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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 32 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: What do Game Designers want to play?  (Read 2228 times)
Illetizgerg
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« on: May 12, 2008, 07:32:32 PM »

I'm curious, in a community of RPG game designers and developers, what kinds of games do people really enjoy? What kinds of things get you excited? I'm mostly interested because I would assume that if individuals really wanted a specific kind of game then they would make it, and so my second question would be "what has kept you from making your 'perfect' game?" What kinds of things halt your motivation, or ended up pushing you in new directions that led you away from what you were initially interested in?

- Gregory Zitelli
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 12:26:45 AM »

I'll go out on a limb here and say that everyone has their own "ideal" game...and for most people, their interpretation of the ideal game is different to that of other people.

I'm sure many of the designers have come up with the game that they thought was ideal, or have at least tried to do so. Then once their perfect game was brought into contact with other players, they decided that things needed to be tweaked and adjusted based on other people's interpretations of gaming perfection.

Which then deviates the game away from the pure ideal...

There is no perfect game for everyone...and as people mature, they'll come in contact with other systems or other ideas that gradually shift their perspective of perfection.

Even if a person does find that perfect game for a certain moment in time, they'll probably encounter issues with it later once they reflect it against new experiences.

The journey for the perfect game is much like the journey through life.

I know I've created a few games that seemed great at the time, but now seem either naive, overly complex, or they just don't mesh well with my though patterns now that a decade or more has passed since their original design.

Just my ideas on the subject.

V
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 05:10:38 AM »

Gregory, I think so too. I don't figure that any of us have one perfect game in mind, when we create it we'll be done.

For me personally, creating games is how I articulate my thoughts about fiction. For instance, here's a thought I have about (some) fiction: an interesting character is one whose personal strengths don't line up with her best interests. If she goes where her personal strengths lead her, she's giving up her own best interests; pursuing her best interests requires her to approach problems in ways she's weak. This character's story is the story of her strengths changing, or her best interests changing, or both, until they line up, or never do; then she works things out to her best interests or she doesn't forever and that's the end of her story.

Now, if I were a lit major, I'd go through a bunch of fiction, compare and contrast, defend my thesis from the text. ("Vic Mackey: in what ways do his personal strengths counter his own best interests? What choices does he make accordingly?") If I were a fiction writer I'd imagine a person whose best interests and personal strengths don't align, put her in a position to choose one or the other, and see what happens. Since I'm an rpg designer, I take this same thesis and build a game out of it instead.

So I think that rpg design is an act of expression, the same way that essay writing or fiction writing or filmmaking is. Every game expresses something of its own; it's like asking a novelist "do you keep writing novels because you haven't written your perfect novel yet?" (Answer: "yes, but no novel's ever perfect, so I don't need to worry about that. I'll keep writing them as long as I have ideas to express.")

I like to play all kinds of games. What gets me excited about games is the clarity of their vision. What's a game expressing, and how well does it express it?

-Vincent
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TonyLB
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 06:17:45 AM »

I'm curious, in a community of RPG game designers and developers, what kinds of games do people really enjoy? What kinds of things get you excited?
I get stoked for a game when I come to really love the characters involved ... to see them as more than just their strengths and weaknesses, but as real people with an inner life that holds an amplifying mirror up to my own human emotions.

Almost inevitably, this kind of stuff happens in the interstices of the "flashy" things ... it's the scenes when they're not fighting the giant demon king that make the game for me.  BUT, the scenes where they do fight the giant demon king tend to lay the groundwork for the later scenes.  Wierd symbiosis going there.

I'm mostly interested because I would assume that if individuals really wanted a specific kind of game then they would make it, and so my second question would be "what has kept you from making your 'perfect' game?"
Lack of talent and insight.  When I know enough and can do enough, I'll make a game that the me-of-today would consider perfect.  Of course, by then my standards will have gotten more exacting.
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Marshall Burns
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 10:14:00 AM »

I like games that find new and unusual ways to do things, and then capitalize on the ramifications they produce.

I also like games that model the fiction with insight and cleverness.  I'm not talking about modeling a fictional reality, but modeling a kind of fiction--constructing things such that the conventions and aesthetics of that kind of fiction are supported in play or maybe even enforced in it.

My ideal game does both of the above.  Or, really, my ideal gameS; I want to make lots of different kinds of games.  Actually, the games I'm working on do both of the above, and they're all really different from each other, so I guess I'm in pretty good shape if when I get around to finishing them :)

-Marshall
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Plognark
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Posts: 5


« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2008, 10:50:37 AM »

I'm more of a numbers geek than, say, a theater geek, so a clean set of rules always makes me happy. I've never had any need to use the mechanics to enforce any sort of style or feel for a game, although they can help, for me it's all about being able to run a game smoothly without clunker rules that slow things down.

I detest arbitrary one-off rules. I like broad, universal mechanics that can apply to any situation, so you don't wind up cross referencing things to figure out what the hell is going on. At the same time, I want enough crunch and detail so that I can feel like my character and the characters I'm grouped with have their own technical identity apart from the personality the players give them.

If a system can do that, I'll probably be happy with it.
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madunkieg
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Posts: 26


« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2008, 05:04:13 AM »

I'm curious, in a community of RPG game designers and developers, what kinds of games do people really enjoy? What kinds of things get you excited?

What excites me about each new game idea is also what keeps me from making my final, perfect game:

 I love to learn.

Of course, once you learn something, you want to move on, to learn the next thing, and the next. That's why my game designs end up being odd. Each one reflects the search for something new to learn, rather than just a refinement of an existing game.
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Plognark
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 11:57:41 AM »

I'm curious, in a community of RPG game designers and developers, what kinds of games do people really enjoy? What kinds of things get you excited?

What excites me about each new game idea is also what keeps me from making my final, perfect game:

 I love to learn.

Of course, once you learn something, you want to move on, to learn the next thing, and the next. That's why my game designs end up being odd. Each one reflects the search for something new to learn, rather than just a refinement of an existing game.

I get that a lot too. It tends to happen to me much more with computer games, as they're more limited in what you can do in them, but that whole learning/problem solving/building angle keeps me interested right up until it's done with. Once you've gone through the bulk of the variations, it can get a little stale.
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guildofblades
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 01:11:29 PM »

I largely design that which I would like to play. And the other designers here do so as well. That's why we have some titles in our Empires of History game series that, while sharing the same core mechanics, end up being fairly substantially different games.

But that being said, I also have games " I would like to design", but have not yet. And they haven't been designed yet because we lack the capabilities presently to viably publish them. When that changes, or when I suddenly find months of spare time, I'm sure I'll finish those designs. lol.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.guildofblades.com/retailgroup.php
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com
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Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
http://www.guildofblades.com
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