Article - Rollick

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AuthorTopic: Article - Rollick
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #25
I'd also point out that game design and scenario design are two quite different things, just as writing a novel isn't the same as writing a short story. A good writer should be able to do both well, sure, but just because you have some experience with the one (and I'm giving you the benefit of assuming you aren't just lying), does not automatically mean you know everything there is to know about the other.

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #26
I don't have time for BoA, but I'm interested in the theory of gaming, so I've been following this thread. I like Thuryl's new terms very much. There are many dimensions to a scenario, and linearity is just one axis. Thuryl's rollick-grit axis is just a slightly rotated co-ordinate system, but I think it's a better one. My own years of design experience were in live RPGs, and for me rollick and grit resonate immediately.

I'd be prepared to argue that rollicking/gritty is the most significant bit in the long binary number describing a scenario. What would the next bit be?

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #27
Hate to play this card, but DreamGuy has a problem with the community's definition of linearity, and the community has a problem with DreamGuy's, so let us turn to the lieutenant arbiter of semantics, Merriam Webster (because my copy of the OED, although near at hand, is damned heavy).

The definition most applicable to the current debate is actually a definition of linear, but linearity is not included except as an abstract noun of linear.

So, without further ado:
quote:
4: of, relating to, or based or depending on sequential development.
Thus, a linear scenario is merely one in which there is a marked sequence of events, which clearly proceed from one another.

Because the argument about linearity seemed mostly to center on gameplay, rather than events proceeding from one another, Thuryl defined new terms which were more in terms of gameplay than of plot, and with quite a bit of panache, I might add. He isn't even disagreeing with you, DreamGuy. He simply said that some people like what you like (rollick - options), and some people like what I, a player and not a designer, like (grit - suspense).

Edit 2: Sorry, Thuryl and community, for going off topic like this, because the article really was excellent. I think it distills quite admirably the different kinds of scenario experience. Plus, it moved World War Lineariy back to where it belongs. Namely, a matter of personal preference.

Edit 3: Indeed, AL. Idiocy has been removed. Apologies.

[ Thursday, March 10, 2005 19:34: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
Profile Homepage #28
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

I'd be prepared to argue that rollicking/gritty is the most significant bit in the long binary number describing a scenario. What would the next bit be?
I'd say the most important factor depends on the scenario. Some scenarios emphasize certain elements, others focus on others.

I would say one of the most important elements in general and one I like to focus on is the relationship between the player and the party.

PoD, there is no way DreamGuy is Jeff, as you'd realize if you'd heard him complaining about A Small Rebellion, and how a choice with no easy answer is a false choice.

[ Thursday, March 10, 2005 18:53: Message edited by: Ash Lael ]

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #29
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:
(The Tunnels sequence in Bahssikava is similar; as is, it works as a tactical challenge, but as a plot element it could be done 10 times better with a premade party.)
How? Why?

Maybe the party's leader is the tough guy who's always the first into a dangerous situation. Maybe his resentment at always being on the front line, staring death in the face while the others are protected at his expense, boils over under the influence of the drake's magic. Having Anonymous Hero 1 suddenly fly into a homicidal rage against Anonymous Heroes 2 through 4 isn't very convincing; having the self-sacrificing hero suddenly snap and try to finally get rid of the deadweight comrades he's spent many thankless years of his life protecting could be awesome.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #30
quote:
Originally written by DreamGuy:
quote:
Please explain to me how the hell it is possible to make a good scenario where the party "can't dawdle" but is still able to go anywhere and do anything at any time without being punished for it by losing.
Simple, you make the events that happen largely time-based instead of location-based. You've got scripting, use it.
This does not work except for small scenarios with few different locations and options. Different players take radically different amounts of time to do the same thing. Attempting to create a large, open scenario that puts the player under constant pressure for time will accomplish one of two things: either making the scenario essentially unwinnable for players who inadvertently waste time (which, to me, is an unacceptable imposition on the player in all but the smallest of scenarios), or making time almost inconsequential (which defeats the purpose of the time limit, which was to add a sense of pace and urgency).

Look at scenarios such as ZKR or games such as Fallout that tried to keep the player under time pressure; in both cases, the time limit is laughably lax unless the player is completely incompetent. (And since we don't want to make our scenarios completely inaccessible to unskilled players, making the time limit much stricter would cause more problems than it solved.)

quote:
quote:
As for redefining the meanings of words, I was attempting to capture the connotations associated with the two main design paradigms in a snappy way.
By picking words that actually have nothing to do with what you were arguing, great...
A word's meaning is defined by its usage within a language community. I chose words that didn't have an established technical usage within the language community of the BoA forums, unlike "linearity" and "non-linearity", which do have a usage, and are used to mean things different from what you use them to mean.

Sure, I could have used prosaic terms like "player-directed" and "designer-directed" instead of "rollicking" and "gritty", but there's something to be said for pizzazz.

quote:
quote:
"Linearity" as you use the term is simply not linearity as the BoA community thinks of it
Well, then the people in the BoA community ought to learn what word really means instead of trying to change the meanings of other words.
News flash: you're the one trying to change the meaning of the word "linearity" as we have used it for a very long time. Given that our usage of the word "linearity" is generally understood within the community (and by the vast majority of new members to it), why should we switch to your usage?

quote:
quote:
AFAIK, you have never designed anything for BoE or BoA. This makes you quite literally the least experienced designer in the debate.
Oh, rightttt... because someone who hasn't yet released a game for BoE or BoE cannot possibly have other game design experience elsewhere. I've got plenty of other experience, and I've read the documentation and have been working with that knowledge so am aware of most of the techinical limitations.
Funny how you haven't named a single game you've designed yet. You know, so we could check your credentials for ourselves. One might be tempted to suggest that either you're lying, or all the games you've designed are crap.

quote:
I'm sorry, but the people here talking about linearity and not knowing what the word means, claiming that things are impossible just because they have never done it, pretending that they are better designers than Jeff and so forth and so on are just play-acting at being designers, because they can't be bothered to learn the basic concepts of game design.
It's interesting how you've spent an awful lot of time railing against the community, and no time at all illustrating what these "basic concepts of game design" might be, and why it's so important that we be educated in them when we're already making large numbers of scenarios that are played and enjoyed by many people.

It's also interesting that you appear to assume that none of the BoE scenario designers, including the ones who haven't even been involved in this discussion, could possibly be better designers than Jeff, despite your admission that you don't even own BoE.

Remember, we play these scenarios as well as designing them. Either there is a large community which does genuinely enjoy the scenarios you deride for being linear, or we've all been pretending to enjoy them for the past 5 years.

[ Thursday, March 10, 2005 21:38: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #31
Yeah, but, with a pre-made party, I wouldn't have had the joy of seeing "The strain of the Drake's magic on Q-money is visible ... Q-Money suddenly goes berserk and starts attacking you!"

Seriously, though, Thuryl's point is good. Since Bahssikava was essentially a gritty scenario, it probably would have benefited greatly from the additional drama that you could have provided (the scenario provides ample evidence that your storytelling ability is up to the challenge) by lessening the party's anonymity. I will say that I did like the way you got the sliths to thank my party by name, and the way that the tunnels encounter referred to my lead character by name.

[ Thursday, March 10, 2005 19:44: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #32
Point taken.

I like getting specific feedback like this. Stuff like, "Hey, it would've been good if you had done [x]," or "I didn't get why you did [y] instead of [z]." It's very useful.

Yeah, DreamGuy's a troll. He's just really good at convincing people otherwise. Unless he produces, you know, at least a script or something, he has no potential to be anything else.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
For Carnage, Apply Within
Member # 95
Profile #33
quote:
Originally written by Solomon Strokes:

I won't join this futile argument, but...

quote:
Originally written by Turumby:

Thuryl, *i, et. al. have made a lot,
...Thuryl has made one scenario.

I meant a lot collectively.

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The Empire Always Loses: More fun than a kick in the shins!
Posts: 567 | Registered: Friday, October 5 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #34
*bump* To preserve material
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00

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