Tag Archives: games

You Should Read This: A Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster

A Theory of Fun for Game Design is written by an author who deeply loves games, understands how they work, and believes in them as an art form. As the forward by Will Wright notes, Koster brings a multi-disciplinary method to the examination of games, pulling out basic concepts and breaking them down in a way that is both easy to understand and enjoyable to read. Accompanying his pithy observations are cartoons illustrating each concept, such as the illustration accompanying “Stories are powerful teaching tools in their own right, but games are not stories,” in which one student says to another, “I beat the last level of Ulysses last night. I had to use god mode for the end boss. Molly is really tough!”
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Storytelling Games: Microscope

I’ve started tabletop playing again, although it’s via Google Hangouts rather than in person. My brother’s running a Changeling: The Lost campaign and it’s a great way to spend a little time with both him and my sister-in-law, along with meeting some new fellow players. I really love what he’s doing, which is using a system called Microscope in order to collaboratively generate the setting for the game, and it’s making me wonder about the possibilities of it for generating a shared world setting.
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Zen and the Art of Spiral-Carved Incense Burners

One of the desires expressed at the very first Armageddon player-staff meeting I ever attended was a yen to move away from “a hack and slash economy,” where players made their income by selling the gear off NPCs (and the occasional PC) that they had killed. How, one immortal noted, could the world be realistic when there was no coded reflection of the material underpinnings of it? How to create this economic reflection was a question that remained in the air for several years, and it was not until discussion of implementing crafting code came up that such a move seemed possible. Continue reading

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