2010-04-17 : The Walking Eye

The other day, The Walking Eye interviewed me about Dogs in the Vineyard, In a Wicked Age, and Poison'd. We talked some about each of those games in particular, some about what they've got in common, and some about my designs across the board. It was a fun interview and they asked great questions. If you're interested in my games, it's worth your time:

The Walking Eye interview 13: Vincent Baker

1. On 2010-04-19, Teataine said:

Nice. I had hoped you would talk more about AW, but whatever. And that dragonkiller thing intrigues me. I understand why you would want to keep it under wraps.


2. On 2010-04-19, Joao said:

I was (still am) eagerly waiting for Storming the Wizard's Tower.

More or less skipped AW, because I knew is a hard setting to sell my group. But reading the development I found the design super solid, the text awesome and wanted to try the system.

Now that I listened to the interview, I really want really badly to play Dragonkiller. Such a cool setting and smart system. Any chance you can lift the veil a little more?


3. On 2010-04-20, Robert Bohl said:

I really enjoyed this interview. Kevin et al. asked questions that I now can't ask when I get around to interviewing you for my show.


4. On 2010-04-21, Jeff Russell said:

For me, the most interesting answer in the interview was when you described your preference for putting some of the decision making power in the dice-roll loser's hands. That made a comment you made at some point here on the blog a little clearer, something like "reconciling player interests when characters come into conflict".

Oh, by the way, hello, I'm kind of new here, thanks for posting/hosting interesting topics and discussion!


5. On 2010-04-25, Simon C said:

When y'all were talking about lists, it made me think of Umberto Eco's exhibition at the Louvre. There's an interview about it here.


6. On 2010-04-29, Mathieu Leocmach said:

Very nice interview as usual.

I have a question concerning lists. Why do you use list rather than binary choices when designing a judgment of fiction ? For example in Dogs you have 4 possible blows, why not two ? Why not 5 ? Same for non fighting actions in Poison'd (suffering pain or duress / Going into danger / ...)


7. On 2010-04-30, Vincent said:

I don't know how to answer.

I mean, 3 or 4 is usually the right number of options. 2 is the right number of options only occasionally. 5, 6 or 7 is the right number of options pretty often, but not as often as 3 or 4. Occasionally something calls for more options than 7, but not often.

If a list doesn't have everything it needs on it, add what it's missing. If it has things it doesn't need, trim the excess. After you've done that, however many items are on the list, that's the right number. Right?


8. On 2010-04-30, Josh W said:

Maybe sometimes it's better not to abandon games to some hole, but to abandon them to being ripped apart and put into other games? That way your not desperately trying to salvage something rubbish, but you can take all the advantages and lessons from that game and put them in other places. I think that is an advantage of making ephemeral stuff like games or programs; it's pretty hard to grab that brushstroke from a painting, but it's pretty easy to grab a mechanic or balance heuristic from a previous game.


9. On 2010-05-01, Mathieu Leocmach said:

Thanks Vincent. Not pb if you don't have an explanation at hand. I thought it was a deep though of yours but it seems that it was more of an intuition.

It seems to me that choosing between only two categories is often not a good design for a judgment of fiction. Like it is then too easy to choose in which category the fiction falls depending on your own interests rather than the integrity of fiction.

Or maybe it's because dividing the possible in two often lead to abstract categories rather than the concrete categories needed for a judgment of fiction.


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