Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Editorial: Origins

This post is a little early, because I'm heading to Origins shortly. On that note, this post is a general question. Where do you get your RPG theory ideas?

Do you find yourself basing developments on specific games? On specific people? Perhaps, by applying ideas from other fields? Are you driven to build theory by necessity, elegance, or creativity?

It's good to think about these things every once in a while, because where your theory comes from tells you quite a bit about where it could go.


Guy said...

All of the above.

I do things, and I get ideas. I can read a game, watch a human, play a game, watch a movie, etc. and get ideas.

Some of these ideas will be RPG Theory.

The interesting thing for me is where I can find "proof" for my theories once I write them down: Everywhere.

Every time I write a new piece of theory, whether rpg related or not(I do have a personal LJ) then I keep seeing things which can be explained using my theory.

Adam Dray said...

I get ideas from all over the place but most of my best ideas are synthesis and combination of many smaller ideas, or they come from analogies.

I used to avoid reading other people's game material because I wanted all my ideas to be my own. Now I realize that I need to read and play as many other games as possible. I can still create lots of stuff that is original; in fact, I feel more creative now.

When I'm playing with an idea, I'll look for synonyms and related concepts. For example, the dice mechanic for Verge came from the phrase "signal to noise ratio," which has nothing to do with gaming. But it set me thinking and I applied it to dice and I ended up with, I hope, a pretty fun resolution mechanic.

Joe J Prince said...

I built my FUNnel model & GENIUS theory
out of necessity really. I enjoy RPG theory discussions but got fed up with the jargon police moaning at me. So I wrote my own theory, which draws heavily from GNS but is much more accessible and jargon free.

I wanted to get back to basics and look at why we role-play - fun and what fun is. I also felt GNS/big model fails to account for some aspects of RPing - mainly immersion, so I wanted to make sure my theory dealt with this. Also, unlike GNS, my FUNnel model is intended to inform RPG design.

I did draw from many other fields, specifically: gaming, literature, theatre, drama, improv, social psychology and comedy.

It's not perfect but I can now analyse any RPG design subjectively and comment on any elements of RP theory.