Monday, March 03, 2008

Weekly Review February 24th to March 1st

This week has seen some interesting activity around the concept of system, and how it interacts with the fiction created during play.

Questions on System

Elliot Wilen talks about various questions he wishes to return to on the subject of system. He considers the distinction of systems that are fun to use, systems that produce outcomes that are fun to interact with, and systems which arbitrate between players. He also considers quantifying how much system affects play and how avowed design differs from house-ruling (in the sense that engineering differs from bricolage).

Elsewhere, Vincent Baker talks about the importance of the flow of fiction and how it can sometimes be essential to play. He discusses how the precise sense of continuity can be as important to the system as the mechanics, but in ways which are often difficult to grasp from game texts.

Revealing Setting

Jonathon Walton as an introduction to a concept he calls style sheets talks about different ways that game texts can provide settings. In some cases, it is implicit or something that arises as part of play. But other times that play requires a jump start: such as a handful of imaginative phrases or an inspirational reference sheet.

Story and Tactics

Rich Warren talks about differing flavors of tactical play. He describes how some tactical play is tactical about story of the game, while other flavors are tactical in spite of it. He argues that this causes problems, since tactical interest of some sort is part of engaging with play.

1 comment:

Elliot Wilen said...

Thanks for summarizing my thoughts in a way that makes them sound more calmly reasoned and cogent than they do in my own words. Which isn't to say you aren't right on the button.