*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 31, 2014, 01:43:18 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: 84 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Troy's Standard Rant #1  (Read 7939 times)
Troy_Costisick
Member

Posts: 802


WWW
« on: September 13, 2005, 07:12:08 AM »

Heya,

Never done a rant before, and not sure this really counts as one.  Donít really care either.  I just have a point I want to make and then a request for help.  I really appreciate all the great advice and input that I and other consistently get from the Forge.  Without a doubt, it had made me a better writer.

The Point:

Over in Indie Design it has become popular to ask three base questions any time someone posts about a new game they are designing:

1.   What is the game about?
2.   What do the characters do?
3.   What do the players do?

I canít take credit for inventing them, nor can I take credit for popularizing them.  I will take credit, however, for asking them numerous, numerous times.  These questions go right to the heart of a game.  They cut through all the BS (like classes, races, die cubes, etc.) and talk about how the game looks and plays.  I cannot stress enough the importance of these questions and how they can both guide discussion and design.  Anyone who posts in Indie Design would be well served to answer these questions in their initial post about their game.

Itís not easy, though.  I think it is hard sometimes for newer designers especially to understand the difference between #2 and #3.  I know from personal experience, it took me a while.  I think thatís part of the education that the Forge needs to provide- both through feedback in threads in Indie Design and in Theory discussions while this forum is still up. 

The Request:

Hereís the part where I need your help.  Those three questions above are not the end-all and be-all of game design.  They are just a start.  They certainly do not tell me everything I need to know.  What I need from you guys are some good follow up questions.  What are the things that I should ask about next to help further drive the discussion?  What else can I (we) ask about a game that probes as deeply as the three above but also builds on the three above?

These questions have to be exacting in order to prompt a designer to truly reflect on his design.  They must provoke thought and help guide design.  Iím looking for something that will help me help others and in the end, help all of us as we will all benefit from the design and input of others.

Peace,

-Troy
Logged

TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2005, 07:20:19 AM »

That's totally not a rant.† Damn fine post, though.

I don't have a lot of questions, but the two that keep circling my head are these:

(4) What specific choices do you want players to be thinking about as they interact with the mechanics?† (i.e. what do players contribute toward the rules?)
(5) What specific outcomes and patterns do you want the mechanics to create? (i.e. what do rules contribute back toward the players?)
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Andrew Cooper
Member

Posts: 724


WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2005, 07:28:38 AM »

6.) What makes your game different from or better than X, Y and Z and why should I play it instead of those choices?

I know it is somewhat confrontational but I think it is an important question.  If there is already a game that does exactly what you are attempting and does it better than your game, then perhaps you need to rethink the project. 

Logged

Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2005, 08:34:06 AM »

Hi everybody!

I don't know if it will be usefull, but I will try to offer the view of a newcomer.
I must say that for me it took some time until I realized the real meaning and power of the 3 famous questions. But once I got the point, they were pretty clear and neat. Of course, that doesn't mean they become easy to asnwer.

Gaerik:
Quote
6.) What makes your game different from or better than X, Y and Z and why should I play it instead of those choices?

I agree. It's highly important to know about other games, especially if they are hitting the same niche you are aimed to. You should really have a clear idea about what is new or exciting in your project. But don't you think that, specifically for new people, could be too frustrating at the very beginning to compare their unelaborated ideas with other full developed games? I would say that this might be taken with some care.

TonyLB:
Quote
(4) What specific choices do you want players to be thinking about as they interact with the mechanics?  (i.e. what do players contribute toward the rules?)
(5) What specific outcomes and patterns do you want the mechanics to create? (i.e. what do rules contribute back toward the players?)

I think these ones are implicit in #2 and #3, but they are nice in the sense that they look to me like a second cycle of questions to further elaborate the outcome of the original three questions.
Although I understood them pretty well, I think they are phrased in a complicate way for some new people.

I hope this helps,
Arturo
Logged
Halzebier
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2005, 08:39:05 AM »

"Which aspect of your game are you most excited about?"

(Dunno if this is a useful question, but people sometimes feel they have to include all sorts of stuff - attributes, a combat system, a history of the world etc. - even if their game may be better off without that. The question might help them decide what's really cool - for them, personally - about their game.)
Logged
Jasper
Member

Posts: 466


WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2005, 08:52:23 AM »

Related to Tony's (6) but maybe broader: "What kind of play (behavior) do you want to encourage/reward?"

Halzebier, I think that's pretty legit. Though I would probably amend that to "What makes your game exciting?" since I care about everything that's exciting, not just the most exciting bit -- and hopefully most of the game is exciting. And this question is also related to the also popular "Why should I care about this game?" which I used to see a lot, though not much lately -- probably because sounds confrontational and thus requires clarification.
Logged

Jasper McChesney
Primeval Games Press
Adam Cerling
Member

Posts: 159

WhiteRat


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2005, 09:04:42 AM »

1.   What is the game about?
2.   What do the characters do?
3.   What do the players do?

The Pool is an excellent game, and yet I don't think you can really answer (1) and (2) for it. Is that a failing of my understanding, of the Pool or of the questions?

I ask because the game I'm working on is "generic" like the Pool. These questions stare back at me with defiance. I wonder if understanding why they don't fit would help define other helpful questions.
Logged

Adam Cerling
In development: Ends and Means -- Live Role-Playing Focused on What Matters Most.
Josh Roby
Member

Posts: 1055

Category Three Forgite


WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2005, 09:22:01 AM »

"What kind of play (behavior) do you want to encourage/reward?"

I think a better phrasing would be "How does your game encourage the players to address what the game is about?"
Logged

Troy_Costisick
Member

Posts: 802


WWW
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2005, 10:58:30 AM »

Heya

Quote
I ask because the game I'm working on is "generic" like the Pool. These questions stare back at me with defiance. I wonder if understanding why they don't fit would help define other helpful questions.

WhiteRat, I do not want this thread to break down into "what are the answers to these three questions conserning Game X."  I assure you that there are excellent answers to all these questions for the Pool.  As for your game, I really do advise that you consider how the three questions I outlined above apply to your game as well as the follow up questions that have been suggested by others.  If you cannot come up with answers, I suggest making a post in Indie Design or Actual Play (if you've play tested it yet) and asking for advice and insight.  I know that always helps me.

I like the questions so far guys, but I'm sure there are a few more out there.  Keep 'em comin' :)

Peace,

-Troy
Logged

Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2005, 11:11:54 AM »

1.   What is the game about?
2.   What do the characters do?
3.   What do the players do?
As a corollary to question 3:

3b: What does the GM do?

Darren
Logged

Ben Lehman
Member

Posts: 2094

Blissed


WWW
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2005, 11:14:45 AM »

"Which aspect of your game are you most excited about?"

I always phrase this one "why is your game awesome?"  Incredibly useful question.  It's my first question to myself about a game design.

yrs--
--Ben
Logged

Josh Roby
Member

Posts: 1055

Category Three Forgite


WWW
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2005, 11:32:27 AM »

To tangent very slightly, Ben, do you have an answer to that question when you start designing, or only after you've gotten hip-deep in it?
Logged

Clyde L. Rhoer
Member

Posts: 391


« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2005, 04:09:54 PM »

To give the opinion of someone who is tackling number 3 right now, and working on my first game.

I have been lurking about a bit trying to learn the language here for months. Watching Indie Game design, I saw that the three questions are asked over and over again. It took me awhile to think about them and approach them before I posted about my game. Increasing this standard questioning will increase the points of contact between having something I need help with and getting help. It may have the chance of driving off people who are trying to design indie games. The Forge is difficult enough to pick up on with learning the Lexicon, asking a whole bunch of questions will add to the learning curve.

If the goal is to provoke thought, then making a post of whatever number of questions the community comes up with and making it a sticky post might work better than asking them in each thread created in the Indie Game Design forum. It is a bit intimidating already. That or allowing the person to answer the three, get help and then pose additional questions could work too.

What I'm trying to say is that the present three questions are good in that they say, " We need you to have some minimum things thought out before we can try to help you, simply so we can understand." Increasing it much beyond that is going to make it feel like, "you need to do all this before we will try to help you."
Logged

Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.
timfire
Member

Posts: 756


WWW
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2005, 04:20:45 PM »

Y'all should check out this thread from about a year and a half ago: Streamlining Design

Mike Holmes, in particular, suggested 10 or so REALLY good questions that game designers should ask themselves.
Logged

--Timothy Walters Kleinert
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2005, 12:08:19 AM »

0. What are you, the game designer, totally excited and pumped about?
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Pages: [1] 2
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!