thread: 2009-12-18 : Seed content

On 2009-12-19, Vincent wrote:

But "groups won't always come up with good stuff" isn't the worse problem.

The worse problem is that if you don't know in advance generally what the game's content is going to be, it's very difficult to design rules for escalation, development, resolution etc. that treat the game's content concretely. What you get are games where pushing someone down has the same range of possible consequences as setting fire to a planet's atmosphere, and where "my mother is the moon and my father is the evening wind" is mechanically equivalent to "I have a motorcycle."

In a Wicked Age suffers from this, even though I provide good seed content, because I stuffed too much possible content into too few game procedures. I wrote rules that treat the endeavors of a village midwife and the endeavors of an ancient god of vengeance and war the same way - which meant I wrote rules that are abstract, mannered, flatly interpersonal and over-explicit. I referred way too much back to the social level.

Constricting the range of possible content would let me treat it concretely in the game's mechanics, but so would expanding the mechanics. If I redesign the game, I'll do the latter.


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