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Author Topic: [Gangs of the Factory Zone]_Too much setting for a story game?  (Read 4626 times)
Andre Canivet

Posts: 45

Intergalactic Bounty Hunter

« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2009, 08:02:32 PM »

Do not try to make the best Story Game you can.  Do not try to make the best indie RPG or Forge derived or whatever game you can.

Try to make the best Gangs of the Factory Zone that you can and do it in a way that doesn't leave you broke or risking more than you feel is appropriate.  Everything else is debatable.

Lush, dense setting are absolutely possible and playable.

How does the game drop the players into the setting and/or link the characters to its elements?

This reminds me of a book I need to get back to and finish, Desolation Road by Ian McDonald, about a railside town on Mars.

That's excellent advice.  I do tend to stress a bit about this stuff, I guess I should relax and just make a playable game.  I haven't risked much money on it yet, though, which is a plus.  All I've put into it is time.

I haven't decided yet how to introduce the players to the setting... but I was thinking of playing a scene for each character, or even having the player construct the scene, and in that scene introduce the character's niche in the Zone...  you know, sort of an average day for that character or something that demonstrates the way they normally survive, as well as their key relationships. 

I think I'll check out Desolation Road, too.  I've been meaning to read some of McDonald's work--especially River of Gods and Cyberabad Days.

I'm not saying it's not possibble to implement a mechanic for solo scenes that keeps everybody busy, I found a nice one on "Classroom Deathmach", where each player designates a best friend and a nemesis among the players. Then after every roll he makes, his best friend narrates all positive outcomes and his nemesis narrates all the negative outcomes. I haven't played the game, so I can't tell how good it actually works. If anybody heard of an interesting mechanic that keeps everybody busy on solo scenes, please, I'd also love to know, it would do a lot of good to my pal's game.

I have a copy of Shock: Social Science Fiction, which seems to lend itself to solo scenes.  When one PC is the focus, the other players share the GM's role (by controlling the "issues" and "shocks"), and one player takes on the role of the character's antagonist.  Any remaining players can also spend points to support different directions the narrative can take.  I'm not sure how it all works in practice, though, because I haven't had a chance to play it yet.  Unfortunately, I live some distance from my core gaming group, so it's hard to play.  I have another D&D group I game with, but they're fairly invested in traditional gaming--I've been kind of apprehensive about suggesting we play an Indie game.

Only problem there, is that it risk enforcing one as the individual as the GM, which you've said you'd prefer not, or something like that.
This might still work with Rotating GM's, though, but SOMEONE must still be informed of all that has transpired in those "Short Games", in order to collect the threads, and suggest directions for further Shorties, as well as the main ones.
I think it might work: Playtesting is very important here.

Playtesting is definitely the key to making sure this works.  I'm hoping to go the full route if I can; release a demo version and/or an ashcan, and playtest the hell out of the sucker before publishing a polished game.  I was thinking it might be possible to divide up the GM responsibilities somewhat, to keep the whole group involved.

Andre Canivet

Reality is the original Rorschach.
--The Principia Discordia
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