Finishing up this year's Ronnies, and GenCon stuff

Started by Ron Edwards, July 31, 2011, 09:00:20 PM

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Ron Edwards


So one of my priorities is actually to play more Ronnies entries, especially winners, but really anything that I like. GenCon seems like a good place for it, so I'll be bringing a big folder with prepped handouts, and making sure I have counters or whatever a given game needs. If you're coming, please drop by booth 1713, and we can either play there or set up for later. I really like to play games in the evenings of the con.

For some of the games, I'm pretty sure some updated drafts are available, so I'll be in touch by email if you haven't posted links here or in another forum here.

More generally, it's probably time to close out this forum, or nearly. It struck me as a good idea to discuss the merits of public presentation, methods for further development, and issues that go into the decision whether to publish. Given the rigors of the approaching GenCon, I'll follow up on that stuff after next week. In the meantime, though, any thoughts, questions, or comments on those issues are welcome to accumulate here.

It's possible simply to use the Ronnies as a design exercise, and if so, that's great on its own. But I've also found that some games produced as what the author thought was a mere toss-away fun for a weekend turn out to be amazing work, vastly superior to the magnum opus a person may have been laboring over for years. I was really impressed with a lot of the entries, including more than a few that didn't win outright, and even the step of developing something in a minor publishing effort could be a very satisfying experience.

Best, Ron


Would be interesting to read the reports of all the plays from the big convention :)

I was just meaning to write a slightly revised draft over the weekend. Most stuff is in the thread, but guess some decisions (on how I wish things to work :)) are needed.

Closing this forum means there likely won't be another round of Ronnies this year?
Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010

Ron Edwards

Hi Guy,

I forgot to mention that I have another folder with me labeled Shalev. Plus a huge bag of counters to use with it (you really like those counters).

I can't realistically do another Ronnies round this year. I have to prioritize the anniversary annotations for Sorcerer, which may well replace the original printing entirely, and my continued writing for Shahida. Both of those are psychologically pretty draining as well as being plain work.

Best, Ron


I imagine the Ronnies can also be quite taxing. I sometimes find it hard to fit in giving feedback on just one game, though I think often there's a psychological block, combined with just not enough time in the day ;-)

I should probably blog on the topic (but since I haven't blogged recently, I know it's "Should"), but it's an interesting topic, re - tokens.
I actually thought and mentioned the topic moments before hitting this comment earlier today; in a way, Oxidant, which is very token heavy, is a game about currency, both on the fiction level and game level. So it is only appropriate that there's the concrete feel of exchanging currency, one form into another.

I quite enjoy the tactile feel of tokens, and the way they signify the game progresses. Back during GenCon 2007 I've played Full Light, Full Steam as was ran by Jonathan Walton, and when the physical objects keep moving, it feels like the game keeps moving. So long it moves, it sometimes is hard to identify whether the game moving translates into the physical components moving, or vice versa - which signifies what? But there were moments where the story could've had advanced, but the physical components getting stuck caused the game to slow down as well until the spice currency/components could flow once more.

This is why The Friendship Game has forms of turning "Nothing into something", as a form of perpetum mobile, so to speak, as the goal.
That's a lie, obviously, since you change "Clouds" into dice, or you take those Black Tokens which you can't use, and which you keep accumulating, and change them into Light tokens in one big pay-out. But if you only look at the White Tokens on the board, then they engage in a lot of "Something out of Nothing", the economy of the game is constantly injected with fresh White Tokens, which in turn should let the players keep spending them and not hoard them (well, they're also required to spend them at certain points). This is aimed to keep the game flowing. And I use that word on purpose.

All those tokens, like the comment I just added to the new revision of You are My Destiny regarding relationship maps, also helps people around and see where things stand, rather than require them to ask the other players what's their score in X which they then have to find on their sheets. Physical objects are often a lot more immediate.

Oxidant is a "non-game" in the same manner The Friendship Game is; they were also designed as system-component-capable modules you could insert into other games. Oxidant is actually a much more closed economy, with a pretty nasty downward spiral unless you get lucky. If you combine it with The Friendship Game then you can suddenly inject more life, more light tokens/dice to the struggling characters. This also shows you why those characters stick in those situations, perhaps what we all tell ourselves we must endure in order to benefit from and be able to sustain our private lives. Albeit the fallout from Oxidant will make TFG heavier in feel, I suspect.

Oxidant and TFG are meant to be playable together, so once I've made that choice it was a foregone conclusion that game will also have tokens.
Not to mention, I do like tokens. I like board-games, CSI Games are something I often think of as a marrying of story-games and board-games/card games.
Slime Coral and Octopi was designed to have a part of the game which is sort of like a board-game, and Troll Lands takes some things from Slime Coral and Octopi.

I did wonder if Oxidant is not perhaps somewhat of a board game and a Story Game, each of which can be compartmentalized. I'm not sure.

I also often have geometric shape inspire me, for sheets, interaction, and it's easy to go from there to "Board-gamey"; Cranium Rats began with a triangle, literally, and a tribal story game I have on the back-burner (so back-burnered I keep fearing I'll forget it....) is intended to use concentric circles as a combination between a story-map and the AGON corridor, and you move tokens/pieces on that sheet/board.

Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010