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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Perceptions of Civility at the Forge  (Read 20940 times)
Jonathan Walton
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Posts: 1309


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« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2004, 04:41:12 PM »

Quote from: greyorm
Here's my problem with doing that, specifically...I'd LOVE to create new, cutting edge designs. But I'm clueless. I'm lost. I couldn't tell you what's bleeding edge, innovative design if you threatened to set my shorts on fire, much less make one (at least by anything but accident). Sorry.


Hmm... really?  I mean, I just approach it like this:

1) What do I want the game to be about?
2) How could I do that? (Ask this question about 100 times, rejecting all answers until you come up with one that surprises you and seems impossible.)
3) Figure out how in the world you're going to make that work.
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Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2004, 06:08:52 PM »

Quote
1) What do I want the game to be about?
2) How could I do that? (Ask this question about 100 times, rejecting all answers until you come up with one that surprises you and seems impossible.)
3) Figure out how in the world you're going to make that work.


See, I don't buy that at all really.  Seems to me #2 should be about figuring out the best way, regardless of how surprising or impossible it is.

If the best way is to use Fortune-in-the-middle then the right answer is to use fortune-in-the-middle no matter how many times its been used before.

Being willing to break the mold is important.  But the act of breaking it can not and should not be the primary purpose of the design, IMO.
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Hunter Logan
Member

Posts: 86


« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2004, 07:38:53 PM »

Hi Ralph,

I say Jonathan has a good point - Lots of good points, actually. But let's just deal with this one.

It's hard not to notice, but Jonathan is hellbent on treating roleplaying as art. Near as I can tell, he applies that desire to all aspects of roleplaying - Play, design, conceptualization, all of it. Now, design - design in the broad sense - is an integral part of art. His step two is not part of an rpg design process. It's part of a broader art-making process where in you generate as many possibilities as you can, starting with the very obvious and eventually coming to the not-so-obvious. Hopefully, toward the end of the process, you come up with something that really hasn't quite been done before, something fresh and original. It's deliberately not the obvious solution, but it's surprising, and it works. So, from a certain point of view, you could rephrase step three. It's probably fairly obvious how to make the solution work; but you'll still have to spend some time tweaking and refining.

If considering the rpg design as a work of art, I'd say, "fortune-in-the-middle" is a safe, obvious solution worthy of a yawn. Tell the truth: Greg Stafford broke the mold when he did it, but everybody else is a copycat. Even then, fortune-in-the-middle is still fortune, inevitably a tired and unoriginal means of resolution. So, you can use it. No one will blame you for using it, but you'll never break the mold by going that route.

So, let me ask this: Why should we ever feel comfortable assuming that f-i-m, or any fortune for that matter, is necessarily the best or only way of solving a given design problem? Jonathan's approach shows his intent. He wants to break the mold. If that's his primary purpose in design, I say more power to him. And I ask you, who says breaking the mold can't or shouldn't be the primary purpose of design? Do we really need more tired, unoriginal game designs? I think not.

Of course, as Jack points out,

Quote
Bleeding edge is so transitory. What is bleeding edge today is old hat tomorrow, pathetic the next day, but nostalgically retro-cool the following week.


He's right, but that really doesn't diminish the value of the effort.
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Asrogoth
Member

Posts: 92


« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2004, 08:36:26 PM »

It seems as though we're straying from the point of this thread right now -- dealing with the bleeding edge.  I think that is a great topic and will open up a new topic in RPG Theory regarding it.

To get back to the point of this thread though, perception is part of the battle we have from the Forge.

In order for the Forge to work as a haven for independent rpg designers, we should try to make sure that our audience -- those designers (and potentials) do not become over-awed by our jargon, perceived attitudes and intellectualism.

The community (esp. Ron) is making strides towards reducing the difficulty of "newbies" to come to terms with jargon (no pun intended) through the use of the glossary.

But as has been mentioned and carried to other another thread, some need exists for more Forge pedagogy.  Perhaps the civility and perceptions of the Forge can be moderated by a persistent and gentle appeal to newbies to read the tools available while making the tools available more accessible and compact.

It shouldn't take days to read through the thousands of posts and pages of articles in order to get[/] a handle on "Forge" theory.  But we do not have anything in place yet to take care of our newbie need.

Of course, the grognards may rightfully state, "We didn't have anyone holding our hands, giving us Forge-pablam."  True, but we want better for those that come after us, don't we?

To become more user-friendly -- most especially to our non-participating and newbie audience -- we should try to retain a level of dignity that befits our presumed status.  Therefore, if we are trying to change the industry through promoting innovative and well-designed new rpgs, then we must be innovative and disciplined in our attempts to explain our concepts to the unintiated.

Due to the nature of The Forge (it's a web site available to anyone with internet access -- alas not to some with mean firewall police), it is open for public perusal where anyone can look at our site with the desire to learn about us -- regardless of their RPG experiences.  Part of the external perception would be that if we're selling something (Forge theory), then we should make attempts to make it accessible/understandable to those who would find us.

When we seemingly chide newbies and present the uninitiated with our jargon, we tend to alienate them.  It's like a Pentecostal going to a Catholic Mass.  The words are gonna be familiar.  The concepts presented will be generally comprehendable, but without some explanation of what's going on, the Pentecostal will most likely be lost (bowing, kneeling, standing, etc) and may never return, simply because the service was inaccessible and the onus was on him/her to learn why those "boring" people were acting so "stiff" and "arrogant" expecting him/her to understand and do everything right, or else why would they bother coming to the service!

I hope that made sense.  It's late, and I've got a wedding tomorrow.

Night.
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