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Playtesting forum and Actual Play forum

Started by David C, August 11, 2009, 08:34:48 AM

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Ron, I'm not sure characterising first thoughts as "the kiddie pool" is the right way to go about it, I mean let's be honest, doesn't that suggest a heirarchy of people on the forum, and a split dependent on that heirarchy?

That kind of attitude has the danger of producing condescending behaviour in those who have "graduated to the adult pools"! If they let it of course.

So instead of differentiating forums by the people who should use them, we should differentiate them by the activities that go on in them. I think you probably mean to do that, but for me at least your meaning is hidden behind the other kind of distinction.

How to translate it? Well what are the kind of activities that are allowed to go on in a kiddie pool? Dropping that analogy, are we talking about low effort/investment activities for that forum, and higher investment ones elsewhere? Are we talking about more robust activities there, that can cope with people chatting over them?

Finally what is it you do as an experienced designer that means you feel no need to start threads in first thoughts? Is it that you have a conversation space offline that already fulfils that function, or that you can do all the basics of that in your head? That should give you an insight into what kinds of things you think it should be doing.

I've already given my functional view on a certain activity I do well in first thoughts and playtesting, and why I think they should go together, but I think I should emphasise what I think first thoughts is really good for, in my limited experience:

Fleshing out basic concepts so you can get a feel of what the game is, and concepting and feeling out subsystems you can't get a grip on. Both of these activities are compatible with freewheeling conversation, gut reactions and "have you thought about this instead", before it gets solid.

This is a valuable and useful function for newbies and veterans alike, but is very open to new people.