18 June, 2010


Another forum...

Well, actually a sub-forum of Story Games.

I've been avoiding it for a while, but while The Forge was down and reorganising itself, I started to look for new avenues of game design inspiration. That's a part of the reason why there have been so many posts over the last couple of weeks.

I logged onto Praxis a few months ago, just to see if there was anything interesting happening. My first thoughts were that the forum simply seemed to be doubling up on a lot of what Story-Games was already offering, and the areas it didn't explore were stuff already covered by the Forge. But my recent forays into the deeper world of Praxis have revealed something a bit more.

A lot of the posters on the Forge are new arrivals to the indie scene. They've often got great ideas, but those ideas are either slight deviations of something I've already seen, or maybe they just don't realise that their idea has been done before. Then you get the new arrivals who don't understand Forge terminology, and who get bombarded with posts by people who only understand the terminology slightly better. There are the ones who take instant offence when you try to offer some constructive criticism or a new perspective. And then there are the minority who may not post often but who provide true pearls of wisdom.

It's an interesting mix of people, and even in the few years I've been on there I've started to see some cycles and patterns emerging.

Praxis is a little different, in much the same way that the Story-Games community is a bit different. A lot more of the people offering advice in there have actually produced games, and they seem to talk with a more seasoned wisdom about their craft. It might just be a phantom projection I'm putting onto the Praxis forum, but it seems a bit more open.

I've started throwing a few of my own ideas onto Praxis, just to see what the response might be, and I'm happy to say that I actually got constructive criticism from a few of the designers I've come to respect.

Then there's the other side of the coin...RPG.net

I've also toyed with a few posts over there. If Story-Games and Praxis are places where game designers hang out to discuss new projects once their already released something... rpg.net is the place where fanboys hurl crap at one another and secretly cover their ideas, only revealing enough to show that they've got another companies intellectual property thinly disguised with a couple of quirky mechanisms. I offered a thought out post about 24hr game design, and it looked like it blew people's minds. It was just common sense to me.

It might look like I'm saying that rpg.net is rubbish and Story-Games/Praxis is good, but that's not entirely true. There are a lot of people who don't want to design stuff from the ground up, and there are plenty of people who don't want to sell gaming products, they're just designing stuff for their friends, or tweaking a system that they enjoy playing. It's great to see that there are different forums for different degrees of design.

In much the same way that there are hundreds of blogs about the topic.
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