Archive for March, 2013

In another example of someone saying something I’ve been trying to say for ages, and doing so more simply and succinctly than I ever could, Bankuei has written an excellent post about making it clear what’s appropriate for the fiction of your game.

The bit that really struck me was the simplicity of these three questions:

What kind of conflicts make sense for this game?

What kind of protagonists make sense for this game?

What kind of outcomes make sense for this game?

These are exactly the things that a well-designed story game not only enforces and guides during play, but also gets across quickly and clearly to anyone considering playing it.

I’d better make sure my games do that, then :-)

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Just a quick post to jot down an idea I had… I really like the idea of play-by-email / play-by-post games, because it really suits a player like me with a busy calendar. You take turns at a leisurely pace, and also at your own convenience rather than needing to get a group of people all together at the same time (and, often, in the same place).

But! I’ve never seen it work for an emergent-story game. I’ve seen it done for tactical games where you e.g. send commands to your army / heroes and you try to win the scenario; I’ve seen it done for games where the GM has pre-written the significant points of the story; I haven’t seen a framework like this matched with a game designed to generate a story.

I’m not sure how well this will work. Will the impersonal nature of remote / disconnected play draw the game into tactics rather than narrative? Will the framework be able to pace the story well despite the flexible and low-commitment schedule? Will the creativity be lost without other players’ ideas right there to bounce off?

I’ve no idea. I’m gonna make it and find out.

I just came across Syrinscape, a program that claims to provide an auto-generated soundtrack for your roleplaying game.

It claims:

  • to be non-repetitive;
  • to be easily configurable to suit the setting and mood of your game / scene;
  • not to need attention during the game itself – just let it run;

… all of which sound great, if it can actually deliver on them.

The program is not available yet, although there is an old version available apparently – but they recommend you wait for the new version.

One to keep an eye on!

Ha! I just went over some of my old draft posts, and found one that I was going to write about my first experience of GMing, which included this gem:

Story doesn’t “just happen”

I am pleased to say that I’ve now had plenty of first-hand evidence to overturn that statement :-)