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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: Kill Power 19  (Read 20112 times)
brianbloodaxe
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #45 on: July 29, 2009, 02:27:06 AM »

I agree. I've never liked the Power 19 but that isn't really the problem.

The problem is that this is supposed to be the First Thoughts forum. You need to go quite far beyond your first thoughts to fill in the Power 19. If even one in ten people coming here looking for advice on their idea go elsewhere or give up because they think that they need to fill out that questionnaire then the forum isn't fulfilling its purpose.
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Luke
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« Reply #46 on: July 29, 2009, 05:47:22 AM »

you are an indie designer after all. And don't expect models, frames and lessons to do the thinking for you. There's nothing to learn actually.

I'm sorry, I'm confused. I don't understand what you're saying here at all.

Kill Power 19,
-Luke
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Patrice
Member

Posts: 133


« Reply #47 on: July 29, 2009, 06:58:04 AM »

Mmmh.

It's going to be very rambling. I've seen games in which the chapters were called Color, Situation, System and System bits were called Currency, Efficiency and Positioning. I'm pretty sure one can find games around powered by Power 19 in the way they comply and match with the Power 19 implied premises. What I'm basically saying is that, despite models and frames being useful for some mirroring function, indie game design isn't about trying to fit in a model that will deliver a clearance stamp to the game, but about expressing creativity with this media (a RPG) and sharing it.

There's a tendancy I'd like to address which lays in following the models instead of trying to think about ways to express what's inside your mind. This is a very common history: at some point, the model which was used to help and foster creativity becomes the horizon and defines what's next in such terms that the model becomes an actual block for the creativity. I think that's part of your issue with Power 19 being set as a frame for everything. My answer to this is that if you kill Power 19, the best thing would be that nothing comes as a replacement so long as Power 19 is used as a starter. I don't deny the potential uses of Power 19 at further stages, I think it's just misplaced.

That's a bit of what I mean by "there's nothing to learn". What I say is that learning should be part of the process once the process has started, but shouldn't serve as a basis for launching it nor as a final destination. In an ideal world, newcomers would just happen to come by and post whatever design lays in their minds, focused and committed to their thread. If reactions involve Power 19 logics, then fine. If they don't, then fine.
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2341


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« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2009, 09:48:30 AM »

Hey Troy,

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And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Daniel B
Member

Posts: 171

Co-inventor of the Normal Engine


« Reply #49 on: July 29, 2009, 10:21:00 AM »

Personally I agree with the people who've been saying that the Power 19 doesn't do what it's supposed to, but I haven't participated in the thread because I've never felt I needed it ..

That said, I can't help but notice how much debate this is generating. Rather than debating abstractly, why not make it concrete? Make a contest or something, for a better set of "Power Questions".

(As I said .. I've never felt I needed the questions for my own project so I'm not going to bother following through with hosting such a contest. Just thought I'd throw the idea out there if someone else wants to pick it up.)

Dan
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Arthur: "It's times like these that make me wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was little."
Ford: "Why? What did she tell you?"
Arthur: "I don't know. I didn't listen."
Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2009, 10:33:12 AM »

Paul,

That's a red herring. The Power 19 is completely irrelevant to success. Name me 5 games that didn't start as a Power 19 that have been played by three groups who don't have a member who knows the designer.

Now name me five more.

Okay, another 5.

We can keep going with this, but I don't think we need to.

I have used the Power 19 with Mage Blade. Since the inception of this discussion, I went back, found it, and re-read it. I found it quite insightful, and the answers I gave there are as true now as when I wrote it. In some cases, they may actually be more true. Now, sure, I wrote the Power 19 well over half-way into my development cycle, but referring to my development cycle is a joke. Around the time I wrote my Power 19 is the point when Mage Blade actually became something more than just an obsession for me. It became a game with some real potential for play, something I really wanted to play for reasons other than to say I played a game I wrote.

Starting with the Power 19 is probably not going to get you very far. WE GET THAT. It's been stated, restated and ratified by the guy who flipping wrote it. It was never intended as something for someone to just pick up, fill out, and throw on the internet. As someone who had beat his head on the basic concepts of his game over and over, and watched other designers do the same, I was finally able to answer the questions to my utmost satisfaction. It has become one more document in my list of resources, and one of the things that's been continuing to drive my current development.

No matter how many Lukes, Bens, Pauls, Patrices, or even Lances bash the Power 19 on the internet, it's not gonna disappear. Accept it. Get over it. Help people in your own way, despite it.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
David C
Member

Posts: 262

lost in the woods...


« Reply #51 on: July 29, 2009, 10:57:56 AM »

Quote
There's nothing to learn actually.

Wow, I'm sorry, but what conceited bs.  This isn't an abstract art show, these are games and there are important things to learn. For example, here are some of the most important lessons a game designer should know, even if they choose to design a traditional game.

1) There are ways to make a game that don't resemble any of the big RPGs
2) Task resolution vs. conflict resolution
3) How player rewards affect behavior (and how to reward non-traditional behavior)
4) People want to get different things out of the game. (not necessarily a baptism in GNS, but an understanding of what people might get out of a game.)
5) How to develop your premise into a complete thought

and there are a dozen more.  It seems like every time I see fresh meat posting a game design problem, I think to myself "Wow, I had the same problem" and that's where I think there's a common set of pitfalls for every new designer.  You might not hit all of them as a new designer, but you'll always hit several.

Hmm, maybe I need to find some time to write something like this up...
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...but enjoying the scenery.
Patrice
Member

Posts: 133


« Reply #52 on: July 29, 2009, 11:26:27 AM »

Now this is getting over-heated Smiley.

I'm sorry to do this self-quote thing but I've said in the late message all I could answer to this, here:

Quote
That's a bit of what I mean by "there's nothing to learn". What I say is that learning should be part of the process once the process has started, but shouldn't serve as a basis for launching it nor as a final destination. In an ideal world, newcomers would just happen to come by and post whatever design lays in their minds, focused and committed to their thread. If reactions involve Power 19 logics, then fine. If they don't, then fine.

What else can I say that I agree with you David?

And, still keeping to the same message, I won't get into sides here, I'm not bashing Power 19, Lance, just stressing its shortcomings as a first thoughts pattern.
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Luke
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« Reply #53 on: July 29, 2009, 11:44:15 AM »

That said, I can't help but notice how much debate this is generating. Rather than debating abstractly, why not make it concrete? Make a contest or something, for a better set of "Power Questions".

Answering a questionnaire will not help you design a game!
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Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


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« Reply #54 on: July 29, 2009, 11:47:13 AM »

Patrice,

your name was used in vain. Don't take it personally.

Luke,

Is it impossible to conceive that answering a questionaire might help others help you with your design? Obviously 19 questions aren't needed for that, but you seem to get some mileage out of using 3 to start a discussion.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
brianbloodaxe
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #55 on: July 29, 2009, 11:54:16 AM »

Is it impossible to conceive that answering a questionaire might help others help you with your design? Obviously 19 questions aren't needed for that, but you seem to get some mileage out of using 3 to start a discussion.
The problem is that until you know what their game is there is no way to know which questions they should be answering.

If they say they want a game about survival or adventure then you need to get them to be more specific.
If they say that they want to make a game about people being brought to their limits through tragedy and suffering then you want to know how they plan on representing that in their system and setting.
If they say they want to make a reaistic simulation then you need to ask what it is they want to simulate exactly.

No one question can work for a games and if you just bundle all the questions together that might be appropriate then for every question that might help you will have five that will probably hinder the process.
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2341


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« Reply #56 on: July 29, 2009, 12:11:52 PM »

Hey Lance,

The Power 19 is completely irrelevant to success.

I don't think it's irrelevant. If an aspiring designer is drawn to the Power 19 he should recognize it as a warning sign, and turn back. The Power 19 institution is comforting to a psychology that believes working harder, being more thorough, being more comprehensive, revving the mental engine more aggressively is the way of making creative progress. But it's not true. Doing the same thing, thinking the same way, just harder, and more thoroughly, isn't the way of making creative progress. You need to challenge your assumptions, or put yourself in the position of having them challenged. You need to think differently, not harder. You need to put yourself in the position of having insights. The Power 19 isn't about challenging your assumptions; it's about girding yourself with them. This is why accepting it, or helping people despite it, aren't options. To help them you have to hack away at the psychology that's drawing them to its comforts.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Ben Lehman
Member

Posts: 2094

Blissed


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« Reply #57 on: July 29, 2009, 02:04:04 PM »

I want to post here but I don't feel like I can add much to what Luke and Paul have already said. I think by this point we have four years of experience that show that there's not a lot to be gained, from a game design prospective, from filling out a questionnaire.

The power 19 doesn't need to be replaced by a different set of questions. It doesn't need to be replaced by anything. It doesn't work. It's usually counter-productive. In the instances where it's not counter-productive, the time and energy could probably be better spent on actual game design.

yrs--
--Ben
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Mike Sugarbaker
Member

Posts: 108

|>


« Reply #58 on: July 29, 2009, 02:41:35 PM »

The power 19 doesn't need to be replaced by a different set of questions.
But we do, as we always have and always will, need to strive to ask better questions in general.

For instance, "what is your game about?" does often get asked here in response to a new game idea, and usually leads to a page and a half of misunderstanding alternating with people saying "you don't get it" and repeating the question in more or less the same way. This is usually frustrating for everyone involved.

Sure, nothing in the Forge terms and conditions says you should never be frustrated, but: have we identified any good ways to shorten the process (in this thread or elsewhere)? And would those maybe belong in a stickied thread?
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Luke
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Posts: 1359

Conventions Forum Moderator, First Thoughts Pest


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« Reply #59 on: July 29, 2009, 07:00:37 PM »

Lance,
Anything is possible. Is it impossible to conceive that filling out a questionnaire limits your creativity? Is it impossible to conceive that being challenged on your (often really bad) assumptions is a positive and progressive element to design?

Mike (and MJ from way back),
Design is a frustrating process. Even if you answer Ye Olde First Question "correctly," the next step of backing up that answer is no less frustrating. Design is not a peacable, happy, smooth process. By it's nature, design delves into problems, questions assumptions about answers, and tries to find a new perspective. This is often a painful (and occasionally exciting) process! I think recognizing and accepting that is more important than finding a sugar pill question.

As Vincent so eloquently put matters on his blog, "You are not safe here."

-Luke
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