student 20 Productions

Random Thoughts of a Game Developer

Moving = Hard to Work on Games…

Big frowny-face for the past week. I’ve had little time to do much in the way of work on Elements – or anything else that doesn’t involve boxing, loading, or unboxing. Such is life I suppose, but it sucks nonetheless.

I do have a little to report. I’ve changed the names of the Conditions to Fatigue, Insight, Passion, Steadiness, and Wounds. I dropped “Will” and replaced it with “Insight” because I was having trouble coming up with a description for Will that didn’t sound like a re-worded description of Passion. And for those in the peanut gallery wondering why I didn’t stick with Will and change Passion, there are two reasons:

  1. Will, as some sort of ability or stat or point pool exists in so many RPGs – almost always meaning the exact same thing or something close to it – that it’s almost become an industry trope.
  2. Passion sounds cool, and the word itself comes closer to what I want the Condition to mean than Will does.
  3. Passion came first alphabetically; since that’s the order I was working in, the problem became clear only after I had finished writing about Passion and got to Will… so that’s where I made the change. Dumb, but true.

To pose a question for my readers: I’m contemplating making the Wounds Condition an average of the others. So, base Wounds = Fatigue+Insight+Passion+Steadiness/4… If I did that, chances are Wounds wouldn’t be separately buyable, and in order to get another point in Wounds, you’d need to get 4 points worth of improvement among the other Conditions. Since Wounds isn’t actually used for BED, I don’t see much of a problem with the mechanics, and it would make one less thing that players would have to spend their FATE on. Moreover, I’m not really seeing any drawbacks to the change.

Anyone got an opinion? Let me know. I’m working on how one buys up Conditions now, but the change (either to or back from the averaging method) would be a pretty simple, since (like I said) most other mechanics would be unaffected. And if you’ve spotted a flaw in my logic (difficult, considering how little of the system I’ve actually let out there), it would be nice to know that, too.

Oh – and if anyone just hates the Passion and Insight change, that would be good to know, too… although I am, at this point, fairly attached to both of them.

At any rate, that’s it for this Thursday’s post. See you next week, or in the comments section!

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4 thoughts on “Moving = Hard to Work on Games…

  1. The problem with the name Passion is, of course, the sexual connection. Were you to shift it over to, say, Drive or Motivation, you’d have less snickering over terms.

    Actually, looking up Passion in the thesaurus brings up the synonym Spirit. Using this one might open new avenues for the Condition. (Of course, Spirit might be an over used troupe too. The number of RPGs I read these days = very little.)

    (And isn’t Wounds a common one? Sort of like HP but not?)

    Last thing: You need to add a Search widget to one of your sidebars. Seriously. It’ll make my life easier when talking about your game, and you know you want to make may life easier.

  2. Ahhhh…. thought something was missing. I forgot the search widget! Guess I pulled a boner there!

    Spirit is an interesting idea. I’m going to think about that one; I kind of like it. As for Wounds being common… well, I suppose it is, but I can’t think of another word that works. Besides, Wounds is sort of a “Just what it says on the tin” kind of thing. Will wasn’t doing just what it said on t tin (at least, I didn’t think so), but Passion (and Spirit) seem closer.


    • Glad the idea’s gone over well, at the very least.

      I also noticed you’ve changed your site template again. No biggie (I’m never going to be one who carps about someone changing templates). It’s just now I know how my poor readers feel with the constant changes MY blog goes through…

  3. Well, keep in mind this is a pretty young blog, and I’m still looking for an appearance for it that I’m comfortable with. I keep looking at your blog and wondering if I shouldn’t just give you, like, $20 to redesign mine. You’re getting pretty good at this stuff, dude.

    Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m sticking with Passion for now, but may change it on the re-write that will inevitably come at the end of writing the Alpha. Spirit sounds a little more metaphysical than I wanted; I’m trying to avoid things that people will take as being “mystical stats” because I don’t much care for them in RPGs myself; I’m of the school that believes that if someone can do magic (or has telepathy, or what have you) they pull the ability from themselves, not from some mystical outside force, or from some pseudo-religious but weirdly defined “soul”… unless that’s what the Milieu dictates, and I’m going to include rules for creating an extra “mystical” condition for settings that require it.

    Your other suggestions (Drive, Motivation) are still under consideration, though, because their meaning is pretty close to what I’m looking for, and there’s no quasi-sexual undertone (you’re right about that, by the way).


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