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[GDW] Forum Protocols

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jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008

Just a reminder of the "bylaws" of the GDW forum (taken from an earlier post...)

First, a quick overview, particularly for the new folks. The GDW is best thought of as a "rulebook swap". It was formed with the goal of giving us each a chance to have our rulebook reviewed, and to learn and grow as designers by critiquing the rulebooks of our fellow designers. It's implied when you participate that you're going to return the favor and offer comments to other folks. The GDW appears to work best for games in a relatively early stage of development, with some complexity but not an overwhelming amount, and in cases where the designer is willing to take suggestions and consider changes. It is NOT meant to be used to edit rulebooks for spelling and grammar errors.

To get on the schedule, simply send a message to my account (jwarrend) inidicating your interest and the name of your game.

I´ll make a schedule, which will be totally arbitrary and will heavily favor my own games (just kidding). A new game will appear every Monday. When your game is "up", you will be responsible for making sure everyone has access to your game, by posting it on the web. (it can also be posted on this site, though you'll need to ask me how to do it). Files should be in .doc or .pdf or .html format, and pictures should be .jpg or .gif if possible. You don´t have to send along your whole game, but should include:
-- the rulebook (essential)
-- sample cards
-- board picture/schematic
-- anything else that will be helpful in understanding how the game works

Artwork is not essential, but obviously, will help people to form a better impression and understanding of your game (but let´s all be flexible with this. Some of us have art skill, some of us (like me) don´t!)

What is expected of the rest of us? (ie, the folks whose game isn´t currently being "workshopped"?) You are asked to have read the rules, and tried to understand how the game plays, how the systems work, etc. You are asked to post at least a few paragraphs of "critique" of the game, with specific and constructive criticism. I ask that people be charitable and recognize that these designs are in an early design stage. But at the same time, I don´t want us to feel we have to sugar-coat our feedback. Thus, if you want to workshop your game, please be prepared for criticism. I want us to try to encourage each other, but at the same time, I don´t think we help each other if we don´t give our honest opinions, for better or worse.

What kind of feedback is appropriate? I think what would be most useful would be an honest critique of the game (as far as can be determined from reading the rules), ambiguities in the rules, similarities to other games, references to similar games, mechanics that seem especially good or bad, theme and connection between theme and mechanics, etc. I welcome any other suggestions for "feedback" that people would like. And of course, when your game is "up", you can write us if there´s anything specific you´d like. Things that would especially require playtesting to answer, like "should this action cost $1 or $2?" will be difficult for us to comment on.

Again, for all interested in participating, drop me a message and we will get you on the schedule!

Update as of 1/14/04: We've decided to add a simple "rule" to signing up for the forum. Before your name and game will be put on the schedule, we request that you offer comments on a couple of other people's games. This is intended to combat the phenomenon where people sign up for a spot and don't use it. We'd like all users to demonstrate an interest in participating in the discussions, and this will be, for the time being at least, the evidence we'll use to ascertain that you're truly interested in being a part of the process. Thanks for your understanding!

Update as of 2/3/04: A few more things to point out. First, I want to point out that you do not need to have a game in the workshop or in the queue to comment on other designers' games. Anyone is welcome to make comments on a game that is up in the workshop.

Also, people offering comments have frequently made "suggestions" rather than just offering "comments". (e.g., "Hey, you should change this and use this system instead.") This is fine, (and encouraged!), but please recognize that your suggestions may be appropriated by the designer without your name being acknowledged on the box or in the rulebook (should the game subsequently be published), and that this is completely subject to the designer's discretion, judgement, and sense of fairness. If this is unacceptable to you, please consider refraining from making suggestions about proposed changes.

Thanks to all,
-Jeff

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
New Feature

Quote:

A new game will appear every Monday. When your game is "up", you will be responsible for making sure everyone has access to your game, by posting it on the web. (it can also be posted on this site, though you'll need to get an administrator to do it for you).

Also, I just added a subcategory to the download section called GDW, and I recently added a method so that users can upload files to the site. Go to the download section, and click the add downloads link at the top. Type in a description of the file, make sure you select the GDW category, browse to the file on your hard drive, then click the 'add this file' button at the bottom. After the the file is uploaded, one of the administrators has to approve it. Leave me, Fastlearner, or Hpox a private or instant message and we'll make sure it goes online pronto.

Hope this helps out those people who might not have access to a website to post files.

-Darke

Scurra
Scurra's picture
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Joined: 09/11/2008
What sort of games?

I've taken this out of the BANTB thread because it raises a couple of issues that might be worth discussing further.

jwarrend wrote:

Yours is, interestingly, the 2nd in a row we've had that was, basically, "here's a done abstract that needs a theme". This is a somewhat new "use" for the GDW. I think it's acceptable, but my personal feeling is I'd also in general like to comment on gameplay issues rather than just being a "theme guinea pig". I think you and Scurra are on level ground, but bottom line for future submitters of abstracts, the GDW is much more about "game design" issues than theme issues. As long as we can talk about the design as well as the theme, it's fine.

Jeff,
I take your point here - anyone submitting a game for the GDW is fully aware that they need to submit something complete but not finished (in as far as a game ever can be finished!)
However, I don't think I only put Fire and Ice in as a "done abstract that needs a theme", because I'm aware that a fresh perspective will bring new ideas - as it has with both me last week and Andrew currently.

(This is, of course, in contrast to my last submission here, which probably illustrates the other end of this spectrum - a barely playtested huge theme-heavy ruleset with warring mechanics all over the place!)

I'm not at all suggesting that we shouldn't have a whole variety of different games in the workshop, or that they shouldn't be at different stages of development. But I do think that it's up to the submitter to determine whether they think a game would benefit from GDW analysis.
We've had several posters offer up everything from vague sketches to full rulesets in other topics (but nothing like the same level of subsequent analysis as with GDW games), but GDW games do seem to be generally much more robust in terms of both product and discussion.

IOW I think your comment about "done abstract needing theme" might be a little out-of-order in terms of what either of us were necessarily expecting*. Andrew included a lot of preamble with his regarding possible directions; I didn't do that but then again my game is arguable simpler - and even there people were clearly enjoying making it more complicated!

(*I obviously can't speak for Zomulgustar here, just for myself.)

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Re: What sort of games?

First, let me clarify a bit...

Quote:

However, I don't think I only put Fire and Ice in as a "done abstract that needs a theme", because I'm aware that a fresh perspective will bring new ideas - as it has with both me last week and Andrew currently.

Since your game was submitted to the Hippodice, I consider that to be a "done" game. That's not the same thing as "immutable", and that's why I don't have a problem with you putting it up in the GDW. My point was simply to ask "if someone has an abstract that is 'finished' and simply needs a theme, is that a valid use of the GDW?" I'm not sure what my answer is. But I agree, yours and Zom's games are not in that category, even though they are more "done" than many GDW games we've had in the past; but they're closer to "the line", if there is one, then we've seen, and that's why I wanted to raise the discussion point. What do you think? Would it be ok for someone to say "here's a finished game, help me find a theme?"

Quote:

I'm not at all suggesting that we shouldn't have a whole variety of different games in the workshop, or that they shouldn't be at different stages of development. But I do think that it's up to the submitter to determine whether they think a game would benefit from GDW analysis.

I generally agree with this, and there have been very few games that I've actively turned away, and even then it was more a very strong suggestion than an outright refusal. For example, one guy said "I've got the game done, playtested, and ready to submit, I just want the rulebook to get one last look." That, to me, went against two of the cautions; the first is that heavily tested games don't work so well, and the second is that we are emphatically not a rules-editing service.

In that sense, I think that our time as reviewers must also be considered in putting a game into the GDW. Given the demand we've had for spots, I think it's not fair to waste people's time, and I feel like we've had a couple of games that did that; in one case, the author said "Yeah, here's the game, I'm not really going to be working on it any further", and he didn't respond to any suggestions, and in fact, doesn't seem to be around anymore. In another, the person put up a rulebook that was practically incomprehensible and impossible to follow. That's just not worth people's time, in my opinion.

On the other hand, I think that by providing feedback on other's games, people earn a right to put up a game of their choosing, however I personally might think it's not a great GDW fit. That's why I always leave it up to the person, ultimately.

This is a subject that's very much up for discussion. Now that we've seen almost 40 games, I think it's very clear to me which kind of games "work" better as GDW games, but I don't think that's something we need to "impose" as a requirement; rather, for myself, it helps me decide what games I will submit. Obviously, if you think I've violated this or cracked down on a game or games unfairly, feel free to say so!

Quote:

We've had several posters offer up everything from vague sketches to full rulesets in other topics (but nothing like the same level of subsequent analysis as with GDW games), but GDW games do seem to be generally much more robust in terms of both product and discussion.

I agree, and this was sort of the point. I think it's also a good reason to have people wait and offer feedback on a few games before putting up their own games; it gives them some more exposure to the "quality" level of these rulebooks, which is typically quite good. So that, I think, is the main thing for the GDW -- the game itself can be in an early stage, but for goodness sake, spend some time and write a good rulebook!

Quote:

IOW I think your comment about "done abstract needing theme" might be a little out-of-order in terms of what either of us were necessarily expecting*.

Ok.

Anonymous
[GDW] Forum Protocols

umm, I have a question, I think this is the right forum.

Can you submit a CCG to the GDW? Rulebook and example cards etc.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
[GDW] Forum Protocols

GeZe wrote:
umm, I have a question, I think this is the right forum.

Can you submit a CCG to the GDW? Rulebook and example cards etc.

Sure, I think that would be ok. The only concern I have is if the cards themselves are so many and so diverse that evaluating the game requires reading a gazillion cards. But if the dynamics of the game can largely be understood from the rulebook itself, it wouldn't be that different from other card games we've had, which are certainly fair game.

Of course, the usual GDW protocols apply; see the first post above...

-J

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