04 April 2008

Mission Statement Mission

In the past couple of years, I have committed a great deal of time and money to playing and designing role playing games. I'm getting to the point where the hobby pays for itself financially and I've received significant personal, social, and creative returns. So for now I'm getting what I put in. It can't hurt to ask occasionally, why make the investment, and to ask when the investment makes a positive impact on one's life.

There's an interesting conversation on Story Games on using cards (vs. dice) in role-playing games. It's prompted me to consider why I decided to write a role playing game, what keeps me interested in designing role playing games, and who is the audience I'm trying to reach with my games. So I'll ask my third question first.

I want to make games that would attract people who aren't Role Playing Gamers, in the traditional or "indie" sense. RPG's can be fun for people who hate TV, people who like board, card, or dice games, storytellers, folksingers. I would like for these people who don't come from an RPG background to bring what they like about story (or game) and play.

I think about how long it took me to actually play a role playing game, from the time I was first interested (elementary school), to when I first bought one (late 20's), to when I actually played one (a few years later). The things that kept me from jumping in when I was a kid were much different from the things that prevented me when I was an adult. As an adult, it was time, money, and stories to be told didn't grab me.

What I did like was the possibility to hang out with friends, not watch tv, and tell stories. I think those are attractive endeavors to more than just Role Players. So I want to make games that tell stories that perhaps you already know (like folk tales and myths), but you tell them at a different angle, with a different conclusion, different middle, or you bring in characters that don't have a great voice in the original telling, but could.

Also, the time thing. With two kids and full time job, my game time is quite limited. I won't rule out making a game that could go on for months or years, but I like the idea of shorter, single or multi-session games, so you get the satisfaction of a conclusion. This is a conversation I need to continue with myself.

Here's why I included the octopus picture: The Octopus Dating Game.

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