Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by JasonPalenske, October 25, 2005, 06:53:59 PM
Quote from: WhiteRat on October 25, 2005, 08:34:07 PMJason,One of the things that attracted me to the Forge (before I even dreamed of being a game designer) was precisely that "Holy Crap!" you mention. Here was a wealth of ideas I had never encountered. Here was an internet forum where discussion left me grasping, as opposed to charging in with confidence that I knew it all already. Here I sensed there was something to learn.I don't think that's for everyone. Some people don't care to learn about rhythm and rhyme, meter and verse, Shakespeare and Keats: they just want to write poetry. And they can do that. Nobody will stop them.If, however, these aspiring poets want to have useful discussions about poetry with other poets, they'd better learn some common terms. Alliteration; stanza; sonnet. Otherwise how can they communicate?To me, that's all the Big Model (once called GNS) does. It provides a language with which to describe all these phenomena I see happening while playing games.Of course it takes effort to learn. Communication is hard. Anyone can communicate poorly, but good communication takes work.Is that intimidating? If so, there's no help for it. You get out what you put in*.*Minus thermodynamics' cut.
Quote from: JasonPalenske on October 25, 2005, 09:31:11 PMI totally agree, but I think it would help us in creating a simpler model in which new designers can begin with before starting on the learning curve to the Big Model. Or for that matter, creating a simpler common consensus for those who do not wish to get into the greater details of theory and design.
Quote from: Nogusielkt on October 25, 2005, 11:38:57 PMI don't think that this community will ever change to one where anyone can wonder in and immediately understand everything that is going on. You'd probably be better off starting a new community for that.
QuoteTo me, "those who do not wish to get into the greater details of theory and design" sounds like "those who want to benefit from the Big Model without having to learn it." I don't think we can help them.
QuoteI agree that the Forge would benefit from simpler and more up-to-date introductory essays. The Glossary is not easy to dive into. But I don't think we achieve that by "dumbing down" the Big Model into something less than it is. We achieve it by presenting the Model in digestible chunks.
QuoteThe questions are one starting point for doing that."What is your game about?" "What do the characters do?" "What do the players do?" No Forge jargon exists in any of these questions. They don't refer to the Big Model in any way. They are utterly simple.Why do you find them confusing?
QuoteAll groups have their terms, their jargon, and confusingly redefined words that seemingly exist as such for no better purpose than people enjoying redefining words. As anyone who has ever been in any technical field eventually realizes, this is part and parcel of human communication. Words are not redefined just for the sake of it, but for clear purposes that serve the goals of that group: specialized communication always looks bizzare and confusing, even useless, to those outside the group.For a prime example, just look at the computer technology field. Closer to home, try talking RPGs to your non-gamer mom as though she were a fellow gamer.So, while one could go and create a new group that everyone could immediately jump into and understand everything going on, it wouldn't stay that way for long. I'll note the former is exactly where the Forge started out, too. In order to remain that way, the Forge would have had to have done nothing over a five-year period, no communication, no theory development: complete stasis.To me, the annual "Hey, you have to read stuff at the Forge to participate! That sucks!" threads are just our regular culturally-motivated "wanting to ignore reality" idea regurgitation. Not to say lowering the barrier to entry wouldn't be a good thing, and I respect someone wanting to do it...as long as they DO IT and don't just talk about how it should be done (you know, by someone else).
QuoteThus, I do applaud Jason's attempt above...but in looking at it, I have to question it as well. His three questions are just...the original three questions put through a thesaurus. If they help Jason understand or answer the standard questions better: GREAT!
QuoteBut, as Ron often notes in threads about GNS eureka's that include the "what you're trying to say is...", understanding is reached through rephrasing the existing statement into something you grok, it doesn't mean it is an improvement over the original, except for you. (I guarantee that someone else is going to find your questions just as "confusing" as you find the originals, and will come along and say, "Well, why not ask it like THIS? That's much clearer (to me).")
QuoteI don't get it. I mean, I don't get your design advice. It doesn't make any sense to me. Character creation before rules? Isn't character creation a rule? How are "How do you play" and "what do the players do" different questions? You say you need to forget everything you know but all of your structure is based around "most games." (Must games use dice, Most games have physical/mental divides, Most games have character creation rules.) So am I supposed to forget everything or not?What do "rules heavy" and "rules light" actually mean? Those combinations of words are impossible to wring any meaning out of, at least in my head. Does it have to do with the weight of paper for the rules text? I don't know.I'm all for new design techniques, but I can't fathom how to even parse what you've just said, let alone put it into practice.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on October 26, 2005, 12:10:58 PMHey Jason,As I see it, you've nominated yourself as a front-runner to write exactly the sort of articles you'd like to see here.Best,Ron
Quote from: JasonPalenske on October 26, 2005, 10:51:39 AMI don't find them confusing in any way, what I do find is the wording can be somewhat cold, well perhaps not cold, perhaps intimidating. I think by putting those first questions in a friendlier tone it could perhaps attract more designers to allow us to follow along in their designs.