*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 23, 2014, 10:35:08 AM

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: 57 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: BTI: The vision behind the rules?  (Read 2075 times)
Meredith
Member

Posts: 9


WWW
« on: August 31, 2005, 01:08:22 PM »

Hi Emily,
I just finished reading BTI, which my hub Matt (PTA Matt) thoughtfully brought back from GenCon for me.  I'm not a gamer, but had read about it online and was really into checking it out.  And now I have a few wonderings -

The Switch stuff is fascinating, and seems pretty central.  Is it central?  And why did you choose to go that direction? Was it important to the kind of experience you wanted people to have?

Sort of related to that, you mention to use gender as a default difference in the Switch.  No offence to my lovely husband, but the first person I wanted to try this out with is my non-gamer girlfriend.  Did you mostly envision pairs being men and women?

Third, how do you envision the relationship between the players going as the game is played out?  I found myself wondering if Meimei and Jed were kind of flirting along with the characters.  What did you imagine?

And finally, and feel free to say "whatev" to this, I was a little overwhelmed by all the dice-rolling - is there any easy way to streamline that?  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the very hard work that went into the design (living with a designer and all).

Thanks!  Great game.
Meredith
Logged

* learn! * share! * act! * racetalk.org
Emily Care
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2005, 06:24:20 AM »

Hi Meredith,

Thanks for your questions! You've hit on a lot of interesting issues with the rules.  It's funny how the game changed over time as I developed it.  Things that were key in the first inception became one thing among many in the final product.  Especially the Switch.   The tone of the game changed from "deep interpersonal exploration" to light humor & comedy with deeper exploration possible but not required.  I'm curious to see how people view this change.  As a cop out? As a relief?

You asked:
Quote
The Switch stuff is fascinating, and seems pretty central.  Is it central?  And why did you choose to go that direction? Was it important to the kind of experience you wanted people to have?
The Switch is what gave me the idea for the whole game.  In discussions here and elsewhere I heard people (guys mostly) saying that they never played female characters, and couldn't even imagine anyone playing cross-gender convincingly.  That is so alien to my experience of role-playing that I took it as a bit of a challenge. I came up with this idea where you switch gender as a matter of course, and help each other do a good job. 

In my original vision, this was central to play.  But as it has developed, it has become more of a feature than a central aspect.  It can have broad reaching effects--depending on what is switched and how central it is to the characters--or it can become just another trait that gets pulled into play or not.  When gender is the switch, it's sort of a global change because of the way men's & women's lives are framed in society.  And, at least I've found, it's super easy.  I've yet to see anyone play the game who had a hard time thinking of things to do as a switched character.  So rather than reveling in the differences, the game has kind of shown that it's not that hard to put on a different set of eyes. 

Quote
Sort of related to that, you mention to use gender as a default difference in the Switch.  No offence to my lovely husband, but the first person I wanted to try this out with is my non-gamer girlfriend.  Did you mostly envision pairs being men and women?
Yes, originally, but that's really an artifact of the old view of the game.  I at first wanted people to find someone they could possibly go on a date with & then to switch various things---it was too much bleed between game & real life.  Although, for me, that definitely didn't mean it would just be aimed at straight folks.  But I've retained gender as the default because of my original concern: the weirdness of playing a girl has not gone away for many gamer guys.  So, it's a poke at a somewhat dysfunctional aspect of the hobby culture.

Quote
Third, how do you envision the relationship between the players going as the game is played out?  I found myself wondering if Meimei and Jed were kind of flirting along with the characters.  What did you imagine?
You know, the place where I thought they were kind of flirty was in the example of play in the "Sex in the Game" section of the book.  I wrote that example before I wrote all the rest, and I've always thought I pushed them further in that direction than in the rest of them.  That part of the game is both cool & problematic, so I don't want people to feel like they have to flirt in order to play this game. You really don't! But if you do want to flirt, it's not really such a bad way....


Quote
And finally, and feel free to say "whatev" to this, I was a little overwhelmed by all the dice-rolling - is there any easy way to streamline that?  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the very hard work that went into the design (living with a designer and all).
I hear you! Yes, the game needs 1 million dice! : ) If cards are at all preferable for you over dice, there is an easy way to substitute them:

1) For each die you would gain in the game, deal out one card, face down. 
2) When your "die pool" is complete (ie after gaining all your Bonus Dice, or Re-Rolls etc) turn over the cards.  Aces & face cards (King, Queen, Jack) are successes. 
3) All other rules regarding dice (eg can't re-roll Conflict dice and so on) are the same.

My thanks to Ben Lehman for helping me work out the card variant!

best,
Emily

edited 1 time to add:  And of course, using cards in PtA influenced my desire to have card mechanics. They'll be in the next revision for sure.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 06:28:26 AM by Emily Care » Logged

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
Meredith
Member

Posts: 9


WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2005, 07:29:37 PM »

Emily - thanks so much for your thoughtful responses.  I totally get where you're coming from with the challenging the guys stuff.  And I feel a little bit proud of myself that I guessed that might have been in there somewhere. :)

Now I totally wonder how the getting-to-know-you/ possibly-flirty vibe would play out between me and my (straight) long-time girlfriend.  Or between me and my brother.  Hoo!  Interesting (and slightly scary) possibilities.  Did any of that come up in playtests?

I actually thought the sex stuff was very straightforward.  What do you worry about there?

BTW, both Matt and I *love* the character creation through a Word Web.  It reminded me a bit of a ouija board - both people kinda directing and not directing the creation of something, collaboratively.

Meredith
Logged

* learn! * share! * act! * racetalk.org
Emily Care
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2005, 06:21:59 AM »

Hi Meredith,

Yes, you were spot on in your questions.  This is a game with a little bit of an agenda. It's cool actually that people in playtests steered me more toward making it just be fun--it really improved it, I think.

Quote
Now I totally wonder how the getting-to-know-you/ possibly-flirty vibe would play out between me and my (straight) long-time girlfriend.  Or between me and my brother.  Hoo!  Interesting (and slightly scary) possibilities.  Did any of that come up in playtests?

I guess it's not so much the sex stuff that I'm worried about as much as what you're talking about here: the perceived level of flirtation that arises between players.  Sometimes people feel intimidated by that.  But I haven't found it to be a problem when you actually play.

For example, I played with my Mom last time I visited home.  Well, it was more of a demo, we did character generation and played out the first two scenes of the date.  It was so fabulous! My Mom loves card games & such, but had never played anything remotely like a role playing game before.  She cottoned to it right away.  She played a guy character whose favorite color was blue, and started making up traits before we were done with the word web.  "Fish and Ice--I think he's from New Hampshire, and he loves ice fishing and outdoorsy stuff."  It wasn't awkward at all, or flirty. It felt pretty easy to me to make up the characters' story and not have much if any bleed at all.   

It did have inter-player effects, though.  My Dad was hanging out with us, and though he wasn't playing, he did suggest some words for my character, a woman whose favorite color was yellow.  He gave Oklahoma from my suggestion of Sun, and when I wrote Spacious he came up with "Space Ace's Spacious Oasis" without missing a beat, which floored my Mom.  He ended up telling us a story my Mom had never heard about a time a friend had asked him for help naming their band.  This was my Dad's suggestion. Unfortunately, they went with the Davenports. (!?!)   In the game, we used SASO as the name of a bar that my character owned in sunny Oklahoma... 

That's the kind of thing that I've found the Switch to really do as well: it gives the players a moment to share some things about themselves.  If you don't have surface differences you have to dig deeper.  I've found the following to be a typical exchange:

Player 1: "Okay, we're both guys, so what else is different between us?"
Player 2: "Well, we're both white.  What do you do for a living?"
Player 1: "Computer programmer. How about you?"
Player 2: "Same here.  So what else?...."

So even if it doesn't turn the game into a deep, dark "so what are your issues" kind of session, there is a bit of a deepening that can happen, unexpectedly, between people who play.  Honestly, that surprised me!


Quote
BTW, both Matt and I *love* the character creation through a Word Web.  It reminded me a bit of a ouija board - both people kinda directing and not directing the creation of something, collaboratively.
Thanks, M & M.  Yay! I can accurately be accused of promoting oija board narrativism....

best,
Em
Logged

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
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!