Episode 191 – RPGs and ARGs

* (0:49) Raina’s Wings continues with prize support provided by Arc Dream, DriveThru, and Polymancer.  Make your donations here, and be sure to either leave a comment with your donation or let Necronomitron know who you are.

* (1:21) Innovation vs evolution, growing the hobby, and trying new things.  The article mentioned is located here.

* (31:51) Keeping the game alive between sittings, using the principles of an alternate reality game.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Ed, Pat, Wayne

Comments (7)

RatmamahatmaMay 19th, 2010 at 5:59 am

The size of company is not the limiting factor of innovation. The size of project is. If you have small company on big project it is in fact under greater stress than big company and the tendency for innovation is even more diminished. Granted, bigger companies tend to do giant projects and small teams do small projects. But the size of project is determining, not of the company.
Also we hear only about the small companies that are innovative, but you hear about all the big companies even if they are not innovative so that leaves tricky impression.
And small companies in fact build more often on ideas of the bigger ones – respectively of the more successfull ones – not the other way around.
But I agree with most of your assumptions. ;)

Greg ChristopherMay 19th, 2010 at 8:34 am

Dan, check out this video:

http://fora.tv/2009/11/06/Peter_Golder_Why_Your_Firm_Cant_Innovate

Brian 'Psychochild' GreenMay 19th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for discussing my old post. I’m a big fan of pen and paper RPGs, so it’s nice to see my thoughts translated into discussing that medium.

You hit the nail on the head: people need to go out and try things. I think that I’d even take it a step further and say that people also need to be a little more patient with games that try new things, because they aren’t likely to get it perfect the first time. If you support a game trying something new, it gives them an opportunity to refine it, and to introduce new things.

In computer games, especially MMOs, the sheer size makes most larger developers skittish. As an indie MMO developer, I’d really like to see people put their money where their mouth is. As you pointed out, innovation is going to come from smaller companies, teams, and/or projects; exactly the people who rarely have enough money for big marketing or “consumer education” to make things go over smoothly.

Anyway, interesting discussion. I appreciated the insight!

PremierMay 19th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

The size of company is not the limiting factor of innovation. The size of project is. If you have small company on big project it is in fact under greater stress than big company and the tendency for innovation is even more diminished. Granted, bigger companies tend to do giant projects and small teams do small projects. But the size of project is determining, not of the company.Also we hear only about the small companies that are innovative, but you hear about all the big companies even if they are not innovative so that leaves tricky impression.And small companies in fact build more often on ideas of the bigger ones – respectively of the more successfull ones – not the other way around.But I agree with most of your assumptions. ;)
+1

ChristophMay 21st, 2010 at 10:27 am

I don’t believe the size of the company versus the project is entirely the issue.

There is also the issue that, why would a producer abandon a great game just to do something different? Why make an entirely new game when I can expand the universe of the game I’m doing and give the GMs and players out there a deeper experience?

That said new games should always be innovative in some manner or why are you making it? Although, I think it is innovative to bring a particular set of game mechanics to a different genre or game world.

Greg ChristopherMay 21st, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Big reply from me with lots more to chew on

http://synapserpg.com/blog/2010/05/21/innovation-in-gaming/

LomythicaFebruary 23rd, 2011 at 12:13 pm

A late post.. Concerning ARGs, I was thinking about running either a one-off LARP, but I think this idea could work pretty well for an RPG setup as well. The concept is that the players will be tracking down a serial killer that has kidnapped one of the PC’s sister.

My plan was to use my google voice number (which I never use, and none of the other gamers in my group know). I will make calls with a prerecorded message. I have an iphone, and the free SAW app lets you do voice changing to sound like jigsaw. The initial voicemails will just be creepy flavortext mostly to give the vibe for the concept.

From there, I registered a yahoo account just for this game purpose. I will email each of the players with a link or two, of images, or made up articles. From there, I will email coordinates. The coordinates will be a place within driving distance for the players.

Coordinates lead to a riddle and another coordinates (the game site).

That’s the gist of what I have so far.

BTW, thanks for the slydial app note that was in the episode. Very handy for this type of purpose!

Maybe you should consider something like this to coordinate FTC4 pre-con events!

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