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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: New 3D Model  (Read 34159 times)
Caldis
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Posts: 359


« Reply #45 on: August 18, 2004, 04:20:16 AM »

Quote from: Marco

Under GNS Sim, yes (which, you know, is the problem)--but not under, say, Virtuality.*


Virtuality fits within GNS sim.  It sits there alongside the plotted but primarily 'what if' games.  GNS is looking at a wider range of behavior than just virtuality, it's looking for any game that has more sim influence than either game or drama.  Virtuality is something specific, Sim in GNS is not, it is a range.


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And Mike's model does a good job of splitting the difference where as GNS relies on Ralph's re-interpertation (which then leaves a hole for dramatism and functional illusionism that has yet to be filled).


Mike's model doesnt split the difference it just adds a finer level of distinction.  It's not redefining the boxes, it's simply putting up more smaller boxes to make a closer determination of what players want.
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Marco
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« Reply #46 on: August 18, 2004, 04:29:50 AM »

Quote from: Caldis
Quote from: Marco

Under GNS Sim, yes (which, you know, is the problem)--but not under, say, Virtuality.*


Virtuality fits within GNS sim.  It sits there alongside the plotted but primarily 'what if' games.  GNS is looking at a wider range of behavior than just virtuality, it's looking for any game that has more sim influence than either game or drama.  Virtuality is something specific, Sim in GNS is not, it is a range.


Correct: but GDS put what we usually call Participationism in with Narrativism and I don't think you'd get too many people (here) to say that GDS is an equally functional division.

Mike's top-level schema avoids that problem, making it superior, IMO.

(Edited to remove note about implications of Caldis' argument--I doubt we'd agree on).

-Marco
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Caldis
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Posts: 359


« Reply #47 on: August 18, 2004, 04:58:13 AM »

Quote from: Marco
Correct: but GDS put what we usually call Participationism in with Narrativism and I don't think you'd get too many people (here) to say that GDS is an equally functional division--although by your argument that's exactly what you're implying.

-Marco


Yes it is a functional division but along different lines than that used for GNS.

GDS is looking at it from the gm's standpoint on what he wants to create in the game. A virtual world, a challenging game, or a dramatic story.

GNS is looking at what are all players at the table trying and able to do.  Are they trying to create drama through their choices and if only one player (the gm) is able to do so then the game is not primarily about that.
If most of the players are limited to simulating what would happen in a virtual world, then that is what the game is primarily about.

In the interest of not derailing this thread I'd suggest we either take this to PM or if you have further comments you think would be interesting to the general populous maybe we should branch out to a new thread.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2004, 05:14:26 AM »

Wow, lots to respond to. Unfortunately, I'm off to GenCon moments from now, so it'll all have to wait until I return. Thanks for the comments so far.

Mike
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Marco
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« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2004, 06:32:24 AM »

Quote from: Caldis

GDS is looking at it from the gm's standpoint on what he wants to create in the game. A virtual world, a challenging game, or a dramatic story.

GNS is looking at what are all players at the table trying and able to do.  Are they trying to create drama through their choices and if only one player (the gm) is able to do so then the game is not primarily about that.
If most of the players are limited to simulating what would happen in a virtual world, then that is what the game is primarily about.



Mmm ... I thought about this and I don't agree it--GDS may explicitly only apply to GM's intentions (I've seen this asserted but I haven't read the Usenet posts).

However: GDS, regardless of who a given mode says it applies to, is used in discussing participant's goals and preferences in games (both in actual play and mechanics). If you tell me that being a GDS Gamist only applies to a GM's goal, okay, I don't have to argue with you.

Sure, maybe it does--but functionally I'll apply the theory as a player to ask the GM to describe his goals-of-play and see if I like them.

Functionally the GM may use the theory to analyze a game and pitch it to us to explain how it suits his goals.

What this means is that functionally GNS, GDS, and Mike's model all fill the same space: acting as a framework and vocabularity to discuss desires on the part of all participants.

Let's say a Narrativist GM (who doesn't know the GNS jargon) wants to communicate his style to players--under GDS, he says "I'm a Dramatist" and that leads to all sorts of misunderstandings.

Let's say a player wants Virtualist play. Under present-form GNS, the player says "I'd like to see Sim style play" and the GM says "okay, I'm enforcing theme."

Big problem.

There are areas where both of the models fail to communicate the aims of their users clearly.

Under GNS, if I set out to make a Sim game I could get Theatrix or GURPS and the theory tells me both of these share some philosophy. Conversations are either going to have to invent new words quickly (Virtuality and Participationist) or the conversation will be incredibly hard to follow.

That's why I think this is on target for this thread: does Mike's Model offer something that GNS presently doesn't?

I think the answer is clearly yes: it offers (as you say) sub-divisions that work organically to the theory without requiring new (and clearly contentious) language to be added to an already large glossary.

-Marco
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Lee Short
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« Reply #50 on: August 18, 2004, 06:55:56 AM »

Quote from: Caldis
Quote from: Valamir

That's because the current state of the GNS model, and Mikes view on the matter as well, lump Dramatism and Simulationism together as the same thing, while your background demonstrates very clearly that they are not.


I dont think the model lumps the two together.   It accepts that while there are players like those who play a vitualist style there are also those who allow for some drama based decisions that still remain primarily simulationist.  


The latter form of play style is properly called Hybrid (sim-heavy hybrid, to be exact).  

It's a very poor definition that defines Sim as "either Sim or Sim plus other stuff".  That's like defining water as "H2O or H2O plus up to 5% impurities."   This is simply a poor definition, it's very bad for clarity and will lead to massive confusion.  Which  pretty much fits the current state of discussion on Sim.    

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As John Kims' threefold faq states...
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Which one am I? Drama-, Game-, or Simulation-oriented?
         Most likely, none of the above. Your individual style cannot be pidgeonholed into a single word. More to the point, you probably use a mix of different techniques, and work towards more than one goal. You may tend more towards one corner of the triangle, but you probably value a mix.


GNS tries to classify all games on where they would fall on that triangle, which point it would be closest to.  


This, of course, has the effect of lumping Dramatism in with Sim -- for all the reasons Mike discussed above.  See also Beeg Horseshoe.    

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A big part of my recent essay was trying to rip the Dramatism back out of Sim, but its become such an ingrained assumption here that high GM control of plot and theme = Sim (which is ridiculous) that I haven't met with complete success in that endeavor.


But high GM control of plot can be valid in Sim.  The GM has control of the whole world so he can bring about any situation he wishes by twisting the dials, making forces beyond the pc's direct the plot for a bit.  Yet play itself can continue trying to answer the 'what if' of the current situation.


This just brings to the forefront the internal contradiction in the current definition of Sim, and why it is bad to have hybrid styles included in the definition of Sim.  Because high GM control of plot and "Internal Cause is King" are, quite simply, two different things.  They should be treated as such.  And lumping them together only confuses what the actual issues are, and leads to confusing conversations.  Which is exactly what we've seen time and again about exactly this issue.
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Mark Woodhouse
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« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2004, 12:46:58 PM »

Quote from: Lee Short

...high GM control of plot and "Internal Cause is King" are, quite simply, two different things.  They should be treated as such.  And lumping them together only confuses what the actual issues are, and leads to confusing conversations.  Which is exactly what we've seen time and again about exactly this issue.


It seems to me "Internal Cause Is King" (ICIK) is not the sole diagnostic of Sim. High GM control of plot can exist serially with pure internal causality - the GM frames aggressively, but players have complete freedom within the designated area. From a Virtualist perspective, this is highly "crippled" Sim play, but some play groups may have essentially Participationist social contract agreements that designate "some stuff we play out, and some stuff gets narrated." For the stuff that gets played out, ICIK applies, but cut scenes and heavy abstraction are applied to everything that isn't "important."

Obviously this has all the usual pitfalls of Participationist play, but provided the social contract is sufficiently robust it is probably functional for Sim play. The conflict between this technique and Sim comes when a player feels that they are not allowed to play something out in Sim mode that is a significant decision point without an intuitively clear result. Provided players are strongly in agreement about (or have out-of-band dialogue about) what things need in-game attention, everything works.

Mark
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Lee Short
Member

Posts: 123


« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2004, 02:35:59 PM »

Quote from: Mark Woodhouse
Quote from: Lee Short

...high GM control of plot and "Internal Cause is King" are, quite simply, two different things.  They should be treated as such.  And lumping them together only confuses what the actual issues are, and leads to confusing conversations.  Which is exactly what we've seen time and again about exactly this issue.


It seems to me "Internal Cause Is King" (ICIK) is not the sole diagnostic of Sim. High GM control of plot can exist serially with pure internal causality - the GM frames aggressively, but players have complete freedom within the designated area.


Well, high GM control of plot can actually be based *completely* on pure internal causality.  The GM applies purely internal causality to the present situation to arrive at the next frame.  But he does this during down time, and presents the results fait accompli to the players.  

There's a sim-important distinction here between this version of framing, and what I think you meant above.  Using the current definition of Sim obscures this difference.  Why is that a good thing?  

Players who are happy under a sim-heavy hybrid CA will be happy with your version of framing; players who demand a pure sim CA will only be happy with mine.  Why shouldn't the language of GNS give them the ability to make this distinction and discuss their differences?  

----------------

The problem here is that once we start expanding the definition of Sim to include "just a little bit of X" or "just a little bit of Y", then suddenly we find that Sim includes X and Y (and Z and . . .).  Once we reach this stage, it's impossible to talk about Sim in any kind of useful manner.
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Mark Johnson
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« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2004, 05:17:54 PM »

This is what happens when you leave for a month.... wow, I have a lot of reading to do.

Can this new model fit pretty cleanly in the Creative Agenda area of the Big Model without having to make many adjustments or does it require a major rethink of the implications and definitions of everything from social contract to techniques?

I don't think it does.

The problem I have with the 3D model so far is that I think that in many games the player control element probably lies at a medium level between high player control and low player control.  It seems to me that "high player" control and "low player" control are more of a means to an end rather than an end in itself.  In other words, it strikes me more as a technique than a creative agenda.  

It may be that Ron's biggest contribution with GNS is not GNS itself, but the Big Model.  We are probably just seeing the first flowering of many different Creative Agenda models that can be dropped into the Big Model without much adjustment to the theory as a whole.   At some point, there may be as many Creative Agenda models as there are Personality typology systems in psychology (most of which offer 8 to 50 or more "personality types" depending on the model, RPGers have been lucky in the past that we usually only have three or four game types mentioned in previous models).

If Mike renames the terms so that "high player control" = "chaotic" and "low player control" = "lawful", I just might have to get on this bandwagon.  I could go around and say "I am a Chaotic Challenger!"  (Just kidding.)

Later,
Mark
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #54 on: August 19, 2004, 06:47:54 PM »

I'm not persuaded that the categories you propose really align with the existing categories the way you suggest. As Ralph says, control is not the difference between narrativism and simulationism; it's only symptomatic of the difference historically.

But arguendo, I'm not sure this is especially useful even if it's correct.

There's an ice cream shop on the corner. If I go down there, I can order a sundae; but they won't make it until I answer some questions. What kind of ice cream do I want? What toppings do I want? So perhaps I want a hot fudge sundae with vanilla ice cream.

Now, they could give that a name, a different name from a hot fudge sundae with chocolate ice cream, and different from a hot fudge sundae with coffee ice cream, and so on, as well as different again from a sundae with strawberry topping or a sundae with pineapple topping. They don't.

The reason they don't is that such names would be too confusing ultimately. I would have to know the individual name of each variant type. This seems to me to be more problematic than merely expressing the factors individually that apply.

I note in the diagram that decentralized immersive play is, by your reckoning, inherently narrativist. That dog won't hunt, as they say. Narrativist play is always thematic. I don't even consider it a viable issue as to whether immersive decentralized play that is not thematic is narrativist. It's a much more likely question whether thematic centralized play might be narrativist; although I'm inclined to think not, it's a more difficult issue (given that the referee is one of the players).
Quote from: Mike
What it would say in the "How to GM" section would be something like:

As GM it's only your job to present the world as though it were an extant thing, not one changing to your or anybody else's whim. What it's not your job to do is to present any detail in such a way as it will force the players to make any particular direction. That is, certainly there will be moments when they PCs encounter things that they can only react to in one way. It's just that these should only happen as the result of your unbiased presentation of the world, again, as though it existed previously. This allows the players the greatest lattitude in creating the action of the game in that they decide where to go and what to do. It's up to you to present an interesting world, one with possibilities, but it's up to the players to create the action that occurs.

This reminds me of Bard's Tale, the computer game of decades back in which you could go wherever you wanted and do whatever you chose. I'd have said it was simulationist.

I just realized that I missed a page in reading over the posts, so I've probably repeated some things that were said; I'll just make one more comment, mostly for Lee.

As I understand it, Ron introduced GNS (in about 1998, in System Does Matter then at Gaming Outpost) specifically as his understanding of the distinctions created in Threefold. He changed the name of "Dramatism" to "Narrativism" (because of Tweet's prior use of "Drama" as a resolution method, which might be confusing). GDS seemed to be about what players were doing when they played; GNS in some sense suggested that what they were doing implied something about why they were doing it--that is, there was something they wanted to get from the game that was different from what someone else wanted to get from the game that caused the difference in how they played.

Someone (I do not know who) who was involved in the RGFA discussions objected that Ron's recharacterizations were completely foreign to the original concepts, and particularly that narrativism as he defined it had nothing to do with dramatism as it was defined there.

I would say (and I think that Ron would agree) that this was true because GDS and GNS were defining different things--the one probably best described as "a way of playing" and the other closer to "an object of play". However, efforts to integrate the two approaches led to the mistake that GDS categories were wholly contained within GNS categories. Since GDS categories are to some degree combinations of techniques, it's natural to expect that they would cross GNS lines, where techniques are not unique to individual agenda. The beliefs that Dramatism and 3F Simulationism are both wholly contained within GNS Simulationism comes from this mistake.

I don't know if that clarifies things any, but I hope it's helpful.

--M. J. Young
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