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Author Topic: Chris's Standard Rant: "Innovative"  (Read 4944 times)
redcrow
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Posts: 36


« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2003, 12:32:29 PM »

Quote from: Bankuei
-What is the most innovative games you have seen?  If you know there's other nifty things out there, why haven't you checked them out?


First, I think "innovation" is a matter of opinion.

I play games because they are fun, not because they are "innovative".  In my opinion "innovation" should not be the focus of game design.  The primary focus should be making the game fun to play.  Why waste time trying to reinvent the wheel if it won't make the ride any better?  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Too many new games are casualties of innovation, IMO.

Quote
-What does your game do different than any other game, and how does that unique aspect support your desired gameplay?


The game that I am designing completely and utterly lacks any and all "innovation".  It is perhaps the most unoriginal game and setting ever conceived.  It borrows heavily from dozens of different games and does absolutely nothing that is unique and/or hasn't been done before.

So, why do I bother?  I have been roleplaying for over 23 years and in all that time I have yet to find a single game that plays 100% the way I want it to.  I've played dozens of different RPG's, most of them the more mainstream, though in the last few years I have played several indie-RPGs.  Each and every game that I have played seems to have a few aspects that I like and many aspects that I don't.  So my design philosophy is a simple one.  Take all the aspects that I like from each of those respective games and piece them all together.  Thats why my game lacks innovation.

First and foremost the game I am designing is for me and my players.  I'm not the least bit concerned with how "innovative" or "un-innovative" others might think it is.  I am simply designing the game I have always wanted to play.  If others enjoy playing my game, great... if not, I will have lost nothing because I will still have the game I have always wanted and the satisfaction of knowing I put it together.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2003, 12:36:24 PM »

Hello,

This thread is wandering badly. Not only are some people failing to answer Chris' direct questions, but there seems to be some confusion among the terms "innovative," "good," and "unusual."

Chris, I suggest providing more direction, perhaps emphasizing just what you mean by the term, so that the thread is not merely a string of "see term, have reaction, hit keys" posts.

Best,
Ron
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Bankuei
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2003, 03:29:38 PM »

Hi folks,

My point is NOT innovative=always good, my point is that if you're taking time to do an entirely NEW game, that (I hope) you are planning to do something different(and better, at least in your opinion) than what else is out there.  

Like I said before, if someone read the rant, and takes the thought with them and applies it on their next design, to really think about what they're doing and not just blindly, "But of course we need death mechanics, what would be the point of play?!?" without thinking, I'd be fine with it.

Unless someone has something meaningful to contribute in regards to design, I think the point has been made and we can drop the subject.

Chris
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fabien
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2003, 05:00:19 PM »

Well, I don't pretend to know very much about RPG and probably I miss somethings but here two points I failed to see address in any RPG I know (at least, I can say I know a lot of them):

- Civilization(TM)-like gaming element.  I would like a game where the actions of characters can directly influence the society/culture under it, and vice-versa.  Currently, the only game I know that have try this approach is Torg, in a very artificial way, and multiverser, in a, helas, too much superficial way (the characters are influenced by the universe visit, but can barely influence the universe itself).  Don't take me wrong: I want more than a simple narrative progression in the campaign.  I really want to be able to handle things like Science Discovery, Building Wonders, and Politic and Philosophical Revolution at the RPG level.

- A system that handle action resolution on the basis of mood instead of action/situation.  Currently, the mood is either to have multi-resolutions system with a one situation / one rule (like combat rules, pick-locking rules, craft rules, magic rules) or universal resolution systems (like... well, most recent systems recently).  I'm currently working on a generic system that aim more on the selection of specific mechanics based on the mood of play instead of the physical action.  It's a little bit like Torg again, where you choose to read a different card side if you are either in a climax scene (give advantage to the enemy) or a generic scene (give advantage to the PC) but directly in the mechanics.  This is may be reverse to the current rpg direction (where we all try to have one common rule for everything), but still, that's the way I running my game for some years now.  It's just not easy to put it in written words.

Again, I don't that no game have those elements.  I just don't know them.  So, I'll be very happy if you can't point me to such games.  Thanks in advance!
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fabien
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2003, 05:22:56 PM »

Oops!  Sorry... May be I should also answer to Chris' questions:

About what I find innovative about RPG?  Well, a lot of things, just like a lot of things are also just old-remake of other games.  I doesn't regards innovative as a major thing for buying a RPG.  However, I'm looking for game that answer my needs as a role-player or are simply well-done and interesting.  My must pleasing buy in term of system recently (well, in the last five years) is certainly Nobilis, which is the first game I buy that used diceless in a form that I like, with a setting that is convenient for.  But hey, my best RPG is still Nephilim:Revelation, the latest french version of Nephilim, but this have nothing to do with the system.  I just like the setting, which can be seen just as a big mess of everything around, very rich.  Nothing original but very well done.

What's new or innovative in my own RPG?  Well, I don't really know.  My system (only available in French currently) is not really innovative, at least it's not what I aim for, and I once though that the only thing innovative was the dice roll (until I heard about Feng Shui, that's it ;) ).  But currently, the rare characteristics that can make it unique is an expandable/retractable skill lists and a leitmotiv/temptation heroes points system.  Nothing really new, but an innovative way to do old things.  Also, there is some interchangeable optional rules, which allow a GM to change rules for their narrative needs.  The only innovation here is may be that was one of the rare system that is designed with this in mind.

So, briefly, there is really nothing innovative currently in term of role-playing experience.  I just do a system that will please me and allow me to play the kind of games I like to play (multi-genre a la Moorcock's Eternal Champions series) with a lot of varieties, both in setting elements and mood.
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Bruce Baugh
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« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2003, 07:21:21 PM »

I think that some straw men are getting thumped here. Who precisely is claiming these revolutionary innovations?

Well, I am. :) Fabien, check out the Gamma World Player's Handbook this fall to see if the community chapter offers any of what you're looking for. Actually, it's not as purely revolutionary as all that, though it is a significant development (I think) in the state of the art for community description and play. But I'm well aware of the debts I owe to Pendragon, Vampire, and Underground, just for starters, as well as the author's debts to work in neural networking and its application to social modeling.

But seriously - sure, in writing ad copy I'll say things like "brand new", but I can't think of many of my colleagues who are actually claiming really radical innovations in advertising and stuff. So I want to know what the target here is. It matters to me if what we're actually talking about is folks boasting in forums or fanboys raving on.
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Kester Pelagius
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Posts: 508


« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2003, 07:46:48 PM »

Greetings fabien,

Salutations, Bienvenue Ó la forge!

Ayez besoin de votre jeu traduit en anglais, bien, vous sont dans la chance. M'ai ai obtenu un lien pour vous!

En fait je l'avais l'habitude pour traduire ce que vous lisez maintenant. Ainsi, s'il ne se comprend pas, excuses. Mais je l'ai pensÚ serais une bonne illustration de la fašon dont cela fonctionne. Voici le lien.


So much for that.  :)


Quote from: fabien
What's new or innovative in my own RPG?  Well, I don't really know.


Hint:  It's that thing that you were all excited about when you got the idea for it.  Remember?  That thing about the way to go about doing the thing to introduce that special aspect of the game that you couldn't wait to write the idea down for?  *smiles knowingly*

Quote from: fabien
I just do a system that will please me and allow me to play the kind of games I like to play (multi-genre a la Moorcock's Eternal Champions series) with a lot of varieties, both in setting elements and mood.


Which, one would hope, is the inspiration of all game designers!

Amusez-vous bien!


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
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"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -Dante Alighieri
Marco
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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2003, 06:52:23 AM »

At Ron's suggestion, I'm posting one of my PM's to him about "off topic" discussion in this thread. It's *slightly* modified 'cause it's out of context.

[Ron had asked what "innovative" meant if it didn't mean both "new and good"--i.e. was it differnet or just redundant to 'different' or 'new' ]

I was just pointing out (what you hit on) innovative == ? (good, new, new&good?)

I think that just like indie doesn't mean alternative here, innovative shouldn't be tied to good.

Firstly, good is a *terrible* metric. Lotta people *love* Hackmaster. You can say it's not innovative. You can't say it's not good.

Secondly, while I respect the crispness of The Window, I'd hesitate to call it "good." As an RPG it's barely there. It is pretty original--but the mechanic of "roll under a six" isn't ... well ... all that and a bag of chips.

So I think that innovative, like universal gets chocked in with the marketing fluff. I mean, if I mix up a new pasta dish, that's innovative even if I don't invent new stuff to add to it (i.e. add oh, say, watermellon--something that has never been added to pasta before ... has it? I'm scared now, just thinking about it).

I don't put too much stock in "innovative" and I don't think anyone else should. Sure, if you wanna do something that's never been done before--rock on! But if that's your sole criteria for doing what you do I think the cart is pullin' the horse.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2003, 07:10:25 AM »

What Marco said.

Folks, I am pronouncing this thread closed. For people who are new to the Forge, that means don't post to it again. If you want to discuss something about "innovation," start your own thread and be very clear about what you're saying or asking.

I especially want to commend and welcome Fabien for his posts, and I hope we can follow up on them in new threads.

Best,
Ron
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