[game chef groups] Game Chef: Team Fremen

edited September 2010 in Story Games

So, having a core group of people who I can workshop ideas with is essential for me doing hurried design.
I'd like to form a feedback group with some Game Cheffers, probably 4-7 people deep.
Just like that other feedback group suggested in another thread, that's already full up, see.

Team Fremen is the design group for dirty hippy entries.
Fremen = dirty hippies of the desert. Fremen = minimalists.

If you want to join Team Fremen, here's the requirements:

1. Your game needs to be a dirty hippy game. That's probably some combination of: structured freeform, GMless/GMful, freeform traits, collaborative world-building, etc, etc.

2. Your game needs to be fairly low-crunch.

3. You need to provide feedback on each Team Fremen game. Feedback must include some enthusiasm and some tangibles (constructive criticism, suggestions, critical questions, etc).

#1 and #2 are so that we find ourselves in an appropriate circle of critique. I would be useless in critiquing a Luke Crane game, for example, because I don't have a head for complicated and interwoven mechanics. Luke Crane might well be useless in critiquing my games as well. If I'm involved in a design culture that I can relate to and participate in, I'll flourish. I'd suggest the same is true for you.

#3 is so that banding together actually means something.

If you're interested, holla. Once we hit 5-7 people interested, we are closed.


  • Obviously, I'm in!

    Hop is my game idea. It's billed as a "shamanpunk love story", and it's about two body-hoppers who're trying to reach one another, after years apart.

    There are no number-crunchy mechanics, but there are narrative-restriction mechanics.
    Basically, you know what "exception-based mechanics" are, right? Well, think "exception-based fiction".
    That's as concrete as the idea is in my head at the moment.

    The game's current pitch:

    Two lovers.
    Three bodies.
    One journey.

    A thousand transgressions against the earth.

    A shamanpunk love story.
  • Aw, a fremen-themed group sounds great! Also, I think my game'd fit your requirements, Joe.

    The Doldrums

    A game about the city, the ruins that it made, and mancala.

    The very existence of the city as it stands has come at the direct, unavoidable expense of something else. Players decide whether they're from the City, the Ruins, or the border between them, and then have at it. Who is going to come out on top? Will the City survive what comes? Or will the Ruins grow ever-greater to fill the City's appetites?

    This basically sprung out of a discussion at my blag here. I wrote up some basic additional mechanics (besides using a mancala board, that is) here.

    I read this part right here, This includes smartly choosing not to use certain ingredients or even the theme if it is getting in the way of the design instead of contributing to it, and decided not to fret too much over the "skin" ingredient. The "journey" ingredient is kind of hidden, as well.
  • edited September 2010
    I'd like to join. I spent today trying to do most of my game. It's called Red Land, Black Land. It's set in predynastic Egypt.
  • I think I'd like to join this group too. I think my concept is right up this alley. I've only got in brain concepts at the moment, and some inspirations.

    My concept has two inspirations so far, a novella by Robert Silverberg entitled Nightwings (which I've got as an audiobook), and Joe McDonald's own Ribbon Drive.

    It is...

    People of a far future earth undertake a journey, a pilgrimage, through the vast global desert, travelling from one city arcology to another towards the city of Prees to be renewed, to be put into a new skin. However, they can only be reskinned if their spirits are ready. For the pilgrims' spirits to be considered ready for reskinning, they must be as barren and featureless as the great deserts they've recently travelled through.

    In effect, what I'm conceptualizing here is a sort of far future sci-fi version of Ribbon Drive, but without the music element.

    The characters are members of Guilds (that's inspired from Nightwings); the guilds would become the core concept of the character. Then a few free form traits to further define aspects of the character that seem interesting. The character would also have a secret; something socially or legally taboo within the world that haunts his spirit. Finally, the character would have a crisis; something internally, that creates spiritual turmoil.

    Using the main character from Nightwings as an example...

    The Watcher might be described as follows.

    Name: Watcher (it's actually the only way in which he's referred in the novella).
    Guild: Watcher (he watches the skies for signs of alien invasion).
    Traits: Old, Dutiful, Fatherly
    Secret: In love with Avluela - the flyer. (In Nightwings genetic manipulation has yielded many mutant human species, of which one are humans with butterfly wings that can fly, but must do so only at night when the solar winds cannot influence their flight.)
    Crisis: Losing faith in the coming invasion. Believes he's wasted his life as a watcher and that there actually never will be an alien invasion force that will attack the earth.

    That's as far as I've gotten so far.

    That gives me my three ingredients, but I've contemplated also bringing in Edge either as a drug, or a sort of state of mind the characters enter while travelling through the desert, that makes them confront their secrets and crises in order to let them go.
  • Hmmm. I think i could do this, but i fear that i will be bad at sharing my ideas.

    Historically, i have been not good at that.

    anyway, i would like to formally reserve myself a spot in this very fine group until i figure if i can be a helpful member. I will decide quickly.

    I am pretty excited about my ideas thusfar, too.
  • edited September 2010
    Hey gang,

    A part of me really wants to include end-game mechanics, thanks to my experiences with Fiasco and Polaris. I'm stuck on the notion of the Second Act: that part of the film where you have a major reversal. In children's movies, this is often the part where the hero(ine) does something to drive away his/her best friend/s.

    It occurred to me to have the thing turn on the Friendship mechanics I devised - the main character (aka "Main") does things to lose all his Friendships, and at that point... what? I feel like that could be a cue to signal the coming end of the story (only one act to go!), not for any internal logical reason but merely as a marker of time, a sort of way to fight over how much the world will change before it freezes up again.

    It's like-a this: folks playing characters who support the status quo would want to hammer the Main as much as they could, to force him to burn up his Friendships and keep him from getting any Laurels to restore them. Folks who want to buy time to change the world would want to leap to the Main's defense, feeding him Friendships and Laurels even if they're at odds with him, goals-wise.

    In fact, it could be pretty cool to have the players playing rebels also working, as players, to throw the Cruel Crown Prince a lifeline now and again, until the political situation is more to their liking; then they'd let him twist in the wind. [it occurs to me that the odd personal/political mash-ups going on in the plot of Braveheart kind of fit this model. And now, I'm pretty psyched about this idea!]

    [edit: I expand my above-mentioned view of Braveheart here.]
  • Hey all,

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    We need to migrate away from the Story Games forums proper, as this is not a place for game design. Praxis, conveniently, is.

    So, when you're ready to solicit feedback, start a thread in Praxis with the tag [Team Fremen] at the start of your thread title.
    If you want to do your writing on a blog, that's fine, start a thread in Praxis and just link your blog every time you post anew.

    For example, I might post a thread called "[Team Fremen] Hop: Working Out the Player Roles"
    Or I might post a thread called "[Team Fremen] Hop" and just talk all my ideas in a single thread.
    Or I might post a thread called "[Team Fremen] Hop Updates", and just bump it to say "new post at www.?" whenever I put up a new blog post.

    Got it? Cool.

    So far:
    Jackson Maybe Tegu,

    If one or two people really want to join, we'll take 'em. Otherwise, that's it.
  • I've changed my middle name from "Maybe" to "Freman".

    If this was a B Movie, that would've been delivered as a really epic line.
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