'm telling a story about games, not creating a taxonomy or a model.
I cheerfully accept all disagreement on any point. My goal isn't to convince anybody of anything, only to say what I think myself. Some of you might find this frustrating.
So, if you have outstanding questions, overall comments, observations, please feel free!
2014-07-24 : The Trouble with RPGs (ii)
Following from Procedure, Components, Object, Strategy, Style; Strategy vs Style; Objects of RPGs; Non-Endstate Objects, Strategy & Style; Aside: Designing a Bell Curve; The Object and Particular Strategy; Reminder: Object Schmobject; and The Trouble with RPGs
Say that you've created a game with an object, and you're considering how best to present it to its audience.
When is it in your interests to give a quick, sharp summary of your game's object? When is it in your interests to give a vague, ambiguous summary? And when is it in your interests to leave it out, so that your audience will have to guess or discover it for themselves?
Remember that you're creating a bell curve. What effect on the bell curve does it have when you include a summary of your game's object, versus when you don't?
Look back at these three games. Why didn't their authors just come out with it? Why did they include vague, ambiguous summaries of their games' objects instead of quick, sharp ones (or did they)? Did they have good reasons, bad reasons, or what? How would you guess it has worked out for them?
These aren't questions with definite answers. I have my opinions and judgments, you have yours. Feel free to tell us all your opinions and judgments if you want, but remember that we're indie! Nobody gets to tell us what's what, we all have to decide for ourselves.
2014-07-23 : The Trouble with RPGs
Following from Procedure, Components, Object, Strategy, Style; Strategy vs Style; Objects of RPGs; Non-Endstate Objects, Strategy & Style; The Object and Particular Strategy; and Reminder: Object Schmobject.
In this game, the object is to __. You might not be able to do it, though, because __.
In Sorcerer, the object is to resolve your kicker somehow, in some measure, in your own favor. You might not be able to do it, though, because your demons are not your friends, and you can't fully control them.
In Apocalypse World, the object is to make something of your world. You might not be able to do it, though, because in your world resources are scarce, allies are rare, and institutions do not stand.
In Burning Wheel, the object is to win what you believe. You might not be able to do it, though, because every fight is a fight you can lose.
In Dogs in the Vineyard, the object is to bring peace and resolution to the people of the towns you visit. You might not be able to do it, though, because there are always bastards and bad luck.
Let's have some more! No quibbling, no squabbling, just choose a game you know and fill in the blanks.
2014-07-21 : Reminder: Object Schmobject
The object of the game is to...
Your goal is to...
The point of the game is to...
Your job is to...
The winner is the player to...
You have to...
You want to...
You need to...
In order to win, as a group you must...
The game ends when...
You're trying to...
Your objective is to...
You lose if the other player manages to...
Don't stop playing until...
The game can continue indefinitely, as long as...
See if you can...
Your agenda is to...
When you write out the object of a game, "object" might not be the right word to best communicate it. That's okay. "Object" might not be the best name for it in this series of posts, either. That's okay too.
Here's me from an earlier comment:
Multiple levels of simultaneous objects, yes, absolutely. Objects that change over the course of play, objects that you create for yourself while groping toward an understanding of how the game works, objects that are mutually incompatible or otherwise defy you to meaningfully pursue them, yes. All kinds.
2014-07-21 : The Object and Particular Strategy
2014-07-19 : Aside: Designing a Bell Curve
2014-07-18 : Non-Endstate Objects, Strategy & Style
2014-07-18 : Objects of RPGs
2014-07-17 : Strategy vs Style
2014-07-16 : When is a game a game?
2014-07-15 : Procedure, Components, Object, Strategy, Style
2014-07-01 : AW:Dark Age: Despair Not!
2014-06-12 : While you're waiting...
2014-05-24 : Games that Take Off, Games that Don't