Tuesday 24 February 2015

Being Open to Change

As a Game Developer, you have to be open to the possibility that you've been doing everything wrong, or as often as not, you failed to publish on time, and the market has shifted to a different way of thinking.

The Changes of Roleplay

While I started roleplay in the 80's I have of course read as much about its origins as a miniatures battle game. which I should not need to repeat, is how the classics started. As I've stated before, I started with Dragon Warriors.. yes, there were dungeons, and temples and ruins.. but later (in book 6) an adventure that didn't have 'locations' that you progressed to. 

It was the first introduction to the concept of sandbox for me. There were set peices.. but mostly it was a list of things that could happen at different places.

Sandbox roleplay became a thing, then the thing, so much so, that I don't hear of much else.. someone asked the other day.. how many actual dungeons, do you go in.. in Dungeons and Dragons. It was a sad moment, to understand that most new players don't get that initial structured path, that leads them to the eventual desire to break from the path, then to forge their own path. (or find it)

So, as I read about what players are wanting in roleplay, and what they used to want when I started, I see many possible changes to the industry.

When I got serious about putting together this game, I read a LOT of material about where gaming was (and is) going. Sandboxes are the then, but multiplayer sandboxes are the now. Indivudual play, was the past, The internet connects people, and yet we still roleplay one game at a time.

I've seen some works by the professional gamesmastering society that aims to bring roleplay into the light as a product, gamesmastering as a job. While I think that's a great idea, I also see a lot of pushback from society at large. How can you charge, for something thats always been free.

Personally, I think the next stage of 'professional gamesmastering' is ensuring that the product you are involving players in, is more than just a game, but instead far exceeds the game. has something more that the players can take away from the experience. maybe the idea that the game itself has taught them some life goals.. or that its providing a sense of worth that could not be gotten in our world of social networking and real life lonelyness.. or maybe the results of the gaming itself could become a product.   

1 comment:

vbwyrde said...

Hi, thanks for your thoughts about the Professional Gamemaster Society. One of our members posted a link to your post on our Community. This is really great, and I've added your post as the very first link in our Press Room page. :)

As for your point about what would make Professional Gamemastering stand out from regular GMing ... I agree, to a point. I think that those of us who have all along been trying to provide games that are of Literary quality (which is to say Worlds with artistic merit) have also been more likely than not to be providing the things that you've identified, at least to some degree. I know for myself that I learned some of my most important life lessons about team work, organization, planning and adventure-thinking from playing RPGs... for free. But I also think that those GMs who are already doing that are also more likely to become successful at Professional Gamemastering because they indeed are offering more than merely a game. It will be a distinguishing feature, I'm sure. However, that said, such things as these are difficult to measure objectively, and often times people only know that they've gained such lessons from afar after they've had time to live life a bit and reflect on how their successes came out of lessons that they may have learned along the way via RPGing.

At any rate, thanks for posting about our Society. We are currently in Phase 0, which is the planning and discussion Phase, but we're making pretty solid progress towards Phase I, wherein we begin to put ourselves out there in a Professional capacity. :)