Games, Design & Game Design

Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Current State of Play

In Gaming, Self-Reflection on January 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Now that the holidays (and related travel &tc) are safely behind us, I feel like I’m finally settling in to some regular gameplay. It’s been over two years since I played regularly, and it’s definitely stretching out some old muscles and getting settled back into the mental and scheduling-related patterns necessary (for me, anyway).

I’m playing in two biweekly games with largely-overlapping-but-not-entirely-the-same groups of people, thanks entirely to local indie-games-lover Joe. One wednesday is a gritty urban Burning Wheel game, and then the next is an arboreal Apocalypse World game. I’ve run BW before for a short game, but this is my first experience playing either of these modern classics.

It’s a little early to really analyze either game, but right now I’m struggling in the same way with each of them, so I think the problem is mine. I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with character motivations that involve other characters – like, my characters are pretty cool based on the moment in time that I made them, but whenever the spotlight comes back to me I don’t really have a strong idea of what they’re up too, or why they would be involved with other action that’s going on (in a way that doesn’t feel arbitrary to me).

I imagine I just need to shake out the rust and invest more in the characters, but it’s a weird feeling. I do like playing again, though, and certainly hope it will continue!

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Things To Keep In Mind

In Commentary, Gaming, Self-Reflection on August 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm
  • The majority of people who play games aren’t “internet people”
  • The people who post a lot on forums tend to be early adopters and hardcore hobbyists. When you’re so close to something constantly, you see flaws more clearly than virtues, and you get bored really easily by new material. (This is why the theatre world is so screwed, by the way)
  • People are in what they create, but they are not their creations.
  • It’s ok not to like things.
  • It’s ok to like things that other people don’t like.
  • We should be able to send beer to each other online. It would make everything better.

Grumble grumble grumble.

My Life In Games

In Chicago, Game Designers, Gaming on August 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Since moving to Chicago, playing games has been low on my priority list. My graduate program is intense, and I was also dealing with moving (twice, one to Chicago from Boston and then again within Chicago last winter), and making a new life with my lady. Which has all been great and rewarding, but given the whole “there’s only so many hours in the day” problem, the little time and energy I had left over from all of these things has been focused towards publishing games, not playing them.

Coming back from this years Gen Con, though, has really energized me to get my game on. I’m happier when I’m making things up with friends on a regular basis. Of course, we’ll see how this all lasts once school starts up again, but I’m hoping to maintain at least occasional gaming over the next couple of months!

Last night I just started a new game of Annalise with Ron and Tim, and the first session was really solid. On the horizon, I hope to do some gaming with Will, who just relocated to Chicago (and who I have a very funny story about, for a later post). And Keith keeps threatening me with playtests of stuff he’s working on, which I am looking forward to as well. Oh, and I picked up Infinite City at GenCon, and I really really like it! It’s a really solid board game that plays equally well with 2 players up to 4 (haven’t played it with more than that yet).

I’m excited to use my game energy to play, for a bit. It’s been too long.