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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 31 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: renaming The Rustbelt?  (Read 12044 times)
David Berg
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Posts: 997


« on: October 28, 2008, 04:13:49 PM »

Most of my inspirations run along the lines of "setting's impact on the characters" and derive from the original title:

Rusted Out
Rusted Away
The Rusted
Rusted Lives
Rusted Fates
Rusted Gates (like, y'know, the gates between each individual's core humanity and the situations that threaten to erode it)
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Marshall Burns
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American Wizard


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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008, 02:53:51 PM »

Hey David, thanks for starting the thread for me!  'Cause I almost forgot.


So, anyone reading, here's the deal.
For reasons made abundantly clear in the playtest thread that Ron started, the Rustbelt needs a name change.  Those reasons are, basically, there's a real region called the Rustbelt, and the game isn't about that region (at least not necessarily; you could use it for that), and I have to explain that to people who misunderstand. 
I've been contemplating "The Rust Age," but I haven't made any decisions.

For a little bit of background:  the game has gone through a few name changes in the past, mostly due to changes in style and thematic content.  Earliest on it was Misadventures in Nowhere; a while later it was The Frontier; and there's a few others, but none of them are important.  When hit upon The Rustbelt, it felt like a real breakthrough, because the name was so atmospheric (at this time I was unaware of the real Rustbelt), and because it finally gave me a name for the Rust (which had gone unnamed as a concept in previous versions).  Calling it "the Rust" was huge, because the metaphors of corruption and dissolution just fell into place so damn well.

I want to preserve that.  Whatever I change the name of the game to, the Rust has to make sense as a game term.
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Mikael
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Posts: 206


« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2008, 02:40:14 AM »

Well, given the importance of the concept in the setting, why not just "Rust"?
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DWeird
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Posts: 87


« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2008, 02:58:43 AM »

I've never really play(test)ed the game, but I have been planning to for ages now. Don't really have a group, and have never hosted a game that wasn't over the 'net in some way, so that's sort of what's been stopping me... This is a game that has to be played with everyone actually sittin' in one place, staring at my cold, dead eyes, as I have half-rusted, turret-less soviet tanks drive over their characters' legs. Pretty damned sure of that!

But that's very much irrelevant, I guess.

Anyway. For my game, I'm going to pretty much ditch most of the setting that's provided with the rules. I come from a post-communist country, and after reading your stuff, I went "Cool! But why does there need to be some sort of magic cause to make life an awful, awful, grind? There's been plenty of that 'round already."

I *will* be adding heaps of... "oddities", mind, but they will be tied in more with a mythology of different... Well, not origin, seeing how I'm leaving it with the "strange&dangerous&out of who-knows-where", but rather colour. For instance, I'm planning to use roaches as the symbol for a world in permanent decay. Everywhere - in people, in between the walls of buildings of grey cement (put your ear against the wall and you're hear a silent rustling of thousands and thousands legs and carapaces grinding against each other, and maybe if you listen in *real* good - something that sort of sounds like a crowd of squeeky little voices).


My point (I do have one!) - as far as I could tell, your game is not about the Rust, or what it does, or any of that hoohaw. Your game is about people in tough spots, doin' what they have to do... And dying. Or maybe not doing what they have to do, which means dying sooner. If the name of your game doesn't convey that... You fail at name-giving. Mind as well call it Matilda. :D

Now, for an actual name suggestion! I'm pretty sure you'll still want to keep 'Rust' in the name one way or another, so... How's about "Rust and Bruises"? I like the vibe of "you're broken and ruined and probably infected... and alive, for now" the two give out together.

Make any sense to you?
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1970


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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2008, 04:58:25 AM »

The first thing that jumped to mind was "Tetanus".
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
agony
Member

Posts: 96


« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2008, 10:41:12 AM »

What about...

Beaten Down
Broken
Decayed (or Decay)
Junkyard
Towards Ruin
Scrap Iron
Collapse
Ruin
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You can call me Charles
Marshall Burns
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2008, 12:40:29 PM »

DWeird,
Which version do you have?  'Cause I stripped the setting down to practically nothing in the ashcan version.

That being said, Setting has a very strong presence in this game.  I'm of the opinion that Setting, in the Big Model sense, is not about the details -- I relegate those to the Color of Setting.  Poison'd has a very strong Setting, despite having very little Color for it, and D&D has always had a weak Setting, despite tons plenty of supplements & sourcebooks loaded with Color to bring to your game.  (And before anyone gets their pants up their nose, I'm not making a value judgment with "strong" or "weak" -- I'm simply describing the degree of impact that Setting has on play)

The Setting for The Rustbelt is an environment that is harsh and unforgiving, and that demands that people make horrible compromises to get along.  That's it.  Everything beyond that is the Color of Setting.  Now, you may well ask, what's the difference between that and the real world?  Well, this is supposed to be a secret, but I'll tell you anyway:

nothing.

Everywhere in the real world, people suffer in some way, and have to make some sort of compromises of body and soul in order to get along.  What my game does with the Psyche & Push rules is make a framework for that.  What it does with the post-apocalyptic Overture and the Rust rules is amplify it, call attention to it, metaphorize it.  The Rust isn't magic (at least in the sense that most people use the word), it's symbol.  The Rust is a character in the game that represents all the forces that encourage people toward depredation and depravity.  So, I disagree that the game is not about the Rust.  The Rust is the ultimate source of all antagonism in the game.  It could be argued that people are a main source of antagonism, but the only reason those people don't get along is because of what the Rust has done to them and their environment to make them desperate.  Without the Rust, everyone would be holding hands and sharing.

But, replacing the Rust with roaches?  OF COURSE you can do that!  As a matter of fact, I intend to include a chapter in the first-ed. version about re-skinning the Setting, which centers around re-naming the Rust.
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agony
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Posts: 96


« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2008, 01:26:33 PM »

A few more:

Rot
Blight
Corrosion
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You can call me Charles
DWeird
Member

Posts: 87


« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2008, 08:47:00 AM »

I'm using the 'net version on angelfire #5, plus a pile of notes from stalking every thread you (or anyone else) ever made about the game. <.<;

But, replacing the Rust with roaches?  OF COURSE you can do that!  As a matter of fact, I intend to include a chapter in the first-ed. version about re-skinning the Setting, which centers around re-naming the Rust.

I didn't feel like that was a major change, either (though I *am* having some troubles with the complete lack of tidbits of "wild west" culture in my game. Full player control over their characters when a bored but nonetheless effective KGB can haul their asses in at almost any time? Well yeah, a character could just blow their brains out - once. After that, it'd likely be curtains for 'im. Despite of that little example with the tank, my games would probably be mostly about what you can and can't say or do. Many Pushes will likely be in Tears. Compromises with the soul, and all that... Anyway. Neither here nor there).

When I was writing that post, I didn't feel like I was telling you anything new about your own game, but rather that I think there's a discontinuity between what your game is about and your attempts to name it.

Basically, all I'm saying is... Yes, that-thing-or-process-that-you-call-Rust is the base of your game. But, it's my opinion what you mean by that-thing-or-process-that-you-call-Rust isn't best conveyed with the word "Rust", with extra additives or not... And that you should maybe find a less metaphorical way of expressing it. I mean - I could read your text, and then go "Ah, Rust! It totally makes sense!". But it would probably be a better idea to find a way to name it that would convey the gist of it straight off, without one actually having to read any of the game text, right? I'm not being too clear here (which is a wee bit ironic, given that I'm actually asking for more clarity in the name, heh), but I hope you can understand what I'm saying.
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Peter Nordstrand
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2008, 09:26:33 AM »

Rust City
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2008, 01:40:17 PM »

Rust works for me, it's punchy and evocative. The name doesn't need to directly depict the thematic underpinnings of the game, so that's a non-issue. The important part is that it's interesting enough to pick up, easy to use in practice and makes sense to people who know the game already. I'd rather say that naming the game for the narrative theory you're working under would be pretty foolish. "Protagonists in Trouble" doesn't sound like an appealing game to me at all, regardless of how well it describes so many different games.
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1970


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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2008, 03:39:35 PM »

...Thanks a lot Eero. I guess now I'd better go back to the drawing board with my new title logo for "Make Up Stories Together! First Edition"
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
DWeird
Member

Posts: 87


« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2008, 12:01:47 PM »

"Protagonists in trouble"?

Eero, You're mocking me without even trying to, it seems. :D

Anyway - the both of my posts are best seen as a reaction to Marshall's last post over at the latest playtest thread ( http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=26670.30 ) where he suggested the change of name - "The Rust Age" - and provided a rationale of "setting is important" for it. My point wasn't that you could easily generate names by having them describe the main events/processes of play the same way a, say, definition would. Though you could definitelly read what I wrote like that, so my bad. Instead, it's more like... what the name invokes. For instance... "Bloody Hatchets" is clearly a game  about the taking of lives in the messiest way possible, even though there could be no hatchet bloodying at all (you could probably use a large hammer or maybe a nailfile). Now, it could instead be a game about the everyday lives of grocers... But who would expect that, really?

Anyhoo. Of all the names pitched up to now, I like "Rust" due to sheer simplicity - plus, it sounds nice when I say it in my head. But, without knowledge of the game I already have, from the name alone, I'd think that the game is some sort of steampunk thing where I get to graft an oversized pair of rusted scissors on my arm, or maybe a game where you piece together mechs from parts found in a scrapheap, and then fight to be king of said, or something.

To my, what's still lacking in the name is some way of saying that there's life in this game, and that it's being twisted, oppressed, tested. I mean, "Rust" does invoke these sort of changes - stuff decaying, becoming all brittle and a little unpleasant to touch, eventually breaking down... But about things, not people!
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1970


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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2008, 02:56:34 PM »

To be quite honest, I'm sad that you're changing the name, Marshall.

I actually did think you were referring to the actual region called the Rustbelt, in some future time when the Rust had taken over... and that didn't bother me. So the Rust has taken over in the Rustbelt, and elsewhere.. So I can play anywhere. Maybe it started there, maybe it didn't. Point is, everywhere is the Rustbelt now.

Also, I have this thing where I don't like it when up and coming games change cool names. Aisling became Crux, and now The Rustbelt may become Rust. Your call, sounds like you've got a legitimate reason, but I just don't like it.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Marshall Burns
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American Wizard


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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2008, 10:34:35 AM »

DWeird,

Yeah, I totally get your point.  But, for me, that's not really what draws me to a game.  Which is relevant because I made this game for me just as much as for anyone else (if not moreso).  The first thing I look for in a game is an aesthetic that I can sink my teeth into.  After that, I look for mechanics that support that aesthetic, especially in clever ways.  Everything else is, to me, subordinate to that.  I want a title that catches my eye aesthetically, not conceptually.  And I have a thing for rust and things that are falling apart.

Anyhoo. Of all the names pitched up to now, I like "Rust" due to sheer simplicity - plus, it sounds nice when I say it in my head. But, without knowledge of the game I already have, from the name alone, I'd think that the game is some sort of steampunk thing where I get to graft an oversized pair of rusted scissors on my arm, or maybe a game where you piece together mechs from parts found in a scrapheap, and then fight to be king of said, or something.

Let's not forget that there's also a picture on the cover, not just a title :)


(though I *am* having some troubles with the complete lack of tidbits of "wild west" culture in my game.

I would really really really like it if you could find a way to elaborate on that, dissect it a bit, and so on (perhaps in another thread, here in the BtW forum).  Because I have a sense of this game as being distinctly American somehow, although I have yet to be able to put it into any sort of words how or why.


Lance,
Wow, that's a curveball.  Only thing is, I don't know much about the real Rustbelt, and the thought of actually using it as the basis kinda makes me itch.  Because I don't know much about it, and I don't feel qualified to play around with it.

-Marshall
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