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Hey guys, you might know me from the Project Eternity forums. My first few threads were a bit of good-natured trolling, but I would hope that since then I've proven that I'm very interested in discussing games on a deep and serious level. Like many of you my gaming background includes playing classic RPGs by great developers like BIS and Obsidian, and I've played more recent RPGs as well in addition to other genres of games. In an age of blockbuster titles with huge budgets, it's remarkable what Obsidian (and several other studios including inXile) has achieved via Kickstarter, and I believe that this bold and innovative move on the part of the developers has great potential to benefit gaming in general. However, I think that if progress is to be made, we can't simply rely on the production end; the consumers must make efforts as well, and there are many ways to do this, ranging from talking with one's wallet to simply creating and sharing new ideas. In fact, I think that activists, critics, designers, and theorists all have a part to play in the progress of gaming, and I want to foster these efforts by creating a common home for them.

 

The level of discussion in the Project Eternity forums has been very inspiring to me, and I've actively participated in a lot of exciting discussions. I suppose I can only speak for myself, but in my eyes the thing that tends to happen is that, in the course of giving suggestions specific to Project Eternity, we reference other games, and then we find ourselves making theoretical statements about RPGs in general, and finally we end up dreaming up cool stuff that is probably beyond the intended scope of Project Eternity. While I'm ultimately sure such ambitious suggestions don't hurt, it's got me thinking about whether there might be a better place for some of the brainstorming. Project Eternity will be a great game, but it's obviously not going to include all of our crazy ideas. However, that doesn't mean that the ideas that are left out aren't great ideas, and I think it would be a shame for such ideas to languish, buried by tons of other Project Eternity-specific stuff. Needless to say, I'm not proposing a replacement for the Project Eternity forums, but I think all parties stand to benefit from there being a place where broader discussion can take place among like-minded individuals, and to promote other games similar to Project Eternity.

 

To that end I've been doing some searching for a gaming community based around discussing the theory of game design and ideally also promoting more grass-roots development and consumer activism. The thing is that I have not really found anything that entirely suits these purposes. RPGnet seems to be the place to go for tabletop RPGs but it's a bit lacking in video game-related content. The Forge used to be another popular place for such things, but now it's closed. Gamasutra has some quality blogs, and there are a lot of other cool game design blogs out there, but ultimately I don't quite think blogs achieve the objective. I'd like to see a place where everyone, not just the minority who are committed enough to run their own personal blog, can share their ideas about game design and promote projects they feel are worthy. I just don't know of such a place currently, though feel free to correct me if you do.

 

With this in mind, I was just like "what the hell, I'll give it a go". Yesterday I started messing around with creating a free forum, and I'm a complete noob at it, but I'd really like this to succeed because I think something like this could greatly improve the gaming experiences of those involved. If any of this resonates with you or you've always wanted somewhere to post your ideas about RPGs or gaming in general, I encourage you to come visit what I've got so far. As you can tell the work has only just started, and there are plenty of opportunities for anyone to help out and have their own influence on this endeavor (nothing's quite set in stone yet, especially the name). Please feel free to post in there or on this thread if you have input or suggestions, or if you feel like this is enough of a worthwhile endeavor that you'd like to assist me.

 

-mcmanusaur

Edited by mcmanusaur
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I think you've identified an interesting area. If I understand you correctly your idea is to orient on marshalling demand in more meaningful ways.

 

I've been having ideas in this respect already, but suggest you consider a couple of points:

 

1. Your technical discussion needs to be dealt with in a way that is meaningful to designers. A bunch of neat ideas just won't cut it.

2. Because there's going to be an inevitable and extended delay between discussion in your community and the industry moving on them you will need to look ahead in technology terms. Your conclusions have to be relevant in 3-5 years. Not today.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I'll check it out after I return from *ominous drumroll* the gym.


Unobtrusively informing you about my new ebook (which you should feel free to read and shower with praise).

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I'll check it out after I return from *ominous drumroll* the gym.

 

LOL


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I think you've identified an interesting area. If I understand you correctly your idea is to orient on marshalling demand in more meaningful ways.

 

I've been having ideas in this respect already, but suggest you consider a couple of points:

 

1. Your technical discussion needs to be dealt with in a way that is meaningful to designers. A bunch of neat ideas just won't cut it.

2. Because there's going to be an inevitable and extended delay between discussion in your community and the industry moving on them you will need to look ahead in technology terms. Your conclusions have to be relevant in 3-5 years. Not today.

 

That's correct. There's also an emphasis on design theory (because I think often people, myself included, lose sight of the big picture) and on the "everygamer" developing their own critical analysis skills, rather than letting flashy trailers or inflated reviews decide their purchases for them.

 

Hmmm... so by the first do you mean more emphasis on design in practice and less on theory, or that certain sections of the forums should be organized more meticulously?

In regards to the second, do you simply mean that the ideas should then be a bit ambitious (I think we can have that covered with stuff like this)? Or do you mean that there should actually be a focus on cutting-edge technology?

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Nice idea Op :)

 

But for me I don't have more spare time to spend on another forum and I'm happy with the level of discussion on this forum and others I visit

 

But keep us updated on your progress


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I think you want to keep that informality and originality in at least some of the forum. But any good thread will need summary and usable outputs.

 

To be usable you will either need some bloody genius bespoke standard output - which would be bragging rights - or you need an industry standard. The sane recommendation would be to check with some of the big games companies you think might take things off you, and ask them what output they'd like.

 

On the second point I mean your forum needs a bit of horizon scanning tech wise and to have discussions specifically around those new techs. Viz this business with immersive movement-linked FPS at E3. That's been on the cards for at least eight years, but how will it shape our expectations of gaming?

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Cool, thanks for the input. Honestly I don't really have credentials or influential contacts, so until/unless it takes off it would probably be more along the lines of people brainstorming with each other for the sake of it, and I'm sure there's a significant demographic that would find this prospect appealing enough. In my view this at least has the potential for mutual enlightenment and gradual selection and propagation of the "best" ideas, which is an improvement on the current mindset of "rely on the most established of tropes/conventions for one's expectations of a game".

 

As far as tech goes, I have to admit that my knowledge is a bit limited (hence the fact that even putting up a slipshod forum was an achievement for me), so unless I happen to get someone more tech-savvy who wants to co-direct this project with me the tech discussion will be limited. I could definitely see discussions about the Oculus Rift and other such things, but yeah... just another reason I'll need other people to help lead the project if it is to be successful. And I suppose if I don't get any volunteers I can conclude that there isn't a "market" for such a community/space, which would make me a bit sad considering how much of a market there is for the status quo (in terms of both business practices and design) in gaming.

Edited by mcmanusaur

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