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A new book “Two Massive Online Game Blueprints: RPG, FPS”
by Dan Bress on 07/08/13 09:48:00 am   Expert Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Let’s start with the basics. My new book is “Two Massive Online Game Blueprints: RPG, FPS” available on Amazon. In it I lay out the complete blueprint/framework/bible for two niche Massives, including the secret sauce. I believe that a team could take either of these blueprints and start work on one of these games today. As I describe the two games I include comments as to why I made some of the design features I use.

The two games are niche games. They won’t appeal to everyone, but they will appeal to enough players to be viable. The working titles and elevator pitches for the two games are:

“Codex of the Lifegiver:” A Massive that maximizes player community and player gameplay choices while minimizing unwanted gameplay and social interactions. The game story is inspired by the prolog of “Code of the Lifemaker” by James P. Hogan and a short story by everyone’s favorite author Phillip K. Dick called “AutoFac”.

“Away Team:” A Massive that maximizes exciting edge-of-your-seat gameplay in scheduled “Missions.” The game world is alive and constantly changing based on the results of player “Missions”.

Why write a book? When I went out to pitch these games, people would agree with me that niche games are viable. They would agree with me that niche games need to be different. I would lose them when I started describing features that would not work in current games. Before I could show the inter-relationship of key features, they would lose interest. For example, in “Codex of the Lifegiver” gear can break permanently. The better the gear, the more quickly it may break. Thus you can have a “sword of two-shotting” that breaks after one use or an “eternal butter knife” which is unlikely to ever break. Certainly that would not work in WoW or a host of other games.

My experience was that I was not going to get my message out in a pitch meeting. After reviewing my options my best plan was to write this book. I figure there are four possible outcomes to writing this book: 1. No one cares; 2. I inspire a few of you and you make games I want to play; 3. I get to work on the games I describe; 4. I get to play games similar to what I describe. So I’m sending this book out in the world and wishing it well. Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on smaller projects coming soon to a Kickstarter near you.

Codex of the Lifegiver (sorta RPG)

My goal in designing Codex of the Lifegiver is to allow players to self-select what meta-game they want to play and what type of individuals they want to play it with. Next I want to present players with gameplay choices of only meaningful activities (in game terms). Finally, I want to let new players have access to all content while retaining some elements of RPGs.

The first step is to separate the players into different “City-States”, with each City-State in its own “zone”. I anticipate there will be a City-State composed primarily of crafters who only tolerate polite chat. Next to them might be a City-State composed primarily of PvPers who enjoy themselves some “Barrens” chat. “Diplomats” from each of these cities may make (game enforced) treaties with each other. Thus in exchange for crafted gear the PvPers may guard the Crafters.

A feature of all Massives I have every played is that there is a “rat” problem. In WoW you may choose to go on a quest to kill some rats. There are no consequences for not accepting the quest. In Codex if the rats are not controlled in your City-State the rats will eventually eat your stuff. This makes rat killing a meaningful activity and it makes it much more likely for some random player to help you, as you are working for the common good. In WoW the majority of gameplay enhances the individual. In Codex the majority of gameplay enhances the community.

We all know the problems associated with having gear that is tradable, and yet in Codex you can trade gear. In Codex a new player can get some borrowed gear (from a friend or City-State) and jump right into a raid on her first day. This requires that content not be gated in any fashion, such as gear-checks or number of participants, so the new guy is not taking up a precious raid spot. Now to make tradable gear work there has to be a way to take gear out of the world. In Codex gear can be permanently broken, the better the gear is, the more likely it is to be broken upon use.

Having gear that can be broken opens up new problems, as no one likes to lose their “precious”. The solution is to have gear much easier to acquire. This will lead a player to have a wide variety of gear to choose amongst. This introduces new gameplay choices as a player must decide whether to take out one’s good gear to go rat hunting or save it for an upcoming raid. In Codex the RPG element is maintained as the more challenging encounters a player participates in, the more likely she is to get great gear.

Before a new player enters the world of Codex of the Lifegiver they will go to a City State recruiting area, much like a “job fair”. There they will be able to choose a compatible city for their play style and play time. 

Away Team (sorta FPS)

My goal in designing Away Team is to give players a fun, intense, meaningful game experience in a 30 to 90 minute game session. Away Team is centered on “Missions” where a group of players are given an objective and are given choices as to what gear (load-out) they will bring to the Mission. The key to winning a Mission is planning and bringing the right load-out.

Away Team makes use of mobile media to accomplish various tasks without logging into the game. In Away Team Players can:

  • Schedule a game-play session in advance, as a group or individually
  • Choose the maximum length of a Mission
  • Receive a Mission description in advance
  • Plan the Mission with other Team members
  • Review a Mission after it is over and discuss it with your Team members
  • Browse current (game) events, back story and other player’s Missions

Schedule. Log in. Play.

Missions. Away Team’s combat system is based on bringing the right load-outs, weapons, armor, ammo, sensors, etc. to the fight. You don’t want to bring heavy weapons and armor if you are facing a long mobile fight. Away Team’s missions are not simple kill-quests or capture the flag, they are more nuanced. A simple example:

  • Your team lands on the planet on point A.
  • Your team needs to get to point B in less than 60 minutes and blow a bridge which is
    defended by the enemy.
  • A major road links point A and point B, but is patrolled by the enemy.
  • The road cuts through a forest, which provides cover, but slows movement.

So in this simple example you have two choices. You can attempt to fight your way up the road to the bridge, or you can try to avoid fighting by traveling through the forest. In both cases you need to have enough force to overpower the bridge defenders and place your explosives.

Log in at the time you scheduled and play. That’s it. You have planned your mission over social media at your convenience. You have assembled your load out (what you are bringing with you) over social media at your convenience. Away Team has found your opponents (who suffer significant penalties if they are late). All that’s left is for you to sit down and enjoy your game session.

Scheduling missions is just one method to play Away Team. You can log in and join a pick-up-team and head out on a mission. There are training (think holo-deck) missions available. There are occasional special missions offered to players who are logged on. The key is that players who choose to schedule and play just once or twice a week will not fall behind in any fashion. They will have access to the same gear and missions that everyone else has.

For things to be different they cannot be the same.



My web site: www.YutaniGameDivision.com 


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Comments


Darren Tomlyn
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One problem with the computer games industry, is that everyone knows what computer games are, and can come up with new ideas for what can happen and how they function, but because the development side is not completely mature, there's often no reasonable way such ideas and functionality will ever see the light of day - for this reason there are far more ideas for games (whether viable or otherwise) than there are viable attempts to produce them, and the functional differences can also be vast.

Creating highly original, functional games can be hard to extremely hard to impossible, depending on the type, size and complexity of the game being created. 'Proper' MMO's are the gaming equivalent of an epic novel - the type which normally takes years to write (after spending more time beforehand thinking about it and planning it out, etc.). Unfortunately, unlike a novel, a high quality game of this kind cannot really be created by just one person.

Ideas for MMO's are the hardest to use but still just as easy to think of - which is why even thinking about creating an MMO from scratch without being able to spend enough time and effort before hand on making sure it will function, is almost a non-starter - everything on paper doesn't really mean that much, either, unless it's the actual code to be typed in.

The ratio of ideas to actual games in the MMO space is therefore also massive. If it was 10 years ago, when there was time and space to work things out - (not as much competition) - then I'd say you had a chance. Unless you get a really good team of experienced people together, any full-scale MMO from scratch, atm, is just asking for trouble.

I'm not really seeing anything in the OP that makes such a game appear that much better than anything we have currently, that the market isn't already catering to in some manner - different is rarely enough, unless you can specifically aim for a market that isn't being catered to, which is why any new MMORPG these days really has to be better than those we currently have.

Which is why my suggestion to anyone talking about an MMO at this time, especially an 'RPG' is this:

Start small, and work your way up. Create a smaller, more limited game, first, to test the basic systems and mechanics etc., before even thinking about trying to scale them up so far - and for MMO's scale is EVERYTHING - which is why, IMO, if it isn't designed to scale as easily as possible, it isn't worth it.

Which is why, IMO, you should take the same approach with your ideas or 'blueprints' too.

I have ideas for MMO's too, but I've long since realised that it's the not the game ideas I've thought of that are truly valuable - its the systems and mechanics (and especially the gameplay development they enable) I've based them on that matter, because the variety of games that can use them is far greater. Sure, if I could design and create 'the' game, I would, and, IMO (of course) it'd easily be one of the best MMO(RPG's) ever created, for a number of describable and demonstrable reasons, (again, based on the functionality it's built upon), but jumping straight in at the MMO level would be a mistake.

Which is why I suggest you do the same with your blueprint - don't think of it as two 'game' ideas/blueprints, but a collection of individual elements that can be combined in such a manner to create these games.

Some of the things I'd like to do I've already argued with people about, (and realised they had trouble understanding the true scope and scale of what I was suggesting), which is why I've had to go away and find out why people's understanding of games (especially 'RPG's') can be so inconsistent/inaccurate in such a manner - (which I now fully recognise and understand to be ultimately based upon our very perception, recognition and understanding of language itself.) I'd share a number of my ideas here, if I didn't need to provide such a solid foundation within which they can and need to be fully understood, in order for them to be able to reach their full potential.

Dan Bress
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Darren,

Thank you for your comments.

My experience is that everyone knows how to modify an existing game to make it better. A quick trip to any game forum will show you that. What you will not find is an understanding of how changing one aspect of game-play influences other areas. I would disagree with you that there are lots of viable, innovative game ideas floating around. There are certainly lots of game ideas that start with “like WoW but with more _______”.

I’m sure you realize that my blog post just touches on a few highlights of the games I describe. My problem with pitching these games is people get hung up on a particular feature and lose interest before I can tie everything together. That is why I wrote a complete set of blueprints for these games. Perhaps I did not make myself clear in my post. What I call a blueprint/bible is a complete set of gameplay rules for a massive. For ease of discussion, I discuss these rules in context of a specific implementation. I discuss “Codex of the Lifegiver” with avatars being robots. I could just as easily discuss “Codex” in context of Greek City States with magic. For me, what is important is gameplay.

We can both agree that bringing a Massive to market is difficult and one has to assemble a good team. I would disagree with you that it would be easier in the past to bring a new Massive to market. What we currently have is millions of players who have enjoyed “World of Warcraft” and similar games. Of these millions of players a subset of them are ready and willing to move on to a more advanced niche game. So currently we have a large pool of potential customers, who have experienced Massives. In board games “Risk” is an entry level or gateway game. I believe in a similar fashion WoW is an entry level Massive.

Now the question is, is the Massive market underserved? I believe it is. If you strip away the graphics of the current crop of Massives and get to the underlying gameplay they are very, very similar. A simple experiment, explain the gameplay differences between WoW, Rift and LotR to your Grandma. It can’t be done, unless Grandma is a gamer. I believe that an innovative niche game can attract enough customers to give a good return-on-investment.

I discuss “benchmarks” in my book, because as we all know external funding will not happen without a formal set of benchmarks. That said, I have seen a number of games fail as development teams chase benchmarks instead of concentrating on the game. So proper benchmarks can make or break a game project. My starting place, and first benchmark, is the creation of world design software. Sending damage down-range is known in the art and easy to modify, creating an engaging world is not. Another early benchmark is getting the social component in place. I think we can all agree that the current crop of Massives does a poor job of putting compatible players together, and holding players accountable for their behavior.

You say “Start small, and work your way up.” I would argue that I have done that. The games I describe are different from what’s out there. If by “small” you mean less code that WoW, then yes, the games I describe are small. Can the games I describe be created with a smaller team than WoW? Quite definitely. I have designed these games to be created with a small team. There is a fine line between creating a minimally featured game and a technology demo. I would argue that how to create a Massive is known in the art, such as: how to present graphics, how to create a combat system, how to move in a virtual world, etc. To me, spending money to prove my team can do what other teams can easily do is a waste of time and money.

That said I do have a case where I am working small and scaling up. I am going to put up on Kickstarter an innovative small RTS with the working title “Asteroid Wars.” I have a short description of it on my website. I am starting with a minimally featured game because the gameplay I am using is new. The gameplay is solid, but explaining it to new players is hard. So I’ve created a small, fun game to get it out in front of people. If there is interest, my next step will be to produce a fully featured game with the working title of “Aftermath Online”, based in part on the gameplay of “Asteroid Wars.”

You say “don't think of it as two 'game' ideas/blueprints, but a collection of individual elements that can be combined in such a manner to create these games.” That is possible to a certain extent. It would be easy to pull out the social aspects of my games and drop them into a number of current games. Other aspects not so much, for example having gear that can break. I discuss above that if gear can break that opens up a number of gameplay changes which cannot be dropped into current games. The changes range from how gear is acquired to not “gating” content based on gear or number of players.

You can find some of my older blogs here http://dans-massivethoughts.blogspot.com/ where I go into more detail about niche games, game design and innovation. I would particularly recommend my blog on “Fairness” and how that is holding back innovation in Massives. (Note: if any of you want to discuss these blogs please bring the discussion here rather than on my blog.)

I agree with you when you say “I'd share a number of my ideas here, if I didn't need to provide such a solid foundation within which they can and need to be fully understood, in order for them to be able to reach their full potential.” And that is exactly why I wrote a book. It is unpossible to explain in a few hundred words a complicated gameplay system.

Darren Tomlyn
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@Dan

Your reply was pretty much what I expected ;)

Now that the general points are out of the way, I do have some specific concerns about what you've described - (I expect there will be additional context I am not aware of, which I then expect to affect such concerns) - especially in relation to the gear/equipment for the RPG.

The problem with "games" based around random gear/equipment, is that they end up relying to much only on such items being given TO the player - with a lot of functionality in the game then merely acting in a support role to try and balance out any variables present in the different items that can 'drop'. This means that the emphasis of the 'game' is then placed on what happens TO the player - (what random items they are given (for whatever reason)) - rather than what they player DOES.

Games such as these therefore generally wind up turning into competitions, instead of games - though since the difference and relationship at this time is NOT recognised and understood, (for various reasons), we have problems.

Game: A structured (rule-based) activity in which people compete by doing something for themselves (writing their own stories).

Competition: An activity (often structured) in which people compete to be told whether they have won or lost, (often by a RANDOM DRAW (a lottery), or a 'judges' opinion).

The former, is all about the player's behaviour, whereas the latter is all about the method of the draw/selection (in this case, the game's behaviour, on behalf of its creators) made on behalf of, and to the people taking part.

To confuse the two is therefore to confuse something a person (the player) DOES, with something that happens TO them.


Now, as I said, without any additional context, I do not know which type of activity your gear system falls under as a whole, but only going by what you've described in the OP, it sounds like a competition, which is something I always view as a problem, (for a good reason).

As you can imagine, based on the above, one of the main reasons my systems/mechanics exist, is to try and make as much of such randomness - (as stories told to the player) - within the player's influence, and/or give more power or choice over how the results of such randomness can be used - which is an area all games with such gear/items are not doing a very good job at atm, IMO. Again, though, how your games function in this manner, I do not fully know - but based upon the OP, I can still see a situation where it's a particular item that determines how well a player will do, more than the player (or character they control) themselves.

Dan Bress
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@ Darren

I use Kevin J. Maroney’s definition of games, “A game is a form of play with goals and structures.” This definition is not incompatible with players “writing their own stories.” In WoW a player uncovers the embedded story through quests, dungeons and raids. I am not a big fan of this, and I have discussed this in my blog on “Fairness” www.MassiveThoughts.com In “Codex” the activities of the players is the story. Let me quote from page 18 of my book one method I integrate players writing their own story.

“Traveling Minstrel: a New Player Type
The backstory is that Minstrels started out as traveling Quality Assurance bots, going from facility to facility and reporting back to the central Command & Control center. In the current CotL world, Minstrels are excluded from any player vs. player. They travel from city to city at their discretion, but are required to spend a full week at each city. While at a city, they talk to players and watch players to gather the raw material for stories, songs, and poems. I think that having a Minstrel in your town, will encourage players towards epic behavior, in hopes the Minstrel will memorialize them.

Players will be able to rate Minstrels. I don’t want a Minstrel leader-board, but I do want high-ranking Minstrels to get extra recognition both in and out of game, and perhaps an opportunity to have their material published.

At the moment, I’m thinking that when a Minstrel goes off-line their Avatar remains in game and can be clicked on to read the Minstrel’s stories, poems or songs. I figure we see how popular this feature becomes and then whether we should spend resources to enhance it.

Players can apply to become Minstrels by submitting fan fiction, poems, and songs. Current CotL players can rate this material, with the highest rated pieces bumped up to a staff member. I believe that this player type will become popular enough to hire a staff member just for Minstrels. Additionally, having a new player-type will generate a lot of buzz pre-release.

Published authors will be fast traced to becoming minstrels.”

I disagree with your definition of competition “An activity (often structured) in which people compete to be told whether they have won or lost…” I believe that in Massives players choose their own meta-games. Let me quote from my website http://yutanigamedivision.com/asteroidwars.htm

“INNOVATION NUMBER THREE: PERSONAL VICTORY CONDITIONS. A possible stretch goal is Personal Victory Conditions, letting a player choose what part of the game is the most fun/challenging for them. The idea comes from watching individuals play their own “Meta-Games” in World of Warcraft and the like. I want to formalize having a player pick a personal victory condition at the beginning of a game.”

I talk about personal win conditions at http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DanBress/20091208/86080/Player_Typ
es_The_Challenge_Model.php

Let’s talk about competition for a bit. Since there is not a common language for game designers I use World of Warcraft, as most everyone here has played.

Now if someone is trying to be the best geared player on a server, your definition for competition would hold, as it depends on luck whether a particular piece of gear drops on any particular day. Similarly if one wants to have a complete collection of “pets” your definition would hold again.

I have talked about meta-games, or players crafting their own victory conditions. In WoW, before the Panda expansion there was a lot of Auction House guys. That is players that logged on primarily to acquire gold, far in excess of what they could actually spend. Some of these guys competed to have the most gold on the server. What is interesting to me is that some of them would set goals, such as acquiring 1 million gold, and then stop. Some of these guys would give the gold away after acquiring their goal. There are a lot of meta games available in WoW that are not dependent upon random loot. In WoW gear is only a problem if a player is competing with gear being one of the win conditions or a player wants to experience some content but is gated because of lack of the appropriate gear.

I would argue that it is the gating system that is the problem. In WoW a player has to have gear of a certain level to get into a raid, some of which gear is dependent on the random gods. So in WoW, we have a lot of people unable to see content. I think we can both agree that there are better methods.

In “Codex” a player or a City State (think guild) can lend another player gear, problem solved. In “Codex” content is not gated. For example “raids” are not designed to be beaten in one game play session. Up to a point players can take a large a group as they want to a raid. That means even a poorly geared player can experience the content, even if they are not able to contribute much.

Let’s talk pvp. In WoW the player with the better pvp gear wins, period. The best pvp gear is gated behind time played, skill, etc. A new WoW pvp player will never beat an experienced “veteran”. In “Codex” all gear is available to all players. Although it is more likely that a “hardcore” player will have better gear than a “casual”, it is not unpossible for the casual to have the best gear. Furthermore, since gear in Codex can break, the hardcore player will not usually be walking around with her best gear on. In Codex there is no free lunch. If you want to gank noobs, you have to put your precious gear at risk.

New subject. Let’s talk about “something a person (the player) DOES, with something that happens TO them.” First I would switch the sequence. To me what is interesting is what a player does after something happens to them. In my book I discuss “Uneven Starting Conditions and Organic Gameplay”. Let me quote an example discussing uneven starting conditions for City States.

“Keep in mind that unlike a real-time strategy game such as Age of Empire there are no win conditions in CotL. Both individuals and groups (City States) will define win conditions as the game ages. These win conditions will vary wildly among individuals and groups.

Example One. City A has a mineral that is a component in red paint. City B has a mineral that is a component in blue paint. City C has no minerals. Not really fair, right? The minerals cannot be turned into paint, until a certain amount of research is done. So one way this plays out is that City A and B, since they have materials to make paint both start researching how to make paint. City C is between them, it starts researching how to make paint brushes. Not having access to minerals of their own City C further decides to invest in Caravan Traders. Fast forward a few months; City A and B are making small but steady income selling their paints, mainly to City C. City C, which started at a disadvantage is now making huge income from manufacturing paint brushes and selling paints and brushes to many other Cities.”

One final note on gear in Codex. As City States invest in research the quality of the gear their crafters can make goes up. After a few months of play crafted gear will be superior to dropped gear (although dropped gear will be used as a component for crafting). So you may get a random gear drop that is the best on the server. However if you don’t have access to a crafter that can do something with it, it is just noob gear. And this is why I had to write a book, there is a lot of interrelationships between different game elements that just take a lot of explaining.

Now “Away Team” has no dropped gear. In general everyone has access to all gear. What is common to both games is that bringing the right gear to the task at hand is an intrinsic element of gameplay.

Darren Tomlyn
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Ok. I did say there'd probably be more context ;)

However, it's obvious that you're still missing what I'm currently working on to provide, (eventually), which is obviously a (very big) problem:

The "big picture".

Unfortunately, in order to describe such a thing, I'd have to write the longest reply ever, and be here all night. (And I can't be bothered.) Since that's what my blog is supposed to be for, I could just point you over there instead - except it's currently out-of-date, and inconsistent in a few ways (most of which wouldn't be understood, either).

Also unfortunately, what I'm working on atm, although being written technically as a 'blog post' - 'On The Functionality And Identity Of Language' - is something I'm instead writing up for a friend (of a friend) at Cambridge University who I managed to talk to about it, (and who didn't argue at all about any of it):

"Neil Mercer is Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, having previously been Professor of Language and Communications at the Open University where he was also Director of the Centre for Language and Communications and Director of the Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology. In 2011 he became Vice-President of the Cambridge college Hughes Hall."

There's a reason why my blog is titled "A Study of Games As A Matter Of Linguistics".

Since I know I'm standing on the most solid ground possible, (and no-one else is), I can tell you that the definition of game you have is wrong/inconsistent/inaccurate and incomplete.

The most basic symptom of the problem I see with our perception of language, is how we use (a) language to describe itself - which is directly affecting our understanding of what we use the word game to represent.

The basic rules of English grammar, are therefore directly affected by the basic problems I see, and it's these that are causing the most problems for our understanding of games, not just in isolation, but ESPECIALLY in relation to everything else, including art, puzzles, competition and competitions, work and play.

The word play has NOTHING to do with the definition of the word game, merely how a couple of its definitions are applied - (game as an activity and game as a thing (or collection of things) used to enable such an activity) - and even then, it has a use for TWO different reasons and definitions of its own:

Play 1. v. doing something that is non-productive. 2. v. using an object, (e.g. playing a musical instrument), or taking part in an event or activity, (e.g. playing music or playing a game). 3. n. the state of doing something non-productive.

(There are other uses and associated definitions for play, but they're not really relevant for this discussion.)

The word work is similar, except it represents productive behaviour when applicable.

So, I can play (use/take part in) a musical instrument or a game for work (productive reasons), OR play (non-productive reasons).

(Welcome to the English language. ;) )

What we now call a game has probably ALWAYS existed and been taken part in for productive reasons (i.e. work.) - such as training/instruction and selection. (If you need to know that I mean by selection, imagine a village needed to know who the best hunter was - so they played a game to see who won (was the most accurate spear thrower etc..))

However, there are still two main problems I should really mention now:

Competition. The definition I gave above is only consistent with the activity itself, not competition in general. The full definition of competition is:

Competition 1. n. The application (state of) competing - (the behaviour of TRYING to gain a particular outcome/goal at the expense of, or in spite of, someone or something else.) Since the word compete only represents the act of TRYING to gain such an outcome, it can be PERPETUAL, and the goals themselves don't even have to exist, merely perceived, and can therefore be subjective. 2. n. That which is being competed against (as the competition). 3. An activity in which people compete to be told whether or not they have won or lost, usually by a random draw or a 'judge's' opinion.

The other problem is with the word story, which has probably never been fully recognised in a consistent manner (again, blame our perception of the rules of grammar, though this one should have been really obvious):

Story n. (Intangible thing). A form or arrangement of information of or about a series of things that happen, (created and stored inside (a person's) memory).

The word story and the word tell represent different pieces of information, belonging to completely different concepts, that are used in combination, as per the rules of grammar. Perceiving and defining one as an by the other, breaks these rules - describing a story as and by the act of telling, is therefore inconsistent and problematic. ((A person's) memory is the only place a story can exist without being told, in a manner that is consistent with its use.)

Things a person DOES 'for themselves' = writing their own stories.
Things a person does 'for others' = telling stories.
Things that happen TO a person = stories they are told.

Game 1 n. An activity in which people compete by writing their own stories, (which can also be perpetual).

Anytime a story being told, replaces the story being written, it ceases to be a game, if only for a moment. Games do not require any story to be told in order to exist in their most fundamental form.

I'm afraid that'll have to do for now - I'm off to bed!

Dan Bress
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@Darren

When you have your blog sorted out I would be happy to read it. I would suggest you in turn read my blog. At that point I would be happy to continue this discussion.

Darren Tomlyn
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Do you mean your blog here? (Talking about player-types etc.?) Or the web-site you listed? In which case I've read both ;) (Or something else?) (And neither really tells me all that much more about you and your understanding of games than the posts you made above.)

TBH, some of what my basic systems and mechanics enable ties into different perspectives and reasons to play (take part in) a game, and the 'casual vs hardcore' 'debate/conflict' (i.e. player-types) - though it's FAR more fundamental and bigger than just being about such limited elements and perspectives.

Unfortunately, this is what I'm not ready to talk about, yet...


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