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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 47 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [In the Beginning] Ronnies feedback  (Read 781 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: November 02, 2005, 10:47:30 AM »

Hello,

This one's a bit like Cosmos. For some reason, this round of Ronnies tended to produce games in pairs - two boxing games, two LARP-ish games, two Dante games, and so on, plus a whole bunch of space-rangers. Anyway, this one's part of the "psycho geniuses" pair, and its strongest feature for that purpose is the personal icon, which I dig.

Unfortunately, as I read, my basic question was, where's the role-playing? And I'm not talking about acting out the part of a character, which one can do in playing nearly any game. I'm concerned with not seeing any SIS at all ... no scenes, no events, no fiction. And in that absence,  the Token use is rendered meaningless - overall, I reluctantly had to concede finding no "there" there.

Tim, what do you think? Is there another angle you might take toward addressing the same basic idea?

Best,
Ron
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Tim Alexander
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2005, 01:00:43 PM »

Hey Ron,

Unfortunately, as I read, my basic question was, where's the role-playing? And I'm not talking about acting out the part of a character, which one can do in playing nearly any game. I'm concerned with not seeing any SIS at all ... no scenes, no events, no fiction. And in that absence,  the Token use is rendered meaningless - overall, I reluctantly had to concede finding no "there" there.

I wanted to put restraints on scene creation, so that scenes sort of popped out of the randomizer and the group used that prompting to create the SIS. Unfortunately it doesn't really do that. I'm not sure if that's because taking scene choice out of the hands of the players is a bad idea, or having only conflicts or advancements makes it too limited, or some other reason I've missed. Do you see that, or am I still missing something more fundamental?

Quote
Tim, what do you think? Is there another angle you might take toward addressing the same basic idea?

I think this is a problem that recurs in most of the faltering attempts I've made at design in the past. I won't be able to create a successful design until I work out what the heck I'm not doing here. I mean I think I can recognize this sort of thing in other games, but I don't have a good handle on how to create it. After working on this I actually had this other idea I started working on, but I think it's suffering from much the same problem in my notes as they stand. It makes me think I may not even be getting what you're talking about.

-Tim
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2005, 03:20:51 PM »

Hi Tim,

I think it comes with this line:

Quote
... the group used that prompting to create the SIS

I get the prompting, the randomizer part. I'm good with that. But how is the SIS created? Who talks? Who does what? What does a character do?

My suggestion is to get into the more basic imaginative components of Exploration: Character, Setting, and Situation. Right now, all I see is System, and it's sort of a global or overall mechanic with no in-game time.

And System is in-game time; if it doesn't provide that, then it's not System at all. Think about Character and Setting and Situation; start with whichever you like, relate it to whichever other one you want, and then extrapolate reasonably to the third.

When you have Situation bolstered by the other two, then you can think about System, and how it makes Situation move.

Best,
Ron
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Tim Alexander
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2005, 07:30:12 PM »

My suggestion is to get into the more basic imaginative components of Exploration: Character, Setting, and Situation. Right now, all I see is System, and it's sort of a global or overall mechanic with no in-game time.

And System is in-game time; if it doesn't provide that, then it's not System at all. Think about Character and Setting and Situation; start with whichever you like, relate it to whichever other one you want, and then extrapolate reasonably to the third.

When you have Situation bolstered by the other two, then you can think about System, and how it makes Situation move.

Holy crap, it's like you can apply theory to design! I'm such a bonehead sometimes. So let me make sure I'm seeing this right. If you don't prescribe one of the elements explicitly you have to have some way for the group to create it, and if you have neither it just doesn't cut it. Or at best everyone has to flounder around and figure it out, and you just built a game guaranteed to drift. And dammit that's right out of the essays.

It's interesting, I was pretty down on this game because I didn't much see how to fix it, but I think I've got a few ideas. I agree with you about really liking the Icon. I think the tact I'll take is to make the aspects of the Icon more closely tied to the components. Those mappings are sort of already there (Adherents-> Character, Domain -> Setting, Ideals/Convincers -> Situation) but as it stands now they have no material link other than color. Scenes would then be built by mixing and matching those components in response to the randomized pressures. Or something. It's gonna really need a big rewrite.

-Tim
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