Monday, November 06, 2006

Weekly Review Oct. 29th to Nov. 4th

This week has seen several developments. Some are continuations of earlier themes, while others take a different perspective of types of RPGs.

Explicit System

Matt Snyder discusses the changes happening in recent RPG design. If we consider system to be the entire way that fiction is affected, whether mechanical, social, or otherwise, then he suggests that recent design movements have been one of exploring new systems, past the mechanical level. This has required specifying system beyond just the mechanics. At the same time, he argues that more traditional design has used much the same underlying system, passed on as unstated behaviors.

Breaking for Immersion

Malcom Sheppard continues his discussion last week on how the burden of ill-suited rules can be beneficial to play. Specifically he discusses the disjointedness of consciousness, and suggests that the breaks in self-awareness mirror the breaks in immersion found in the mechanical business of play. He argues that this periodic breaking aids immersion.

Resolution and Intent

Continuing the debate around task and conflict resolution over at Story Games is an attempt to understand the relationship between intent and scale within resolution. A consensus of sorts seems to have appeared around Fred Hicks' suggestion that the terms task and conflict confound the two very different dimensions of resolution, that of scope and intent. He argued that there should be categories of task versus scene resolution and of intent-relevant versus intent-irrelevant resolution.

1 comment:

Elliot Wilen said...

I do not think that Malcolm believes "ill-suited" rules are beneficial. Instead he's saying that the places where rules intrude in the player's experience serve a dual function in supporting immersion: (1) representing breaks in consciousness, and (2) representing moments where the "otherness" of the external world forces itself into our consciousness.

One of Malcolm's key points is that rules can be seen as a way to regulate the intrusions, thus shaping the experience.