*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 21, 2014, 07:12:00 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: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2 3
Print
Author Topic: Game Jam  (Read 9991 times)
vikingmage
Member

Posts: 15


« on: August 01, 2007, 03:12:26 PM »

I don't know if this has been done before ... and being new to the site I could just be recreating something that has been tried a hundred times, but has just been pushed so far down the messageboard it needs Indiana Jones to dig it out.

I am an illustrator/artist with a love of comics. In the past I have started a number of comic jams. Drawing one panel of a story, then leaving it open for another artist to continue the story. They then kick it onto another creator. etc etc etc until the whole thing reaches a natural conclusion or it hits someone whose enthusiasm has flagged. The results are almost always surreal and very entertaining.

Well I was thinking ... what about designing a game in such a fashion. Grab some willing designers ... decide on a random order of attack. The first designer starts a paragraph off .. kicks it onto the next person. Who knows what weird genre ... character statistics ... game mechanics ... illustrations ... adventure ideas ... well eventually fuse together. It might be a nightmare ... it might be something wonderful.

We could come up with some basic ground rules. No entry longer than half a side of A4 at 10pt type. Pass on to the next creator after a day ... etc.

Anyone fancy this?
Logged
Vulpinoid
Member

Posts: 803

Kitsune Trickster


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2007, 05:47:46 PM »

Just a few comments based on past experience when trying to set up this sort of thing...

I don't know how well this would work with setting up a game system.

It would work with setting out a roleplaying scenario or story.

One person describes the events of scene 1, then any outcomes or ramifications from the different possible results. The next person then describes a new scene linked to the first, with possible variations that might come into play based on the events that have come before...the third person can then design another scene with variations and influences based on the first two...etc.

Maybe allowing a dozen scenes, or allowing everyone in the loop to generate two or three scenes.

For a game system, it might be better to lay down some ground rules.

Example 1.
We're basing this on d20. We are designing a city where each participant gets to describe a location within the town (docks, red-light district, markets, artisan's district, university, space-port, etc.) and they get to design a prestige class which is available to the members of that part of town. Once everyone designs and describes their part of town, the character class, and a couple of NPCs, the whole lot is thrown together to make a wild and wacky place where time and space collide. 

This has the advantage that it will result in a playable setting, no matter how wacky it may be. But it doesn't provide the true flexibility and chaos of designing a system from scratch.

Example 2.
The only dice we're using for this system is a d6. The simple mechanic that forms the basis of the rules is that the better you are at a given task, the more dice you roll. If a die beats the required difficulty to succeed. One person starts by designing an attribute/skill system...the next person designs a Combat system...the next person designs a Magic system...the next person designs a character class or two incoprorating things that have been developed so far...the next person can choose to design more character classes or can start to develop aspects of the setting...and so on.

Of course, if the designers were limited to a page each, then it could take two or three designers to fully describe the combat system before moving on to the next stage...


I'd also make sure each member has two or three days to complete their part of the text before handing it on to the next person. Some people might want a week or so, to work on their sections, but if there are more than two or three people involved, then this means it might take a month or more before a participant gets the chance to work on it again (which will often cause interest to flag). Getting someone to complete their section in a day, will often mean people find life gets in the way and they just don't have the time to work on their part. If a person gets skipped a couple of times like this, they'll also lose interest pretty quickly.

Don't get me wrong, it's worth doing, but I haven't seen it done successfully when it's been done as loosely as a comic jam.

V
Logged

A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Seth M. Drebitko
Member

Posts: 304


WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 05:57:32 PM »

I suppose one way to handle this could be to set up a group who would break up into little pairs each handling one aspect of the system. I think there is to much involved to simply add a paragraph or so. I would be interested in something like this but it would be difficult to figure out:

1. Who works on what
2. What order things should be handled

Again I do like this idea and will think on it for a bit. As for now I think it would be cool if a small group created the setting, then every one broke up into groups and created and rpg  based on the setting. This would provide a variety of interesting rule sets.

Regards, Seth
Logged

MicroLite20 at www.KoboldEnterprise.com
The adventure's just begun!
vikingmage
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2007, 06:56:36 PM »

Thanks for the feedback and excellent suggestions.

The Mechanics. One of the reasons I enjoy comic jams so much is often you have to deal with "out there" concepts dropped on you by others. This causes you to think around problems you wouldn't have let yourself in for if you were in complete control of the beast. If someone before you decides the system is the first 1D4 system ever ... then you have the challenge of designing your section (whatever you decide this to be) using 1D4 mechanics. If you are boggled by the challenge of doing the next obvious section of the rules, then move on and create some other aspect that appeals to you.

It maybe better to split off into small groups or teams to create designated sections. Then pass the beast onto others to work up complimentary sections on setting or character creation.

Certainly my idea of having just a day to write and pass on was just a rough idea. I am happy to set the individual deadline at anything that individuals feel is workable. My experience with comic and story jams is the longer the period chosen the greater the chance of the project stalling. Everyone's excitement boils away as they wait for their turn and the wait becomes longer and longer as the project sits on someone's hard drive.

Maybe if we had a running order
1) Introduction to the concept of gaming
2) The Setting/concept
3) Statistics used to define the player characters
4) Character Creation
5) Task Resolution
6) Background Details
7) Useful items and Equipment
Cool Creatures and Monsters

Etc. ... then it passes around in that order. It would certainly be fun for everyone to get a crack at adding items into the more open ended sections of Monsters (if the game contains such things) or Equipment. The course of the game creation may actually make certain sections redundant and create others (A Game of Conflict Set Aboard High Speed Trains wouldn't need a monster list, though it would demand a section on Railway Systems or Passenger Types!)

The Challenge would be how each creator responded to the changing nature of the game.

Naturally the final product could be streamlined and edited by consensus of the entire team invovled (Especially after a spot of play testing.) after the main rule booklet was roughly completed.

Logged
Vulpinoid
Member

Posts: 803

Kitsune Trickster


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2007, 09:42:31 PM »

New idea to bounce at you...


Maybe if we had a running order
1) Introduction to the concept of gaming
2) The Setting/concept
3) Statistics used to define the player characters
4) Character Creation
5) Task Resolution
6) Background Details
7) Useful items and Equipment
Cool Creatures and Monsters

Some people naturally adept at devising really cool settings, others have a natural affinity for numbers and mechanics. It would totally suck if the guy who loves settings and stories got stuck with the mechanics because they were next in line. They could possibly do a bit of background text to explain how the numbers described so far fit in with the world, but in the scheme of things this kind of sudden and disjointed break in continuity just doesn't mesh well in a roleplaying book where continuity is one of the things that makes a game playable. If you've tried reading through Cadwallon from Rackham games, you can see how hard it is to read through a beautifully presented text that has very little continuity and no index.

Jam-style comics are known for their sudden changes of direction, and those who read the genre know to expect sudden changes in storyline. That's the paradigm of the style. A decent number of the players I've dealt with have trouble with any set of rules the first time they read through them, and it takes a couple of games for the concepts to settle in their minds (this has applied in conventions, LARP, Miniatures and Table-Top [yeah, I'm one of those multi-discipline gamers]...). Trying to explain rules that twist and turn all over the place would baffle, bamboozle and generally annoy the s^%t out of most of the gamers I know.

I'm just looking for ways to keep some of the Comic-Jam feel, while devising a playable end-product.

Hypothetically, we get six players involved in the challenge. Each is assigned a base concept for the game:
* Locations (Key places that will show up or even a map of the World)
* Setting (is it mediaevil? cyberpunk? high-fantasy? super high-tech?)
* Gods (How are they worshipped? what do they do? are there any? If not, what takes their place?)
* Base Mechanics (coin flipping? dice? cards? scissors-rock-paper? ouija board?)
* Game Concept (Whether it takes a G,N or S stance, what do the players do?)
* Character Types (Are they kings and rulers? Heroes? Ghosts? Sentient Worms?)

They key to this concept is to pick a number of base concepts that don't really overlap too thoroughly, and where they do, the next stages will help to sort out the mess.

Once the base conpcets have been laid out, everyone moves on to more specific concepts that link the base concepts into a working whole. Everyone moves on to the next two concepts on the list and comes up with a way of how these work together. In the example above, the girl who devised the setting, next moves on to the gods and how they impact apon the base mechanics. the guy who decided the game concept next moves on the the character types and how they tie in with the locations of the world.

This should give everyone a better idea of the direction the game is heading, and now the pieces are filled in. Everyone now gets the chance to nominate an area that they think needs some more work in the game (eg. equipment lists, magic, npcs, better defined skills, television shedules in different parts of the world, the rituals of the pig-bear cult...?), and each person is randomly assigned one of these topics to expand upon.

Each phase of development might last a week, and during this time work is done concurrently by everyone. At the end of each week they throw their ideas together, and the groupstarts working on new ideas within the structure that's developing.

Just some ideas...

V
Logged

A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Seth M. Drebitko
Member

Posts: 304


WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007, 03:09:53 AM »

Just a thought but what if we are thinking the the totally wrong path. An rpg as was stated is (generally) a very planned out thing. What if they all took turns answering one of the questions on something similar to the power 19. This way it ensures  going into things that everyone knows the structure of the game and is mostly adding in their own style to something that will still fit nicely on top of a predefined frame.

Regards, Seth
Logged

MicroLite20 at www.KoboldEnterprise.com
The adventure's just begun!
Filip Luszczyk
Member

Posts: 746

roll-player


WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 06:25:33 AM »

A year ago there was a Reverse Engineering Challenge here - it involved creating character sheets, exchanging them, and writing games that use these sheets. I think it's the closest thing I've heard about.

I agree with Seth, anyway - it would be very tricky to organize such thing without a good frame.

However, one thing that definitely could be done witthout much problem would be something like this:

First, everyone interested brainstorms a game. Everyone adds one feature, or states one feature that he doesn't want to see in the game. For example, it could look kind of like these:

-There are elves in the setting.
-Cool, but they can't be the protagonists.
-Fine, but the resolution incorporates Runes.
-Ok, and no damage or other variable values can be tracked in this game.
-And I want to see a lot of desert environment.
-And some sci-fi elements.
-And it doesn't involve any hard moral or ethical choices.


Repeat until you have a solid enough framework. Then, some unfortunate soul needs to design the game Smiley (I think it's better if a single person works on such a brainstormed concept, as writing a game is not a linear task, like producing a story or drawing a comic. A single author ascertains design consistency.)
Logged

vikingmage
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2007, 10:23:02 AM »

I love the idea of bidding in an idea and adding a restriction. A few rounds of this could actually create an interesting framework for the game. It might result in a wonderful list of first rate ideas and a challenging list of restrictions to work around.
I still don't see why then has to be worked on by one person. Taking Vulpinoid's suggestion aboard about assigning roles based on interest or skill ... why not take the Concept/framework sheet and then split into the individual sections.

It may well end up as an unplayable mess, but even if it does I still think there will enough good ideas that will spawn other projects.

In the broadest sense, just to kick start it off, what would potential creators prefer the game to be ... Gamist/Simulationist/Narrativist?
I suspect that creating a Simulation game in this manner would be rank insanity, but the other two are possible.
Logged
Seth M. Drebitko
Member

Posts: 304


WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2007, 03:48:26 PM »

Filip I too like the idea of biding on concepts. So far I have thought of this much in the way of structuring it.

x number of people join up and receive a number of influence points.

In the first round of concept design everyone in turn order picks one element for free.

For example:
-I want to pick dark fantasy
-well I am going to throw post apocalyptic in
-I want to add steam punk
-I want damage checks no hit points though

After this every one would go around in turn order again doing one of two things:

-adding onto existing concepts
-developing new concepts

Points function in the following method:

Each brand new concept costs 1 point which is burned up and leaves circulation (note expanding on your own concept burns the point)

You may expand on a concept by paying 1 point  to each individual in that chain thus keeping the points in circulation. For example:

I want the Elves to be nasty protagonists who hunt other species to drain the magic from their veins in order to power their sorcery.

well some one laid fantasy down, Elves was then plaid on fantasy so the player who turned the Elves nasty pays one point to each of those other players.



The bidding ends when every one passes in a row, or their are no more points to be spent.

As far as system style I prefer a cross between gamist, and simulationist.

regards, Seth
Logged

MicroLite20 at www.KoboldEnterprise.com
The adventure's just begun!
Seth M. Drebitko
Member

Posts: 304


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2007, 03:49:23 PM »

Sorry Narrativist and Gamist blast no edit button

regards, Seth
Logged

MicroLite20 at www.KoboldEnterprise.com
The adventure's just begun!
vikingmage
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2007, 04:45:33 PM »

Seth, what a brilliant concept. I love it. It almost becomes a game designing a game!

I am also very much in the Gamist/Narrativist camp.I know my players (who will have the end product inflicted on them!) and they are solidly Gamist in nature.

Do we have six interested individuals already? Certainly a lot of folk are reading this thread (or the same three people are reading it a lot of times!)
Logged
Vulpinoid
Member

Posts: 803

Kitsune Trickster


WWW
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2007, 07:49:59 PM »

Do we have six interested individuals already? Certainly a lot of folk are reading this thread (or the same three people are reading it a lot of times!)

I think it's the same few people...I've read it thirty times or so.

As for the GNS split, I think a good game involves elements of the three in harmony, but most games will tend to one of the extremes. I probably tend more toward the Narrative camp when roleplaying, but that because I get out my G's and S's through miniatures and other forms of strategic gaming. That and I almost always end up being the GM in our group, so I've had to learn how to tell good stories.

We've got players from all three in our group, but the guy who sits between the G and the S just annoys the crap out of everyone else. The girl who sits between the N and the S just bores people because she likes to simulate the mundane aspects of everyday life, while other people are roleplaying for a bit of escapism and getting away from those daily chores.

V
Logged

A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Christian Liberg
Member

Posts: 67


« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2007, 08:34:31 PM »

Hey guys.

Count me in, on the people who reads the thread. I think this concept sounds hilariously, and im so much in, when we get the 6 designers.

Im in to a mix of gamist/Narrativist as well.

Christian
Logged
Filip Luszczyk
Member

Posts: 746

roll-player


WWW
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2007, 06:27:11 AM »

As for one designer per game - I'm suggesting one, because from my experience democratic design simply doesn't work well. Someone needs to have creative control over the whole thing. It could work provided that people involved know themselves very well, know exactly what each of them is aiming for, and are in consensus as to the direction they want to give the project. Otherwise, everyone's pulling in his own direction, and at the end of the day, you have a beautiful trainwreck - but not a beautiful game.

I.e. it could work, but it's risky.

The point buy system is a game in its own right, indeed Wink It ascertains an equal input on the concept stage, in a way (other than there's still an issue of some propositions having more potential impact on the project than others). Dunno if a strict bidding system would actually be needed in such "game jam", or would it help in brainstorming.

Also, I don't think G, N and S as categories apply to games, and using them in such context rarely helps anyone. Most probably, each of you understands these terms differently, too. What I see here is that you're trying to use them as convenient shortcuts for saying "I'd like a game that does this and that but doesn't do this", but it doesn't serve communication. I think it's better to avoid the jargon and actually describe design goals in more specific terms, i.e. "I want a game that gives tools for creating stories about X and Y", "I want a game that facilitates experiencing GM-created story", "I want a game with rich setting and no rules that could make experiencing it difficult", "I want a game with tools to create an interesting setting through play", "I want a game with some strategy", "I want a game in which I'll have opportunities to win by doing X and Y", and so on and on and on.

Anyway, currently I have some other stuff I need to do, so don't count me in Smiley
Logged

vikingmage
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2007, 10:20:14 AM »

I dont think its going to be a democratic design. It will be a frankenstein beast of ideas and concepts. Maybe someone will take a editor/streamlining role at the end. I know as part of a chain of work in comics I have had my beautiful pencils hacked to pieces by a hamfisted inker and then smeared with photoshop tone until I wanted to take my name from the final comic. Thankfully I retained photocopies of my original pencils.  It was a beautiful trainwreck of a comic, but not a beautiful comic. But things don't always need to work out that way.
The challenge to the creators will not be just pulling in their own directions, but responding to the other creators and responding with good work to the vibes being generated by others. Its risky, you are correct!

Yes, maybe using the GSN thing in this context doesn't help. It isn't a game that will be carefully created, but almost grown in a gaming petri-dish with the spores of 6 or so games designers. It might be that each individual GM might opt to use or ignore certain parts of the game .. which is a reality for most systems which bubble away between all three ports in the GSN storm.

I suspect the game will have a rich setting, maybe some innovative mechanics and anything else is a bonus. I am hoping that the process itself will be a rich learning experience. I have always created my games solo and then let my groups input with suggestions. Never tried this with anyone else.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3
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!