Game Designer Workshop Episode 9: Emergent Frustrations

Base-Raiders-Avalons-Ideal-drivethruSponsor: Arc Dream is sponsoring this episode of Game Designer’s Workshop. Check out the Delta Green Kickstarter.

News:I have released a new Base Raiders PDF called Avalon’s Ideal, written by Kyle Carty.

Synopsis: The beta for Red Markets has been out for a while, so Caleb now has to deal with feedback and resisting the urge to change the game during the beta. Dealing with a community playing an incomplete game leads to unique challenges for the game designer, which we discuss in detail. Be sure to check the RPPR forums for threads like this about Red Markets.

Music: All Your Things from Admiral of the Red

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  1. I’ve almost killed Caleb! Achievement unlocked?

    If it’s any consolation, Caleb, when I recognize my mistakes I get pretty frustrated. I roll far too often as GM, especially I shouldn’t have rolled for the Vectors in our second mission. One of the players should be bitten at best and probably should’ve been killed. But we’re learning! Hope things continue to improve in all sides!

    (Commented before crawkill? Definitely achievement unlocked.)

  2. Glad to see our feedback is helping! I think I’m already on record as advocating for the “some skills start at 1 automatically” solution to the “defaulting problem”. But we’ll see how that turns out.

    Serious question for Caleb: have you started thinking about how you’re going to coordinate copy-editing? I’ve been asking around to see if anyone I know has experience with crowd-sourced copy-editing, but haven’t had a lot of luck. I’ve had some people suggest using a Goodle Doc that you can invite everybody to edit, but I’m worried about whether there would be any good way to track the changes people make. I figure there really ought to be better tools out there.

  3. @Ethan C.

    Anyway I cut it, it’s going to be a slog. The main problem is that while Scrivner is great at organizing lengthy texts with lots of nested headings, it doesn’t have the market share or review functionality of Word or Adobe.

    So, my “plan” (if you could even call it that) is to print out whatever copy I get with the most detailed edits, then go through and mark by hand anything else I see in the other copy-edits. This should give me a master revision list with which to clean the prose.

    I’ll then implement the changes in the Scrivner doc by cross-references section number and titles. This will make the page number problem that goes along with proofing a lengthy Word doc. moot, although it’ll be more work in the short-term.

    Once I’ve cleaned the prose of the existent beta, I’ll save that as a new iteration. Any material I’ve written since the beta went out will be added in as a tracked change, along with any sections I delete and rewrite completely due to rules changes.

    Thus, I hope to have large sections that are well copy-edited separated from newer rules passages. That way, instead of tackling the whole book at once, whomever does the last round edit only needs to focus on the setting chapters and selected highlights from the rules chapters.

  4. I kind of agree with Caleb on defaulting. The only issue not having it has, I think, is that you’ll lack that flavor of desperate, last ditch effort when the guy/gal who’s not good at holding the door has to.

    The radio show idea sounds really cool, and while it’s a shot in the dark, I have an idea. There’s a witch house/dark electronica artist called Sidewalks and Skeletons, does pretty alright to good songs, and considering that he puts all of his stuff up on youtube and also on soundcloud and bandcamp with free downloads, might be more amicable to letting you use his stuff.


    example track:

  5. Author

    Unfortunately, Sidewalks and Skeletons does not appear to release any of their music as Creative Commons licensed and I only want to use CC licensed music for this project.

  6. Ahh, a shame. I don’t really know much about how it works, just figured since he seemed like a pretty chill dude he might give permission for use if asked, but I guess that’d generate some extra layers of shit to deal with for everyone involved.

    Also, I learned that apparently Soundcloud has a search option to show hits based on their license status. Never even noticed until now.

  7. So, a friend who has an extensive library of CC stuff recommended me some artists.

    Arena of Electronic Music
    Bashed Nursling
    Downliners Sekt
    Eraplee Noisewall Orchestra
    Technology of Silence
    We Collect Skies
    White Noise Stasis

    All have various numbers and sorts of CC tracks.

    Obsidian Shell is an odd one out, being fairly traditional metal with female vocals.

    Also got a recommendation for as being a good place for CC tracks.

    Hope this helps!

  8. Just listened to this, and I have an idea for Caleb.

    Cyberarms in Red Markets? That sounds like a great thing to put in the first supplement for the game. That would prevent corebook/system bloat.

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