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Friday, September 27, 2013

Here I am again at the R.P.G. edge..

So here I am again on the edge of the “I'm going to write a game” cliff.
This time I am going to try to do things a bit differently.

Using this blog I'm going to document my process, which in turn might help, entertain, or possibly bore others. When I finish this game I will have a nice record of what I did, the design choices I committed to and why.
Hopefully some discussion as to why I am making some decisions and why I am not making others will happen.
I hear you ask, “Why such a big deal, you write a game like every time take a shower, or at least once a week?”
I'm on the tail end of 38 years old and have been doing this a long time, I think I finally need to settle in and write some thing I really like. To put it simply take it seriously for once. This next project I really want to try and put my real honest to goodness best effort forward.

To that end I plan on making a game that I would want to run or play, the one that happens in my head. Our game Phase Abandon is close, damn close, (don't think I wont be using some Phase concepts over again.) I love Phase, but my opinion has changed about a few things since we started writing it so I want to work on something distinctively my own thing.

Here are some things I hope to accomplish.
I like to run games where the over arcing story is more important than the incidental encounter. I don't know of may games that have a rule set that supports that idea.
I like players to have the power to tell me how their characters are completing their successful actions. I think players invest more into their character when they get to create most of the awesome.
Characters need to grow over time in a meaningful way. I am not talking about power creep, I think each character should have an ability to move forward in their personal story.
The game will be a game mastered game, I have grown to think that many GM'less games lack a sense of direction that makes for good stories. The roll of GM might be transitory, I'm not sure, but it will be there.
Finally in my opinion the key to every game is narration, and I am hoping to create a game where as much of the system leads to a narrative as possible. Preferably narration by the players.

Those points are really all I have to go on right now. I'm not sure if I'm going to tie this game to a setting. There is something to be said for the setting agnostic, tool kit approach, however there is also a lot to be said for systems designed to support the tropes of specific system.

I am also not sure yet (talk about the very basic beginnings of design) whether or not I want to use a method of randomization (aka Dice) or a more comparative system without the random factor.

None of my friends and fellow game players are going to believe this, but this is it. This is the final new game I'm going to work up into something playable.(I hear the open laughter and snorts of bemusement.)
Naturally I will kick out ideas for things here on the blog, a one page game here or there, or some other brain storm that hits me, but as far as working on a game and bringing it to the table and saying, “Lets PLAY this!' I just don't want to keep doing it.
I agree there is reason to doubt, (my past history speaks for it's self) but I also have my reasons and there are two big ones.

Primary to this is time, out group does not have enough time to play test any extra games and give them a proper shot. That's just how it is, we're all adults with things to do and ugly real world responsibilities.

Secondary is the ever improving, growing and advancing state of Indy and small press game design and distribution. When I first started really following Indy games, there were very few like, “the Window” and “Fudge” that were making early waves on the internet. Fact is at one point if I wanted a certain flavor of game, it was easier to write a game myself than it was to find it. Now things have changed, with drive through RPG, print on demand, independent publishers and even all the free stuff out on the web, chances are something close to what I want is already out there. What's more it will likely be better tested, better written and at a higher production value than what I am capable of. There are so many great small press games out there right now I will never get to play every one of them
that grabs my eye, let alone have time to play what I write myself.

T.B.C.