Trying Something Different
The other day, my buddy, Ron Blessing wrote a sort of wish list of what he’d like to see in his perfect game. If you want the specific details, check out RoleplayDNA.
At any rate, I think what he’s talking about is kind of like the Questing Beast from Camelot. You may have fun looking for it (like physicists and their cold fusion), but the odds are you’re not gonna be the guy to find it. Okay, maybe not quite the Questing Beast, but the Holy Grail. Are you pious enough to get your mitts on it, let alone catch a glimpse of it? Right. I didn’t think so.
So, what’s the point of creating a laundry list of stuff you’d like to see in a perfect game?
The answer is obvious. In a realm of dreaming and roleplaying games are everything about that, the designer’s reach should exceed his grasp. Every great designer (and some of the mere mortals) try to innovate and push beyond the barriers. Does this always succeed? No. Should it always be done? Absolutely not. Just like there are perfectly good books and movies where the crayons never go beyond the lines, there are games that do the same thing.
However, as designers and dreamers, it is our challenge, privilege, and our unholy burden to analyze and break down the good and ill of what we find within the pages of books we read. It’s like seeing a thin crack on the spine of your book or a stain on the pages, once they are seen, they cannot be unseen. Designers delight in playing with mechanics and there are mechanics you may never see in one project which may emerge in another.
Extended Trait Checks first appeared in their most basic expression in Orwell Industries many years ago. Lots of things put through in development are often found released in one of our latest projects. Defining Interests were born in the Iron Dynasty, but first were spotted in Ravaged Earth. The Sanity system you know and love for Realms of Cthulhu was first developed for Agents of Oblivion and so on. It’s the nature of things to evolve and find new twists and turns to keep both our interest and the fan’s interest. And yet..
And yet…what if I took a step away from the conventional releases we’ve been doing and explored something a bit more indy in nature? How many of you would follow me along for the ride, I wonder? Or do you prefer what we currently offer and are happy with us in the particular market in which we reside? It’s not quite a rhetorical question; I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!