Game Design Sins

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ffilz

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I was being unclear. I am referring to someone designing a crunch heavy game with app assistance for complex task resolution, combat etc. baked into the system. Fans have been making software to assist with character creation and army lists for ages.
I started to think about design gif computer assist back in the 80s…. Never did anything about it though.
 

chuckdee

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Spaceships are vehicles. The original GURPS Space, ship design system is very simple, if very limited. GURPS Spaceships book offers a simplified design system where you fill in hit locations and total mass but it's not bad, just limited in scope. GURPS Vehicles can certainly do spaceships.
Not sure about the original, but the one I had had a pretty complicated one.
 

Yeti Spaghetti

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All this talk of crunch games makes me wonder why someone hasn't released a modern crunch heavy game that uses PCs or apps to handle the heavy lifting. Is that supplanted by video games?

Edit: I concede that some probably exist but I don't know about it

This is sort of what I did at Roll20 with a API script to run the Pacesetter Action Table. So, you click one macro button, enter a couple numbers, and out comes the type of damage you did (Light, Medium, Heavy or Critical), how much damage was done, and whether your opponent is still on his/her/its feet. I'm assuming you could have scripts run even crunchier systems.
 

DeadBob

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Computer assisted miniatures gaming was an early/mid90s thing for a while, but it never seemed to catch on at that point.

The examples I saw were mostly 20thC naval miniatures gaming, and for people who liked the idea of digging deep into stats, but really wanted to pawn off the handling of those systems to a computer.

Of course, at that point it was all pretty much desktops, so that may be part of why it didn't go further. It might be more readily accepted as phone apps.

My suspicion is that people simply wanted one or the other (a computer game or an analog game), not a hybrid approach.

It is funny to see the suggestion that RPGs catch up to 1990s niche miniature wargame thinking. :grin: ( J/K. I do know of hybrid boardgame approaches that use apps, like Mansions of Madness 2nd edition)
 

sharps54

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Computer assisted miniatures gaming was an early/mid90s thing for a while, but it never seemed to catch on at that point.

The examples I saw were mostly 20thC naval miniatures gaming, and for people who liked the idea of digging deep into stats, but really wanted to pawn off the handling of those systems to a computer.

Of course, at that point it was all pretty much desktops, so that may be part of why it didn't go further. It might be more readily accepted as phone apps.

My suspicion is that people simply wanted one or the other (a computer game or an analog game), not a hybrid approach.

It is funny to see the suggestion that RPGs catch up to 1990s niche miniature wargame thinking. :grin: ( J/K. I do know of hybrid boardgame approaches that use apps, like Mansions of Madness 2nd edition)
I have a few hybrid boardgames and keep meaning to sell them, I don’t trust their longevity, one app support is gone they will be unplayable.
 

TristramEvans

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Yeah, uh, I am very much of the opinion that level of granularity, besides requiring a tedious amount of work, wouldn't actually provide any tangible benefit from the information. I think the simpler/more general the categories used, not only the less likely to run into disagreements, but also the more utilitarian of a division.

Hence, I propose: a scale of:

Rules Lite
Streamlined
Crunchy
Heavy Crunch

I think , with a few paraqmeters explained, the category any given game will fall into will be - 99% of the time - blatantly obvious, with no need for calculations.
 

Agemegos

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An X,Y axis. One axis is the quantity of rules; the other is the complexity.
How about one axis for breadth of settings and genres covered and the other for rulishness?
 

robertsconley

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I was being unclear. I am referring to someone designing a crunch heavy game with app assistance for complex task resolution, combat etc. baked into the system. Fans have been making software to assist with character creation and army lists for ages.
The closest I know of is the Dungeon Crawl Classic whose extensive use of tables screams out for automation. And as it turns out somebody did just that with Goodman Games' approval.

I can't stress how much easier DCC is to run with this app. The clever part is that you can have it roll for you, it also has a lookup function that allows the player to tell you what they roll and you can find the result quickly.

Here I set it 22 after a player rolled for the result of his charm person spell.

1657025776438.png
1657025829056.png
 

Lundgren

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Sometime I need to recreate the notes and character sheet I made for Phoenix Command.

Several values rarely changes, like the character's STR or AGI, and a lot of calculations can be done in advance instead of doing them over and over and over again. Then having a few tables (simplified to a single row or column due to stats not changing) on the character sheet, and things can be handled quite fast.

However, the few times I used Phoenix Command as the combat system, the players were not eager to get into combat. Not because of any complexity but because of the potential lethality of the system.

I can't recall any mechanics for bleeding, but that might be because I haven't cranked my books open in quite a few years.

When it comes to GURPS, I have 3E in dead tree format, and been thinking about buying the PDF's from Bundle of Holding. However, I just can't see myself using it for anything scifi, at least without modifying stuff. While I prefer feet and yards in historical and fantasy, I just can't stand it when it comes to scifi. Maybe it's not detailed enough to matter and one yard is equal to a meter would work fine, it's just... no!
 

sharps54

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Sometime I need to recreate the notes and character sheet I made for Phoenix Command.

Several values rarely changes, like the character's STR or AGI, and a lot of calculations can be done in advance instead of doing them over and over and over again. Then having a few tables (simplified to a single row or column due to stats not changing) on the character sheet, and things can be handled quite fast.

However, the few times I used Phoenix Command as the combat system, the players were not eager to get into combat. Not because of any complexity but because of the potential lethality of the system.

I can't recall any mechanics for bleeding, but that might be because I haven't cranked my books open in quite a few years.

When it comes to GURPS, I have 3E in dead tree format, and been thinking about buying the PDF's from Bundle of Holding. However, I just can't see myself using it for anything scifi, at least without modifying stuff. While I prefer feet and yards in historical and fantasy, I just can't stand it when it comes to scifi. Maybe it's not detailed enough to matter and one yard is equal to a meter would work fine, it's just... no!
One of the big hassles with Phoenix Command that I would probably house rule away these days is that some stats change with your encumbrance to the point that if you throw a grenade that weight change will actually effect some of the stats that figure into combat.
 

robertsconley

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When it comes to GURPS, I have 3E in dead tree format, and been thinking about buying the PDF's from Bundle of Holding. However, I just can't see myself using it for anything scifi, at least without modifying stuff. While I prefer feet and yards in historical and fantasy, I just can't stand it when it comes to scifi. Maybe it's not detailed enough to matter and one yard is equal to a meter would work fine, it's just... no!
Just sub in the word meter everyplace you see yards and multiply by 2 where you see lbs. The result is good enough for versimilitude.
 

Lundgren

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One of the big hassles with Phoenix Command that I would probably house rule away these days is that some stats change with your encumbrance to the point that if you throw a grenade that weight change will actually effect some of the stats that figure into combat.
That's one way to do it. But that was one of the things I made into a one row table (well, actually two tables) for the character sheet, making it a very quick lookup.

Just sub in the word meter everyplace you see yards and multiply by 2 where you see lbs. The result is good enough for versimilitude.
I know. I just have to actually rewrite it with at least those substitutes. I don't mind when it is say a modern setting to just do those conversions in my head. But reading values in imperial just irks me when it comes to scifi.
 

Lofgeornost

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My (dim) recollection of Ars Magica chargen is that some mage concepts seemed a lot easier to build than others, in that the point costs for things encouraged some things over others that didn't seem right to us. I remember no specifics though.

My recollection of the few times we played it was that while we all agreed it had much better and more complete rules, Chivalry & Sorcery 2e covered much the same ground and was more satisfying to play, despite clunky and unclear rules, and a lack of any sort of rules for novel magic research or covenant management.

I can't agree. The spontaneous spell system alone made/makes Ars Magica far different than Chivalry & Sorcery 2e. I've played a lot of both over the years, though no C&S for decades at this point.
OTOH, you could argue that all those advantages and disadvantages add up to an exception-based chargen system, just not one that uses this to hide its complexity.

This is certainly my view. It's about my least favorite type of char-gen and one the things that keeps me from liking GURPS.
 

Acmegamer

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I just noted that Osprey Games like a few other developers likes to charge an unreasonable amount for pdfs if you get the physical copy. Looking at Monte Cook Games another offender. Osprey books BS.JPG

I like the 25% off an all bundle but seriously game developers need to stop this crap.
 

thebigh

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That's pretty crummy. All that will do is make people realise they can do without the PDF. If you're already buying the dead tree version the PDF should be at most 25% of that IMO.
 

xanther

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Same with TFT. I bought the "I want it all" package for a hefty sum, but I guess the word "all" did not include a pdf so had to but that separately. That kind of greed and lack of transparency is of putting and ends up SJG losing future sales, at lest from me. I'd almost call it nickel and diming but the pdf was not cheap.
 

TJS

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That's one way to do it. But that was one of the things I made into a one row table (well, actually two tables) for the character sheet, making it a very quick lookup.


I know. I just have to actually rewrite it with at least those substitutes. I don't mind when it is say a modern setting to just do those conversions in my head. But reading values in imperial just irks me when it comes to scifi.
One reason I have pretty much always ignored encumbrance is because it's almost always written in Imperial which is just gobbledygook to me.
 

Brock Savage

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One reason I have pretty much always ignored encumbrance is because it's almost always written in Imperial which is just gobbledygook to me.
Encumbrance can bring a lot of value to the table BUT I think it works best with larger abstracted units ("slots") to represent encumbrance and not pounds kilos, stones, etc. I can't think of a single purely weight based encumbrance system that I liked.

I like my D&D pulpy so we use a combination of this and the encumbrance system in this.
 
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thebigh

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The Imperial system is how Mars probes get destroyed.

Yeah, you can go 1 for 2 but even that falls apart at heavier weights.

Why are weights different in that regard to distances? If you declare 1m to be equivalent to 1 yard, you're off by 10%. If you declare 1kg to be two pounds, you're also off by 10%. I'm curious why making that kind of approximation for weights scales more badly than it does for distances.
 

sharps54

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The Imperial system is how Mars probes get destroyed.



Why are weights different in that regard to distances? If you declare 1m to be equivalent to 1 yard, you're off by 10%. If you declare 1kg to be two pounds, you're also off by 10%. I'm curious why making that kind of approximation for weights scales more badly than it does for distances.
Baulderstone Baulderstone is the one that said it was messier, I’m just the ugly American defending the Imperial system. I can’t even give a good reason why since I have to look up simple imperial measurements (how many ounces in a gallon) all the time.
 

BedrockBrendan

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Pretending 1 yard = 1 meter works fine for distances in RPGs, but pounds to kilos is messier.

I think it is so hard to get around how you were taught to think about this stuff. I think in feet and inches (for height), pounds and Fahrenheit; my wife thinks in cm (for height), kilos, and Celsius. I can covert these, but intuitively understanding them has been pretty impossible (and vice versa for her). I am sure plenty of people learn to juggle both in their head. But 170 cm in height is never going to mean anything to me unless I covert it feet and inches.
 

Acmegamer

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Same with TFT. I bought the "I want it all" package for a hefty sum, but I guess the word "all" did not include a pdf so had to but that separately. That kind of greed and lack of transparency is of putting and ends up SJG losing future sales, at lest from me. I'd almost call it nickel and diming but the pdf was not cheap.
Yup, in recent year SJG's has totally pissed me off with how they do the pdf/physical product. I got the pdfs free with the TFT Kickstarter but later Kickstarters did away with that. Girl Genius being a prime example. I paid for the pdf's separately even though I did their damn Kickstarter.
 

Baulderstone

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The Imperial system is how Mars probes get destroyed.



Why are weights different in that regard to distances? If you declare 1m to be equivalent to 1 yard, you're off by 10%. If you declare 1kg to be two pounds, you're also off by 10%. I'm curious why making that kind of approximation for weights scales more badly than it does for distances.
This is subjective, but my sense of estimating weight is better than my sense of estimating large distances. The kilos to pounds conversion will feel wonkier to me more quickly than the yards to meter one. It's entirely possible this is just me.
 

Brock Savage

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This is subjective, but my sense of estimating weight is better than my sense of estimating large distances. The kilos to pounds conversion will feel wonkier to me more quickly than the yards to meter one. It's entirely possible this is just me.
No, it feels weird to me as well. The abstracted 1 meter = 1 yard doesn't bother me but 2 lbs = 1 kg would drive me nuts. I can't put my finger down why. I weigh, measure, and portion food frequently so the difference seems a lot more meaningful to me. But if someone said 2 yards = 2 meters for RPG combat I am like "fine, fuck it, we aren't building a rocket ship LOL."
 

Baulderstone

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I weigh, measure, and portion food frequently so the difference seems a lot more meaningful to me.
You may be onto something there. I have worked in a deli, meat department and been a shipping manager, so I have a lot of experience weighing things.
 

TJS

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I think the issue with pounds to kg is that things are often presented as too heavy anyway.

A Longsword in 3.5 was 4 pounds. 2 kgs is too heavy (for what is in reality an arming sword), but convert it into kg properly and you get 1.8 kgs, which is still probably too heavy but not as bad.

So something that is wrong anyway, is going to become very wrong, as the amount of weight involved increases.
 
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Fenris-77

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I have an aesthetic issue with kilos and especially meters for middling sizes of things they measure. I think any measurement that commonly relies on the decimal parts of the measurement to usefully compare one thing to another is silly. Meters for height has exactly this problem. Human heights mostly fall between 1 and 2 meters, so need that decimal pretty badly to differentiate. Somehow this reality offends my sensibilities. Human weight in kilos is better in that regard, and I suspect it's the imperial brainwashing from my early childhood that's holding me back there.
 

TJS

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Thinking of height in terms of feet, is probably the only element of the imperial system which is still commonly retained in Australia.

Describing non-human creature's height in terms of feet is probably more generally intuitive to me than the using the metric system.
 
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