Dust Pan Game Resource Pages

Friday, September 5, 2014

Here is a cool kickstarter to back, (not mine)

Check out this RPG. Kick-starter.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/monkeyfunstudios/spirit-of-77-a-funky-1970s-tabletop-role-playing-g

It's a game about action set in the blown out over  the top world of 70's action films.
Run off the  "Apocolypse world" frame work.

I'm  probably going to back it at the PDF level, because it's similar to something I was kicking around. The game I was working on only lives on Google docs right now and is in it's very infancy so the kickstarter saves me the work / fun of writing a game.
(If any one is interested here is the Google docs link to my W.I.P. open for comments. I think I'm going to stop working on the game now that I see someone else is doing it bigger, better, faster, and stronger.Still feed back is fun, instructive, and all that jazz.)

This brought a thought to my head.
I have watched Fate, Savage Worlds, and  now Apocalypse World become the hackers choice for  game ideas. I am not negatively judging authors who make the creative decision to use or licence a working frame work to build their game around. There are some huge advantages to working with an established system.
  • First off a writer will know the game is going to function in a certain way. An Apocalypse world game is going to work like an Apocalypse World game it's proven. If that's the kind of play experience the author is looking to create then by all means lessen the guess work.
  • Name recognition. There are some folk who will buy a game simply because it is  Fate compatible or based off Apocalypse world. A perfect example I backed this kickstarter for two reasons, one it's Nathan Polleta. I know he has chops (I have "Annalise" and think it's great.) He will make a great game. Secondly he used the Apocalypse World engine so I know the foundation is something I am comfortable with. Again one unknown is out of the equation.
  • Lastly using an established system takes the overhead of designing a system out of the process so a designer can focus on what ever it is that they love about what they are doing. As an example Mike Evans is creating his "Hubris Campaign setting" Which I will contend would be full of awesome in any system, but is being realized as awesome in the Dungeon Crawl Classics system. I will not speak for Mr. Evans, but if I were designing something as large and ambitious as Hubris, I would not want the overhead of designing a system on top of it. Making it work with something as rock solid as Dungeon Crawl Classics gives Mike the room to pile in as much awesome stuff as he can think of, which seems to be allot, seriously, click the link, go read it, this shit will still be here when you get done.
You're back? Cool ..

So why write games then?  Why not build on the frames of other games or keep adding wicked-good stuff to what we have? (A point made deftly by Zak S. awhile back in this post.) I can't reality add anything to Zak's point, he already made it.

I will now speak for myself, there is allot of intellectual curiosity involved when writing a game. Can I make the parts fit, can I make something that when everyone sits around and plays the game, the game will act how I  hoped it would? 

Frankly for me I think this is mostly ego (I hope more definition 1 but I know 3 is in there as well.) The creative process feels good. It's enjoyable.
I can loose an afternoon just as quickly  writing the  fiddly bits of a role playing game as I can  working on a drawing, it stimulates the same part of my brain. When a game works and is enjoyed by others it's the  same sense of accomplishment as when I draw or paint something I think is decent.

It's me saying I made this and it's pretty dope and we can have fun with it for free. 
It's really not necessary to do it, that's where ego definition three comes around rearing it's tooth maw.

If I want to look a bit at Freudian ego I would say, "Yes I create things as a reaction to my external  environment, my constant back ground brain buzz of creativity gives my Id just enough pleasure to keep me from  kicking my phone down the hallway, and running out of my job in a state of manic fury."

How does this tie back to a Kick Starter that's for a game that's allot like one I had been kicking around?
It's a bit ego crushing to be honest, but not in a "you guys to stole my cheerios!" kind of way, because they did not and I don't for a second think they did. It's more of a "Hey  they're doing that thing I was doing and now there is no reason for me to do it any more because that thing has all the bells and whistles I will never have the time to ring or blow." My pleasure principle has been usurped.
For the group I game with it's an even better choice than a whole new game seeing as it's based on Apocalypse world any one of my friends can pick it up and run it if they want. No muss no fuss, no putting up with my long winded ego driven bull shit.
I'm glad they got funded in one day, it tells me the setting is a good idea.

So is it worth working on new games when there is so much on the side of using the frames of games already out there? With a history of games to pluck from ranging from BX D&D to Apocalypse World Why bother reinventing the  wheels?
when I give it a hard look, it really is a tough question.