Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by Ben Lehman, April 24, 2007, 01:53:10 PM
QuoteOver lunch on Sunday we actually compared the indie game design culture to indie cookbook culture. Both are books designed to be used as "how to" manuals, and both get alot of buzz generation from the internet. On one of the cook book forums its become common practice for people to respond to almost anything with "hearts, hearts, heart, cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes". We looked at each other and said..."yeah, there's lots of 'hearts and cupcakes' that go on on indie RPG forums".
QuoteI mean, that's pretty simple, right? And it doesn't really say a thing about "don't publish" or "you're not ready to publish" or even setting any kind of ladder or procedure that one must go through to publish. (See, I actually dislike a lot of the advice on this thread so far about how you have to have an editor or have to have so-many playtests or whatever. Individual processes vary, and no one's in charge of the development of the game but you. For fuck's sake, that's the whole point of the site.) All it is, is, lots of games available in non-book form and no particular commitment one way or the other to get into that form; and lots of play, and lots of dialogue and positive community stuff about the play-experiences.
QuoteI'm talking about actual honest-to-goodness social benefit, based on being proven a skilled designer, and having made serious face-to-face social connections at GenCon. ...The fact that Ralph can find playtesters from our community for Robots and Rapiers after diddling with it for four years is absolutely a function of the fact that he's already written Universalis. To say otherwise seems to me to be flat-out denial. That I can still find playtesters for Bliss Stage is a privilege given to me by virtue of Polaris, and that I could get serious help with Polaris is a function of my presence at GenCon 04.
QuoteI'm talking about "us" (the Forge community, in which I include myself) versus "them" (those molly-coddlers on the blogs and at Story Games). I'm talking about Ralph, on this thread, blaming "the blogosphere" for this problem. I'm talking about Matt Snyder on Story Games bitching about people swapping game design ideas because "that's just dick-waving and not serious design." I'm talking about Paul complaining that knife-fight isn't sufficiently devoted to role-playing game design.All of these people seem to me to be concretely and totally blaming someone else for the problem. "If only you *other people* would do things my way, we wouldn't have any problem." I think that this is simply a mechanism against having to doubt our own way of doing things, and it needs to be disposed of violently for this thread to work.
QuoteI think that all of us (even those of us who haven't published half-baked games) have some culpability in creating a culture where it is decidedly beneficial to release a game which isn't totally or even largely done. We all need to look at what we can change about our own actions that will make that less beneficial.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on April 30, 2007, 09:06:00 AMWe disagree that this is the case. Or perhaps it is happening, but if so, it is a new thing (i.e. past three years) and not a good thing. It is even vile.Let's take me as counter-example. I display none of what you're talking about. I seek out new and offbeat stuff from people I do not know. I don't privilege anyone; I play games which strike my fancy. I actually prefer the spontaneous, inspired, wacky little ideas that crop up here & everywhere, which is why I ran the Ronnies in the first place. That was a roots thing, because the internet's supply of fun little ideas seemed to have dried up in favor of grandiose, status-driven projects. It's always been about finding the fun games with the good ideas, and most of the time, it's better to find them when they're still half-baked, because the general trend in RPG publishing is to fuck it up in the final stages.
QuoteI can think of a few things:1) Recruit booth monkeys again. I have no idea if this is feasible or not, but it would help this problem enormously.2) Open up our social scene at GenCon more than a little bit.3) Continue to expand and participate in events like the Double Exposure cons, the Nerdlies, the Go Play Directionals, JiffyCon, and Forge Midwest, while working hard to make these cons opportunities for neophyte game designers to make professional and social connections with experienced designers who can help them through playtesting and publication.4) Consider the privileges that being a "designer" gives online (and, let's face it, that often means "person who sells at GenCon"), and open those up to more people.
QuoteWhat should our community be like? It should be like that from me to you to Bob to a bunch of Bobs. I think it is more like that than it's not, considering the power and fun of so many new games every year - of which this halfbaked phenomenon is only a subset. I think it should be like that all the time, though, and that we as a community need to consider that carefully.
Quote[ Note: I also think it's easier for Ben to find playtesters for the same reason it's easier for, say, Steve Jackson to find playtesters: because people who know Polaris are legitimately interested in what he'll do next. This is neither degenerate nor a problem--I'm eager to play Bliss Stage and it's certainly not a "clique worship factor"--I gotta think anyone reading this will believe me on that--but I'm not hunting out of my way for any IPR release that someone wants to playtest it ... unless I happen to be in the IRC channel when someone brings it up--then, you know, barrier-to-entry is so low it's "what the hell, I'll give anything a shot.
Quote from: Ben Lehman on April 30, 2007, 08:09:01 AMThe fact that Ralph can find playtesters from our community for Robots and Rapiers after diddling with it for four years is absolutely a function of the fact that he's already written Universalis. To say otherwise seems to me to be flat-out denial. That I can still find playtesters for Bliss Stage is a privilege given to me by virtue of Polaris, and that I could get serious help with Polaris is a function of my presence at GenCon 04. (See my previous post on that subject.)