Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed)



  • @Admiral said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    There was a book series about creatures evolved from insects instead of humans or something. With magic.

    Reavers in the Runelords books were pretty cool. Overpowered as a foe because of all the Larry/Mary Sue main characters in the books, but liked that concept for insectoid race.



  • @Lotherio I'm sticking with oceanic themes, but I'll take a peek. Just seeing the way things get interpreted can sometimes be an enormous help. Thank you!



  • @surreality I'm absolutely not trying to tell you what to do with your game, just giving my honest reaction that mostly, I hear aliens/cthulhu and... yawn. There's a lot to do in the setting, even a lot of supernatural to do in the setting (ie all the actual superstition born out fusion of African and Amerindian folklore with newly-arrived Christianity), this just seems like kind of the most generic approach.

    Even if everyone is a werefish (and everyone will be magic whatsits unless you make them snowflake staff-friend only), well, then its a game about werefish. Maybe werefish pirates, which is an upgrade, to be sure, but it still ends up feeling more like a period WoD CB game plus Big Plot Badness.



  • @bored I have to be honest here: the kind of negative assumptions that are being consistently made in your post are exactly why it took me since October to mention anything about what I was working on at all. I asked people to stick to some specific questions (and from the jump, nope), and that a lot of other information would have to wait, because there's a lot (to be specific, I'm betting 2-3 months of full time hours put into the setting/lore details in writing) left to do on it that exists in the brain, just not on paper with its various reference material and citations. I think it is pretty reasonable to say: please stow these questions and assumptions until that information is ready to be shared.

    Not only are you making a lot of assumptions about the subject matter -- what it includes and what it doesn't -- but now, assumptions about the availability of options for various character types and even insinuations about staff corruption and favoritism. Thanks, man. That's totally what me and @Coin are known for, I guess. :/

    And the simple fact that some people are freaking out about the very notion that there might be places that only some character types can go being the inevitable destruction of a game that doesn't even have a grid yet, while others are bemoaning that everyone will only want to do one thing (because who'd want to be anything else, I guess?) is precisely why this kind of post is something a lot of people developing games do not find this place to be an especially useful one for input, no matter how much we may all fancy ourselves experts on everything.

    Other than easing my mind that @Lisse24 is not going to hate my face for continuing to work on something I'd already put one hell of a lot of time into before knowing she wants to do something similar, this thread has thus far unfortunately been pretty discouraging, and it's especially hair-tear-worthy that it's based on assumptions of what must be going on, rather than what is.

    I am honestly not concerned with people telling me what to do with the place, because when I decided to do this, I decided to build the game world I wanted to build, and that is what I aim to do. What I am trying to do here is ask, "There are possibilities in Direction X, is there interest in that enough to warrant writing it up for a setting that is <very rough mix of concepts>?" because I believe in including as many of those things as possible from the outset. Trying to shoehorn them in later when a pile of people express interest almost always makes them appear tacked on like an awkward appendage and it starts to break things, and I'd rather avoid that if possible.

    While I'm happy to leave this be so people can see 'zomg surr is horrible' if that's the conclusion they'd like to draw and it remains on the record, I'm going to ask @Glitch to lock it (please?) because it's unfortunately not serving the useful purpose I really hoped it potentially could.


  • Pitcrew

    @surreality said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    @bored I have to be honest here: the kind of negative assumptions that are being consistently made in your post are exactly why it took me since October to mention anything about what I was working on at all. I asked people to stick to some specific questions (and from the jump, nope), and that a lot of other information would have to wait, because there's a lot (to be specific, I'm betting 2-3 months of full time hours put into the setting/lore details in writing) left to do on it that exists in the brain, just not on paper with its various reference material and citations. I think it is pretty reasonable to say: please stow these questions and assumptions until that information is ready to be shared.

    Unfortunately, that does seem to be the way that things roll. The same thing happened to my thread, immediate derailment away from the purpose I was looking for and immediately telling me the things that I needed to do. People just want to give their two cents, even when it's not asked for.

    Nope, sorry, I have a very clear vision. I'll take suggestions and listen to ideas, but if you're not going to invest in the vision of this project, they're really not going to hold a lot of weight. On the plus side, it did convince me that I need to make a wiki and get my ideas more organized.



  • @Lisse24 The wiki thing is mostly what I've been doing; getting all the frameworks built for stuff. Ideally? I want people to be able to add their own odd creatures and creations (not for actual character classes, but just weirdness out there for NPCs and critters and so on) and crazy lore/etc. for the world and building all of the guidelines for that along with the tools to do it has been a huge job. :/

    I still think it's downright impressive there's already implications of staff corruption and favoritism for a game that doesn't even have its actually game system finished yet, but I guess I am trying to break new ground. :| (Not sure 'get accused of favoritism before there's even a PC parent finished' is the ground I wanted to break... )

    The primary reason I'm asking focused questions is because for the most part, with some folks pitching in with code help, or 'could you skim this and make sure it reads like English' asked of a random friend once in a blue moon, this is a one (wo)man project at the moment. It is a fuckton of work. I simply do not have time to derail into abstract theories on grid design for a full day to satisfy hand-wringing re: an issue that is never going to have an answer that pleases everyone anyway if this is ever going to actually get done to the point that things can be posted for that level of nit-picking and argument.

    Much eye-cross, much migraine.


  • Pitcrew

    @surreality I feel you, it's the same here.

    Don't let these guys discourage you! I'm of the opinion that you ignore the attempt to derail and focus on the people that are engaging with what you ask.



  • How about a different thread with the wider focus of why all games are doomed to fail or whatever?

    There is no excuse for this level of failure. Anyone person can make a new thread AND mention @coin or @surreality in it and chatter on.

    JFC people.



  • @surreality said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    I started off saying you'd likely have me as a curious player despite the flaws, I don't know that anything I'm saying is mean or nasty. I don't know how I'm saying that your game is doomed to fail (I'm pretty sure I've literally implied no such thing anywhere). This is getting to 'simply cannot criticize at all' territory. What... what can I possibly say about the cthlulu thing other than the fact that I really don't like it? That is a personal taste. Are you expecting me to lie, here?

    And no, I'm not accusing you of corruption, I am making an observation on MUing that I consider a truism, that you literally have two options: Everyone is a special snowflake and the game is primarily about whatever 'unique' thing (ie, whether you're talking the force, magic, being a Grey Warden or Witcher if someone made games in those universes, whatever), or staff's friends are special snowflakes. Have you solved this problem in a unique way that hasn't been done in 20+ years without mentioning that in any of the many, many, many threads on the topic?

    I'm also not 'freaking out' about the idea of areas being restricted, I am, as I think the other posted was likely trying as well, again positing what is a well-known MU reality: that splitting playerbases nearly always kills games. No one is saying OMG YOU ARE GIVING CERTAIN PEOPLE THE SPEHSULS OMGOMGOMG.

    Anyway, to reference the meta thread, maybe I'm being negative, but you're being so defensive its literally impossible to criticize this at any level. Like, you made a post 'here are my whacky ideas,' do you mostly want 100% praise and encouragement, is this a moral support thread?

    To again (again) be clear: I support your idea. I dislike parts of it... because I do. Other things I think are practical problems based on the long history of MUing, that I am pointing out so you can address them ahead of time, avoid pitfalls, and in generally improve its chances for prolonged success.

    But I guess this makes me the fucking Grinch.


  • Pitcrew

    @bored She asked for replies to specific questions after giving some context for what she's working on. You chose to instead post about what you didn't like about the theme ideas in general. I mean, do what you want and decide that the thread OP can't dictate what you can or can't reply to, but don't be surprised if @surreality doesn't want to respond to stuff outside of the questions she was specifically posing. You're going out of your way to dig into structure and theme stuff that she stated up-front she wasn't prepared to discuss or get into.


  • Pitcrew

    I agree with @bored in the sense that I want to play pirates, but don't want to play pirates-and-mermaids.

    As for the rest, heh. Accusations of favouritism and corruption probably just go with the staff-bit and are bound to happen every so often. I made a change, it was inconvenient and made PCs less powerful, several someones evidently believed I did it to benefit a certain player, who actually had complained about it more than anyone else (because, being a friend, he felt confident I wouldn't have some sort of staff-tantrum about it). Heck, you will get, "Hey, so-and-so got X! Why can't I have X?! No faaaiiiir!" complaints, when the answer is, "The reason you didn't get X is, you didn't ask. It's stated in the chargen documentation that you may."

    To quote the great Leonard Cohen: "If these thoughts interest you for even a moment, you are lost."



  • I think @surreality is onto something awesome, and I'll be there.

    When it comes to Lovecraftian/Aliens, the thing to remember is that in Lovecraft's writings, it was gigantic ziggurats rising out of the middle of the sea, and the doomed crew of the ship had no radio, no GPS, no tomahawk cruise missiles. Just ropes. Some pistols. Some ARRbecue sauce. Same thing goes for Cthulhu, Dagon, the Mountains of Madness. The technology level made being in the open sea with strange creatures a terrifying concept (or in Mountains case, in Antarctica). So, I think these ideas are an amazing addition to the setting, one that will have some definite life to it. Imagine:

    • Pirate/Buccaneer crews chasing against time for mythical treasure?
    • MONSTER ATTACKS
    • I could go on and on, but there's no point. I've been chatting with surreality and she's had a keen eye on trying to put something together for the players, with no-nonsense policies, cool skill ideas, etc. I think she's onto something worth keeping an eye out for.

    HELL, for the general Black Sails love both surreality and I share, the game will be in good hands. I could care less if there's a 7th Sea game in development. I prefer this idea.



  • @Roz Really? The very first question is 'what kind of tentacled magical sea creature do you want to be'? I'm pretty sure 'sorry, I don't' is actually a proper response to that question.

    But even beyond that, bullshit. You don't post a thread like this talking about the entirety of your vision for a game and expect no general criticism or commentary. Seriously, if she's not ready to have people comment on her authorial vision, she should keep it to herself. I don't feel I've remotely gone outside the realm of 'constructive' (particularly on things like 'yeah, making shit rare is hard' and 'don't split your game, because don't, it'll die'), but if 100% positivity is her threshold, well, that's also addressed in the meta thread: there have been / are other places for that.



  • I don't actually think forums like this are particularly good places to get general feedback on broad theme-building concepts. I find the write-up pretty interesting, but that's just due to my tastes (and my want for off-brand fantasy, not just another L&L game). Ideally, you do theme-building brain-storming with a few close friends/possible potential staffers or potential alpha players, then bring stuff to a larger group once you've got some concrete ideas you're committed to.

    ETA: Although, for serious, don't split up a playerbase on your new game.



  • This reads to me like a CHEWLIE'S GUM scenario where a person involved in the development of a 7th Sea game has arrived to give (super airquote time) "CONSTRUCTIVE" criticism of another Pirate/Freebooter themed game in development. Shocker. All of the constructive criticism seems to uphold the 7th Sea genre.


    --"Pirate games with aliens are dumb. I think we deserve a pirate game without aliens set in a quasi historical setting, instead! I'm not a representative of 7th Sea, I swear, but...eh...off the top of my head HOW ABOUT 7TH SEA!?"



  • @Ghost In utterly non constructive form: Go fuck yourself.

    I'm not even working on my game idea, because (as I mentioned) I can't even find a system I like for it. The accusation that I'm just tearing her down in favor of my project (that, in all likelihood, will never happen) is ridiculous. I've offered support to @Lisse24 on her game, desipte it OMG NOT BEING 7TH SEA, and you can confirm that with her if you want. Or not.

    You can also fuck yourself. You're why we can't have nice things on this forum.


  • Pitcrew

    @bored said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    @Roz Really? The very first question is 'what kind of tentacled magical sea creature do you want to be'? I'm pretty sure 'sorry, I don't' is actually a proper response to that question.

    Is it, though? Like. I dunno about you, but when when I see thread replies on, say, /r/AskWomen and they're like "haha this question doesn't apply to me," I'm like, "That's a useless reply and that poster shouldn't have made it," because what's the point? What's the point of coming onto a thread about a game whose theme is already decided to include magical sea creatures and say, "I don't like magical sea creatures." What actual constructive purpose does that serve other than, "I'm a player who will not be playing your game"?

    But even beyond that, bullshit. You don't post a thread like this talking about the entirety of your vision for a game and expect no general criticism or commentary. Seriously, if she's not ready to have people comment on her authorial vision, she should keep it to herself. I don't feel I've remotely gone outside the realm of 'constructive' (particularly on things like 'yeah, making shit rare is hard' and 'don't split your game, because don't, it'll die'), but if 100% positivity is her threshold, well, that's also addressed in the meta thread: there have been / are other places for that.

    The point isn't positivity versus negativity. The point was that the OP gave context for the specific purpose of addressing specific questions and stated upfront that she wasn't prepared to get into other topics about the game's theme or structure at this point, and you decided to poke at the other stuff anyways. This isn't a thread about the entirety of the game vision. It's a thread with a game overview to give people enough context to actually consider the specific questions she was looking to get feedback on. It's not like a BIG CRIME that you didn't ADHERE TO THE OP'S DESIRED THREAD RULES or something, but again, don't be surprised that @surreality doesn't exactly want to play ball here.



  • @Roz

    In my mind, given how this forum works, it's an appropriate response. The section is called 'Mildly Constructive,' not 'Only Positive Feedback.' This is discussed in the other thread, you can make places where people are only supposed to speak if they have something nice (or better, encouraging, I don't think I was being mean - because when I'm mean I'm really mean) to say, but this isn't that place. So 'Hey guys are you super excited about my idea for magical alien fish monsters? Please answer which you're most excited for below!' is fairly predictably going to get an answer: 'I'm not really excited for them at all' in this particular forum.

    Beyond that, I've said and will say 100 times more, despite @Ghost being out with the hive mind pitchforks, I support her general idea in the sense of the game existing. I will try playing on the game (and I don't play on games really any more, as discussed elsewhere). I would even help her with some of it if she wanted (because again, I really don't see ever actually doing my project, as much as I muse on it), although I think obviously our ideas probably clash and that might not help.

    And the point is absolutely positivity vs negativity when fairly mild criticism is met with: YOU ARE TRYING TO SABOTAGE HER GAME FOR YOURS YOU MONSTER!


  • Admin

    @bored said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    @Roz Really? The very first question is 'what kind of tentacled magical sea creature do you want to be'? I'm pretty sure 'sorry, I don't' is actually a proper response to that question.

    I think it comes down to whether we're posting on threads like this to express our views on this particular issue or whether we're doing it to support this particular issue.

    I did the former myself; while I hoped that it was still helpful it wasn't, so I stopped posting further. It's fair enough. Not all threads are meant to be a sandbox of ideas thrown into the mix, and I suppose it does make threads harder to navigate as they drag into 20+ page monstrosities within a couple of hours in which many individual thoughts can be lost.

    Proposal for MSB admins: A forum specifically meant for system design where things need to stay on topic; specific questions are asked and answers to them must be provided if at all.



  • @bored said in Strange Game Dev Inquiries from surreality (condensed):

    You can also fuck yourself. You're why we can't have nice things on this forum.


    I'm also why we have Samurai Cop gifs on this forum.

    Look, people, @surreality started this thread for constructive monster designs/etc for her game, not a pre-review from people going "I prefer the Mixmaster 4000 in purple, but it doesn't come in purple, so my constructive support is MEH". If you don't have anything actually constructive to contribute, then you're not required to contribute.

    Surreality: I'm bogged down at work the next few days but I should have some ideas for you, soon.


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