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Author Topic: At the forefront of story-games thought  (Read 1602 times)

BedrockBrendan

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At the forefront of story-games thought
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2011, 12:23:29 pm »
Quote from: JDCorley;498542
Right, but how would you compare 100 posts from 2 posters to 100 posts from 80 posters? You could only do it by counting posts and assigning them to particular posters? That would be way too involved. But in the second case, the impact on what gamers are thinking/talking about would be far more significant.


You have to begin with a method. The simple way is to discount multiple posts by the same person (or have some formula if you think a large volume of multiple posts are significant). But this is an issue you will face no matter what you are looking for. Even your search of posts on storygames.com is going to suffer from the multiple poster issue.

You can also refrain from drawing any conclusion and just put the numbers out there: "I did a google search for this game and a million hits came up, make of that what you will."



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It doesn't work for finding what's happening in 2010-2011 - rpg.net's copyright notice at the bottom of each page causes a google hit for every year it's been open


Not really, remember, Google doesn't find stuff by year (at least not in terms of hits)..


Online searches are very imperfect tools. This is one of the issues you run into anytime you try to do this. Have you tried including the date in the search "game name" and "2010" and "2011"?



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That's why I only used topic headings rather than looking at (say) individual posts on ENWorld and trying to decide if someone would consider it a story-gamer post or not.


I think looking at individual posts and combing for content is probably better when limited to smaller samples and done to dig into what is actually going on online (i.e. in a survey of 30 EN world threads, 20 people appeared to be advocating "gamism" in D&D, but 100 people seemed confused by the concept----totally made up example ).


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I agree there's a spectrum, but that's all right. You can still define what pop music is even if it shades into rock or electronic or jazz at various points on the spectrum.  Remember, my definition is far less harsh in terms of where lines are drawn than the widely-used-and-wrong definition.  Your objection actually applies to the widely-used definition more than to mine.


But you have to be very careful with spectrums. There is a lot of baroque styling in heavy metal music from the 80s, but it wouldn't be correct to classify Bach as a heavy metal composer.

If you broaden the definition too much it ends up being meaningless (and it also doesn't address the underlying things people are talking about when they argue over story games, immersion, etc----it sidesteps it). Again, I am not claiming to have a handle on the actual definition. I am not that into whether something falls into story game or not. But if I am going to have a conversation with people about "story games" or "old school games" or "rules heavy games" I am going to try to work with the definition most people use. Because if I come in with a new definition of those things, then I am really talking about something other than what everyone else is.

Keep in mind, I am not neccessarily disputing your definition, because I don't know what it is. I was just responding to your point that you are employing a new definition that isn't widely accepted. So when it comes to specifics, it is entirely possible I agree with you.

BedrockBrendan

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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2011, 12:24:09 pm »
Quote from: JDCorley;498547
Actually, I just thought of Google Trends. "Poison'd" and "Grey Ranks" don't have enough hits to be ranked at all - ever. Nobody searched for those terms in enough quantity, in any year, to rank on Google Trends.

For contrast, here's Apocalypse World.


Do you know what the cutoff point is for it to be ranked?

JDCorley

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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2011, 12:35:13 pm »
Quote from: BedrockBrendan;498552
Do you know what the cutoff point is for it to be ranked?


It varies with time because Google is getting more and more traffic as time goes on. It was lower in January 2004 (when Trends data began to be collected) than it is today. Google doesn't give a specific number.  The "about" Trends page is pretty interesting as to how they normalize the data.  Uh, if you're a math nerd like myself.

DominikSchwager

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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2011, 05:00:58 pm »
I am pretty sure that a sizeable number of poison'd threads google finds are on this very forum.

Brad J. Murray

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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2011, 01:20:06 pm »
Those are interesting results. I wouldn't categorize our Diaspora as a story-game, per se, but it gets high results mostly because it sold a lot of copies so it has penetration. Hollowpoint, on the other hand, really only has one thread that I know of (I don't actually hang out there any more so I don't know if there are any new ones) and it is certainly has more to do with 3:16 or Fiasco than more traditional tactical-simulation-core games.

So I'm not sure what this information does, but it is interesting. It's a popularity contest Hollowpoint lost (though sales are good for its niche) and I wouldn't mind understanding how. I expect in part it's because we didn't ask for input on the design from game designers.

JDCorley

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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2011, 02:41:31 pm »
There's no question that games that are designed by story-games regulars get a lot of chatter. Also, I've noticed that story-games podcasters drive a lot of discussion.

Hollowpoint has 2...I mentioned it on my podcast a couple of times and have been meaning to come back to check it out in more detail.

3:16 has 13.

Edit: Updated original post.

Double-edit: Also, I don't think "popularity contest" is quite right. A number of Fiasco threads were people saying "what am I doing wrong" or "why didn't this work" or "how can I do this better", which is not exactly ringing endorsement/popularity.  It's more what people are thinking about/considering with respect to their play.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 03:27:40 pm by JDCorley »

BedrockBrendan

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« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2011, 06:34:16 am »
Quote from: Brad J. Murray;498973


So I'm not sure what this information does, but it is interesting. It's a popularity contest Hollowpoint lost (though sales are good for its niche) and I wouldn't mind understanding how. I expect in part it's because we didn't ask for input on the design from game designers.


brad, I make Terror Network and Crime Network which are in a similar niche to hollow point (though very different in style and focus) so I do a lot of forum searches for discussions on the genre to see what people are saying. I see a lot of people suggest Hollowpoint in threads (even if the thread itself isn't about hollowpoint itself). Chances are if someone in a thread mentions Fiasco, Blowback, etc, Hollowpoint also comes up. I've been impressed by the amount of attention it has attracted.

BedrockBrendan

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« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2011, 06:43:02 am »
Quote from: JDCorley;499018
There's no question that games that are designed by story-games regulars get a lot of chatter. Also, I've noticed that story-games podcasters drive a lot of discussion.

Hollowpoint has 2...I mentioned it on my podcast a couple of times and have been meaning to come back to check it out in

Double-edit: Also, I don't think "popularity contest" is quite right. A number of Fiasco threads were people saying "what am I doing wrong" or "why didn't this work" or "how can I do this better", which is not exactly ringing endorsement/popularity.  It's more what people are thinking about/considering with respect to their play.


JD: where do you place Gumshoe on the spectrum, out of curiosity.

I ask because I've noticed reviewers and players who like gumshoe tend to run into issues with how our games approach investigations (which is cool, because we aren't trying to do the same thing as gumshoe). I always assumed it was because Gumshoe takes more of a storygame approach and we take a more traditional approach. But interested if you view it as a storygame or not.

Brad J. Murray

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« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2011, 10:35:46 am »
Quote from: BedrockBrendan;499404
brad, I make Terror Network and Crime Network which are in a similar niche to hollow point (though very different in style and focus) so I do a lot of forum searches for discussions on the genre to see what people are saying. I see a lot of people suggest Hollowpoint in threads (even if the thread itself isn't about hollowpoint itself). Chances are if someone in a thread mentions Fiasco, Blowback, etc, Hollowpoint also comes up. I've been impressed by the amount of attention it has attracted.


Oh yeah, in general I'm really pleased with the chatter (especially on G+) it's just the story-games site itself that disappoints me. In fact it's that the chatter is brisk elsewhere and silent there that makes the place feel like a clique to me -- the silence is weird and disproportionate.

I may have made up that last word -- I ate a fair amount of codeine for my back.

JDCorley

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« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2011, 10:35:55 am »
Well, remember I think it's pointless to point to a product and say "this is a story game", instead you should point to a campaign or session and say "this is a story game". I know some people play Gumshoe focused on winning/beating the mystery before they're out of points, so those people would not be playing a story game, since their intent is not to focus on story. But those that are trying to express a character, resolve a conflict, pace a story with the investigation points, replicate a procedural story, etc., those people are story gaming and their Gumshoe game is a story game.

I like Terror Network et seq. quite a bit, I've mentioned it on the podcast several times.

Gumshoe got 1 hit.
Trail of Cthulhu got 12.
Mutant City Blues hasn't been discussed since 2009, Esoterrorists since 2007.

Because that gave me an idea:

Call of Cthulhu/CoC got 3 hits.
Stealing Cthulhu got 2 hits.

JDCorley

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« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2011, 10:37:14 am »
Quote from: Brad J. Murray;499427
Oh yeah, in general I'm really pleased with the chatter (especially on G+) it's just the story-games site itself that disappoints me. In fact it's that the chatter is brisk elsewhere and silent there that makes the place feel like a clique to me -- the silence is weird and disproportionate.

I may have made up that last word -- I ate a fair amount of codeine for my back.

Haha, no, it's a word.  Yeah, it's definitely interested in what it's interested in. It's not a general site trying to talk about all RPG play. Like, Robin Laws' Hamlet's Hit Points, which has an interesting diagramming system to help pace/direct flow in story play, it has 1 thread.  Ever. It don't make it a bad product, it just never turned story-games.com on for whatever reason.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 10:40:29 am by JDCorley »

BedrockBrendan

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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2011, 10:46:22 am »
Quote from: Brad J. Murray;499427
Oh yeah, in general I'm really pleased with the chatter (especially on G+) it's just the story-games site itself that disappoints me. In fact it's that the chatter is brisk elsewhere and silent there that makes the place feel like a clique to me -- the silence is weird and disproportionate.

I may have made up that last word -- I ate a fair amount of codeine for my back.


It looks like a pretty small community on that site to me, so it probably has a lot to do with the lack of chatter. Whereas on RPGnet you are getting a huge cross-section of gamers.

BedrockBrendan

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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2011, 10:50:38 am »
Quote from: JDCorley;499428


I like Terror Network et seq. quite a bit, I've mentioned it on the podcast several times.

.


Thanks, I appreciate it. Terror Network sold a lot more than Crime Network. Unfortunately it was our first book so it doesn't have as much polish. Hopefully I will get out a revised edition in the next year or so (nothing major, as I want it to be backwards compatible with all the TN modules---some slight streamlining, editing, new art, updating, etc).

JDCorley

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« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2011, 11:14:58 am »
Quote from: BedrockBrendan;499434
Thanks, I appreciate it. Terror Network sold a lot more than Crime Network. Unfortunately it was our first book so it doesn't have as much polish. Hopefully I will get out a revised edition in the next year or so (nothing major, as I want it to be backwards compatible with all the TN modules---some slight streamlining, editing, new art, updating, etc).


Not a problem, and that's cool about a new edition, if I miss it on the drivethrurpg feed and you want me to tease/give the audience an update, drop me a PM and we'll work out how to get me a copy.

BedrockBrendan

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« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2011, 11:47:37 am »
Quote from: JDCorley;499441
Not a problem, and that's cool about a new edition, if I miss it on the drivethrurpg feed and you want me to tease/give the audience an update, drop me a PM and we'll work out how to get me a copy.


Sent a PM to you JD. When it comes out I will be sure to notify you.

What is your podcast?