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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 93 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Roguelike] Alone against Infinite Peril  (Read 14783 times)
Callan S.
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2008, 03:13:20 PM »

Rebuilding my post because the forge keeps timing out recently...

I'm reminded of this, in terms of assuming it's important
Quote
Then David hit me with a bombshell.  He suggested a hypothetical re-structuring of SAN! that was clearly and without a doubt Gamist in the manner I had described.  Specifically, it would outlaw poker faces up front, TILT! would be awarded proportional to the intensity of reactions, and players would keep track of gross TILT! earned.  The person with the highest gross TILT! would, after a time limit, be declared The Winner.

I call this a bombshell because although it would clearly lead to the sort of Gamism I had described, I don't want to play it that way.
In a similar, but narrativist vein, the game 'The riddle of steel' has characters have spiritual attributes (SA). They list their hopes, their loves, their destinies. And their on the character sheet - so you could assume their important, right?

No - the significant mechanical weight added to them shows they are not by themselves important. Every time a character tries, successfully or not, to pursue a SA, they get a bonus dice to any actions related to that SA. Up to five dice. That's a massive bonus in the TROS system!

Now I'll be rough for a moment, just ignore this if it doesn't help. NO, I will not assume their important, I would like you to put your money where your mouth is! The riddle of steel already puts it's money where it's mouth is by giving these SA a really important mechanical bonus.

But, it occurs to me this change might be like when David suggested the change to TILT - it may make a game you don't want to play. And that's cool and fine - but you might want to ask yourself if its a narrativist game.
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Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Marshall Burns
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Posts: 485


« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2008, 04:37:54 PM »

Callan,

Does the initial reason for the quest have any mechanical significance?  No.  Does it have narrative significance?  It has to.  You can't have story without exploration of a protagonist's motivations, beliefs, and general character to some degree, whether it's a book, a play, or a game.  When I said I intend this as a Narrativist game, i.e. a game in which the players create a story, I felt that detail was implicit, so I didn't dwell on it.  But I'm not neglecting it.  My post ain't the text, it's just an enthusiastic description of my plan Smiley

As for putting my money where my mouth is, that doesn't do much right now.  But be sure to ask me to do so again once I have something playtestable, k?

-Marshall
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2008, 05:29:42 PM »

Marshall,

You're hinting at something really important here: mechanical effects can not and should not answer the questions asked by a narrative. They can influence them and make them interesting and point out the question, but they can't answer the questions, or the game ceases to be fun. It's the "fruitful void" in action.

Good luck with this project, and please post as you think on it: it's an exciting concept.

- Clinton
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Callan S.
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2008, 10:09:19 PM »

Hi Marshall,

Your going to have exploration of character motives a means to an end, and not the end itself? The 'end' you'd play the game for is story creation? Exploration of character motive would just be a means of getting to a story?
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Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Marshall Burns
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Posts: 485


« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2008, 02:45:29 PM »

Callan,

In a nutshell, yes.  But not just any story.  What I'm looking at is, since the general ending is known, the objective of play is to establish the circumstances and thematic significance of that ending, respective to the character in question, in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing to and that has emotional impact on the players.  Which, by definition, would create a story (of a certain type).

Clinton,

Yeah, Ron pointed me to that discussion in some thread or other.  I totally dig it.  I'm trying to apply it consciously to another game I'm working on about stylized teenage street-gangs, in the manner of The Warriors.  (I have too many ideas.)

-Marshall
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David Berg
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Posts: 612


« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2008, 10:52:09 PM »

Marshall,

I also think the "why?" question is interesting.  My first question wasn't "what's the impact of answering that question?" but rather, "how do you come up with a good answer for that question?"  Because I'm a little fuzzy on what a "good" answer to "why?" would be.  Personally, I worry that, without textual guidance, I'd default to an answer that simply makes logical sense, rather than an answer that'll optimally help produce the kind of play you're going for.

I also think it's worth noting that a game with a similar structure and ending could be played without a relevant-to-play "why?" at all.  If your character just got thrown into a dungeon to die, that might be all the more fertile an arena to explore the psychology of facing hopelessness.  I'm not saying you should go this route, but I'm interested in if not, why not?

-David

P.S.  An idea just occurred to me that play could be about defining that character's "last inch", like in "V for Vendetta".  What is the point at which you draw the line and say, "Fine, kill me, but I won't do that"? 

Is that in line with what you see this game producing, or should I run off with this idea on my own?  Smiley
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here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development
Marshall Burns
Member

Posts: 485


« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2008, 11:32:49 AM »

David,

I want the game to be about ALL of those things you just mentioned (even in the PS).  Personally, I can't imagine how they'd be separable!

A "good" answer to WHY is any answer that gets the players interested in the character as a protagonist; anything that hooks 'em in the heart, or the gut, or the head, or any combination thereof, in such a way that they're interested in this character as a protagonist -- that the character is one that they'd root for in a book or a movie -- and enhances that protagonist-identification by introducing things that say, "This probably isn't going to go well."  Even if we know it's not going to end well (we know that Oedipus Rex is not going to end well, because it tells us so, and we progressively learn that it's going to be even worse than we initially thought, but we still care about Oedipus, and we still wish that things could work out okay for him, even though we know it's impossible).

So, the answer to WHY is essentially a Kicker, pretty much right out of the Sorcerer book.

-Marshall
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2008, 07:31:37 AM »

Hey everyone,

I suggest reviewing how you've been interacting in this thread, with the following in mind.

1. People who are themselves just beginning to dip their toes in Narrativist play (not just essays, play) are frequently disastrous participants in threads by people who are just beginning to dip their toes in Narrativist design. Everyone ends up trying to explain stuff to one another, and the game gets lost.

2. Interrogation is not the best method to help someone with game design. It's easy to poke "why" "why" "why" at someone all day long. It's harder to buy into what they are trying to do, period, and dedicating oneself to helping with it, which includes critique. Generic critique is useless (one reason why I'm not a big fan of hitting things with the Power 19 stick).

I was asked to examine this thread by Callan. Here's my call: Callan, butt out and let Marshall think, without you getting ever more detailed about ever-smaller components of a given chain of thought. It is not necessary to debate whether his notion is or isn't the same as Kickers in Sorcerer. Also, if it were, then that debate would be best conducted by people who were experienced with the technique in play.

Others didn't ask, and I'm not going to moderate their participation. I do think that most of you should sit back, as David Artman has rightly chosen to do, and pay attention to how Clinton is helping Marshall.

Best, Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2008, 05:12:27 PM »

Disclosure: Callan's PM to me stated that he wasn't going to ask more questions, which I carelessly forgot. He's rightly called me on it, and my above post is unfair. It was good advice, but he'd already acted on it.

Best, Ron
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Marshall Burns
Member

Posts: 485


« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2008, 02:36:19 PM »

Funny thing is, I regretted mentioning Kickers the moment I hit the post button.  FacIn fact, my entire previous post is poorly phrased and barely makes any sense at all.  I think this is because I was talking about two or three functionally different things that are wrapped up into a common "package" in my brain, and I am unable to disentangle them and talk about them individually; instead, I try to talk about them all at once, which produces a post that doesn't communicate what I wanted it to at all, thus both confusing the people I'm talking to and frustrating me, which can only lead to me making even less sense as I become more and more flustered (to tell the truth, I've been wrestling with this problem the whole time I've been here).

So, yeah.  That's all about that.

Clinton,
I wanted to come back to a thing you mentioned, about putting functions on the Past & Future cards.  I'm curious to how you would see this done; for a specific instance, what sort of function would the "Memories of My Mother" card have on it?

-Marshall
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