Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by Sylus Thane, June 03, 2003, 07:38:56 PM
Quote1) GNS will challenge your paradigm. Whether or not you wind up believing its tenets or deciding its a crock, you WILL have your assumptions about what an RPG is and what is important to an RPG game challenged. If there is one thing that the Fantasy Heartbreaker articles demonstrate its that games designed on "standard" assumptions often wind up being far less than they could have been. Challenging those assumptions and forcing a new designer to really think critically about WHY they did certain things or included certain things or didn't include certain things, is a good thing.
Quote2) A little bit of grilling I think is also a good thing. Questions like "That's all good, but what do you actually DO" or "Why would I want to play this game instead of that game" may seem harsh and maybe even a little rude...but they are the most important questions to ask. If a designer can't answer the first question than they don't really have a coherent game...they may have a setting, they may have a collection of clever mechanics, but until they understand themselves what it is you DO...that's all they have. As to the second question...well the Forge's mission is about publishing. Implied in the idea of publishing is creating a game that others will want to play...or at least look at. If a designer can't answer the question of what makes his game unique and different and compelling...than what really is the point of even publishing it? If the designer can't get excited about what makes his game special, how can anyone else.
Quote3) Indie publishing takes a commitment: of time, money, and effort. I've got nothing against home brews, I've got nothing against test bed games designed "just to see if it will work", but ultimately the Forge is about completing a project, putting it in a deliverable format, and publishing. That takes commitment. Sure a designer being peppered with questions they didn't expect and maybe don't even understand when they were thinking they wanted opinions on a particular die mechanic may seem like going overboard. But the other side of that coin is that game design does involve a little trial by fire. Wading through those questions, perservering on the theory, defending without being defensive...those are all marks of a designer who has the drive and committment and believe in their game and their abilities.
Quote4) The above 3, I offer as pretty good reasons that are probably pretty broadly accepted. This one is purely my own, and if it pisses people off, direct your ire at me not the Forge in general. For me the trial by fire serves as a filter. Quite literally, a designer who can't be bothered to answer the questions or at least endeavor to understand the questions is going to get a lot less interest from me in their project. Bottom line, if they can't be bothered to answer our questions, why should I be bothered to answer theres. I know that may sound a little elitist...but there you go. There are only so many hours I can dedicate to the Forge. There are alot of potentially great games being designed by people I know (at least in the online sense) and already appreciate their work...so many in fact, that I don't have time to dig deeply into all of them. Frankly, for a new designer to get my attention they're going to have to show me something compelling enough to drag me away from the games I'm already following, and part of that is in the responses to the "3rd degree".
QuoteGreat topic I think. Those are my thoughts anyway. Does that help assuage your concerns...or confirm your worst fears...
QuoteAn excellent question. Here's my view and approach on it, and I think it works well. When I see an game design that I feel like contributing to, I don't bring up issues of GNS terminology unless the designer is bringing them up. You don't need to know GNS to make a good game, one only need look at the Pool, Riddle of Steel, or Dread as some basic examples. But I do, and absolutely ask, "What do folks do in your game?" if its not clear. For example, many game designs involve some form of "kewl setting" and maybe a nifty mechanic without any sort of explaination of what the game is about. I don't consider this to be a GNS heavy, terminology laden, or even theory dense question. In other words, I keep my design discussion to the level of the designer, and don't try to "convert" them to any Forge theory or concept.
Quote from: Shreyas SampatSylus, it seems like you're really raising an etiquette question here, rather than one regarding GNS: "What is the appropriate way to respond to a newcomer to the Forge? How much do we expect of all newcomers?" GNS has nothing to do with it.That said,I see a lot of friendliness in Indie Design, a lot more than what you seem to be detecting. Following the lead of faster posters, I often hold back my most burning questions (usually, "what makes your game special? why did you choose this mechanic, which implies X Y Z assumptions? Do you in fact assume X Y Z?) until the look of 'testing the waters' has left the poster's diction.Yes, this leads to me sometimes not involving myself at all. But I think the current approach isn't the firebreathing dragon lady you make it out to be; more of a sleeping dog. Yes, it does get growly sometimes, but not so often that it's detrimental to anyone's health.
Quote from: Sylus ThaneAnother example would be Iron Game Chef Simulation, where allthough the contestants did for as far as we know intend to make simulationist games, even Jared who doesn't believe it exists, only to later to have it be decided that perhaps they were not simulationist at all but something else. Now I do not want this to seem like I'm picking on Mike alone, but it does show where ones understanding of something can and will differ from another in viewpoint.
QuoteSeems to me the solution is obvious - suggest bagging the GNS talk from the git-go when someone posts like this, and don't try to make any corrections about that at this time. Just focus on the game. Best, Ron
QuoteAs far as GNS and Indie Design I'm not sure they could be seperated. GNS permeates all the general Forge forums. GNS is, like it or not, the basis for a great deal of vocabulary here. Even though the name of the forum, the Forge, suggests that things get the piss hammered out of them here I don't think that applies to newcomers. Yes, they often get asked pointed and intense questions, the answers to which often necessitate research, but I think they are treated as gently as they can be considering the disparity of terminological knowledge that's often involved.
Quote from: Ron EdwardsHi Sylus,Actually, the solution has already occurred, thanks to you posting this thread at all. I think the goal you state is about 81% in place already. The majority of Indie Design discussions do go the way that you (and I) recommend. A little reminder like this thread goes a long way toward taking the proportion to 99%, and the 1%, we can't do anything about.Then, of course, the cycle/population-growth effect kicks in, and I anticipate someone posting a topic like this one in Site Discussion again, say, six or eight months from now.Best,Ron
Quoteediting this in (we cross-posted): Who said the thread was closed? It ain't closed until either you or I say so.
QuoteThe issue doesn't arise from Forge people using GNS terms on the new posters and their games. That is rare to absent in Indie Design. The issue arises from new posters trying to fit in by using terms that they don't understand very well, and then from the Forge folks getting interested in helping them understand better.
QuoteIn Indie Design in particular, it's best to recognize that the GNS-terminology isn't central to the goal of that forum. The goal is to help the person with his or her game. So, since we can't do anything about people using unfamiliar terminology in a misguided attempt to fit in, the only solution is for Forge members to react differently to the phenomenon.