My Current Design / Theory Concerns

February 5, 2008

Over on Emily Care Boss’ blog, she prompted Shreyas (and me by association) to talk about my current design / theory concerns.

Right now, I’m most interested in (in no particular order):

— non-narrative game experiences
— structured freeform
— using maps, boards, and other tools that can be physically manipulated during play
— games without character sheets or statistically quantified character traits
— games where there are different player roles / abilities, where different players affect the narrative in different ways

Basically, I’m interested in the way in which specific techniques and tools (or the lack thereof) radically change the structure of the play experience. Most post-Forge games are content to have their core rules basically do the same thing and use the same tools, leading to play experiences that are relatively similar in structure despite using different rulesets. I’m more interested in building custom toolboxes for different games, such that individual play experiences really do vary significantly, in style and form as well as in content, between games.

2 Responses to “My Current Design / Theory Concerns”

  1. ptevis Says:

    I have no idea if this analogy is even close to correct or not, but in a lot of ways post-Forge design seems like post-Avalon Hill board game design prior to the Euro invasion. I’m probably wrong, but that thought just stuck in my head.


  2. That could be a pretty apt comparison, Paul. I don’t really know enough about the history of board game design to say. I do feel that new developments in indie roleplaying have seemed to have slowed quite a bit. Formal experiments and alternative play structures seem to mostly be limited to Game Chef and other contests.


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