Over the last two years, I have written a lot about my thoughts and theories about what engages us in roleplaying games in a thread called We Know So Little of Our Hobby
. I feel that, so far, it has only been airy words and that I need to make these concrete through a game.
This game is a child of the collective knowledge of that I gathered during last years when I tried to reach beyond our own hobby to learn more about game design and why and how people invest in a game. It's a game that slaughters many of the sacred cows in roleplaying games and I feel I need to find a new way of writing roleplaying games so games like this can exist. It's a game I couldn't have written only five years ago, when I published my first game. It's a game that I, at that time, would even question to be a roleplaying game. Nay, even a "game".
No conflict ♦ No game master ♦ No dice or other means that provides random outcomes ♦ No prep ♦ No tangible rewards ♦ No acting-in-character ♦ No fantastic elements ♦ No campaign ♦ No mechanical improvements ♦ No 200+ pages to read only to be able to play the game
I'm not saying that roleplaying games shouldn't have these, but I will show how one can create a game that challenges what people normally think are fundamental parts of a roleplaying game. Some, like tangible rewards and dice, are even harmful game design when used wrongly. And A LOT of roleplaying games use these wrongly. A lot of them, even "indie games".
These topics are brief summaries of wider aspects and each post got links for anyone interested to get a deeper understanding of how I came to these conclusions.