Game theory (or close enough)


June 2, 2005: 11:09 pm: Game theory (or close enough)

Vincent has an excellent new post up on his blog about immersion:

Some of you think that I’m saying or about to say something like this: “our intent focus on immersion has blinded us to other, just as fun ways to play.” And you’re already responding: “maybe so, Vincent, but immersion is my favorite, and those other ways to play may be just as much fun but I don’t like them as much.” Wrong!

See, that buys into the stupidbad false dichotomy. Let it go. What I’m really saying and about to say is this:

Our shared misunderstanding of what makes immersion happen has parched our experience. WE CAN HAVE IT ALL. Our big monkey brains are fully capable of having immersion and those other kinds of fun all at the same time.

I think this is a really important point. I know people whose main reason for gaming is to immerse themselves in their character, and I think they often buy into the idea that game systems usually interfere with that. I don’t think that it’s at all hard to see why they might have come to that conclusion, as dealing with the intricacies of some of the more popular (and complex) RPG systems, like D&D, Champions or GURPS, can all too easily pull you back to a place where you’re letting go of the character in order to deal with the numbers. That doesn’t mean that rules or dice need to get in the way of immersion though, it just means that some rules have a tendency to do so.

So, go read what Vincent has to say, and take the time to go through the comments too, as some good discussion seems to already be starting there.

May 22, 2005: 8:05 pm: Game theory (or close enough), GMing

Forge regular Mike Holmes posted an in-depth explanation of the concept of bangs. It’s well worth a read.

May 16, 2005: 9:12 pm: Cons, Game theory (or close enough)

Okay, this is the kind of thing that makes me sorry I’m not going to GenCon:

So I called the Justice League of Indie Game Design together and came up with a rough outline for the Workshop. Everyone got on board and planning began. The initial idea was to do a hardcore workshop with a catered lunch, group projects, presentations…but alas, this didn’t come together for a variety of reasons. The current plan is to set up a series of four seminars on the Friday of the con, with each running between an hour and 1.5 hours — with a lunch break in between sessions 2 and 3. If it goes well, maybe next year we’ll do something even more ambitious. Buy-in is $5 per session ($20 for the whole thing). I don’t have the exact write-ups of each seminar with me, but the details are:

Session I: Theory of Roleplaying, hosted by D. Vincent Baker (kill puppies for satan, Dogs in the Vineyard)

Session II: Game Design, hosted by Yours Truly [Jared A. Sorenson] and Luke Crane (Burning Wheel)

Session III: Worldbuilding and Mythic Storytelling, hosted by John Wick (Legend of the Five Rings, OrkWorld, Thirty, etc.)

Session IV: Print & Electronic Publication, hosted by Clinton R. Nixon (Paladin, Shadow of Yesterday) and Luke Crane

For those who will be at GenCon that weekend, the actual event code is apparently WKS00018: Roleplaying Game Design Workshop.

January 16, 2005: 4:56 pm: Game theory (or close enough)

In this post over on Anyway, Vincent Baker shares an excellent little fortune-in-the-middle resolution mechanic. Things sure have been hopping over there lately, between Vincent’s posts and some excellent discussion in the comments. I only wish he had an RSS feed.
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December 27, 2004: 8:18 pm: Game theory (or close enough)

Vincent “Lumpley” Baker (designer of such games as Dogs in the Vineyard and kill puppies for satan) has a good post on his weblog, anyway, about how to talk about RPG design with people who aren’t familiar with the discussions and terminology of The Forge.
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May 25, 2004: 7:52 pm: Game theory (or close enough)

Doyce has an excellent post up over on Random Encounters where he works through GNS theory in his own head, and shares his take on all of it. I think it’s a pretty worthwhile read, and may help some of those who feel like they don’t really “get” GNS (or who are just curious about it). I think it’s a better place for most people to start than Ron Edward’s extensive essays on the topic.

[via In the Shadow of Greatness]

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