11 Responses

  1. bateleur
    bateleur October 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm |

    I thought this was really ingenious and fun, but the other testers were a bit more ‘eh what??’ and got rather lost. I think to enjoy it you pretty much have to be sufficiently expert at whist (-type games) that all the stuff like counting suits, tracking the high card, reading your partner’s signals etc are all second nature and so games of plain whist have become predictable and dull.

    Sounds very plausible. Indeed, it seems closely connected to the central concept behind the Jim Rossignol article I linked from G+ the other day. I’m finding this stuff very interesting at the moment, because it seems to come close to capturing an idea I’ve been failing to articulate properly for a while. Basically I don’t much like the current fashion for super-accessible gaming because it seems to result in overly simplistic games which don’t hold my attention.

    1. undying-admin
      undying-admin October 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm |

      Interesting article (the Rossignol one)! Mm, and I would extend your last point to things like Hide and Seek as well (unless you were already including that). It’s been quite illuminating for me in recent months talking with people who’ve come into that world from elsewhere than what I consider as ‘gaming’, and who thus perceive it quite differently.

      Also related in some way to this area of thought, I think, although I haven’t worked out yet exactly how, are Fiasco and similar games. These games have very simple rules and very accessible themes. In theory, a group of people who like Coen Brothers films and have never even heard of role-playing could pick up a copy of Fiasco and have a great time with it, constructing stories together. In practice, though, the only people who play it (I believe) are veteran role-players of at least 15 years’ experience.

      1. bateleur
        bateleur October 22, 2012 at 9:41 pm |

        Hmm… I’ve never played Fiasco, but a similar remark could be made of “Once Upon a Time”. It plays best (and is much loved by) people with years of RPG experience behind them.

        I’m quite fond of Hide & Seek‘s work partly because it feels more like research to me. It would be quite possible to run deep, complex pervasive games but before that can happen we need to understand more about how simple ones work. Maybe.

        1. undying-admin
          undying-admin October 23, 2012 at 8:26 am |

          a similar remark could be made of “Once Upon a Time”

          Yes, that’s a better example. I have actually played OUaT with non-gamers, and they essentially couldn’t see the point of it as an activity. And then, after much persistence and encouragement, once they got into how to use the materials, they ‘gamed’ it in the way that breaks it. (As, ironically, gamers mostly wouldn’t do.)

          feels more like research

          Yes, I’m sure it is intended that way by the organizers and I have respect for their aims and what they’ve achieved. But the mainstream press angle seems to focus on the “you get to run around making silly noises!” aspect: which, while helping to make the whole thing popular and successful, I think is bound to detract from any serious intent. In the longer term, perhaps fatally so.

          (I suppose my criticism is that I’d have liked them to stay lower-profile for longer, while doing that research. I appreciate this is horribly unfair and could be mistaken for envious sniping 🙂

          1. bateleur
            bateleur October 23, 2012 at 8:37 am |

            The trouble is mainly that they need the high profile to remain viable as a business.

            Regarding “silly noises”. The year I ran a game at the Weekender (which I enjoyed a lot), James Wallis was there also running a game. It was some kind of storytelling game – I forget the details – which he advertised as being fun “with a drink or two”. He ruefully confessed later that this had been the WORST MISTAKE EVER as he was forced to run it all evening with a bunch of exceptionally drunk louts who were mostly incapable of playing it at all! (I find this story very amusing, for some reason.)

          2. undying-admin
            undying-admin October 25, 2012 at 9:37 am |

            Heh, that reminds me of playing in the Baron Munchausen tournament at Gencon some years back, which he chaired. It was likewise billed as a game to drink along with, which we took seriously… but being roleplayers, we worked the increasing tipsy incoherence into the characters 🙂 Not sure how well it worked for the audience, but we had a great time!

          3. bateleur
            bateleur October 25, 2012 at 9:50 am |

            Might well have been that he was running, now you mention it.

          4. undying-admin
            undying-admin October 25, 2012 at 10:08 am |

            Ah. Oops.

  2. coffee_lifeform
    coffee_lifeform October 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm |

    So the drag racing mechanic works, then? Awesome!

    1. undying-admin
      undying-admin October 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |

      Yes, I think it’s really good now — the players enjoyed it a lot, and it’s also fun for spectators.
      (Hope that Naish have a pair of chairs on casters that can be used for the cars…)

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