*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 23, 2014, 05:27:27 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: Fastlane: 2nd Printing  (Read 4388 times)
Lxndr
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« on: August 01, 2006, 09:13:02 AM »

There is an ever-dwindling amount of copies remaining from my "too big for my britches" Fastlane print run back in 2004, and by either the end of this year or the beginning of the next, they should all be gone.  In light of this, I've been reviewing the rules text again, looking for places where I can modify the wording, etc.  I've already taken Ed's very helpful suggestion from this thread:

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=14030.0

But, for those who have read and played and run Fastlane, where else is the phrasing confusing, or things seem to be in the wrong place, etc?

Also consider this first warning that the rules on Life are expected to get a minor overhaul.  The more experience I have with Fastlane, the more I feel Burnout isn't nearly the threat it should be; it will be getting more urgency after the rules changes.
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2591


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2006, 11:08:11 AM »

From my experience with people reading the book, the one thing Fastlane first and foremost needs is a thought-out, clear visual diagram of how chips from between the different pools and usages. Most people seem to need (me included) three read-throughs and two sessions of play before internalizing the whole structure. It's certainly logical, but there's simply so many direct chip flows that the overall feel becomes heavy and abstract.

But that's just my perspective.
Logged

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2006, 06:44:45 AM »

My call is that the text assumes the reader understands Roulette. Knowing absolutely nothing about that game, I find the Fastlane text totally opaque. I only realized this when Jake, who does understand Roulette, explained the Fastlane text by pointing out how each rule or rules-section utilized some Roulette-type rule.

I mean, maybe it's hard to explain the depths of my ignorance ... try to see the game from the perspective of someone who doesn't even know you make a "cross" on the game board based on where your piece is, to see what numbers are involved. I didn't know that.

Best, Ron
Logged
Lxndr
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2006, 10:44:57 AM »

Eero: 

Hm.  What sort of visual diagram?  I'm one of the least-visual thinkers in the world that isn't actually blind, and I'm having trouble imagining what a diagram like that might look like.  Perhaps I should seek someone out who knows the game and has played it, and who also thinks visually and has talent setting that sort of stuff out in a pleasing manner, and commission from them a diagram or set of diagrams.

Ron:

To maybe illustrate how much I know, and how much I expect others to know: make a "cross" on the game board?  I'm a bit confused, and not sure to what you're referring.  Really, everything I know about the game of Roulette I took from Wikipedia, math books on probability, and free online 'gambling tactics' websites, none of which seem to reference "making a cross".  I've never once played Roulette outside of Fastlane and a few free, downloadable, play-by-yourself type programs.  I learned pretty much everything I knew while writing Fastlane, most of it self-taught (which is maybe why I have no idea what you're talking about by this "cross on the game board" thing).

All I consciously expected people to know about Roulette is:  "You put the chips on the board, and if they win, you get more chips back than you put down.  The more numbers on which you can win, the less you get back."  Anything beyond that is just gravy.  Apparently I've failed at that expectation.  In the next version I'll add a section on "If you've never played Roulette before, or need a refresher..." in the early section where you might find "What is an RPG?" in other books, maybe that will help?
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
Lxndr
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2006, 03:15:30 PM »

Okay, so far the following changes have occurred:

1)  More sub-headers, which hopefully will make it easier to find things.  I also rearranged a few sections that seemed bizarrely out of order, 3 years later, but I'm sure made sense in that order when I first wrote the game.

2)  I moved the 'how to play roulette' stuff, which was sort of just buried in the book with everything else, out into its own section, and it will get an illustration to go with it signifying what various bets actually look like on the table.  I still have no idea what Ron's referring to regarding the making of a cross, but hopefully what I do have, plus the illustration, will be enough to give people a better grasp on the roulette game.

3)  I've added some clarifying text, amounting to about an extra 1500 words (more or less). This includes taking a page from previous questions posted in the forum. Among other things: the text now refers to the place where chips come from as the House (to differentiate it from the various Banks), gives a name to "the part of the take that isn't the winnings" - the return, and explains the reasons behind handicaps in more detail.

4)  I moved the Speculation rules to a new section labeled 'Special Tricks'. I also added a discussion on how to do a montage, taken from Dev's minisized play report here. If you can think of any other things that a person might want to do with the rules that aren't immediately apparent, please share them with me.

5)  I also changed the name of protagonists to 'characters' and of supporting characters to 'faces in the crowd.' It sounds less clinical, and more in line with the style and feel I want Fastlane to give, especially when it comes to the perceived pecking order between the players and the NPCs.

6)  I overhauled the handling of Life scores.  The most specific bit I did was define specifically what a "win" or a "loss" is, when it comes to gaining or losing Life, which will hopefully reduce the possible confusion there.  There are numerous other bits that will basically amount to burnout happening more often.

7)  I removed the optional rules for Distributed Authority.  They were never really playtested well, and the game's changed to the point where they're no longer useful or even really possible.  Echoes of the setup that I was trying for in DA can still be seen in Ensemble, which I hope will be released around the same time Fastlane is ready for a second printing.

Things Still To Come:

1)  I plan on adding a few more examples.  The nifty examples just sort of... stop before all the rules are explained, and an example or two showing, say, the way favors work, etc., I imagine will be helpful in learning the game.

2)  Maybe one or more thought out, clear visual diagrams if Eero would give me any idea what one would look like (see: pre-established inability towards visual representations).
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2591


WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2006, 11:42:24 PM »

Just to note I haven't forgotten this. I'll come back after Gencon/Ropecon, I'm a bit busy with things now.
Logged

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
Yokiboy
Member

Posts: 363


WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2006, 04:16:09 AM »

Hello Alexander,

1)  I plan on adding a few more examples.  The nifty examples just sort of... stop before all the rules are explained, and an example or two showing, say, the way favors work, etc., I imagine will be helpful in learning the game.

This is exactly what I was going to request. You have great examples of the rules to start with, but all of a sudden they just die off, and it becomes a lot harder to grok what's going on.

TTFN,

Yoki
Logged

Lxndr
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2006, 07:57:07 AM »

Continuing adventures in Fastlane:

(1) There's now over 4,000 words difference between the rules texts, and at least half of them are new examples to round out the book, continuing the adventures of our foursome of players all the way to just before the Burnout section.  That said, I think the actual differences in the rules can be boiled down to a page or two.

(2) I had an inspiration that let me add Distributed Authority back into the rules, so ignore my earlier comments about that.  I missed something super-obvious that makes it work, and a brief playtest has given me hope. 

In other news: Already people were coming to the GenCon booth this weekend and asking about Fastlane's 2nd printing - I fear I may have shot myself in the foot here, since after all, I don't really have the wherewithal to do the second printing until the first printing is sold out, and if people aren't buying the first printing because the 2nd printing is being planned, that's a harsh loop.  I might have a plan to get me out of that hole, but any suggestions would be much welcomed.

Also, one more question:

I adore the coil-bound nature of Fastlane, but at the Forge booth and elsewhere, it seems that I'm in the minority there - the Path of the Perfect Bind is definitely the road more travelled, with coils somewhat farther behind.  A lot of the games that I own which are coil bound seem to not be any longer in their new printings.  Is there something nifty and awesome about the so-called "perfect" binding that I'm missing?  Or is it simply that customers are more likely to grab a perfect-bound book than otherwise?
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
iago
Member

Posts: 863


WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2006, 05:36:23 PM »

I adore the coil-bound nature of Fastlane, but at the Forge booth and elsewhere, it seems that I'm in the minority there - the Path of the Perfect Bind is definitely the road more travelled, with coils somewhat farther behind.  A lot of the games that I own which are coil bound seem to not be any longer in their new printings.  Is there something nifty and awesome about the so-called "perfect" binding that I'm missing?  Or is it simply that customers are more likely to grab a perfect-bound book than otherwise?

This is just me: Coil-bound communicates to me "this is like a notebook, and the pages are meant to be ripped out".  Perfect bound communicates to me "this is a serious book to be taken as a whole".
Logged

Lxndr
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2006, 11:08:11 AM »

Yes, that seems to be the majority opinion, from everyone I've polled.  And since format isn't all that important to me (it's the content I'm trying to communicate and sell to people), I think I'm going to get some quotes for perfect binding prints.
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
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!