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Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

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lego
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Joined: 12/31/1969

now i feel abstracts dont get the attention they truly deserve around here. If i were a more frequent poster, that is not a noob, i would even suggest an entire forum for them. Still i feel they definately deserve their own topic within this forum, at least. So i am hereby starting this topic to spark conversation on the subject of abstracts and create an environment where we can talk about mechanisms (even probabalistic ones) just as a topic by themselves as apposed to finding individual mechanisms behind game speculations in many different topics.

if this topic doesnt get many replies, this i think will say a lot about these message boards. What you may ask? Well It will clearly show that we can't get back to the basics. Thats just my two cents

-god speed-

Kreitler
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

lego wrote:
if this topic doesnt get many replies, this i think will say a lot about these message boards. What you may ask? Well It will clearly show that we can't get back to the basics. Thats just my two cents

I suspect this won't generate many (useful) replies. Not because BGDFers dislike abstracts, but because the topic is too broad.

Could you reformulate your challenge into a series of specific questions? Doing so might bring the "abstractors" out of the woodwork.

Personally, I enjoy creating small abstract games that test one or two very specific mechanics. Even so, I can't think of anything to post in response to your challenge because there is no specific point to address.

I look forward to the topics you open for further discussion.

K.

FastLearner
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Re: Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

lego wrote:
if this topic doesnt get many replies, this i think will say a lot about these message boards. What you may ask? Well It will clearly show that we can't get back to the basics. Thats just my two cents

Maybe instead it will say that people aren't thrilled about the idea of conversing with someone who insinuates their inferiority when suggesting a topic.

lego
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

well the fact that the topic of abstracts and mechanisms is too broad is why i think they should get their own forum. Anyway i thought people could just treat this like a forum and as long as they stay on topic, talk about whatever they want. That was my vision for this topic. I also thought if this thread grew enough the mods might decide to make a mechanism conversation forum.

Things you could consider talking about: -favorite abstract
-mechanisms you made
-inquiries on how to make a
certain mechanism work (battle
mechanics!)

this forum could also narrow the gap between complex war games and abstracts by getting people to consider implementing german game mechanisms into war games, card games, Rpg's and the like

and whos insulted whenthey are told they cant get back to the basics. ITs just simply something to consider.

Scurra
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Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

Starting a topic by effectively saying "I'm the only person interested in this/everyone here is smug/no-one else can answer this so I won't be surprised when I get no replies" is, as fastlearner noted, a good way to annoy people.

But the description of this forum reads: "This forum is for discussing various ideas about game design; rules, game mechanics, themes, etc."
Where does that prevent discussion of abstracts, mechanics, or "the basics"? Saying that there isn't enough discussion of something so it deserves a separate forum isn't a good solution! Separating things out is also a great way to kill discussion rather than promote cross-over.

And in any case the particular discussion fora we have seem to work pretty well; certainly well enough that we have avoided the need for "general" threads like this. The examples you cite are all perfectly good threads in their own right (do a search and you should find several of them already exist!)

One thing that is worth noting is that there is a distinction between this forum and the "Topics in Games Design" forum. It's a fine line, but generally the more abstract* questions (such as why particular mechanisms work in particular games, or "what's your favourite abstract"**) belong in there, whereas questions relating to your own designs are better suited to here.

*no pun intended.
**my favourite abstract is Go.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Re: Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

lego wrote:
now i feel abstracts dont get the attention they truly deserve around here.

There isn't a big conspiracy to keep abstracts down, it's just that people talk about what they are interested in. The reality of is that a lot of the folks here are interested in German games, so they get talked about a lot. But there are also quite a few folks interested in abstracts as well. There's no need to suggest structural changes to our site; that won't increase people's interest in abstracts if it doesn't already exist. The solution to your dilemma is to do a forum search, as Scurra suggests, where you'll likely find plenty of posts on the subjects you're interested in. Or, if you can't find a thread on a subject that interests you, start a new thread (on an actual subject, not just a blanket "let's talk about abstracts").

And as to this one:

lego wrote:
battle mechanics!

Next to "how do I copyright my awesome new game?", "how do I make a new combat mechanic" is probably the MOST talked about subject on the site. Do a forum search and you'll get a ton of hits.

Scurra wrote:
One thing that is worth noting is that there is a distinction between this forum and the "Topics in Games Design" forum. It's a fine line, but generally the more abstract* questions (such as why particular mechanisms work in particular games, or "what's your favourite abstract"**) belong in there, whereas questions relating to your own designs are better suited to here.

Mostly accurate, but I also view the "topics" forum as the "substance" forum of the site. Please don't muddy up that beautiful forum with "frivolous" discussions like "what is your favorite game in [genre X]?" Posts in the TiGD forum should, I feel, generally start not with questions but with assertions.

-Jeff

FastLearner
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Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

lego wrote:
-mechanisms you made

This is a very popular point of discussion, with hundreds of interesting threads. How are abstract mechanisms different from non-abstract mechanisms? If the answer is long, start a new thread, eh?

Quote:
-inquiries on how to make a certain mechanism work

Again, there are hundreds of threads on this topic. each worth their own thread. If the mechanisms isn't designed to simulate anything then I'm sure it applies to abstract games.

Quote:
and whos insulted whenthey are told they cant get back to the basics. ITs just simply something to consider.

Who's insulted when they're told they're incapable (see "can't") of thinking about or discussing things in certain ways? Gosh, I dunno. Telling people that their not thinking the way you do means they're incapable of thinking in basic ways about game mechanisms sure sounds like an insult to me.

Are you insulted if I say you can't realize that mechanisms are mechanisms, whether abstract or not? What if I say that you can't manage to use the forum search or manage to simply browse the game design forum in order to notice that we talk about mechanisms that apply to abstract games all the time? Would I be making insulting and baseless assumptions about you by claiming that you can't do these things, or is it just fine to assume you're "incapable" if you don't think the way I do? Just curious.

-- Matthew

lego
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

well theres always (what ifs) talking about (what if's) will get us knowwhere but off topic. Anyway I used that minor insult to make sure i got some kind of reply, even one that said such things were being talked about elsewhere.

Gogolski
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

[A wee bit of sarcasm]
I'm terribly sorry to derail this thread, but I think that points have been made, opinions expressed and accusations thrown. Now it's time to put this flamewargame in the box and put the box on a shelf in a closet to be locked by a moderator...
[/A wee bit of sarcasm]

Thanks everyone for apologising to eachother and resting in peace.

Cheese!

FastLearner
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Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

lego wrote:
well theres always (what ifs) talking about (what if's) will get us knowwhere but off topic. Anyway I used that minor insult to make sure i got some kind of reply, even one that said such things were being talked about elsewhere.

Start a thread about a mechanism you want to discuss. Or maybe start a thread abou the special design considerations required for abstracts. Or perhaps a thread on basic mechanisms you'd like to discuss. If folks are interested then you'll definitely get replies, no special tricks needed, I promise. Many folks here have designed abstracts and a number of them publish abstracts. Even without "abstract" being in the thread title, I assure you that associated topics are discussed all the time.

Note that there is no "wargames" forum, there is no "party games" forum, there is no "German games" forum, and there is no "children's games" forum, just as there is no "abstract games" forum. Instead, if you want to discuss the design of your game, regardless of type, there's a forum for it, which works great because there's a ton of overlap regardless of game type. If you want to discuss playtesting your game, or making a prototype, or publishing your game, there are forums for it. When you're doing any of those things, the similaritis between game types far outweighs the differences.

I appreciate your desire to have special focus on a type of game you're interested in designing, but I think you'll find that if you start threads about specific topics (as opposed to a broad one like this) then you'll find that we can all discuss it, regardless of our interests in game types.

-- Matthew

Hedge-o-Matic
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Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

As most people who still bother to read my post can attest, I often bring the design ideals of abstracts to bear on discussions regarding game design, since I love to design them, and I think that the structure and mechanics of abstracts can shed light on subjects that theme sometimes makes obscure.

Really, you have to read a lot of the content of the BGDF for the personal design preferences and biases to become clear. The breadth of the topics covered here is truely amazing, and still manages to be a coherent forum, without design cliques.

Read more threads, and you'll see what I mean. If you like abstract design, this is your new home.

Scurra
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Re: Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

jwarrend wrote:
Please don't muddy up that beautiful forum with "frivolous" discussions like "what is your favorite game in [genre X]?" Posts in the TiGD forum should, I feel, generally start not with questions but with assertions.
Hey, let's have a flamewar about something properly trivial, Jeff.
Actually, what happened here was that I edited out the second sentence of my comment ('what's your favourite abstract...' - and the missing part '...and why?') which might have been more acceptable ;-) Dissecting specific published games is indeed one of the uses of the "TiGD" folder. I agree that generic "Game X rox" threads are definitely non-starters...

(btw, I feel that I can at least hold my head up in the "abstract" class as I did submit one to the Workshop last year.)

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Re: Abstract game and pure mechanism discussion topic

Scurra wrote:
Hey, let's have a flamewar about something properly trivial, Jeff.

It wasn't you I was worried about; I just didn't want our new member to construe your post as a suggestion to go post a "what's your favorite abstract" thread in TiGD...

Quote:
Actually, what happened here was that I edited out the second sentence of my comment ('what's your favourite abstract...' - and the missing part '...and why?') which might have been more acceptable ;-)

Probably. And anything is technically "acceptable" (as you already know, again, just saying this for new members' benefit), it's just that the bandwidth in that forum has been, up to now, extremely high, and we should try to keep it that way.

Quote:
Dissecting specific published games is indeed one of the uses of the "TiGD" folder.

Absolutely.

Quote:
I agree that generic "Game X rox" threads are definitely non-starters...

Yup!

-J

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