Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Weekly Review April 27th to May 3rd

This has been a productive week in RPG theory, with some new work and some re-envisionment of earlier ideas.

Modes of Design

Fang Langford takes a good look at the different approaches that can be taken in the process of design - both in terms of the design products and in the viewpoints used when constructing and testing games. He suggests an incomplete set of these approaches: Disputative (focusing on conflicts and their resolution), Synergistic (focusing on cooperation and its facilitation), Individualistic (focusing on internal goals and contexts), and Collaborative (focusing on social features of play). He argues that most design happens with interplay between these modes.

Fiction in the Rules

Bradley "Brand" Robins discusses the the interplay of fiction and rules, building the idea that the one of the characteristics of RPGs is the presence of fiction within the game rules. He extends this idea to the concept of continuity discussed earlier this year. Elsewhere, Jonathon Walton takes this idea and delves further into RPGs which "lead with the fiction". He suggests this is related to free-form and rules-lite movements, but need not be averse to explicit rules.

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