*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 23, 2014, 08:01:57 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [ABSOLUTE] Over the top of over the top  (Read 913 times)
whiteknife
Member

Posts: 118


« on: November 22, 2009, 07:44:00 PM »

b]Black Mamba<Project X:  A dragon-blooded secret agent super sayan (well, the in setting serial numbers filed off equivalent anyways). He was insanely tough (which in this game is an actual skill level), and mostly spent his time shooting energy balls at people and smashing walls with his bare hands.

IOERH<X-KCM<Osric von DuranProject X:  A dragon-blooded secret agent super sayan (well, the in setting serial numbers filed off equivalent anyways). He was insanely tough (which in this game is an actual skill level), and mostly spent his time shooting energy balls at people and smashing walls with his bare hands.

IOERH<X-KCM<Osric von Duran
Logged
Filip Luszczyk
Member

Posts: 746

roll-player


WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 12:47:32 AM »

Quote
What I would like to know is- how did that sound? Like fun? Ridiculous? I mean, if it didn’t sound like that there might well be something wrong with you but I mean more “so ridiculous you would never consider playing it”. The zaniness factor is dependent on who’s playing, but it does veer towards the “tons of crazy shit” side of things.

Frankly, it sounds normal. Something might be wrong with me. Or I read too much rpg.net. Either way, it sounds like a typical stuff to be found in an rpg.net thread. I think I've reached a pretty close level of "tons of crazy stuff" myself in some past games of Exalted, Wushu, Capes, The Pool, Illumination! and even that one PTA show that included nuke surfing.

The thing is, games like Exalted, Rifts, World of Synnibar or octaNe set the zany bar so damn high already. Once you reach the over nine thousands zone, there is nothing over the top, things just get blurry. Furthermore, I'd say the existing games of this type do a great job at desensitivizing gamers to "tons of crazy shit". There were games like that back in the 70s already (starting from Gygaxian D&D, arguably) and plenty of people play them for their regular gaming fix, with no particular parodic intentions. Play a few, with the specific intent of playing a game as it is rather than engaging in a parodic performance, and it just starts feeling normal. Once a game like Exalted mind rapes you and teaches you to accept the zany as regular and approach it seriously, you just go with the "tons of crazy shit" appreciating its referential aspects.

So, games like that generally achieve the "tons of crazy shit" thing through their heavy intertextual aspects. You take whatever nerd culture references feel fresh and hot at the moment of the game's production and put them all into the same kitchen sink. I currently feel that Exalted is losing its punch, for example, as after a few years it plain fails to keep speed with 4chan. Whatever the next Exalted is going to look like, it's pretty much bound to include the entire 4chan's worth of "tons of crazy shit" in its kitchen sink. Still, even with the entire 4chan in the sink, it's still going to be a regular desensitivizing kitchen sink game for its times. You won't go over the top of over the top of over the top without surpassing the current nerd culture's memetic pool, and as long as the game relies on the referential powers of the existing source material, I don't think that's really possible. You just keep getting the regular kitchen sink experience, only updated.

In short: once one accepts dragon-blooded, dinosaurs and cyborgs as regular and expected, a dragon-blooded cybernetic dinosaur is no longer much more over the top, intrinsically. It has all the familiar parts that tend to occur close to each other on a regular basis nowadays. The awesome overload is only amusing for a short while, then things blur and it no longer short circuits one's brain.

I'd say actually producing a genuine over the top experience reliably, the game would actually have to spark creative, rather than just referential processes. In the end, I think, it boils down to producing certain unexpected combinations of familiar memes that resonate as innovative. I have no idea how to achieve that with game design, though, or if that's possible at all. It's something that occurs naturally all the time, but it's essentially a random process. Sometimes two things just suddenly click together and w00t, a new meme is born. A random process is not a reliable process, though, and my guess is a reliable game like that would have to be some sort of a frickin' zen mind memetic mutation engine. Good luck with that?

Consider this strip. I think there's something very significant in the author's comment below.

Quote
Another thing is, what sort of vibe did that playtest report give you? I’m trying to go for a mix between crazy humorous stuff and high end kill em’ all hack and slash roleplaying.

Well, my suggestion is to ditch the explicitly humorous approach. All being said, games of this type are already silly enough on their own, once one looks from the right angle. I think games like Exalted, Rifts or The World of Synnibar would be much less zany if they didn't attempt to treat subject matter seriously. Trying to force the humor won't help - it's like trying to explain a joke that doesn't even need the explanation in the first place, or trying to make a parody out of parody. Like, does the dragon-blooded secret agent really needs the super sayan bit? He's traveling with a cyber dinosaur and a Canadian rockstar, shooting hadoukens out of his ass, so yes, it's already obvious it was meant as excessive. Show, don't tell etc.

(It reminds me of the sort of humor I sometimes see in internet communities of the overly "friendlish" sort, where an user says something funny only to immediately and explicitly point out it was meant as a joke, and then adds a disclaimer on top of a disclaimer just in case some idiots still misread and get needlessly offended or something. Lame, and largely ruining the initial humor.)
Logged

whiteknife
Member

Posts: 118


« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 09:29:06 PM »

Hmm.... very interesting.

I do see your point about this sort of thing not necessarily needing anything special to come about. I've played those other games, and this stuff can and often does pop up naturally. I also get your point about not pointing out jokes and not being explicitly humorous and all, I just wanted to make sure I got my point across for the thread, although I realize I maaaay have overdone the whole "hey look, this is a joke!" "You see it's funny because..." thing.

Man, I don't know. Everything you said sounds pretty damn solid. It is rather a challenge to do the sort of thing I'm going for and not have it just be completely stupid and/or pointlessly done far better by every other game. I would like to address a few of your specific points though.

Frankly, it sounds normal. Something might be wrong with me. Or I read too much rpg.net. Either way, it sounds like a typical stuff to be found in an rpg.net thread.

I also read too much RPG.net, although I wonder how much of that kind of thing makes it off the internet and into games. (Possibly a lot? I don't know.)

It is a pretty damn high bar, but I intend to try and jump it. One big thing I see is that if you do this sort of thing in another game it's often in a broken system like rifts or synnibarr, and while that isn't too big an issue (those systems are actually rather fun) I do like to have systems that work. Alternatively, it's a side thing in a larger issue- a game might feature a nuke ride but it's unlikely to be the focus of the session (or maybe it is, if so that sounds like a good time). So, assuming this is the kind of thing you were looking for, then a game where it's the point would be ideal, no?

The awesome overload is only amusing for a short while, then things blur and it no longer short circuits one's brain.

I'd say actually producing a genuine over the top experience reliably, the game would actually have to spark creative, rather than just referential processes.

I suspect (more like hope I guess) that part of this stems from the "reading about a game vs. playing it" difference. Because pretty much THE biggest thing that the rules of the game try to do is to spark creative- the entirety of character creation to the in game experience is all a bunch of creative sparks. I mean, yeah there are lists of shit and they're stuff you've seen before (especially if you hang around the internet a lot), but a big part of the game is combining that stuff into something- I mean it isn't impressive to read about a cybernetic whatever here, but if it was your idea, perhaps you'd find it more interesting (or perhaps not, I really wouldn't know), as well as adding your own stuff to it. I mean, yeah a game like this is going to suck if it's just a traditional system slapped on to all the random stuff I found on the internet, but I'm hoping that the game part of the game will help make it a bit funner than that. (Note to self: next time include some rules)
 
The awesome overload only registering for a while is a thing, but it's not exactly meant to be an extremely long form game anyways, to be honest- I'd rather produce a really awesome one or two sessions then have the game shelved for a while only to be pulled out again after the next long campaign of a more serious game than produce a less intense experience over a longer period of time, if it comes to a choice like that.

Well anyways thanks for the well thought out comment. It really does bring up a lot of the issues with the game, which I sort of realized from the get-go. Still, I'm planning on pressing ahead. I'll find ways to mitigate the issues (or ignore them if it comes to it). After all, this was just the first playtest. Perhaps what come sout the other end of the process will be a far different animal.
Logged
Catelf
Member

Posts: 146


« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2009, 07:05:56 AM »

I want to describe another viewpoint: My own.

If i had gotten this kind of impression from the Exalted, i might've bought it.
I Have Rifts, and has possibly never thought of it this way.

But Your Game, on your description, seemes hilarious, and i went LoL several times over, due to it's extensive Sillyness.
I would have some problem playing it, though, since i prefer to choose my characters, rather than roll them up(but i could make a wierd enough character anyway....).

Also, I would play your game, for the very same reason as i would play Macho Women with Guns, wich i Have bought, by the way, partially because it's own description of it was ..... silly ! I also has "More excuses to kill things", and that, i dare say, was ONLY (more or less) for its expected LoL-potential!

So, to me:
If you do it for over-the-tup-fun-types, describe it as such, as you did!

Catelf
Logged
whiteknife
Member

Posts: 118


« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2009, 05:43:04 PM »

I want to describe another viewpoint: My own.

So, to me:
If you do it for over-the-tup-fun-types, describe it as such, as you did!

Thanks! I'm glad for the feedback.

Logged
MacLeod
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 03:20:26 PM »

I'm always interested in any game that emphasizes the over-the-top approach. I gather that many others would be, too. =)
The real barrier is going the way of Rifts and Synnibar... systems that many consider to be junk. Also, Exalted makes that list for me... I've never had the joy of experiencing an over the top (retail) game because of these issues... and I would guess that I'm not alone in that either.

So just how heavy are the rules? You describe it as medium... but what would you compare it to? The idea that you might have to throw 74 dice isn't exactly intriguing to me regardless of the rules' weight.
Logged

~*/\Matthew Miller/\*~
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!