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Started by David Berg, November 04, 2006, 09:25:56 PM
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 08, 2006, 06:35:02 PMSo there's kind of a large-scale "stuff going on" interest, and within that, a sense of strengthening the big picture by paying attention to the
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 09, 2006, 08:11:54 AMI am looking for those things about play . . . which are recognized by all of you as "why we're here." Not as a motive that brought you here, but rather as an activity that you do here. When I say "recognized," I do not mean articulated or even internally thought - I mean recognized as evidenced by responses, communication, and reinforcement among you.
QuoteSo there's kind of a large-scale "stuff going on" interest, and within that, a sense of strengthening the big picture by paying attention to the sub-units of the events. And it goes the other way too, in that the more you get a better idea of "what's going on," the more commitment you can bring to smaller-scale units like fights.
QuoteAs a GM, I've gotten into the habit of chatting with players individually about what they do and don't like and do and don't want to do in my games. In every game I've run, the answers have varied. One guy wants to learn more about what's going on in the setting, another guy wants problems to solve, another guy wants to kill shit and turn his character into a badass. The ways in which I've tailored my games in an attempt to enhance player fun has been by combining these elements so there's "something for everyone." Subjectively, it seems to me that my tailoring often does result in the game being more fun overall.
QuoteNow, one difference between this process (A) and my design process (B), is that in (A) I've been thinking about how to "make the game work" for the collection of individuals who are "my friends who like some form of roleplaying", whereas in (B) I've been thinking about how to "make the game work" for the collection of individuals who are "people I've never met who like the form of roleplaying I'm pitching". (Said pitch includes issues of consistent and realistic setting detail and resolution mechanics, plus a certain aesthetic to the historical and supernatural aspects of the setting.)I guess my first question is, "What is your take on this process?" Feel free to be highly critical and to tell me that your design strategy is totally different and way better -- that's mostly what I'm here at the Forge for, design advice.
QuoteI am looking for those things about play . . . which are recognized by all of you as "why we're here." Not as a motive that brought you here, but rather as an activity that you do here. When I say "recognized," I do not mean articulated or even internally thought - I mean recognized as evidenced by responses, communication, and reinforcement among you.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 13, 2006, 11:45:50 AMThe answers you get to direct questioning about goals will vary, because people are always focusing on style and technique, not on expressed/active goals and shared priorities. . . . I've decided that simple polling or interviewing isn't the best way to address any kind of Creative Agenda question or development. It's fine for the details; if Joe wants more fightiness per unit play-time, there's no reason why not to get some more fights in there, or if Sue wants the "lost father" on her sheet to freakin' show up already, then sure, again, why not. Communicating and talking are just right for that stuff.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 13, 2006, 11:45:50 AMI think that CA-type thinking is going to help you out a lot if you can see just what to apply it to
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 13, 2006, 11:45:50 AMif you're in a scenario, then the investigations, conversations, and fights are part of making that basic scenario into the SIS, and resolving it as a feature of an ongoing, developing plot (for lack of a better word) . . . However, when this is made into the primary, driving aesthetic goal of play, so that the syncretic, responsive attention to the whole SIS' integrity [is] not just a key feature, but actually a goal in action - there you go, that's some Sim for you, baby. . . . Any thoughts on that?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 30, 2005, 08:49:39 AMA great deal of the aesthetic power of Simulationist play, as I see it (and I mean that literally), lies in (a) adding to or developing that package, and (b) enjoying its resiliency against potential violation. . . .This "package" rests ultimately on a shared understanding and agreement about the inspirational material. The group often enters into a shared denial that the "package" is constructed by them, identifying their particular excitement about the material with the source itself. . . .To stick with the example, let's say your group is enjoying this Star Trek role-playing experience. Then someone in the group announces an action for a character which demonstrates that he or she, the player, doesn't understand the group's shared agreement about what Star Trek "is" in the first place . . .I anticipate that the other members of the group will strongly, and in some cases semi-hysterically, insist that their shared interpretation is "objective fact," or any number of other similar terms. These are not useful conceptual terms, but they are very effective social code for sanctioning the input of the person who has broken the constructive denial.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 30, 2005, 08:49:39 AMin Simulationist play, there must be an ongoing, reinforced agreement about a set of information that cannot be threatened. This is our shared understanding of what we bring into the imagined events of play, and it must be seen as a complete package - not only the five components of Exploration, but also any thematic or other emergent content.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 13, 2006, 11:45:50 AMI've been a little interested throughout this thread in that you have kept your own interactions, character choices, or other impressions of play pretty much out of it. I'd like to see more of that.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 13, 2006, 11:45:50 AMWhat do you do, during play?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 13, 2006, 11:45:50 AMHow do you reward/reinforce stuff that other people do, GM included?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 13, 2006, 11:45:50 AMWhat do they do for you?
Quote(... "what does Sim/Gam/Nar play look like?) and relating it to design.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 16, 2006, 11:08:46 AMIs that clear? Reasonable? This is a non-negotiable question that overrides any particular paragraph-to-paragraph exchange between us so far in this thread.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 16, 2006, 11:08:46 AMDavid, do you understand why I have suggested a Simulationist interpretation of your group's Werewolf game?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 16, 2006, 11:08:46 AMWhat is so functional (consistently fun) about this activity that this group continues to play this game together?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 08, 2006, 06:35:02 PMSo in your case, what I'm seeing is exactly the opposite of what I identified in Andreas' game description - his experience was a balls-to-the-wall form of Gamist play, and hence all the Exploration/SIS was a means to that end. Your group's appears to me to be the opposite - action-packed, yes, and very fighty, but the structure being built on your platform is basically more/higher/cooler stuff of the same material as the platform.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 08, 2006, 06:35:02 PMWhat makes something intrinsically Gamist is the strong possibility that an actual person playing can flatly lose, and when the only way to make that less likely is to exhibit personal strategy and guts. Not to portray them in one's character, but to demonstrate them yourelf
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 08, 2006, 06:35:02 PMYour examples of strategy-and-guts were quite minor in terms of high-priority reward and consequence. As far as I can tell, in your game, losing a fight, not getting some information, failing to hold onto a captive, are all means of getting deeper into the SIS, not judgment-heavy consequences of pressured decisions.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 08, 2006, 06:35:02 PMI especially do not see any sort of social consequence and reinforcement of any Gamist priorities (values, goals, whatever) around the table.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 08, 2006, 06:35:02 PMAll the way from top to bottom, I'm seeing a common goal: portrayal, appreciation of one another's portrayal, and interest in what each scenario reveals about a larger backdrop. So there's kind of a large-scale "stuff going on" interest, and within that, a sense of strengthening the big picture by paying attention to the sub-units of the events. And it goes the other way too, in that the more you get a better idea of "what's going on," the more commitment you can bring to smaller-scale units like fights. . . . when this is made into the primary, driving aesthetic goal of play, so that the syncretic, responsive attention to the whole SIS' integrity not just a key feature, but actually a goal in action - there you go, that's some Sim for you, baby.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 16, 2006, 11:08:46 AMSo if I point at an example of, say, Narrativist play like Levi's Frostfolk group, and if you look at it and say "Oh! Those situations and techniques," you will have descended into a hell of incomprehension that is very, very hard to emerge from.
QuoteWhat I was not able to determine was what was more vital to them having fun -- the fact that they shared a CA, or the fact that they shared a taste for techniques and situations. The causal relationship between the two was also not apparent to me:1) Does their shared CA lead to these techniques being fun?2) Does their shared taste in techniques (indirectly) lead to them forming a coherent CA?3) Is it just a coincidence that they have both a shared CA and a shared taste in techniques?It seems possible to me that some groups I've played in have achieved enjoyable play because they agree on what techniques they like, despite differing on larger-scale priorities.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 16, 2006, 07:44:46 PMMy take is that if CA is left to fend for itself, or more accurately, if differences in desired CA are left without resolution, then a group can function via what I call incoherent play. They can enjoy how they play together, the techniques and color and whatnot. . . . When those preferences take such priority that they override all else, then people stay together with a group only because it's the only group which doesn't inflict massive irritation upon them via non-desired techniques. This is Mark's Champions game, big-time. Plus nearly any other late-thirties, former college buddies, bored-wife-included, still-playing-Champs (or Ars Magica or D&D or whatever) group. . . . In other words, an incoherent group united in part by techniques is forced to stay with those techniques and will not experience much, if any satisfaction at the level of shared, aesthetic drive. They will tend to suffer through a lot of hitchy-play, or waiting person-by-person, and other hassles.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 16, 2006, 07:44:46 PMNow I think your Werewolf game is coherent, in terms of CA, in no small part due to your presence. So I think that the techniques and situations that people like, and say they like, and say they prioritize so much, do illustrate their gaming history (as I described for incoherent play above) ... but the game works to the extent it does (i.e. a lot) because of the coherence.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 16, 2006, 07:44:46 PMIn my current view, I think that the techniques being employed work because they reinforce the CA, and that even if someone didn't like the non-bucket-seats before, they might grudgingly admit that in this case, this once, the seats are OK after all.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 16, 2006, 07:44:46 PM. . . when the setting is affected enough by your characters' actions to change . . . That will be when we see whether the driving aesthetic of play so far is able to sustain alterations, and will be interesting.
Quote1) which techniques do you see reinforcing the CA and how?
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 21, 2006, 08:43:23 AMAll I'm saying is that this is what it looks like to me based on your account, and my only goal is that it be considered, as food for thought at least. If you are reasonably sure you get what I'm saying, then we can be done.
Quote from: David Berg on November 16, 2006, 05:36:03 PMBaseball/Football/Soccer are G/N/S, "Team Sports" is Roleplaying, and that was an Incoherent game that failed and dissolved due to CA clash.
Quote from: David Berg on November 16, 2006, 05:36:03 PMHere's my best guess at a non-Gamist "tell":
QuoteI am pondering two mental models:MODEL ONEThere is some spectrum between:1) incoherence where some players would probably like to be playing Sim but it just isn't happeningand2) Sim play where everyone is totally on the same page about what desirable/appropriate and undesirable/inappropriate
QuoteAs well, there is a spectrum between:1) play with some Gam and Sim values that is a true hybridand2) play which is Sim only
QuoteMODEL TWOCA's use is as a yes/no switch, and a game can only be either Gam or Sim or Nar or Incoherent or a specific form of Hybrid which upholds two CAs in a certain way.
QuoteThat is a very useful definition. So, let's see. If we're fighting to stop a vampire from poisoning the water, and the rest of the PCs are fighting his henchmen, and1) Shimmer fights the vampire, and the vampire kills him, poisons the water, and runs away, and 2) the game continues, and we suspect we'll face the vampire again, and 3) Matt decides Shimmer can't be resurrected but encourages John to play a new character --did John just flatly lose or not?Suppose the vampire killed Shimmer because John made some hideous tactical error. Now did he flatly lose?This hasn't happened, but I for one like to believe that it could happen, and occasionally Matt says things to imply that we should be worried about this happening. How important is it that we may tacitly understand, deep down, that this is extremely unlikely?
QuoteI'm still fuzzy on how to implement your diagnostic process myself. But, in the context of the Werewolf game, I have an idea:People care if they win or lose fights. Why?People praise each other's strategic contributions. Why?The two above facts do not make a game Gamist. The answers to the "why"s are far more telling about whether a game is Gamist or not. In my game, as the "why"s point to components of exploration (Setting, Situation, Color) rather than direct player victory/success -- well, there you have is one possible indication that my game is Sim rather than Gam.If this is on-track, then I get part of how you deduced that this game is Sim.
QuoteIf these two earlier stabs are also on-track, then I am indeed comfortable ending this thread, secure that discussion this game has contributed all it's going to in my understanding of G/N/S:If I'm still lost on some part of the theory, though, I'd appreciate you letting me know and working through it with me just a little further.
QuoteMind if I try an analogy to test my understanding of GNS? It seems to work for a lot of folks.Player B shows up at a field with a leather glove and small, white ball. Player F shows up at the same field with a an oblong, brown ball. Player S also shows up with a big black and white ball made of hexagons. They stare at each other, come closer. Then Player B begins tossing the ball to himself, Player F begins tossing his ball to himself, and Player S begins kicking his ball to himself. At this point, player B is not playing Baseball, F is not playing Football, S is not playing Soccer. They've enjoyed playing those games before, but now they're not playing any games, they're just, y'know, wanking.At some point, they say, "Hey, we all like Team Sports, let's do something together." So they decide, "The pitcher pitches the ball, the goalie kicks the ball, the defensive lineman tackles whoever's closest." Play doesn't turn out to be much fun, as no one appreciates what the other guys are doing, and it's a sequence of "just waiting and then taking my turn". After a while, they go their separate ways.Baseball/Football/Soccer are G/N/S, "Team Sports" is Roleplaying, and that was an Incoherent game that failed and dissolved due to CA clash.
QuoteNo. "Stop right there," like in the Meat Loaf song."Style" is a terrible word and I've never used it for CA-stuff, not even back when I first started writing about it. This is not merely a semantic preference. As long as you keep using "style," you'll be focusing on things which, relative to CA, are trivial.Style differences are like choosing which motorcycle you like to ride, and maybe whether you prefer to do your repairs yourself or take it to the mechanic. I'm talking about the differences between riding a motorcycle and placing it upside down among bronzed cabbages as a sculpture. The differences among distinct CAs, socially speaking, are so vast that you can barely even say the different groups are even carrying out the same activity.
Quote... it's like the difference between one guy who rides his motorcycle to work and back, and another guy who suspends a motorcycle upside down, surrounds it with bronzed cabbages, and gives it a name like "Cosmos." You could say they both like motorcycles, and you could even say they both conceivably could sell their motorcycles. But to say they exist on two ends of any sort of spectrum with common aesthetic grounds of "what to do with a motorcycle" is pretty dumb - or a person would have to be so PoMo to justify it, that I'm not interested in talking to that person.You could make a triangle out of three guys who ride their motorcycles differently - a racer, a guy who commutes to work, and a guy who pretties up the bike most of the time and tools it around a little at shows. But to me, taking that to aesthetic and creative stuff like role-playing, that's just one CA with a variety of techniques/approaches.