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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 197 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Why do games have to have a 'Premise' ?  (Read 10403 times)
Andrew Martin

Posts: 785

« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2002, 12:25:03 PM »

Quote from: Marco
Recent Example:
Andrew Martin is a pretty polite guy (I don't see eye-to-eye with him on a number of things but he's not a reactionary jerk). In a recent thread someone's post about their system elictied non-game related advice to maybe switch jobs.

The designer's goal in his game was to avoid boredom! Therefore the problem wasn't the game or system, but the situation he was in. :) I was also tired at the time I wrote my post and got sucked into "chat mode", which was a mistake. Sorry about that.

Andrew Martin
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 10459

« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2002, 07:45:56 PM »

First off, few people actually do ask "What's the Premise?"

Go ahead, do a search or whatever you need to do.

It's just not done a lot.

And you'll also note that those who do ask the question are often confused about the way we use the term here. That's right, people are misusing it, but not the Forge regulars.

Also, when it is used, people assume that the term Premise means Narrativist Premise. I personally make the distinction every time I use the term. That is, I either say Narrativist Premise, if that's what I mean, or I say Premise followd by "(the general non-GNS specific kind)". And I'll only ever do that if I feel fairly sure that the person in question recieving the post has read Ron's essay and will have a chance of understanding what I mean. If not, or if I just feel lije writing less, I do like Walt says, and ask "What's the game about?" or more likely "What do the characters do in the game?"

As for The Forge having a Narrativist bias, I say bullshit. Ron, while prefering Narrativism for himself, bends over backwards to avoid a bias. As do most of the avid Narrativists. Jared, while unabashedly Pro-Narrativist, is at least obvious about his "political" bent. And he hardly ever comments on designs, prefering instead to rely on his manifestos.

I myself am not anti-Narrativist, but I am more pro Sim than I am any other mode (some may misinterperet my assaults on Sim designs as being anti-sim; but the opposite is true, I just care more about how to make good Sim design than any other mode). As are a lot of the other posters here (gamism, while possibly not as well represented, is not ignored, either). Further there are many for whom GNS theory is not so much an issue, and they certainly cannot be said to have a Narrativist bias.

So I truely believe the bias thing to be a complete non-issue.

All we have here are a few who, new to the whole shebang, come in and mangle some of the terminology (reminds me of the whole Jeff Dee incident). And in those cases, you'll find a regular coming in right after to ask the corrected version of the question, or to suggest the "Roy" method of design specification, or whatever.

So I think that it's not a case of people with Narrativist biases asking the question, but people assuming that the quesion, when asked, is asking for a Narrativist Premise. That's a misreading on their part, but one I suppose we should watch for. That said, I think it all boils down to just being careful with the language.


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