*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 15, 2014, 11:35:45 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 65 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Part I: Core Concept  (Read 3447 times)
Le Joueur
Member

Posts: 1367


WWW
« on: December 26, 2001, 10:23:00 PM »

December 26th, 2001 -

At the behest of my friends here on the Forge, I will present Scattershot at the point I have it.  Even though this is a work-in-progress, I am not trying to present a diary of the progress.  Expect the lead component of this thread to undergo changes as Scattershot does.  This edition was originally put together on Wednesday, December 26th, 2001 (think of it as a late Xmas present).  This series of articles will detail strictly the mechanics of Scattershot, articles relating to the techniques of 'how to play' will have to wait until I have more of them centralized and organized.  The third major component of the game, the setting and genre material is will be addressed once I get a new batch of playtesters.

Since I have to start somewhere, I will begin with the theories that have become the central design premise of the mechanics.  This is one of a number of articles that inter-relate and I hope to make frequent use of links between them (which is part of the reason I have separated them).

The central point of Scattershot is that all gaming is fundamentally about context with emotional investment (I described this much earlier in this article.)  Concepts like 'suspension of disbelief' and 'flow of play' exist primarily to support 'staying in context.'  Another central concept is that gaming depends on in-game actions having rational consequences.

    The formalization of consequences to aid 'flow of play' is exactly what Scattershot's mechanics are meant to be.  "Aiding the 'flow of play'" is one of the reasons that Scattershot's mechanics are also deliberately designed to function as a form of communal language during play.  Instead of having to describe the process of using an ability in detail and accounting for potential points of contention, a participant can simply refer to using a specific mechanic by its name.[/list:u]I know this sounds trite and obvious, but it needs to be said; play is shared.  

    This concept becomes important in fixing the reasons that Scattershot has mechanics.  Both consistency and impartiality are necessary for a kind of sharing that participants can feel is 'fair'.  Because of the emotional investment in play, there will be times when emotions can run quite high; it is important to have something impartial to fall back upon when those times involve conflict between the participants.[/list:u]Most of the time play passes between participants in no particular order as necessary.

    This is an example of how informal most gaming is.  Under some circumstances, impartiality can become highly important to one or more players.  At those (frequently emotional) times, mechanics can formalize even this normative form of play.[/list:u]Obviously, under portions of game theory, an awareness of the mechanics becomes a part of the play itself.

    This is exceptionally important when discussing whether or not mechanics should be applied to specific situation in a game.  This decision has a lot to do with how mechanics will be applied during play.[/list:u]That's all for this installment.  Next up, the differences between players and gamemasters in Scattershot.

    Fang Langford

    That is fairness in the minds of the participants.  Each will desire their own amount of play (and even that will change from session to session).  Mechanics go a long way towards formalizing the tools that can be used to 'get your share' of play.
Logged

Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2001, 08:45:00 AM »

Hi Fang,

I'm not sure about what to say, except "Solid," in a kind of 70s accent. Concrete mission statements beyond the usual "um, it's role-playing" are rare and valuable.

The concept of game mechanics and events being applications (expressions?) of emotional investment is excellent. I'm looking forward to more. You've set the starting bar very high.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Le Joueur
Member

Posts: 1367


WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2001, 02:18:00 PM »

Quote
Ron Edwards wrote:

I'm not sure about what to say, except "Solid," in a kind of 70s accent.

Actually, this is somewhat on purpose.  From my experiences, many of the gamers out in the 'hinterlands' still play in a '70s' way.  Since one of the design specifications of Scattershot (and posting these will be a while - I need to find them) is that it be 'familiar' to experienced gamers far and wide, it will have an intentional '70s flavor.'

(And I know how you meant that, it just seemed like a good opportunity to talk design specifications.)

Quote
You've set the starting bar very high.

Thank you.  I think it is obvious that I do this in all things.

Fang Langford
Logged

Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!