*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 21, 2014, 04:00:43 PM

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: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: what do you need from an RPG? (repost of older thread)  (Read 5435 times)
Green
Member

Posts: 247


« on: April 15, 2003, 11:28:18 AM »

I first asked this question here, but it generated no response, and I think that the issue I raise here is integral to the further development of the game I'm designing.  In addition, I think this is perhaps the second best place to post this, for these questions have not come up in playtesting, and due to the nature of the game, I think I should first ask people who are more familiar with GNS theory.

Currently, I am revising and expanding Kathanaksaya.  So far, the basics are covered.  Pretty much any experienced roleplayer can pick it up and play it as written, but I am certain there are things I can do to make the game easier to grasp for new roleplayers or for roleplayers who do not have experience in playing RPGs in a more patently dramatic medium.  I am not so confident in my perceptive abilities that I can honestly say that the game is ready.  

So, in the hopes of perhaps getting this distributed to more people, I think it is time for me to ask what players would need to play.  I'm speaking from a pragmatic standpoint, not a theoretical one.  What do you think you need to play this game?  What questions would you have, as a player or Narrator, when it came to the actual act of using this game and the system?  What concepts or ideas still seem vague?  Where do you see players having trouble understanding what it is they can or should do in a given situation?

As a side note, I would like to keep references to similar games to a minimum.  Not only does it have the potential to erupt into a copyright dispute, but I would also like to entertain the delusion, just for a little while, that my idea is unique.
Logged
C. Edwards
Member

Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2003, 12:40:22 PM »

Hey Green,

This may make me Mr. Obvious, but some concise and engaging examples of play can go a long way to helping people 'get it'.  Show how you expect the game to be played, the play structure, narration and who does it when, and illuminate decisions made during play.  It can be difficult to conceptualize how play is supposed to proceed in a game that doesn't adhere to more common conventions.

-Chris
Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2003, 03:33:11 PM »

I'll add a simple practical "requirement" - get it all organized and in one place (a pdf or some html somewhere).  To be honest, I'm not sure I can really even analyze the content until this happens - picking through a thread for a game design just isn't my thing.  Explaining, perhaps, my low participation in the Design forum . . .

Gordon
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
John Kim
Member

Posts: 1805


WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2003, 03:42:44 PM »

Quote from: Gordon C. Landis
 I'll add a simple practical "requirement" - get it all organized and in one place (a pdf or some html somewhere).  To be honest, I'm not sure I can really even analyze the content until this happens - picking through a thread for a game design just isn't my thing.  Explaining, perhaps, my low participation in the Design forum . . .  

Ditto for me.  I will add in a peeve of mine, and that is to have the game in a form which can be downloaded and printed as a single document.  PDF is nice but HTML is fine, just so long as it is in an organized single document which progresses linearly through concepts.  A number of free games can only be accessed as 10+ browsable web pages in no particular order, and it is difficult to find even basic things like what dice are rolled or how characters are created.
Logged

- John
Green
Member

Posts: 247


« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2003, 04:03:39 PM »

I have the game on file as a Wordperfect document and as a RTF document.  I don't own Adobe Acrobat (just the reader), and I don't have a web publishing program.  If you want a copy of the game, I would be glad to send it to you via email.  

Or, if you know someone who can do it, I wouldn't mind converting the file to a PDF or HTML document.
Logged
John Kim
Member

Posts: 1805


WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2003, 04:18:12 PM »

Quote from: Green
I have the game on file as a Wordperfect document and as a RTF document.  I don't own Adobe Acrobat (just the reader), and I don't have a web publishing program.  If you want a copy of the game, I would be glad to send it to you via email.  

Or, if you know someone who can do it, I wouldn't mind converting the file to a PDF or HTML document.

Web publishing doesn't take any special program.  A common simple solution many people have done is to start a Yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/) for discussion of the game, and then provide the file in the files section of that group.  Alternately, you could create a web page using Geocities (http://geocities.yahoo.com/).

As a third alternative, I would be glad to host the game for you on my site if you want.  I can provide a web form for you to upload the files as well.  Send me an email with the file(s); I'll add it to my game list and put it on the web.  It will have a dull web page and a hard-to-remember URL, but it won't have any ads.  :-)
Logged

- John
Green
Member

Posts: 247


« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2003, 04:55:41 PM »

John> The third option seems the most reasonable.  I had already created a Yahoo group for works I've done, and the lack of traffic is, shall we say, depressing.  I appreciate that it won't have any ads.
Logged
simon_hibbs
Member

Posts: 678


« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2003, 04:55:36 AM »

Quote from: Green
I have the game on file as a Wordperfect document and as a RTF document.  I don't own Adobe Acrobat (just the reader), and I don't have a web publishing program.  If you want a copy of the game, I would be glad to send it to you via email.  

Or, if you know someone who can do it, I wouldn't mind converting the file to a PDF or HTML document.


You can download Ghostview/Ghostscript for Windows that alow you to view Postscript files and export them in PDF format. I can email you copies of them if you like.

Alternatively email me a Postscript file (print to file) and I'll convert it
for you (simon.hibbs@marconi.com).

There are web sites that will convert files for you automaticaly, but I haven't used them.


Simon Hibbs
Logged

Simon Hibbs
Green
Member

Posts: 247


« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2003, 10:38:08 AM »

I've already emailed John Kim with the information. Thanks for the assistance in that regard.  You can find PDF, RTF, and TXT versions of the game here.

Be forewarned, though, that some of the formatting is off because it was originally a Wordperfect document.  It is still legible, though.

If any of you are not averse to it, could we go back to the initial thrust of this thread and address the issues I raise there?
Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2003, 12:41:22 PM »

Quote from: Green
If any of you are not averse to it, could we go back to the initial thrust of this thread and address the issues I raise there?

Your first post seems to me to ask specifically about YOUR game - what will it take for folks to grasp how to play/what to do with Kathanaksaya.  That question really belongs over in Indie Design, and I personally will be waiting for the aforementioned single, organized doc before I comment.  Make sure to announce when/where that's available . . .

If you mean to ask in general, what do folks need from a game text to be able to use it well in play - well, that's a damn good question.  I think a LOT of the discussion here is all about that issue, but there may be some value in attacking it as a thing of its' own - here's one thought:

The first step I see is communicating what "use it well in play" means to you, the designer - maybe call it "communicating your creative agenda", to use a jargony phrase that seems to be emerging here.  Getting that across, in a clear and comprehensible manner, seems fundamental - otherwise, all the other details are missing a context, which can only (IME) make things harder.

Like I said, a lot of discussion here at the Forge is really about this general issue - I think threads about IIEE are particularly useful in helping understand (and thus communicate via your game text) how what happens during play is established.

Maybe that'll get a general discussion started,

Gordon
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
Green
Member

Posts: 247


« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2003, 12:59:51 PM »

Quote from: Gordon C. Landis
Quote from: Green
If any of you are not averse to it, could we go back to the initial thrust of this thread and address the issues I raise there?

I personally will be waiting for the aforementioned single, organized doc before I comment.  Make sure to announce when/where that's available.


I did.  The link is in the post that you quoted from.
Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2003, 01:35:41 PM »

Whoops - got it.  Might I recommend a post over in Design announcing it's availability?
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2003, 01:42:25 PM »

Hi Green,

Here's my suggestion, based on your point:

Quote
I am certain there are things I can do to make the game easier to grasp for new roleplayers or for roleplayers who do not have experience in playing RPGs in a more patently dramatic medium.


I strongly suggest not considering including such "things" at all at this stage. Your basic job is not to convert, but to speak to those who already agree. If you can get that nailed down well, then consider expanding the possible audience.

However, the overriding trend in RPG texts is to provide reams of semi-apologetic, semi-hectoring text trying to explain the game to those who the author thinks "aren't getting it" - which makes the game bloody annoying to read and use for those who are the game's primary audience.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Green
Member

Posts: 247


« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2003, 01:48:16 PM »

Ron> OK.  Who, then, do you consider the converted?  I apologize for seeming slow-witted, but I'm not exactly sure who you mean here.

Also, would it be OK to move this thread to the initial thread I posted at the Indie Game Design forum?
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2003, 02:08:39 PM »

We're here now!

I'll try to clarify. The primary audience for any RPG is composed of the people who get the point of play with only the most basic introduction or description of your vision of it. They just plain already agree with you and share your basic aesthetic.

You: "K, here's what I have in mind about how to play and what's the point. [quick description]"

Them: "Yeah!" [followed by instant creation of characters that totally blow you away with how appropriate they are]

I am recommending that your first pass at the game design be written only with them in mind. Just take it as given that a whole passle of such people are out there, and never mind if they are "most gamers" or "beginning gamers" or whatever. In fact, and as a side point, I suggest that "beginners" are often more intuitive and skilled at picking up unusual ways to play than long-time role-players.

Back to the main point, I have seen far, far too many instances of the following:

1. The author continually trying to explain how to look at these rules (a) while still trying to explain how they work and (b) positing as a given that his audience isn't understanding the point at all. This is literally an unfinishable writing process - it spins the author into a hole of re-explaining a re-explained point, over and over.

2. A finished game-text such as I described before, with so much orientation plastered over the meat of what to do, with so many explanations starting with "Traditional gamers might not understand ..." and so forth, that it's unreadable.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Pages: [1] 2
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!