|Most early RPGs had cover art like this. The industry was not precisely in a place to afford high-quality art.|
- Fantasy has a bad rap. It’s seen as puerile, and with good reason given some of the awful cover art (especially from the 90s). But it is pretty cool that we’re airing our dirty laundry and getting better at representation of anyone who isn’t just the straight male.
- The RPG industry is going through a bit of an old school Renaissance, where games with really small but focused rulesets to convey a specific setting/feeling are coming back into vogue.
- Roleplaying has exploded over the past decade. All sorts of ages and people playing these days.
- Video games and RPGs have a bit of a cyclical relationship, where each borrows from the other. Board games were a good impetus for creating procedural rules in games.
- A game’s rules can set the tone for interpersonal dynamics, but cannot fix someone acting in bad faith. Your only recourse is to get them to change their behavior or kick them from your group.
- A game should have enough rules to be a good game. If you’re trying to experiment with the smallest number of rules, you probably won’t end up with a good game.
- The rules are the setting. The intent of the mechanics should absolutely change with the setting. A sword fight in a medieval game can be quite in-depth about scoring hits, but in science fiction you’ll just cut them in half because SPACE SWORD. As such, mechanics can imply things about the setting.
- Game rules are modifying the behavior of the people at the table. If the players are constantly making poor decisions, you need to change the rules to incentivize the right decisions.
- Things like ability scores are not necessarily obsolete. They create a boundary and comparison for characters. If you need to know if you’re stronger than the orc you are fighting, it’s an important statistic. If you’re making a dating game, it probably doesn’t matter if you’re stronger than your date.
- When a player is at a loss as to what to do, the first thing they do is look at their character sheet to determine what options they have, making the character sheet an extremely important way to convey information and options.
#PAX, #GameDesign, #GoodDesign, #BadDesign