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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Positive Game Design Challenge  (Read 5385 times)
Filip Luszczyk
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« on: October 06, 2007, 01:35:55 PM »

I've been asked by Guy Shalev to start a public design challenge for him. Here it is.

I'll stress it: I'm challenging this one person specifically. Feel free to participate and write your own games if you feel inspired, of course. However, I'll be addressing Guy for the rest of this post.

So, Guy.

I challenge you to write a positive game!

DISCLAIMER: I'm posting this here cause you wanted me to. But I'm not your therapist, so I don't want to be blamed if it fucks your brain or something. You take this challenge on your own responsibility. If you suspect you might not handle it emotionally or otherwise, don't do it.

Anyway, on with the challenge.

Write a game that incorporates at least two of the following positive ingredients: EMPATHY, HOPE, INNOCENCE, INTEGRITY, JOY.

The chosen ingredients must be reinforced by the game, in as positive a manner as possible. What's more, the game can't invite the players to explore negative themes or evoke negative feelings by design. It can include them, but can't focus on them in any way. If it doesn't emanate positivity, you fail ;P

Also, you need to choose at least two of the following constraints:

a). The game must be inspired by your chosen anime series, in a substantial manner. The references need to be noticeable and meaningful for gameplay. It can't be just color.

b). The game must provide tools for creating emotionally rich and vivid individual characters, with dynamic interactions going on between them. These rules need to promote variety - preferably, no two characters in the game will be effectively indistinguishable. Also, they need to minimise the risk of a "blank page syndrome" as much as possible (i.e. no player should feel clueless and uninspired at any point of character creation).

c). The game must not use character sheets of any standard sort. Whatever information needs to be stored, it needs to be stored by some different means.

Regardless what you choose, the game must follow certain mandatory criteria:

-You need to write this game with a specific mindset. It's exclusively a design exercise. It cannot be meant to be played by you or anyone else. Design it for the sake of it. However, it doesn't mean it can be deliberately made unplayable. On the contrary, make it as playable as you possibly can. Also, try to avoid needless complexity in the rules.

-The game can be no longer than eight A4 or Letter pages. The minimum margin size is 2 cm and font size shouldn't be lower than 10.

-The game cannot use any randomizers different than dice, if it uses any at all.

-NO POETRY. I mean it ;P

The deadline is Sunday, 14 October 2007. Finish it by Midnight of your local timezone and link to it from this thread.

Have fun.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 02:30:51 PM »

Uh, I wanted to give you two weeks. The proper deadline is 21 October.

Stupid deadlines Wink
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Callan S.
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2007, 07:43:44 PM »

Quote
It cannot be meant to be played by you or anyone else.
Wha?
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Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Thunder_God
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2007, 12:14:24 AM »

Constraints A, and especially B are a little hard with only 8 pages, yo.

I'll see what I can come up with, though right now I'm devoid of ideas.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
joepub
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Joe Thomas McDonald


« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2007, 12:35:09 AM »

Filip, Guy told me about this challenge. I made a joking suggestion to him about a possible entry. He decided he was too much of a prude to design it, but goaded me on to create and submit it myself.

I know it's just for Guy Shalev, but this has inspired me to create a new game.

It's called Bat Girl Fucking Angel Pervert, and it's based on the most bizarre and confusing hentai around. It uses:
Innocence (there is a lot of bizarre innocence and childishness in the most perverse and otherworldly hentai series.)
Joy (is there any more ecstatic and extreme joy than that of epic cartoon ejaculation? Answer: no.)

It is:
a.) Based on my chosen anime series. In this case a hentai series, yet undetermined.
c.) No character sheet. However, it will include other things that track the character's state. Probably bead pools and temporary resources.

I will link my result to this thread.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2007, 03:34:58 AM »

Guy,

Quote
Constraints A, and especially B are a little hard with only 8 pages, yo.

Work with it. I could have went with four pages Tongue

You wanted to be constrained so here, chains and handcuffs tailored specially for you. I picked these rules specifically to break your design habits and tendencies, and this includes limitations that will make it impossible for you to go overboard with complexity and needless mechanical layers. Even if you squeeze what you can from formatting, it simply needs to be shorter than your average game.

I admit I could have chosen better ingredients, though - something more concrete than these abstract concepts. That was an afterthought, though. I can still give you an alternative set if you want.

Callan,

Quote
Wha?

Exactly what you see Smiley

I'm targetting what I (and not only I) consider to be Guy's main weaknesses as a designer. Mainly, his tendency to write a grim and negative game and then obsess about it for months, bitching how nobody wants to touch it even with a stick. So, it's a pure design exercise that he needs to approach with this particular mindset or not at all.

The game must be a pure design exercise that later joins the ever growing pool of games that are never played. You know, hundreds of them are written every year everywhere across the world, and nobody really gives a damn Smiley Guy needs to invest his time and effort into the creative process only to design a game that he doesn't personally care about. He needs to do it as well as he can. Then forget about it.

It needs to be craft and not art. It's like learning to draw a circle before you rush to paint a portrait.

jeopub,

O_o

Seriously, if you want it, go fot it Smiley

A moment ago I wanted to remind you about the rule that crosses out focus on the negative, seeing all the hentai stuff. But hell, you're not Guy so do what you want Smiley

And bead pools are just to obvious solution for C, it seems.
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2007, 03:51:13 AM »

I don't know if it's entirely feasible; the moment I create it, I care about it.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2007, 04:16:20 AM »

Break it.

You need to learn how to invest in the creative process and then detach from the end result.
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2007, 05:24:56 AM »

Here is the first rough draft.
Very different from what I usually do. I'm not sure there's enough Light tokens to go around to begin with, but that requires checking.

The Friendship Game.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Eric Bennett
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2007, 05:41:14 AM »

Hey Guy.

The game didn't seem to mark out which of the a, b, c, constraints you used, but overall it looked playable. I did have a few niggles with it, though.

  • Default session length is only two scenes? That seems awfully short. I think you are using it as a way to "top off" the light tokens that people are packing, so maybe rename it something else? Nothing to see here. I misread what was going on. Change this suggesting to reorganizing some of those tidbits at the end up to sections nearer to what they concenrn.
  • Impeding someone else's actions drops Dark tokens on the impeder's Secrets, which would normally only be placed there if you were using them in a scene of some sort. Reading it, it seems like that might cause some of these secrets to go off early, though I suppose they also shed Light Tokens like candy when they pop, so its a positive thing to impede people. I wonder if some way of adding Secrets to the table outside of replacing a used Secret would be too scattering?
  • What makes a character "innocent?" Is this the cluelessly bubbly guy? The "above it all" chick?
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2007, 05:45:44 AM »

I think that's also an innocent character.

In the end, each player defines them for himself.
Phoebe is an innocent character, but some could say so is Joey.

You can start a Secret whenever you want, but only for yourself.

I picked Constraints B and C.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Adam Dray
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2007, 08:10:06 AM »

Looks good, Guy. And it's not a competitive game! I love the Light and Dark tokens.

My concern is that there's no engine for creating Situation. People will make their characters and then go, "now what?"

The "fan mail"-like bonus of a Light token for doing something exciting seems a little broken. Primetime Adventures fan mail works because there's a closed economy of chips from the Producer to the bowl to the players. Yours is an open economy, allowing an infinite source of Light tokens to enter the game. Maybe it doesn't matter for the shortness of the game (two scenes per player).

The two scene limitation seems odd and unnecessary -- and also unsupported. It's just this rule hanging out there, not tied to anything else in the game.
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Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
Thunder_God
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2007, 08:18:48 AM »

There must be an open economy, because each Scene you narrate requires either adding one to a Secret or spending a Light token, and I don't want people only framing things off of Secrets.
This is also the reason the number of scenes is limited.

It has the potential break, yes, I haven't thought of a solution yet, I'm not sure there's one required. (Yes, if you will try to break it, I assume you could).

And like Seinfeld or most Sitcoms, that's half the point. There is no premise beyond "You're a group of friends", for ill or for worse.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Thunder_God
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2007, 08:24:23 AM »

To put it better, need to find how many external Light tokens are needed.

This is currently an unknown, so the number of Light tokens awarded at different places may need tweaking in either direction.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Adam Dray
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2007, 08:28:54 AM »

Don't blow off the Situation thing. Seinfeld doesn't have a premise but it certainly has a group of writers agonizing over how to make each show hilarious and fun. Do you want your players to agonize and rewrite and rehash like professional writers do? I think you want the game play to flow naturally out of the rules.

For example, you might kick start a game by choosing one secret at random and giving it 5 Dark tokens immediately. The normal Catharsis rules play out for that secret. It starts the game in media res.


Another concern:

Quote
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Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
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