September 14, 2011

Infiltrating BLACK SEVEN

The fine people at gave me the chance to talk at some length about designing and publishing BLACK SEVEN. I say things like:

Likewise, video games operate on a primarily reactive level: the level and scenario is designed from the start, and it only changes in response to the player’s actions. In terms of pen & paper roleplaying games, that school of design calls back to pre-populated dungeons drawn out on graph paper, without even the thrills of wilderness encounters to add some randomness. I wanted something in place that would limit the GM to setting the scene and then following the rules same as every other player.

and such pretentious wank as:

Despite that [prescriptivist] design philosophy, I still wanted to leave as much detail as possible up to the players. Hence, while the rules describe what happened on one level, it’s up to the folks around the table to work out what that means in the context of the story being told. Being Noticed is a rules-thing, but all it means is that you’ve got a very short window of time before people start shooting. How that plays out in the actual story of the operation is up to the players and GM, as it should be.

Go, read, enjoy. Comment there or here, I’m happy to answer any questions. Any at all.

BLACK SEVEN gaming prescriptivist design of subnarrative metalevels

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Still Alive Good evening, cheese weasels. I’m not dead. I’ve been quiet here not because anything’s wrong but because it’s quite right: I’m working on a book