Saturday, March 17, 2007

Weekly Review Mar. 11th to Mar. 17th

Practical considerations are an signifcant aspect of this week's theory developments.

Comforting Constraints

Posters at Story Games ponder the importance of constraints to the creative process - not just to roleplaying, but to the construction of games and game systems. Absolute freedom is the death of improvisation, and improvisation is the key to bricolage. Is there a reason so many independent RPGs have such a narrow focus?

Story, Game, Roleplay: Not Always the Same

Yudhishthira's Dice examines the different stances that we can take towards the fundamental aspects of roleplaying. People who have previously approached RPGs from a particular perspective can harbor unexamined assumptions that make it harder to look at the games from another angle. RPGs that have distinct characters controlled by separate individuals and no mechanical emphasis on story progression can produce very different conceptions of 'play' than RPGs oriented around story development and that have no characters at all. The implications of these realities for game design, and a deficiency in existing RPG theory, are examined at length.

Creating Better Characters

Knowing how to constructing effective character personas is important not just for players, but for designers as well, particularly in games where goals and desires are explicit mechanics. attacks of opportunity appropriates tips originally intended to help fiction authors create strong personas and applies them to playing RPGs - tips that designers might want to pass on to the readers of their games.


Martindale said...

Great article. Actually, now that I'm here, I'm going to take a glance around. Your thoughts on roleplay are intriguing. ;)

Matthew George said...

Thank you. This site is mostly a way for Mendel to review the contributions of the entire theory community - very few of the thoughts here are ours, and even fewer are mine.

But the thought is appreciated, nonetheless.