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Author Topic: "A Game for Making Stories"  (Read 1090 times)

Blackleaf

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« on: December 15, 2006, 11:17:04 AM »
Christopher Kubasik made an excellent post on Story Games, and I wanted to bring it here for discussion as well.

Quote
This will come off as pedantic, but it may spark something for some.

Bryon wrote: "Lose the term "role-playing." It's a story game."

I'll say this: all this Interminable debate of late about what is and isn't an "RPG" is having my head spin for no good reason.

In part because it's tied to the geek factor. It's all a matter of "who's in and who's out". It's all, in my view, part and parcel of that "I'm a wounded outsider, so I'm going to make other people outsiders..." which, of course, only keeps the wounded fellow an outsider.

It's part of the culture of arcana, special words and knowledge and so on that is part of the geek culture. Those "mundanes" over there don't understand us -- but that's okay, because we're calling them "mundandes" and we know what we mean.

I bring all this up to say -- calling them "story-games" is just another way of confounding the issue. It's a new noun that someone will confront and won't know what to make of it.

Follow this: Someone says,"I've got this new game, Trivial Pursuit."

"Oh, really," says the second person, "What's it like?" Or "What do you do?" Or "What happens?"

See, no one is going to describe it by what it is. It's going to be defined by what you do.

Now for the pedantic part...

I suggest not calling them Story Games.

I would put on the cover. "A Game for Making Stories"

Or...

A Game
For Making Stories

See, simple. What is it? It's a Game. What do you do/what happens/how do you play?"

"Well, you make stories."

To my ear it's a step away from the arcana of geekdom. It says, it's just a game. (Which it is.)

It says, "It's about making stories" (which people love to do).

Christopher


I think this is excellent advice for all the different games we like to talk about here.  It makes sense.  It's descriptive. It de-ghettoizes the games, and makes them more appealing to new players.  It avoids artificially creating an us/them division between "types" of games.

For my game, I think I'm not going to bother with the words "RPG" at all.  The cover will include something like:  
"A Game of Heroic Adventures"

flyingmice

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2006, 11:28:07 AM »
I like role-playing games. I'm not ashamed of it either. The title of my latest isn't "In Harm's Way," it's "In Harm's Way:A Napoleonic Naval Roleplaying Game." I put it right up there in the title. I don't want to hide that it's an RPG. I want people to know straight off the bat what it is. It's not a "Game for Making Stories" or "An Adventure Game," though that's markedly closer than that "story" stuff. It's a roleplaying game.

-clash
clash bowley * Flying Mice Games - an Imprint of Better Mousetrap Games
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Sosthenes

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2006, 11:32:12 AM »
Oh, not the story debate again. I'm still hurting from the last one.
 

TonyLB

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2006, 11:34:51 AM »
I don't know that there's much to debate here.  Stuart likes the insight and intends to apply it to his own game(s).  Yay for Stuart!

Nobody's saying that anybody else has to do it.  The only real room to "disagree" is if you think that Stuart is morally wrong in so labelling his game.  Which would be, y'know, crazy.

So, yay Stuart!  I look forward to hearing how people respond to the title, marketing-wise.  I think I agree with your predictions, as predictions, but hard evidence is a whole 'nother level to take the idea to.
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flyingmice

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2006, 11:46:06 AM »
Quote from: TonyLB
I don't know that there's much to debate here.  Stuart likes the insight and intends to apply it to his own game(s).  Yay for Stuart!

Nobody's saying that anybody else has to do it.  The only real room to "disagree" is if you think that Stuart is morally wrong in so labelling his game.  Which would be, y'know, crazy.

So, yay Stuart!  I look forward to hearing how people respond to the title, marketing-wise.  I think I agree with your predictions, as predictions, but hard evidence is a whole 'nother level to take the idea to.


The only part of Stuart's post I disagreed with is this: "I think this is excellent advice for all the different games we like to talk about here."

It's excellent advice for him, but not for "all the different games..."

Stuart can call his game whatever he wants. If he wants to call it "A Bleeklop Juzzle for Throgging Sprots" he's welcome to.

-clash
clash bowley * Flying Mice Games - an Imprint of Better Mousetrap Games
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Currently Designing: StarCluster 4 - Wavefront Empire
Last Releases: SC4 - Dark Orbital, SC4 - Out of the Ruins,  SC4 - Sabre & World
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Blackleaf

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2006, 11:48:52 AM »
I said "All the different games" so I didn't have to use all the different terms we typically use to describe them. ;)  You can call your games anything you like.  I just like this approach, and thought (some) others here would as well.

James J Skach

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2006, 12:09:48 PM »
Until some bright person says "Well, what do you do in your game?"

Stuart: "Well, you play the role of an.."
Buyer: "Wait, wait...you play a role?  So it's a Role Playing Game?"
Stuart: Well, yes and no.  I mean you do take on the personna of an adventurer trying to rid the world of evil, but I didn't want to pigeon-hole it."
Buyer: "But it's a role playing game?
Stuart: "Well, yes...but..."
Buyer: "Why don't you just say so?"

Or how about the store manager who just wants to know what category it belongs to?

I think Pundit is on the right track when he says if X wants to be a role-playing game, great! But as an RPG, it sucks. Why do Story Games want to be called Story Games? Because they know what's what.  They understand they their games are fundamentally different from what the term  RPG has come to mean.

I, of course, couldn't care less. I'll just be a plebeian gamist/simulationist.
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Blackleaf

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2006, 01:09:49 PM »
Quote from: James J Skach
Well, yes and no. I mean you do take on the personna of an adventurer trying to rid the world of evil, but I didn't want to pigeon-hole it."


You do those things in Descent as well.  ;)

What I like about this suggestion is that you stop worrying about whether something does or doesn't fit into category A or B... and just say -- it's a game about this.

Works for me. :)

And the conversation would go like this:

Stuart: "Well, some of the players take on the role of an.."
Buyer: "Wait, wait...you play a role? So it's a Role Playing Game?"
Stuart: "Oh, you play Roleplaying Games?"
Buyer: "Yes."
Stuart: "I think you'll like this game."

Levi Kornelsen

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 01:12:26 PM »
Quote from: flyingmice
Stuart can call his game whatever he wants. If he wants to call it "A Bleeklop Juzzle for Throgging Sprots" he's welcome to.


It is the Plat by which he pursues Ansa Dansa Mo Go Fop.

...Not sure how many people will catch that particular inside joke, but hey.

Blackleaf

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 01:17:44 PM »

rcsample

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 01:45:58 PM »
Quote from: Christopher Kubasik
I bring all this up to say -- calling them story-games" GNS is just another way of confounding the issue. It's a new noun adjective that someone will confront and won't know what to make of it.


Fixed his quote..

I think classification is human nature.  I agree classification is easy when compared to something well/widely known.

How is this suggestion any different/better than labeling a game with G,N or S?
 

TonyLB

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2006, 01:48:32 PM »
Quote from: Stuart
Unicorn Google Power to the rescue: http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=1639
Yeah, but I got the joke without Google, and that makes me feel special :D
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flyingmice

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2006, 01:57:00 PM »
Quote from: TonyLB
Yeah, but I got the joke without Google, and that makes me feel special :D


You're in with the in crowd. You know what the in crowd knows.

:D

-clash
clash bowley * Flying Mice Games - an Imprint of Better Mousetrap Games
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TonyLB

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2006, 02:01:51 PM »
Quote from: flyingmice
You're in with the in crowd. You know what the in crowd knows.
Ooooooooooooh.  Just what I spent my teen years constantly trying to deny that I wanted. :D
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Warthur

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"A Game for Making Stories"
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2006, 02:54:24 PM »
Once, and only once in my life have I thrown away the dustcover from a hardback book.

That was the dustcover of Sorcerer. Because I didn't want the phrase "An Intense Role-Playing Game" staring at me whenever I looked at it.

So, yeah, what a game calls itself on its cover is important, and I agree with the sentiment of making the cover inclusive and inviting and not confusing to neophytes. There's few things more sure to put my nose out of joint than a game saying "This is a game for experienced players! Go play D&D if you want to learn, this is for the in crowd!"

Except when HOL does it, of course.
I am no longer posting here or reading this forum because Pundit has regularly claimed credit for keeping this community active. I am sick of his bullshit for reasons I explain here and I don't want to contribute to anything he considers to be a personal success on his part.

I recommend The RPG Pub as a friendly place where RPGs can be discussed and where the guiding principles of moderation are "be kind to each other" and "no politics". It's pretty chill so far.