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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 69 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Mike's Standard Rant #1: Designers! Know your hobby!  (Read 17634 times)
Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2003, 11:17:36 AM »

Bruce, you are, of course, absolutely right.  There are those flashes of insight that are brought into an area of study by someone from outside which sometimes never would have been thought of by the people on the inside.  Cross Pollination of ideas is a wonderful thing.

I don't know though, that it is a very reliable thing.  Nor I suspect would Geoff's stroke of genius have been necessarily harmed by prior exposure to previous attempts.

I must say as an aside, that I am very interested in rules like you've described.  So do please keep us posted on how the playtests of them have gone.
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Bruce Baugh
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Posts: 143


« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2003, 11:22:33 AM »

I expect to chronicle playtest experiences pretty thoroughly, because 1) I am a raving egomaniac and 2) we're trying several significant improvements in the mainstream state of the art, and I'm dying to see how they go.
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Writer of Fortune
Gamma World Developer, Feyerabend in Residence
http://bruceb.livejournal.com/
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2003, 06:24:49 PM »

I have to agree with Ralph (as is annoyingly too often the case), Bruce, in that I'm guessing that your partner would not have done anything different had he read those other texts. But, in fact, it's precisely the point of the rant that reading too little is what leads to errors. Sure, if I only know D&D, I'm going to make a D&D derivative. But if I've also read, oh, say, Adventure! am I going to make the same game? The more one has read, the more one realizes the range of what's possible. This leads less and less from emulation to creation of entirely new systems that fill the gaps in the spectra.

So, no, showing your pal just Ars, and saying "we need something like that" would not be a great idea. But Ars, and Underground? Better. That and a dozen other games that don't have this sort of mechanic? Best. Because, in seeing how othr games can vary in terms of other things like Combat systems and character generation, one can see that there must be similar range to setting up social systems or any system.

I'll bet this Geoff, has enough range of play that he understands this implicitly? And as such went and developed something that was as directed to his goals as it could be.

Mike

P.S. yeah, me too; how long til publication? Gamma World with rules for communities? Dang, I always wanted that sort of thing.
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Bruce Baugh
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Posts: 143


« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2003, 06:28:56 PM »

Geoff Skellams is one of the guys who puts out Demonground and therefore does understand the state of the field in a lot of ways. But honestly, I think there are times when a fresh start really does help. Independent invention may benefit from comparison to prior art later in the process rather than always benefitting from such comparison at the outset.
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Writer of Fortune
Gamma World Developer, Feyerabend in Residence
http://bruceb.livejournal.com/
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2003, 08:45:02 AM »

Oh, that Geoff. Well, he certainly does know what he's doing.

You're point would be a hard one to test, Bruce. The real proof would be if you could point to somebody who had created an RPG having never played one before, and said RPG turned out to be both good, and not to have fallen into some of the common pitfalls of previous games, anyhow.

Sounds farfetched to me, but I suppose it's not impossible. I can actually more easily see a sub-system for a game being produced this way, much like your example.

But, the thread is about people A) making complete RPGs, and B) all of whom have played RPGs before. Anyone lurking here who's never played an RPG before!? My point is that anyone who's designing does have biases. The idea is to broaden those biases by greater exposure. It's limited experience that's the problem.

Because, I'd be really interested to see what the completely inexperienced unbiased designer would create. I'd be fascinated, in fact. I just don't think they're lurking here and reading my rants. "Fresh starts" are rare. Although, again, I'll concede the point in terms of limited sub-systems. Especially when the designer is an expert in the field.

That said, we'll be watching that design journal like hawks, looking for any chance to point out how knowledge of previous art would have made a positive impact.  ;-)
 
Mike
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J. Backman
Member

Posts: 53


« Reply #50 on: March 24, 2003, 11:58:27 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Ars Magica - gives you an idea of what a magic system can do, not only in terms of creativity, but also in terms of metagame interaction. Also what not to do with a magic system. Also the introduction of formal multi-character rules. Also for campaign structure.


And what's even better, you can now get Ars Magica for free from their publisher's website.
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Pasi Juhani Backman
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