Monday, April 17, 2006

Weekly Review Apr. 9th to Apr. 15th

This week discussion has leaned towards delving into expanding the context of RPGs and their design.

RPGs to Learn From

During a discussion on metaphor in RPGs, Paul Czege elucidates his view of learning and RPGs. He suggests that RPGs are predominantly tools for players to learn skills or just about themselves. He suggests that the core question of design is what and how a game teaches.

A Deeper Look at Storytelling

Jonathan Walton presents a look at more common forms of storytelling as a way to gain some perspective on RPGs. In particular he suggests that understanding day to day storytelling will enable a more "low-impact" approach to RPGs.

Fictional Origins

Over at Story Games was a discussion about fictional origins for RPGs. Many of these suggest not only a direction for design, but also how these disparate sources interface with RPGs. Of particular note are board games and the Oulipo movement.


Guy Shalev said...

Considering you review things as they appear, when would you mark the rising prominence of "Competitive" or CCG/Board/War-game like games? I personally put the boom at the beginning of March, as I note on my LJ.

Or perhaps, I'm only seeing things :)

Mendel Schmiedekamp said...

Before I get to the question, just want to point out this is a trend in indie design you're talking about, rather than RPG theory.

That being said I do see that a trend somewhat like this is present, basically competative games as the mechanic for distributing narration rights. This sort of thing seems to come and go.

I suspect the recent influx has much to do with this year's iron game chef competition, as the time limits strongly encourage a board game perspective. Indeed, that was one of the ways it was explained.

Whether or not the theme was a cause or an effect is an interesting question, albeit not one particularly appropriate to this venue.