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Author Topic: [Infinity] Ronnies feedback  (Read 804 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: January 03, 2006, 02:04:20 PM »

Infinity by Kirk Mitchell is another excellent Game Notion. This is the one where you wake up in a wasteland of mud, with one gun and one bullet; it's the partner game to delete, for sure.

I like the various equations with Longings and Wishes, but I can't quite see how the two interact dynamically during play, in terms of plain fictional content. Basically, you have a Longing, and the NPC has a Wish, and the two of you confront one another. Why should Longings and Wishes necessarily be opposed? Must they be? What if a player comes up with a perfectly reasonable way for them to be compatible (trust me, they will)?

Must one always must escalate? That can't be right, can it? I mean, the text says, "You must escalate further." If so, then play seems like a masochistic exercise in which the only question is how much will you put up with until you end it all.

The most interesting aspect of the game for me comes from the notes at the end, and I can't help but mention that, uh, firing the gun is suicide, right? What would you think of play in which firing the gun did not occur? How might this play reach any sort of conclusion instead?

Best,
Ron
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Kirk Mitchell
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2006, 12:29:29 AM »

Hi Ron, I've been really busy lately so haven't had a chance to check up on the goings on here. Just dealing with each point you make as it comes (and thinking it through as I go along, so please bear with me if I tend to ramble):

Quote
I like the various equations with Longings and Wishes, but I can't quite see how the two interact dynamically during play, in terms of plain fictional content. Basically, you have a Longing, and the NPC has a Wish, and the two of you confront one another. Why should Longings and Wishes necessarily be opposed? Must they be? What if a player comes up with a perfectly reasonable way for them to be compatible (trust me, they will)?

To be honest, I don't know at the moment. I'll have to think about this one. Longing represents how inhuman or detatched the character has become, and their desperation to get it back (hence "longing"). It doesn't necessarily have to be opposed to the NPC's Wish, which is something that the NPC wants from the player character that they are unwilling to give up. I envisaged something more surreal and Brothers Grimm, like wanting all of the player character's memories of their home, their heart (both figuratively and literally in a box), a magic mirror or somesuch thing. But when I think this through, this does necessarily put the Wish and Longing at odds, if the Wish that the player character posesses is essentially the representation of the last vestiges of their ability to feel, their connection to their humanity and a world that made some sort of sense (as opposed to the Beckettian wasteland they inhabit now). Its a matter of "you are trying to take what I have, the only thing that I have, and I'm not going to let you." How does that sound (assuming that I make any sense at all)?

Quote
Must one always must escalate? That can't be right, can it? I mean, the text says, "You must escalate further." If so, then play seems like a masochistic exercise in which the only question is how much will you put up with until you end it all.

Actually, yeah, that was exactly how I envisaged it. The whole objective of that rule is to drive the characters towards using the gun, to see how desperate they can get. But I can see how that would be a problem in terms of how the game might potentially progress (good taste isn't necisarily my main concern). What I was aiming for was something akin to an even mixture of Kafka, Beckett and Plath, but that does not necisarily entail a constant increase in violence does it? I'd be interested to hear any suggestions you might have.

Quote
The most interesting aspect of the game for me comes from the notes at the end, and I can't help but mention that, uh, firing the gun is suicide, right? What would you think of play in which firing the gun did not occur? How might this play reach any sort of conclusion instead?

Well, suicide is certainly one option when firing the gun. The gun (if I can be as presumptuous as to venture into metaphors) represents to my mind a way out, the last act of desperation, the ultimate of impersonality and lack of feeling. It is being violent without being connected to the subject of that violence, and that applies to both murder and suicide. I think it would be interesting to see that when all is said and done there is no real conclusion, no real resolution to "the story", in the event that the gun is not fired. Perhaps some sort of sequence or structure of play that says this is the beginning, this is the middle, this is the end, and if you can hold out for that long, the story ends with stagnation or something equally hollow, or perhaps you reach the end of the story and you have a choice: the gun, or inaction. Sort of like the ending of Waiting For Godot, or perhaps Brazil, The Trial or Metamorphosis. I'll see what mechanics I can churn up that reflect this.

Lastly, Ron, I have a question: Where is it that the game falls apart? I'm asking for specifics, so I can see the holes and plug them. I'm great with the airy-fairy general stuff, but just a tad slow when it comes to the actual nuts and bolts and would love it if you would help me hobble along a bit.

Many thanks,
Kirk
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