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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 64 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Game Jam  (Read 9931 times)
David Artman
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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2007, 11:20:41 AM »

I think the bidding for elements idea is strongest so far. (Hmmm... it's also a Unversalis technique, so maybe we're just playing Universalis Online? We could certainly adopt its challenge mechanics, for our internal conflict resolution amongst designers!)

However, I'd advise you to start with more fundamental design elements than those you've mentioned so far, and then work up to specifics and techniques.

Genre elements and mechanics don't matter at all until you've resolved these elements:
* GM duty apportioning: scene framing, definition/declaration of task/conflict, control of characters, credibility apportioning in general
* Reinforced player stance(s): actor, author, director, fluid (Note that GNS speaks to "agenda," not "stance," FYI.)
* Fortune's place: at the start, at the end, none (i.e. no randomizers)
* Setting scope: scale of "world," importance of characters; OR scalable or generic system (i.e. any setting, any scope)

With those in place, you will be able to make far more directed contributions when you begin to speak to task or conflict resolution procedures, genre, character stats (if any), mechanical comparisons/calculations, allies and adversaries, locales and societies, etc. In general, if at any time you feel the planning for this is "guaranteed" to lead to some jumbled mess, it is probably because you've put the cart before the horse (i.e. haven't resolved fundamental elements and so folks could validly extend a higher-order element in wildly different directions).

As further advice: Run it on a wiki, to make it easiest for folks to create new elements and extend existing ones. You might even be able to use wiki categories to control the "design currency" (DC) exchange between participants (ex: I have 30 DCs; everything I extend, I tag with my user name as a category; anyone can click that category name to see how many pages I've extended and make sure I haven't asserted more than 30 DC of elements). Furthermore, when it's all "done" (more likely, done enough), a few of the more artistic- and linguistic-oriented participants could smooth things out, clean up the language, organize the presentation, and polish it for publication.

Finally, if you REALLY want this to come to fruition with any degree of serious success (i.e. more than a mere mental exercise with no end product goal) then you should back off on the notion of one-day or even three-day "turns." Using DC as above, especially on a wiki, means that everyone will have equal opportunity to contribute. Now, you might want to have "Milestones" which represent hard cut-offs to make (first) fundamental design choices and then (second) system and setting extensions and finally (third) specific supplements to the core rules. Maybe even re-issue DC at each Milestone. The point here is that you'd want thorough "buy in" at every stage, for all participants (i.e. everyone's had time to spend their DC) without rushing folks to make decisions in a day or two. Again, a wiki makes this sort of "parallel development" much easier to manage, especially given the aforementioned non-linearity of an RPG design as compares to a Comic Jam.

Long point short: plan for something like months per Milestone, not days per "half page" (a poor metric compared to something like "one conjunction-free sentence or assertion," IMHO).

THEN... you have the happy task of figuring out who will collect the POD sales revenue, to distribute them equally to the other designers.
Wink

(Oh, in case it's not obvious... I'd be interested in participating, depending upon the format chosen.)
David
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Seth M. Drebitko
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2007, 08:45:43 PM »

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Christian Liberg
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2007, 09:33:20 PM »

Very good points David and Seth. you are both very correct, we need to adress the bigger things, which i think you already made quite clear.

I like the idea of a wiki, which would also support Seth's second point ( shared development ) very well. Option 2 would also be my favourite. If we team up with doing some project management ( which i think we should) we would indeed have the possibility to create a milestone based development.

one thing that i would like to see happening would be something like this.

  • Actual milestone
  • Review of milestone
  • Correction of grammar and the likes
  • actual Milestone
  • Part closed

To ensure that we are done with a part before opening up a new can of worms. A good idea would be to dump even further down, and create small milestones, and major milestones. Although i agree that the half page a day metric isnt the very best, it is "easily" achievable. You know when you delivered, and you feel the reward for it. If we create smaller milestones, we would have the possibility of acknowledgin the progress of the group every week or so, to keep up motivation.

In option 2 there needs to be ressources enough allocated to allow a few people to bail, but few enough people to make a coherent product. So i would probably say a few more than the 6 mentioned previously.

To use the ransom model is a very good idea, starting the ransom at a relatively small amount, and work our way up. But if we decide to use the ransom model, we would need to have planned for timelines of fairly done snippets of the game ( for preview reasons ) rather early in the process.

Seth could you send me that reference manual?

Chris
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Seth M. Drebitko
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« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2007, 03:20:29 AM »

http://legendaryquest.netfirms.com/
Found it, scroll to the very bottom of the page to find the download. Off to work see you all later.
Regards, Seth
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Christian Liberg
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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2007, 04:39:21 AM »

Thanks Seth. way cool

i managed to find a direct link to the book, so here the rest of you guys go.

http://legendaryquest.netfirms.com/books/Patterns.zip

Chris
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belgar
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« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2007, 08:23:30 AM »

"Genre elements and mechanics don't matter at all until you've resolved these elements.."

While I'm new to this site, I am not new to gaming and I strongly disagree with David's claim quoted above.  Genre elements and mechanics are crucial to Jam creation!  It's what sparks the concept and keeps one on course.  You lose the genre elements and ignore the mechanics, and you lose your way.  Yes, you may end up with a working game, but you will have strayed from the idea that got you excited about the one you set out to create.  And chances are it won't be as exciting as the system you set out to create.  Trust me - I know this for a fact.

We all have different ways of approaching the creative process, and to limit oneself to the techniques dictated by one person will cause a stagnation of new, exciting games!

Sorry, David.

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David Artman
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« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2007, 12:58:56 PM »

While I'm new to this site, I am not new to gaming and I strongly disagree with David's claim quoted above.  Genre elements and mechanics are crucial to Jam creation!

At no point did I say they are not crucial to the finished product.

I did however say that there are more fundamental elements to RPG design than those and that, without resolving those fundamentals, every higher-order element you might choose to add can be riffed on, literally, in billions ways. That's not jamming; that's having everyone mail in a recording of one measure of music and playing them all at random tempos: cacophony.

You don't do music jamming unless you choose a place to play, a time of day, and whether or not it's public, right? So why talk about "let's jam jazz" until we know those things? Jazz might not be at all suited to the venue (too loud, too quiet) or to the audience (we got space at a rough biker bar), and we won't even get a jam started anywhere at all if folks just show up whenever they feel like it during a 24 hour period.

Quote
It's what sparks the concept and keeps one on course.  You lose the genre elements and ignore the mechanics, and you lose your way.

Just not true. Universalis is a published game with no setting and something like two basic mechanics regarding inter-player (NOT inter-character) disagreements. And those mechanics can change with the consensus of the players to be totally different. Nevertheless, players report very high success with both defining interesting genres and expanding mechanics to evoke the feel that they want in the game. Q.E.D.

Further, in fact, I proposed the first fundamental element when I suggested we copy its methods to manage designer credibility in this endeavor. Thus, the "dictates of one person" red herring below is, patently, false.

Quote
We all have different ways of approaching the creative process, and to limit oneself to the techniques dictated by one person will cause a stagnation of new, exciting games!
Sorry, David.

Believe me, you've nothing to apologize about. Absolutely nothing whatsoever.

You might want to take a bit of time with the Articles section linked above, to help familiarize yourself with the terminology in use here: most of it has very specific meanings.

Oh, and welcome to The Forge....
David
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David Artman
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« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2007, 01:10:14 PM »

Oh, forgot to add: What is proposed is a cooperative endeavor, so "we all have different ways of approaching the creative process" is kind of moot. If someone wants to go their own way, spurning the group, that's when the person make their own game. Alone.

I believe the OP intended for this process to lead to surprisingly emergent design, not random impulses of a band of individuals wrenching the reins (like some Comic Jams) until the poor horse is so muddled and weak-legged we have to shoot it.

RPG design is not quite as open to wild-eyed, devil-may-care serialized collaboration as something like a linear narrative or even music (which, too, is inherently linear, at least in time). A better "swing thought" for getting this endeavor off the tee is to imagine we're going to build a model... of something as-of-yet totally undefined.

Now, do you think you can say "let's make it a hand-carved wooden WWII fighter jet" before we've had some conversation about "what materials do we have; how much of it; who's bringing what tools; where are we building it?"

In closing, there is absolutely nothing keeping you from starting up something similar or even identical, if you disagree with the aforementioned fundamental priorities (which, mind you, are already mostly ratified and even slightly extended by the current participants other than yourself).

I'm not saying "buzz off"; but I'm definitely saying "catch up to us first, please, don't ask us to slow down for you."
(I do so love my metaphors....)
David
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2007, 06:29:09 PM »

Such is the nature of things, as the course of this thread has developed we seem to have moved further away from the dynamic concept originally envisioned.

I will readily admit that I was one of the first to state that the comic jam concept probably wasn't suitable for the development of a roleplaying game. But we seem to have deviated a lot further from the original vision than even I had expected.

Time for me to play devil's advocate.

Perhaps, we should split this idea down two paths. One being a collaborative RPG developed through a wiki. One being a jam-style RPG a lot closer to the original concept presented.

Personally, I think the wiki idea is a good one, and can definitely result in a playable game. But now I'm developing a perverse interest in how terribly wrong the train-wreck could get if it were done comic-jam style. I certainly wouldn't expect a playable game, and I've seen such things reach catastrophe in the past. But such a mess could set the groundwork for the wiki developed game.

Wiki Page 1: Here's the mess.
Remainder of Wiki: here's how we've turned this pile of dog's balls into a working and playable game.


Just an idea.

V
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Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Christian Liberg
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Posts: 67


« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2007, 12:44:26 AM »

Hmmm i have been sitting wondering, and have kinda gotten to an idea, which basically revolves around the idea of a comic jam, but not quite.

Please take note, that this is not entirely the same as what vikingmage suggested, and perhaps it could be a contest in its own, but its an input, which i think could be an interesting angle on the game jam idea.

lets say the following.

The basic premise of the universe is metaphysically that of a wheel. the wheel is divided into several same size compartments. These compartments are very different. there are portals from each compartment to another, giving limited access between the worlds of this universe. In the center of the wheel is a HUB,  at the circumference of the wheel there is the ether.

X = the number of game designers interested in this specific contest.

the basic premise of the universe is that of a wheel. the wheel is divided into X numbers of compartments, each compartment is given a number from one to X. Now each game designer has a starting compartment, and he has a day to write something up about this compartment. the next day the wheel revolves and the game designer now has a day to write something about the next compartment. going all the way around, until we get to the compartment where we started. Now we read all the ideas, and write the things together. when we are done, we take another turn of the wheel so to speak.

If we decided the first full round of the weel would be only blurbs about the world, stories and so on and so forth, we could get to the next parts on later runs of the wheel. Things could get really cool, if we could create a character sheet, which could be used on all the different worlds of the wheel, so that eventually players could travel through the world using the same character sheet, but not necesarily the same system.

I know that was not at all like what was intented at first, but just my input to try and maintain the comic jam feel, and maintaining some sort of consistency in the game.

However i myself would also like to see where such a train wreck as the originally proposed idea would lead us. And perhaps we are thinking to hard about it, setting it in rules and systems and the likes. hmm me figures.

Chris
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David Artman
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« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2007, 07:35:59 AM »

Are we taking two steps back, now? Uh... OK.
(Belgar: uh... never mind. I thought we had our feet under us, but it looks like we're still growing our legs.)
Smiley

I say, if ya'll want to literally copy the Comic Jam, then GO! Start right now, right here (or right now, in a clean thread). But right NOW.
(Heh... Design NOW should be our Forgist slogan.)

Forget order or turns, forget time limits: GO! Now. Do it now; don't even reply to this post. First posted, first credibility; no challenging or trumping or denying.

I'd suggest you make a length rule, however, to avoid someone driving it completely off a cliff before anyone's even gotten a toe on the running boards. How about maximum of five clauses (i.e. Universalis Facts) per post; and you can't post again until at least fifteen other clauses are posted? Be sure to continue the numbering of the previous poster, as that will show 'simultaneous posts' and, thus, where contradictions, denials, or incoherency might occur accidentally.

See... here's where we can go faster and farther than the linear medium of narrative: we don't have to pass around an artifact. Post when you want, so long as you don't deny an existing clause.

Examples (Disregard; these are not actually starting things off)
1. Characters do not have mental stats (i.e. player cognitive ability is used, not mechanics, for tests or wit or logic).
2. There is only one significant world in the game (i.e. not space-faring or multidimensional or anything like that).
3. The world is largely unknown/unexplored.
4. Animals are as smart as characters.
5. Some animals are far superior to characters.

Now GO! Start it up. Just do it. Don't sit there thinking; go make the thread....
David
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2007, 03:48:37 PM »

David,

Are you taking it on yourself to be the resident dominatrix?

With all that whip cracking...
Now GO! Start it up. Just do it. Don't sit there thinking; go make the thread....
...it's a bit hard to tell.

I'm not advocating that we take "Two steps back", I was merely wondering what the originator of our concept thought of the direction this thread had taken his idea. Then trying to brainstorm a way to resolve the original concept against where we now seem to stand.

I work on the assumption that there are inherent flaws in the "Internet forum" mode of communication. One of those is that subtle hints of irony, sarcasm and constructive criticism are often blown out of proportion and look like insults to some people.
 
In closing, there is absolutely nothing keeping you from starting up something similar or even identical, if you disagree with the aforementioned fundamental priorities (which, mind you, are already mostly ratified and even slightly extended by the current participants other than yourself).

I'm not saying "buzz off"; but I'm definitely saying "catch up to us first, please, don't ask us to slow down for you."

Just because we've shot off in a certain direction with this idea doesn't mean we're heading in the right direction.  And it certainly doesn't mean we're taking the original author's idea in a direction they may be happy with.

There's a lot of potential in the ideas presented here, so before we get railroaded by one person's agenda, it might be a good idea to explore them a bit more.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Seth M. Drebitko
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« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2007, 04:43:30 PM »

For the sake of not seeing this thread tangent further off, how about we all sit tight until the creator of the thread gives his yes or no as to if he thinks the thread has gone to far off track. If he does then cool deal no need to discuss it people can part ways to other challenges or stay with this one as so desired.

Regards, Seth
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2007, 04:38:09 AM »

I support Seth's post, as moderator.

I also think that as soon as anyone started talking about "we," vikingmage was undermined. This was supposed to be his Endeavor, and I think it got jacked.

Best, Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2007, 07:50:06 PM »

To clarify my poorly-worded post, I am the moderator.

Also, supporting moderation isn't necessary here. It's best just to let it be what it is. If anyone has any questions about the Forge community and how moderation relates to it, send me a message.

Best, Ron
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