Idea; hidden gamble

Ohh, quick idea! Just had this idea that players have some mechanism in play where they can bet resources on themselves – then it breaks down to the GM deciding how things go. Okay, this has been done a million times before.

BUT! What if the players write down how much resources they bet on themselves, on a sheet of paper that the GM doesn’t what they stand to lose on the matter (perhaps zero – they may have bet nothing!), until it’s all resolved!? There’s no bias here like “Oh no, the poor players are going to have a bad time because they are going to lose X – oh, I’ll bend the imagined world to something that makes them win, but pretend I wasn’t warping it at all”.

Oooh, I like that. It gets away from GM’s who fudge whether you like it or not in your favour – it gets away from hoping/influencing the GM to fudge in your favour (which in a strictly gamist play to win sense, makes sense. So it needs to be eliminated (unless you want to keep this relatively sad level of gamism – it’s like a whining to the refereee sort of gamism))

Mystic Sap, moral quandry

Hmmm, I’ve got this concern – it’s kind of a cross of essentially falling victim to various GM’s (and sometimes players) whim in game, and yet needing whim to create. When I say falling victim, I don’t mean in any particularly deliberately malicious way – the person just thought it was cool. It was not – or atleast from my perspective it was not. But by the same token – I need to design by whim to some extent, because what else is there – there’s no big list of instructions for following in terms of design. Your just making shit up.

So I’m both lothing whim (for what it does to people – yes, I care about my whim doing this to someone else, I don’t just think only other peoples whims can ever be and mine are always good and fine), and yet needing whim.

I’ve sort of settled on the idea that I will say what I make may not be suitable for human consumption. I’ll literally stick that on the game somewhere at the front. Because it might not be suitable, because of whim. But I need whim (or call it muse, if your not getting what I mean)

If people actually decided to play it even having read that, and I got enough reports (20? 50? 100?) back off people that seemed…well, unharmed is the word I’d use, then I’d take that label off.

Mystic Sap, material #3

Actually now I’m tempted to use rooms in the video game version as well. I’m thinking about having a preset sequence of rooms (each ‘room’ is a clearing in a forrest) and after a certain number of rooms there’s a chance of being attacked by the unkillable monsters (a raptor, to be exact). In all the rooms prior theirs a search node and that’s where the D6 roll comes in – your hoping to get to to the finish line number/find the mystic sap, before you get into the raptors territory. Further, with a nod to nethack like randomness, there wouldn’t just be a series of rooms in one line (like a railway track). There would be a few in various directions, but which have a node is random, adding some variability to the journey. But there will always be X amount of nodes before the raptor territory (which adds some fiddling to the coding process, I guess)

I have this funny quibble though – I feel the rooms should be in some asymmetricalshape. And yet then I think of the overall map and why am I putting effort into this and wasting map space (possibly creating further logistics problems) when I could do it neatly in a straight line or such? I’m facing alot of uncertain problems in the future for something I don’t even have a concrete reason why I’m doing it.

Anyway, here’s a visualisation of the sort of rooms/forrest clearings of an area, where the eycalypt/sap nodes are (random path of them) and where the raptor territory starts. Hopefully you find some mystic sap before you step over that line and into a random chance of a raptor pouncing upon you!

Mystic sap, material #2

Basically working on this as I go…

Laying out some stuff again, with the video game first then table top annotation after

  • You get a random 1D6 each turn and if you land on an increment of 10 you leap ahead 11 spaces. Probably need to get to or over 100 points (this may be adjusted in future).
  • You roll 1D6 and if you land on an increment of 10 you can describe your characters actions – either they have a 100% chance of moving 11 spaces forward, or if the actions didn’t seem to warrant it, there’s a 20% chance you stay where you are (otherwise you move forward). ALSO once per game, if you don’t like your roll you can describe a move and if the GM thinks its applicable, you get to reroll and choose which of the two rolls you keep. Pretty cuddley stuff.

Ah damn, just had an idea that’s off topic – but this is my blog so screw it. I’m thinking that this is the GM judging how effective it is…but what if I had some system where the GM just decides if something happens, then the system decides if that’s an effective or non effective thing. Umm, like perhaps the situation is pushing a boulder. Players describe their thing. The GM determines if that would move a boulder forward. BUT this doesn’t determine if that’s an effective move (lets say effective means it lands on a monster below). Theres a procedure in the rules that determines if it was a worthwhile move or not (and the GM can’t really predict how it will go). So the GM is basically detached from determining if people win or not. He just says how he thinks things would go.

Eh, rough. And no wonder I get distracted. Okay, back to the post.

  • In the video game, I think I’ll just have it as a counter. Probably an area you can go to on a world map, which then activates this as a mini game and the counters show up.
  • In the table top I think I would sketch a series of rooms, kind of like a dungeon (though here it’s like a winding path in thick bushland). Each room involves another roll, which represents searching around for the tree’s that give this stuff.

It’s funny, it seemed less substantive when I just had it in my head – it seems more tangible in it’s written out form. It didn’t seem enough before, but I think I may have been mistaken on that feeling.

Mystic sap

I think I’m going to code something with a basic sort of snakes and ladders construct to it. Probably mostly just ladders on the players side, perhaps with a counter, moving 1D6 each time and if you land on an increment of ten it jumps you forward 11 spaces. There also a second counter which goes up by one each time and if it gets to its max before you do, you lose.

I’m trying to keep this as something that could be played as table top, rather than give in to the temptation to do an enjoyable space invaders clone, which isn’t genuinely replicable on the table top. I’m thinking that on each ten instead you can describe your characters actions – either it 100% jumps you forward, or has a 20% of not moving you any further at all, based on GM judgement/read of the fictional situation.

Speaking of fiction I’m thinking it’ll be the hunt for a slightly rare mystically charmed sap, oozing from eucalyptus trees (this is a game inspired by Rifts Australia), which can be applied to weapons to sting and scare otherwise unkillable monsters away. A way to survive. (latter on there will be the crafting of weapons which can actually harm the unkillable creatures)

I’m also trying to keep it simple – there’s an effort to eventual fun ratio that must be maintained, otherwise it takes more effort than it will be fun in the end. That’s why there’s a basic structure here which is mildly amusing in a gamist guts sense.

I guess writing it out helps start the constructive process by making me feel I’ve done something, even if it’s basically completing a rough draft toward the game.

Classic image

I was searching for this image today, as someone tried to tell  that WOW charges are ‘totally awesome’ (after I had noted that in the new star wars mmorpg, the sith in the demo video is just doing a wow  warrior charge).

‘Totally awesome’

Mid range bet on my part? Self denial. Managed to summon some diplomacy and said that if you have ever looked like this when clicking charge

Been there, clicked that

…then no, you do not think charge is totally awesome.

Maybe he does bounce in his seat each time he clicks it. If so, cool for him – I just doubt it and it reminds me of a forge essay where Ron reports “I have observed many such role-players to refer to hours of unequivocally bored and contentious play as “awesome!” given a week or two for mental editing.”

Mild buzz from it? Seems entirely plausible. Totally awesome? Mental editing seems plausible .

And anyway, the image is funny and I wanted to put it up to help preserve it – I didn’t find that many copies around the net.

Stranded II : How to make arrows

Sometimes I find it hard to find something on the net because there aren’t many references to it. And then I find it and…I don’t leave a reference to it myself. This time I’ll leave one in case it helps someone else.

In the game stranded II, to make arrows it’s branch + feathers. That easy.

Edit: Oh, and if you want to make an axe, so cutting down trees for all those logs you need isn’t a dragged out affair – well, lets just say don’t process iron ore from its raw state into bars too quickly.

Starting small, impossible? Too short?

In terms of video game design, if your making one yourself, I was thinking if you make a really short one, just one room – there’s perhaps this sense of ‘Too short!’. And I’m wondering where that comes from, if at all?

For example, if I showed you a picture I drew, and it was just one image, would anyone say it’s too short? I don’t think anyone would.

But I think if you ask someone to learn how to interact with the game, and then indeed do put in the effort of interacting, they want to get more from the game than they put in.

But what if I don’t want to make more than one room? If I want to start with baby steps? Hmmm.

Plz have constant play, in MMORPGS

Gah. MMORPGS should have some sort of counter that goes off as soon as you start click on ‘enter world’, even during the loading time. And during any loading time in game. And it gives some amount of cash or XP or something during that time.

When I start a game, I start it to play it. Yeah, I could walk off to do something while it loads up, but I’m still waiting to play, whatever I do.

Further, I want this thing ticking away when I’m standing still, or running. I suggested this on the LOTRO forum once a long time ago and they were all ‘Oh, you want something for nothing’ or ‘That doesn’t make sense’. Umm, your health regens as you run along. That’s getting something for nothing (and as to realism – well, actually you do get something for excercising in real life, but I guess you guys wouldn’t know about that…ooh, too snarky).

I want to play, I don’t want to wait to play. I don’t want to wait while I run to somewhere I can play.

And I am aberation – waiting to play IS play, for most of these folks – they’ve gone through hundreds of hours of it and…I’ll cut myself off on that.

“I know the right way, your just under a missconception/reading it the wrong way”

More second hand, but good quality, content! From my reply in a thread at the forge.

Your concerned about them getting missconceptions about what roleplay is, or an impression it’s a game mainly about numbers – why are these missconceptions, or false impressions? What if your own idea of what roleplay is, is a missconception and false impression? It’s easy to think our own ideas make sense, while the other guy is just under a missconception.

Reading the texts of D&D, up to and including 4E, is still alot like looking at clouds and seeing shapes and creatures which just aren’t there. As much as cloud gazing can inspire the imagination, so can looking at any edition of D&D.

The problem is when people look into a cloud/the rules text and most assuredly assert X IS THERE! And say everyone else is wrong or has a missconception if they don’t see it.

I think this mostly comes up because people don’t realise they are cloud gazing, they really think X is there in the text.

If everyone realises they are cloud gazing when they read the games texts, I think it works out – everyone knows what they are seeing isn’t really there, and so they can work together to meld the things they ‘see’ into one actual thing they all agree on, then do that thing.

Are you prepared to see the something valid in what they see, rather than just see it as missconception? Are they prepared to do the same in regards to your vision? Once you are, then you can work out a deal on what to keep and what not to keep (well, usually most people are capable of making a deal – I will grant it’s possible you may not be able to make a deal between you).

If not – well, when someone sees something no one else can and they insist people do things a certain way ‘because it’s there’, it always reminds me of religion.