NontentMarch 13, 2010
That’s the word of the day. Tycho of Penny Arcade talking about games minus cruft:
I’ve been playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2 lately, not every night, but most nights – and yeah. This is a roleplaying game. Specifically, an MMO. Except you go from instance to instance all night, and at no point does anyone craft a jerkin. The “middle place,” the nontent in which players are made to stew, doesn’t exist in games like Modern Warfare or Bad Company. It’s just the awesome Pirate Ship at the end of the Deadmines, again and again, every time you play
Although he’s talking about videogames, I think the design parallel to tabletop rpgs is pretty important- neither including aspects “just because that’s how it always has been done” nor including tons of rules trying to appeal to everyone – and in the end, losing the direction and focus of a game design.
In terms of actual play, it also holds value, especially with the classic “20 minutes of fun in 4 hours” issue being many times an issue of pacing and GMs trying to delay things or failing to simply cut to the chase.