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What's the best way to present a mechanic for discussion?

Started by Christoffer Lernö, November 11, 2002, 04:52:18 AM

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Shreyas Sampat

My thoughts on this:

Tangled, messy work is one of two kinds.  One is the work of a designer whose work is in flux; we have had a lot of threads where this happens, that an idea goes from an intial seed, turns into a tangle of incompatible ideas, then weaves itself back into a beautiful, complete thing.
The other is the sign of a lack of enthusiasm.  A designer who comes up here and says, I have this idea for a setting that I think is cool, but I haven't devoted thought to the way I want to present it or the system under which it would be played" is a designer making mud pies, not mining diamonds.


Unfortunately, Shreyas, I regret to announce the following . . .

I have this idea for a setting that I think is cool, but I haven't devoted thought to the way I want to present it or the system under which it would be played.

If you want to know whether roleplaying is my "thing." That I AM indeed a roleplayer. In my blood, or that roleplaying is "me." Or that I've devoted a great deal of life to roleplaying, then YES. Yes that is completely true. I would hope that someone on the board could say that without flinching. And I can.

But it doesn't change the second paragraph. I hope that makes sense.


Errata: Roleplaying design, not just "roleplaying."


Quote from: permacultureguerillaThey may seem a little off topic, but I find forums are best when there are few rules. Now, there is a -place- for everything. But you can generally do anything . . .

I don't see why it should be different for the forge.
Quite easily, because that isn't the best way to do things -- or rather, that isn't the best way to meet the Forge's goals. The Forge isn't "a forum" -- the Forge has a very specific purpose for existing, and allowing willy-nilly posting of a grab-bag of anything and everything does not meet that purpose.

The Forge is here to support production of actual, real games, and to support independent publishing of said work. Note I said actual, real games -- not ideas, not ideas that might be turned into games, not comments about the cool effects in the latest pop-culture movie, discussion of/argument about politics, or social chatting.

In the latter case, it has been verifiably observed that allowing OT discussion on a forum or board inevitably leads to traffic rising there and lowering elsewhere. That is, when you've just spent time posting about something that has nothing to do with your game, you've just wasted time you could have spent designing your game -- which is what the Forge is about, and hence the reason the Forge does not have OT forums.

This has, in fact, been discussed before. See Community Forum Request and pay particular attention to Clinton's post and Fang's posts.

QuoteI like seeing tangled, messy work. Finding "diamonds in the rough" and "Hey! Try putting this with that!" When a game is done, a forum helps for finishing touches. But the application for the concepts may have been overlooked, and now it's too late. I rather have "legos" sometimes, rather than have a huge "masterpiece" that I have to take apart to find the real concepts behind.
See above for the response to this and reason behind it.

If you're really keen on the rules-less forums, and the idea that posting tidbits that can be plopped together, but aren't an actual game or attempt to design a real, working, look-it-has-a-title game, then you would likely find more to your liking, or the RPG Create mailing list (via Yahoo). Both of these provide these items -- the former providing OT chat areas and/or light moderation in established forums, the latter providing plenty of one-off ideas for discussion that are not part of any game.

I hope that helps answer your concerns about why the Forge is structured and moderated the way it is.
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio


Doctor Xero

What about posting a practice game?

I mean a game which could not possibly ever become a marketable game
(based on owned properties, too specific in its audience, etc.) but which works
well as a good project through which the amateur game designer hones his/her craft
before embarking on a marketable project.

Doctor Xero
"The human brain is the most public organ on the face of the earth....virtually all the business is the direct result of thinking that has already occurred in other minds.  We pass thoughts around, from mind to mind..." --Lewis Thomas

Alex Johnson

Quote from: Doctor XeroWhat about posting a practice game?

I'm interested in the answer to this question.  I've been in the practice of making games based on rather high profile licenses that I wouldn't hope of getting rights to.  To me, the point of making a game is in the enjoyment we can get out of playing it, not the money (although I recognize this might be motivation for other posters).  Therefore, in my terms "publishing" means a PDF and a willingness to discuss and support (to a limited extent) my product, and I'll be interested in feedback and looking for help here at The Forge.

Shreyas Sampat

Xero, I direct you to Raven's insightful and eloquent post above.

"Practice games", as you call them, do not serve the stated goal of the Forge - to support the design and publishing of independent roleplaying games. So, any game you design under such intentions (and we do do so, at times; Iron Game Chef seems to be a good and successful example of "games for the sake of design") is of at best secondary importance, and I would thank you and others with similar intentions to state clearly and upfront whether you are seriously designing a game with intent to publish, or "designing for the sake of design". I know that my energy is better spent discussing Nine Worlds than it is with, say, "My New 15-minute Game" because I know where 9W is going, I know that the author has made a substantial investment of time and effort producing it, and from a completely selfish standpoint, I think promoting its success could be useful to me in the future, while "15min" could be discarded at any moment, and then my investment in critiquing it has not been used to its full advantage.

Alex, my advice to you is this: Designing for a license is needlessly difficult and you need not do it unless you are going to make money from it, because, honestly, I've observed a staggeringly high failure* rate for such games, and you're better off designing from the ground up, both for your future prospects and for your edification.

*: Failing to produce play that convincingly resembles the license.


I placed an idea thread on this topic myself.  Basically I was thinking we should all help each other out by making a list of basic things our sytem consists of and then once everyone has put in the input a mod or admin could go over one each week either by senority or randomly each week.  A few ideas for a list we could all follow would be:

Game Name:
Published: (yes, no)
Years in development or since published
Dice used:
art link:
story link:
setting link:
Brief game overview:
Posting purpose: (what is your need) ex. beta testers, artists, writers etc.)

What do you guys think?  If anyone has suggestions to add please let me know.
All that glitters is not gold. All who wander are not lost.