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Independent Game Forums => Errant Knight Games => Topic started by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 06:42:00 AM



Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 06:42:00 AM
I have changed the focus of Kayfabe away from the individual wrestlers and more towards the entire wrestling promotion.  Instead of players taking on the roles of individual wrestlers and striving for stardom, they will take on the roles of the show's writing staff in addition to all the wrestlers.  the game now focuses more on building a wrestling promotion from scratch in hopes of one day getting as big as the WWF.  The majority of the game is the same, but players will also have a hand in creating and advancing the promotion through hireing new wrestlers, advertising and buying new production equipment.  Players will also take on some of the Game Master's responsibilities in regards to setting up shows.

My question is, "Do you guys think players will have more fun this way or would concentrating on a single wrestler be more apealing?"


Title: Team Play
Post by: Mike Holmes on October 19, 2001, 06:54:00 AM
Ever thought about the idea of playing an entire "faction" (I hope I'm not repeating what somebody said in the other thread). This could be really cool. Essentially each player makes up a bunch of characters. Some wrestlers, some writers, and what have you. Anyway, one of the mechanics would be about stealing characters away from other players. This way you get the whole organization involved through players, and it is in keeping with the tradition of the idea of "Factions" in wrestling organizations.

Generally each player should have his whole faction in the Good Guy or Bad Guy camp, but that doesn't mean that even factions on the same side can't fight. Just a matter of style, really. And, if there an odd number of players allow a faction of the larger side to switch to the other side whenever they feel like it.

Wow, the political ramifications are multitudinous. You have to finish this game. Actually, even if you don't do the faction thing, I think I'll steal it for another probably non-wrestling game.

Mike

[ This Message was edited by: Mike Holmes on 2001-10-19 10:56 ]


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 07:37:00 AM
Mike,
As the game stands now, everyone makes as many wrestlers as they like and those wrestlers go into a talent pool.

From that pool the players choose their roster of 15 starting wrestlers plus 1 experienced wrestler per player.  The choosing works just like picking teams for kickball.  It could easily be set up so the wrestlers each player picks are part of a faction.  ANd it doesn't neccessarily have to be even Good guys and Bad guys.  most wrestling federations have several factions for both.

The one problem with doing it that way is that the game is geared towards the behind the scenes stuff, not the on camera stories and TV viewers see them, so players controlling a faction like the NWO or Degeneration X wouldn't fit.  They could, however, have real life factions of wrestlers that use their political pull to help each other out.  Hulk Hogan is famous for getting all his friends on TV.

Part of the reason I was posting this thread is because I'd like to know if an environment where all the players work together for the betterment of the group is a better way to go.  I really don't want a game where players are competeing against each other.  



Title: Team Play
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 19, 2001, 07:50:00 AM
Hey Matt,

I dunno man, I liked the idea of the wrestlers competing and trash-talking each other, and all that. I liked the idea of the big Pay-Per-View climax. It seems to me that the PLAYERS are not necessarily competing during this process, or if there's some of that, that it can be used for "oomphing" the real task at hand, which is to have this big operatic event as the climax.

Just one guy's thought, though.

Best,
Ron


Title: Team Play
Post by: Mike Holmes on October 19, 2001, 07:59:00 AM
Quote

On 2001-10-19 11:37, Eloran wrote:
Mike,
As the game stands now, everyone makes as many wrestlers as they like and those wrestlers go into a talent pool.

From that pool the players choose their roster of 15 starting wrestlers plus 1 experienced wrestler per player.  The choosing works just like picking teams for kickball.  It could easily be set up so the wrestlers each player picks are part of a faction.  ANd it doesn't neccessarily have to be even Good guys and Bad guys.  most wrestling federations have several factions for both.

Perfect. That's exactly what I was getting at for factions if I understand you. Yer way ahead of me.

Quote

The one problem with doing it that way is that the game is geared towards the behind the scenes stuff, not the on camera stories and TV viewers see them, so players controlling a faction like the NWO or Degeneration X wouldn't fit.  They could, however, have real life factions of wrestlers that use their political pull to help each other out.  Hulk Hogan is famous for getting all his friends on TV.

That last is what I was getting at. Also, there is potential here for the Play within a Play concept. It would be interesting to see mechanics for that.

Quote

Part of the reason I was posting this thread is because I'd like to know if an environment where all the players work together for the betterment of the group is a better way to go.  I really don't want a game where players are competeing against each other.  


My bad. I assumed that this would be heavily Gamist with the players competing against each other. Which sounds really cool to me. What has more competitive potential than professional wrestling?

But you see it as collaborative? What is the goal of play? Is this to be a narrative game where the story of the rise of the organization is the Premise? Is it a simulation of real world, or a fantasy version of wrestling from the view of the back office?

Hmmm. I was envisioning Gamist mechanics for money, fame, influence, etc. The actual fights would be interesting mishmoshes of trying to keep characters to the scripts for ratings, and people "improvising" their own victories, etc.

Can you elucidate as to what your goal is?

Mike


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 08:03:00 AM
Ron,
The way I'm envisioning things is that all the conflict would be instigated by the Booker.  the player's are competeing, just not with each other.  And the wrestlers themselves would still compete against each other and have all their conflict.

Do you think it's too much to ask players to separate themselves from the wrestlers long enough to see the big picture?  Can players actually play a character as he was created and still set up matches and skits that the wrestler may not like?  Lets say a player creates a wrestler that is a racist.  Can I expect that player to be able to book that wrestler in a match with an asian guy because it's something that the fans would enjoy and still roleplay those racist tendencies when the game shifts from the Booking Committee to the Locker Room?

In a sense I guess I am expecting players to be able to be a game master and player at the same time.  Is that reasonable?


Title: Team Play
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 19, 2001, 08:13:00 AM
Hey Matt,

My experience of play suggests that it is a VERY reasonable expectation, if the people involved are so inclined. Perhaps you could revise your idea of it from "expectation" to "opportunity" - hey, if you like role-playing in this way, then this is a great game for you.

So in other words, maybe not all role-players will like to play this way. But a certain portion of them will LOVE it, and I submit that most pro-wrestling fans understand very, very well that the sport/activity is really a great big Grand Opera.

Best,
Ron


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 08:18:00 AM
"But you see it as collaborative? What is the goal of play? Is this to be a narrative game where the story of the rise of the organization is the Premise? "

Exactly.  The promotion will start with a rating of zero and as the campaign progresses that rating will increase moving the shows from Public access up to major networks.  The promotion will also grow through the hireing of new wrestlers.  There are rules for fireing wrestlers to make rooom for new ones.  Lets say you come up with a cool idea for a wrestler, but you don't want to wait till after the PPV (when advancement happens), you can always screw with another wrestler to make him look bad and encourage the owner to fire him to make room for your new wrestler.

"Is it a simulation of real world, or a fantasy version of wrestling from the view of the back office? "

Some aspects of the game are very simulationist in that they are quite true to life, but most of the game is pretty narrativist in that there is very little die rolling.  Outside of the matches you shouldn't have to roll dice more than 3 or 4 times a session.  I don't see anyone rolling the dice more than 20 times in a 4 hour session.


"Hmmm. I was envisioning Gamist mechanics for money, fame, influence, etc. The actual fights would be interesting mishmoshes of trying to keep characters to the scripts for ratings, and people "improvising" their own victories, etc. "

All of that is true!!  Now you're getting it.  If you look at things from a character perspective there are quite a few Gamist aspect to the game, but from a player's perspective things are rather different.

"Can you elucidate as to what your goal is? "

My experience is that "smart" fans often feel they can book better shows that what they see on TV.  I want to give those fans an opportunity to do so, while showing them just how complicated it can really be to make a show work just right.  I want to give players the feeling that they are a part of the industry.


Title: Team Play
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 19, 2001, 08:23:00 AM
Ouchie - terminology cop time.

Matt, Narrativism isn't defined or delimited regarding to how much dice rolling is going on. There can be One Whole Hell of a Lot, or None at All, or anything in between.

I suggest that Narrativism is indeed involved in Kayfabe's design, but it's mainly in terms of the "good vs. bad" or "humble guy struggles up" themes that we really see in pro wrestling - and in the fact that the players are constructing and role-playing how these themes get expressed.

Geeky GNS-talk toggle switches off.

Best,
Ron


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 08:33:00 AM
LOL
I guess I throw that word around a little too much.

I do feel that I've given the players a whole lot of authorial power in Kayfabe.  But does the fact that a lot of that can get nixed or altered by the Booker take away that power?

I suppose this is the wrong thread for this.

Something that I didn't mention earlier is that at the start of each campaign (series of 8 shows and 1 PPV) the players actually book the PPV before they set up any of the other shows (1 match each).  Throughout the campaign the players need to ensure that the match actually takes place as planned.  I think this gives players a specific goal to strive towards as individuals.  I have been going back and forth about the idea of players keeping their PPV match a secret from the other players until the PPV session.  Each player would come up with their match and then all the matches will be sealed in an envelope until PPV time.  I think that could add another level in intrigue to the game as players work together to build the promotion, but at the same time try to realize their own vision.


Title: Team Play
Post by: Mike Holmes on October 19, 2001, 08:40:00 AM
What Ron said. And the idea of having a Rating that increases for the team is potentially an awesome gamist mechanic.

I may have mentioned this before, but I used to have a Gladiator game that reminds me much of what you are doing. Anyhow, the players were definitely in competition with each other. And I see how this model could be used for your game, well.

Then the Rating mechanic becomes additional competition between the players as a group and the game at the same time. This is an incredible dynamic. The best example I can think of is the "boardgame" Republic of Rome. In that game the players are each trying to win as Senators trying to become emperor. But they are forced to simultaneously work together in order that the game does not win (Rome gets sacked).

Translated to your game this would be players trying to get money for themselves while not allowing the ratings to drop (which would mean less money to go around, and, *GASP*, possible cancellation).

Like how any of that sounds? I'd certainly play it that way. I don't know that I can actually get into the "story" of RL wrestlers and what they go through.

Mike


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 08:48:00 AM
Kayfabe works a lot like that.

One of the cool things about kayfabe is that it's broken up into sections that are fairly independent.

"The Booking Committee" is where you set up the shows.

"The Locker Room" is where you deal with all the interpersonal problems between the wrestlers.

"The Show" is where you have all the matches.

It's completely possible to leave any one of these sections out and still have fun.  In fact, one of the times I actually had an opportunity we just did matches.  We simply picked two wrestlers and put them in the ring together.  It was a blast.


Title: Team Play
Post by: JSDiamond on October 19, 2001, 11:12:00 AM
Eloran, there's a game called Champions of the Galaxy that uses the premise of 'you are the promoter' kind of like Vince McMahon, and you have stables of wrestlers; good guys ('faces') and bad guys ('heels') and the mid-carders (the no names also called 'jobbers').  In the game you write the fueds, decide which wrestler to push (give title shots or special matches, etc.)  The game can be played solo or with others.

I didn't know if you had heard of that game.  But if not, the addy is:  http://www.gwfwrestling.com

It's been around since 1986, surviving on it's playability and attention to its rabid fans.  Of which I would guess there are a couple of hundred who play it constantly, buy everything, and argue on the company's message board.  

Jeff
 

 


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 11:27:00 AM
I'd heard of it before, but haven't given it much thought since it's a card game and more a fighting game than a roleplaying game.

After looking at their site and a sample card it seem to me that the game is pretty heavy on the numbers.  It also seems like the matches are more "real" in regards to "offensive moves" vs "defensive moves" and involves wrestlers hurting one another to determine who wins.  Kayfabe isn't about all that violence.

Kayfabe is a storytelling game, not a fighting game like COTG seems to be.  Sure you can set up your matches fot COTG and deside who you are going to push, but can the number of rum and cokes your wrestler had before the show come into play?  It also doesn't appear that there is any way to gauge how successful a wrestler is aside from his win loss record.

People have brought COTG before and I still contend that Kayfabe is a VERY different kind of game.  I'm starting to worry that there are not enough wrestling fans out there that know enough about the behind the scenes stuff to make my game marketable.


Title: Team Play
Post by: JSDiamond on October 19, 2001, 12:24:00 PM
You're right about that; COTG is more simulation than role-play.  That's been the one thing I don't like about it; you can't choose your wrestler's moves because they are determined by die-rolling and charts, charts, charts.  You can't *be* the wrestler.

So I just took a look at your game (it is worth the money) and I have to say that I can't wait to play it!  I'm already imagining my arena entrance and stopping at the top of the ramp to lay some smack-talk down on my opponent (waiting in the ring).  This is going to be a very fun game.  

Just one thing though, the name is a little bit archaic.
When I look at it I think of 'Kaybee' toy stores and then the carny meaning.  I 'get it' but it just doesn't seem to mesh with the game.  It needs something BIGGER and with pyrotechnics going off.

Damned if I can think of anything, though.

But the game rocks ass.
Jeff      






 
 


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 03:42:00 PM
Quote

On 2001-10-19 16:24, JSDiamond wrote:
So I just took a look at your game (it is worth the money) and I have to say that I can't wait to play it!  I'm already imagining my arena entrance and stopping at the top of the ramp to lay some smack-talk down on my opponent (waiting in the ring).  This is going to be a very fun game.  


Thanks.  If you want to play the game as is it is fully playable.  THere are a couple groups running campaigns using the current rules.  My updated rules which will be available in a few weeks will have a lot more options if you want to concentrate more on the building a promotion aspect.  THe matches and Promos aspect of the game are nearly identical to what is on my site now (a few cosmetic differences) so if that's what you're interested in, knock yourself out and let me know how it goes.

If you REALLY want an updated version send me an email and I'll send you a PDF.

Quote
Just one thing though, the name is a little bit archaic.
When I look at it I think of 'Kaybee' toy stores and then the carny meaning.  I 'get it' but it just doesn't seem to mesh with the game.  It needs something BIGGER and with pyrotechnics going off.

Damned if I can think of anything, though.


I really like the name and it fits in my eyes, but I can see your point.  I can't think of anything really cool to change it to either.  Anyone else have an idea?

,Matt


Title: Team Play
Post by: hardcoremoose on October 19, 2001, 04:14:00 PM
I like the name.

Also, I still really, really like the idea of focusing on individual wrestlers, at least to a certain degree.  We've talked about this already, so most of what I post here is simply to encourage further debate, but I was totally into the "struggle to rise to greatness from nothing" when we played it.  

As it stands, though, that premise is still intact.  Your focus now is on the federation's rise to greatness, but there's no reason that the "rise" theme couldn't be explored on multiple levels.  

When we played, the part we were missing was the ability for the wrestlers' real lives to coincide with, and affect, their in-ring lives.  My character suffered from some serious emotional problems, but they didn't mean a thing when he hit the ring.  You've taken steps to correct that, but I think those "external factors" should be applied also to the federation's wellbeing.

Ratings and buyrates are one example that I know you're working with.   What about outside groups that hate wrestling, like the PTC?  What about parents suing the federation because their kid killed himself emulating his favorite wrestler?  There are more things that factor into a federation's success than merely the quality of their workers and their production values.

On a final, slightly critical note, I do think you're expecting players to create too many wrestlers.  Human Wreckage did something similar - but it's characters had far fewer stats to keep track of - and you've seen firsthand what a mess that became.  The idea of factions and of building a talent pool is great, but I'm still kind of in favor of each player focusing his attention on a single wrestler, and doing the things necessary to allow that wrestler to achieve greatness (and in doing so, leading the organization to greatness).  Real rags-to-riches stories, ya' know.

Just some food for thought, and an opportunity to discuss.

- Moose  

[ This Message was edited by: hardcoremoose on 2001-10-19 20:17 ]


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 19, 2001, 04:54:00 PM
Quote
As it stands, though, that premise is still intact.  Your focus now is on the federation's rise to greatness, but there's no reason that the "rise" theme couldn't be explored on multiple levels.

I agree with you there.  In fact I'd really like to build on that, but at the same time I don't want players to have too much on their plate.  When players set up their PPV match they are in essence picking two wrestlers (one Face and one Heel) to concentrate on for the duration of the campaign.

Quote
When we played, the part we were missing was the ability for the wrestlers' real lives to coincide with, and affect, their in-ring lives.  My character suffered from some serious emotional problems, but they didn't mean a thing when he hit the ring.  You've taken steps to correct that, but I think those "external factors" should be applied also to the federation's wellbeing.

Good point.  I have been adding stuff to the Booker's section about how to add drama to the game using wrestler's flaws and personal lives to create plot twists.  I think part of the problem when we played was that we were playing a one shot in a limited time frame.  If I could do it again the night would have been much more exciting.

Quote
Ratings and buyrates are one example that I know you're working with.   What about outside groups that hate wrestling, like the PTC?  What about parents suing the federation because their kid killed himself emulating his favorite wrestler?  There are more things that factor into a federation's success than merely the quality of their workers and their production values.

Again, good point.  I just started working on the rating aspect a couple days ago so I still have some work to do there and that's something I'll add.  

I added some stuff today about crowd Heat and it's effect on the show.  Sometimes even a great show can suck if the fans aren't in the right frame of mind.  In regards to outside influences I also want to work in some stuff about other promotions trying to lure away your popular wrestlers.  If you have enough people to play you could actually have two or more promotions competeing against each other.  Heck, even with only a few people you can run two promotions - just play them on different days.

I also want to add in a pay scale which would be pay equals your heat time $1000 per year.  It actually factors out pretty true to life that way.  I think after a set number of matches you can recalculate a wrestler's pay and determine if the federation has enough cash to pay him.  If not, he can leave or work out some kind of special deal like creative control of matches or something.

Quote
On a final, slightly critical note, I do think you're expecting players to create too many wrestlers.  Human Wreckage did something similar - but it's characters had far fewer stats to keep track of - and you've seen firsthand what a mess that became.

17 to 20 wrestlers is quite a lot of characters, but if you think about it, game masters deal with lots of NPCs all the time and don't have much trouble.  The thing with Kayfabe is that some of those wrestlers may never even get used more than once or twice (if that) in a campaign and a basicly the job squad for the guys you choose to headline.  As I mentioned earlier, when you set up your PPV match you are basiclly picking two wrestlers that you intend to give a push to.  From a individual player's perspective everyone else is pretty much filling in the gaps.  The only thing that may not work the way you like is that you can't outright claim "this is my wrestler."

BY the way, what do you think about moving part of the game outside the arena?  Perhaps players can call for a "personal appearance" where a wrestler of their choice can do an interview on the Tonight Show or have a book signing or something like that. I can see something like that helping build a promotion's rating or a wrestler's Heat, but does that sort of thing offer enough entertainment value from a game perspective?



Title: Team Play
Post by: James V. West on October 21, 2001, 04:40:00 AM
I haven't read this entire post, but I wanted to pipe in about part of it:

I like the idea of players running more than one character and having a lot to do with creating the scenario. This is something I've been wanting to explore for a while and I'm working on a game that uses this approach.

Creating a whole group of wrestlers would be fun.

James V. West


Title: Team Play
Post by: Mike Holmes on October 21, 2001, 07:26:00 PM
Um, I'm not sure if I like the name or not. Excuse my ignorance, but whatintheheck does it mean?

Mike


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 22, 2001, 04:36:00 AM
kayfabe n. adj. of or related to inside information about the business, especially by fans. Origin is carny jargon talk for "fake."

It's a fairly common term used in the wrestling business.  Whenever a wrestlers breaks character in an interview, or even on a show,  he is considered to be breaking Kayfabe.  Breaking Kayfabe is also a refence to letting out industry secrets.

I feel the name is very fitting to the game since it is all about the "secrets" of the business.

I understand that some people won't understand the word, but the definition is on the first page :smile:  Anyway, I think the "what the hell is that?" response may get people to take a closer look.  or not.




Title: Team Play
Post by: Mike Holmes on October 22, 2001, 05:56:00 AM
OK, that's pretty cool. Now howintheheck do you pronounce it? K-fa-b? K-fayb? what? Do you knbow the etymology? Sounds almost like an acronym or something.

Just curious,
Mike


Title: Team Play
Post by: Matt Gwinn on October 22, 2001, 07:37:00 AM
I'm pretty sure it's pronounced like  "K-Fabe", but the Fabe pat may come from the word fabricate in which case it would probably be K-Fab.  I've never actually heard the word used - only seen.

Regradless, I think I may need to change it.  I was looking online for the pronunciation and noticed that there is a Book by the same name that was published in 2000.

Damn!