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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 81 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: lazy gamers.  (Read 4431 times)
Dietro
Member

Posts: 5


« on: October 01, 2007, 12:41:32 PM »

i have a idea going on in the backburner but one thing that i really wanted to go with was the idea of making a game for very lazy gamers.

i like action. i like dungeoncrawling. i like story. but most games are either too story or have battleplans that look like football plays. i made up a character sheet to do a 'fast and fun' adventure. and it worked out when i played with others but i dont' feel that i'm really hitting that 'lazy gamer' market. the kind of people that want to make the character sheet in five minutes and still have a story.

but then i thought to myself that lazy gamers don't dislike making characters because they dont' care about them. they just dont' like this long winded process and checking the book for countless possibilities, just to get this character 'just right'.  so how can i make this process fun instead of less painful?

then i thought to myself, "if you have nothing but freedom, then an idea is just random. but if you make something to spite limits, then thats true creativity." so i set out to define some things.

in this kooky swarm of brainstorming i came up with this:

what if you could put your character together with pre-existing pieces, like a puzzle?  imagine having character traits and abilities all laid out in front of you, and you have to put them together to form a character that you're play with. that way the process of building a character is fun fast and simple.

this could also be incorporated in gameplay because then whatevers used for the game pieces (i'm thinking pogs) can also be items and tokens that serve as 'MP'  for your character's traits and abilities.

the thing is, i have no clue what kind of setting this would really work in.
actually i'm still on the fence as to whether or not this is a sane idea to begin with.
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Simon C
Member

Posts: 495


« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 06:31:58 PM »

Hi! Welcome!

I think that what you're describing is a pretty solid idea.  You don't really have to be "lazy" to want a game that has simple options and straightforward gameplay.  There are, of course, already games that do this.  Jason Morningstar's [a href="http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/Dungeon_Squad.php"]Dungeon Squad[/a] is a pretty neat example.

What I like about Dungeon Squad is the way every character has a certain number of "slots", represented by dice types, and pretty much any ability or equipment can be slotted into them.  I like th kind of console RPG feel of selecting the abilities and equipment you're going to take with you into the dungeon.  It's also a neat way to easily balance characters.

I would LOVE to see a hybrid of Dungeon Squad's dead-easy gameplay, with Donjon's player-created content.  They're both games you could check out for inspiration.

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lighthouse
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2007, 07:40:20 AM »

Who says that a PC has to be completely developed before the start of a game?
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David Artman
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2007, 08:39:50 AM »

I like the idea, though I don't know if a box full of pogs is any easier to reference and use than a book full of skills (after all, folks will want to consider their options in either format, but with pogs, they have to then FIND the one they want--with pen and paper, you just jot it down).

But handling issue aside, it's a cool way to provide speedy, generalized characters (as opposed to crafted, highly unique characters made over hours of option twiddling). You could ALSO do something cool for niche protection with that system of pogs, because you could (say) only have one pog for "major" abilities (advanced melee, advanced ranged, magic, prayer, thieving, scouting, etc) while providing a few for minor, general abilities (swimming, listening, spotting, climbing).

That way, no one could step on another character shtick, hopefully providing more spotlight time to everyone. In fact, if you ALSO make a "dungeon creator for the lazy GM" and set it up right, EVERY dungeon could, somewhere, have a point where it "pings" every major ability. Again, the pogs could help to ensure that, but you could also look to something like Zombies! or other Twilight Creations tile-based games, for the dungeon maker.

In fact, I like tiles better, even for the characters. Durable, but not too expensive; potential to hold more data (or larger art, making them easier to sort through); and can be arrange like a "paper doll" of sorts, if some have "head abilities" and some "torso" and some "arms and legs," even though the associated abilities might not directly relate to that body part or might use more than that body part (Refer to my game Stacktors! for a basic idea of "abstracted" abilities associated with position of a physical piece (colored plastic pyramid) in a stack: http://www.icehousegames.org/wiki/index.php?title=Stacktors!)

FURTHER, such a tile/pogs games SCREAMS for expansions (yeah, which seems counter to the notion of simple). Sure, you get "the basic classes" covered in the main game. But each expansion could provide BOTH new abilities AND new challenges for the dungeon. (Those two elements have to be closely coupled, or else folks have to know to buy Expansion A for two different products: character maker and dungeon maker. So instead, just include them both in each expansion. Without one, the other is useless, if a character ability; or impossible to use, if a dungeon challenge.)

Cool idea you got going here;
David
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Callan S.
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2007, 04:41:21 PM »

Hi Dietro, welcome to the forge!

It's a great idea - in fact it solves the problem so well your left wondering "Do I actually care about this problem I just solved?". The way your wondering about whether it fits in a setting, kinda says you have no use for the solution yourself. Perhaps you've been trying to rouse the lazy gamers you know, but at the same time that doesn't actually address any topic or setting that's interesting to you. Is there much point rousing them if you don't care about the setting?

BUT, it's likely that if you think about a setting/topic thats way cool for you, you might then find some use for the mechanic you made. Don't think it's throwing it away to *cough* throw the mechanic away for awhile and look in yourself for a setting/issue that screams to you 'Play me!'.
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Philosopher Gamer
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Dietro
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2007, 07:59:27 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions.

my lack of setting that i want to do is mainly due to the fact that I love all settings. everything screams 'play me'. but usually the 'how' gets more in the way than the'why'.. i would go tried and true with high fantasy but i have enough ideas going on that route so i wanted to do something cool, i was thinking robots but that would make the game more of robot customization than about characters. in the ends last night i thought superheros and supervillains would probably be best. it just kinda feels like it would work.
i could also create a simple storyline to inspire what goes on the pogs (although i love the tiles. in my mind the table would look like mahjong being played, actually as soon as i had that thought i started thinking of looking towards mahjong for inspiration on gameplay)

to simplify and make sorting through dozens of pogs i was thinking that a certain number of them are given to each player and everyone trades as they're fine tuning thier character.

another connection to mahjong is that when i saw the idea of using tiles the first thing i thought of was dominoes, using some sort of code for pieces to fit together. for example; Radioactive weakness, would only be attached to Alien based powers, as opposed to Technology, or Magic based powers. meanwhile the other side of it has the ability to attach to radiation based tiles like Mutation based powers and traits. (i'm still fine tuning the idea.)
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David Artman
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2007, 08:37:35 AM »

Just for clarity, I meant cardboard tiles, like in Twilight Creations games:
http://www.twilightcreationsinc.com/zombies2/ (scroll down to the "Preview" section)
...not thick tiles made of plastic or any other (expensive) materials.

I'm trying to get you more usable space (a Mahjong tile is TINY) while still having a product for which you can afford a short-run with a printer (or, maybe, even POD, with the right POD provider).

HTH;
David
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David Berg
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Posts: 612


« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2007, 11:23:13 AM »

EVERY dungeon could, somewhere, have a point where it "pings" every major ability

FWIW, I think this is a great idea.
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here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development
Callan S.
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2007, 02:04:32 PM »

my lack of setting that i want to do is mainly due to the fact that I love all settings. everything screams 'play me'. but usually the 'how' gets more in the way than the'why'..
Basically I'm saying 'why' leads to 'how'. If you really start examining the reasons why you love a setting, how to engage it becomes more and more clear.

But when you say you love all settings, I think you should stop and check whether you love the setting or you love it because someone else loves it. That someone else could be the author, it could be a community of gamers, or it could be your group of gamers.

When your in this position where you love it cause someone else loves it, your completely stuck. Only that other person is in a position to figure out why they love the setting and thus only they can figure out how to engage it. You can't figure that out for them.

Where do you think you are in terms of the super hero setting - loving the situation yourself? Or loving it because someone else loves it?
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Philosopher Gamer
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Dietro
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2007, 02:36:40 PM »

Where do you think you are in terms of the super hero setting - loving the situation yourself? Or loving it because someone else loves it?

i'm pretty sure i just like superhero settings.  i'm not sure if i understand the question. why would i make it if i didnt' like it? i wouldn't be able to tell if its fun if i cant have fun with it myself.

i dont' like to play favorites when it somes to genres. i just thought Superheros because you're pretty much setting up abilities with pogs or tiles. and in superhero bios one of the first things to look at is their list of powers. so it would be easy to set those boundries.  i can make base tiles that center on origin traits that would give them stats on their own but also connect character traits and abilities based on their origins.

also i dont really want to start with the genre or else i'll wind married to it when i design the gameplay and then i'd wind up making it a linear experience based on what i think makes a superhero rather than giving players the ability to express thier own ideas as to what they believe makes a superhero.

basically i'm more of a person to focus on discovering and interacting with my worlds rather than inprison a player inter experiencing what i want them to experience.
i was thinking that with the tiles or pogs they can explore from the get go by building a character like legos.  and worry about then genre when i start to write the book when i cover worldbuilding and storytelling.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2007, 03:53:20 PM »

Where do you think you are in terms of the super hero setting - loving the situation yourself? Or loving it because someone else loves it?

i'm pretty sure i just like superhero settings.  i'm not sure if i understand the question. why would i make it if i didnt' like it? i wouldn't be able to tell if its fun if i cant have fun with it myself.
Well that's basically not true. The capacity to have fun does not by default come with the knowledge of what your actually having fun with. Take eating food - you can really enjoy some piece of food - that doesn't mean you know the ingredients of the food your eating.

I'm suggesting that while you enjoy playing in superhero settings, an ingredient of the experience may be loving the experience because other people are showing their love for it. It may even be the main ingredient. If it's present, that ingredient has certain technical qualities about it that I mentioned above. That is you can't figure out how to engage the setting for these people, they are the only ones who will ever be qualified to figure that out.

Anyway, it's just a suggestion to help you in case this was heading down a design corridor that'd have you banging your head against a wall repeatedly. It may not apply, but it might help some other time. Thanks for reading Smiley
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Philosopher Gamer
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