March 12, 2005

Lunchtime Poll #17: Built to Last

Ravings of a Textual Deviant � Lunchtime Poll #17: Long-Term, High-Yield

Li asks this week:

�New games are popping up all of the time, yet they don�t stay around very long at all anymore. Magic: The Gathering has lasted 10 years�The White Wolf �storytelling� system reached its apex at about 4 years old�the (*shudder*) Pokemon game lasted maybe two years�what�s going to last?�

Ginger and Arref make good points about the fact that, especially for FTF games, you may not want the game to go on forever.

PBEM games, or games that can be enjoyed serially are far more likely to stand the test of time. So I would say that the types of games which are likely to survive have a majority of these features:

Portability. By this I mean that I can play the game FTF, PBEM or even in a chat room as appropriate. I'll bet money that tabletop gaming is more popular than LARPing...just because its easier to set up and do.

Elegance of rules. Rolemaster type charts for everything discourage players, except the fanatics. Rules should do what they need to do to allow the GM and players to tell the story.

One-shot applicability. Games that lend themselves to one-shots are flexible. Ginger mentions games like DOTV which she is excited about. I've heard good things about other Indie games (like, say, Burning Wheel or Dead Inside). I'm studying Fireborn at the moment and would love a chance to run a short scenario in it.

Accessibility. This is close to Elegance, but this refers to the idea that a new RPG and its rules should invoke inspiration, not dread, in a new player. Really, in the end, an RPG needs new players to grow, survive and last.

Posted by Jvstin at March 12, 2005 8:19 AM