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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 26 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Update on Afraid  (Read 1642 times)
nevermore
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« on: June 02, 2008, 12:38:25 PM »

Hey Vincent,

I've been working my way through every post on here that deals remotely with Afraid and the last news I'd heard about its completion/ release was that it would be delayed due to your work on Red Sky AM to a late 07/ early 08 release date. Do you have a more solid timeline/ update schedule now?
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2008, 12:46:59 PM »

I playtested it, and it wasn't working for me, and I couldn't quite see my way to a solution. It still comes to my mind sometimes, so I haven't given up hope that it'll someday be a thing.

It's pretty fundamental system design stuff I'm having problems with. The incompatibilities between my ideal lethality, players' investment in their characters, and how long character writeups take to create, for instance. It seems to me like it may be a more fun game if I ditch Dogs in the Vineyard's rules entirely, but that leaves a big old hole to fill.

I have to learn to stop publically announcing my date goals, anyway. They're all nonsense.

-Vincent
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2008, 02:11:18 PM »

This is a total pot-shot, but a solution I invented for compensating lethality in a Finnish simulationistic fantasy adventure game (Praedor, for Finnish readers) was to ritualize the events preceding death into a sacrament: the players knew of the lethality of the situation before-hand, and each step in the fiction that brought death closer was made clear; the players saw the trap closing its jaws and knew that the lives of their characters were forfeit by the very act of going into the zone. The result was that survival (unlikely but possible) became an insane adrenaline rush, while death was accepted calmly after the player had around half a dozen discrete steps to prepare for it, with fictional events and mechanics in between. The system had one pretty onerous requirement, though: players would need to understand the sacrament and buy into it beforehand, as they needed to characterize their characters and make their likely deaths meaningful pretty quickly before the monsters came. Failing to do this leaves the player with an empty heart, as he is robbed of his opportunity to make his character memorable before death. This negative feedback cycle would, in theory, mean that players are motivated to do character creation in a prompt and structured manner and to develop their characters strongly so that their sacraments of death have meaning when it ultimately happens. Survivors will then, of course, have strong characterization on their side as well.

Not that Vincent asked for help, mind. Just came to mind, that.
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Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 06:42:41 AM »

Eero, that's interesting. I'm thinking.

-Vincent
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devonapple
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2008, 01:32:42 PM »

The elements of "Afraid" which I felt held the most potential were:

The explicit plot link forged between the players and the monster -- each wrestling the other for narrative success, giving the players a chance to be in on the cut scenes.

The abstraction of creatures, forces, traps and other opposition that didn't directly involve the monster.

The approach to generating NPCs, even if the execution was problematic.
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-- Devon

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