Not everything is a puzzleMay 19, 2009
Sigh. As I’m looking at doing serious schedule shifts and having a life again, I’m rereading through some games, thinking about what would be good to play.
Along the way, I’m thinking about the ways in which setting serves as a inspiration tool- it gets people already imagining stories in their heads, even before they play, it serves as a tool to get everyone on the same page, and to let people know what kind of characters fit with the game.
And the new part for me, is thinking about how this also fits into long term play- the heavy setting books generally encourage long term play by two things- one, you’ve already invested time in reading the setting, so you want to get maximum play value back from the time, and two, you probably just imagined a few dozen possible situations, characters, etc. in the process of reading through it.
Still, I’m curious about how light setting games deal with player investment and interaction with setting, and if they have some other method besides doing genre shortcuts – that is, you don’t have to write a setting for the Wild West because everyone’s already absorbed tons of cowboy movies, so you can just nod to it and people will do the rest.
This is probably why online discussion for design fails- there’s too much misreading of intent, too much social jockeying – I’m probably better off calling folks up and asking about -their- specific experiences and finding the 2-3 that have what I’m talking about and trying to hear their stories directly.