For those of you who have played "While the World Ends," what did you think about it?

edited January 2017 in Play Advice
I'm thinking of playing While the World Ends for our Meetup this week on Thursday (1/2/17).

Question # 1:
What did you like about WtWE? How did it play? Did you have any issues? What was your overall impression?

Question #2:
Did you think we should play While the World Ends or Okult? Which game do you prefer and why?

Thank you so much for your responses :-)

@Paul_T
Paul, I know you said you just played this game; if you can respond I'd sure appreciate it :-) thanks :-)

Comments

  • Sure thing!

    First of all, note: I've started a game of WtWE, but haven't completed it yet. I don't foresee any problems, though; the flow of play seems solid.

    The game is a fascinating design, because it combines loose, freeform roleplaying with a very procedural step-by-step competitive game. The design is good at allowing one to stay out of the way of the other, so the two seem to add to each other instead of "crossing streams".

    So far it's been really fun. The main challenge was getting through the setup quickly (it's tempting to keep discussing and brainstorming, but I think the game benefits if you can settle on a strong idea quickly and then trust the players to flesh it out as you play).

    During the game itself, the tactical game created by the relationship map informs your scenes (which are basically freeform roleplaying). This is clever; the mechanics of the relationship map, dice and tokens don't directly affect the roleplaying at all, but act as creative constraints which make it easy to set scenes. For instance, to gain a token at location X, you know you need character Y and Z to be present, the scene has to take place at that location, and you'll need to roll dice towards that character's Goal, which means they will be pursuing that motivation in the scene.

    So, although the scene is freeform, those constraints make starting a scene quite easy - you have just enough constraints in action to prevent any kind of hemming and hawing.

    My only stumbling block was a lack of clarity in the rules text in a couple of spots (and the rule use in the example includes some things which aren't in the text of the rules itself). I had to clarify those points with the designer (Wilhelm is very gracious in this regard) before playing.

    I'd be happy to help clarify those, in private or here, if desired.

    One thing I came up with which makes it easier for me to visualize play was this:

    * Characters are located in particular places in our setting. However, they may "travel" to another location via a mutual relation. (And, if they do, the character they used to do so must be present in the scene.)

    This visual is easy to remember and makes it almost impossible to miss two or three other rules which otherwise might be confusing (e.g. the rules for helping).

  • I really need to take WTWE for another spin. The first time was ages ago and something went awry but I can't remember what --- most likely something about the players and venue, not the game-design itself.

    Okult is one of my favorite games, but its design assumes no time constraints and players who are already confident role-playing together: I recommend you don't overlook these points of basic logistics.
  • edited February 2017
    Okult is one of my favorite games, but its design assumes no time constraints and players who are already confident role-playing together: I recommend you don't overlook these points of basic logistics.
    @Rafu
    We meet for 3 hours, but we could continue the Okult game next week; however, a few different players might come for later sessions and we would have to integrate them into the game. Would Okult be the type of game that we could bring players into who didn't show up for the first session? Thanks :-)

  • Given what I know about your gaming preferences, Jeff, I think you'll love WtWE. Just make sure to go through the setup fast - keep it punchy and move on.

    After you read through the text, feel free to him me up with questions, if you like. I feel like I have a good hold on it now.
  • Given what I know about your gaming preferences, Jeff, I think you'll love WtWE. Just make sure to go through the setup fast - keep it punchy and move on.

    After you read through the text, feel free to him me up with questions, if you like. I feel like I have a good hold on it now.
    Very cool, thank you, Paul :)
  • There are several reports from our sessions at Story Games Seattle, which I think are linked on the game website. Not sure how much the rules have changed since then.
  • We played Okult this fall, using a oneshot guide in Swedish. I especially like the atmosphere and the emergent setting (based in part on places the players grew up). All players were roughly the same age, and Norwegian. I've sometimes wondered what Hometown setup is like when players come from more varying backgrounds (big city, rural district, different cultures/countries).

    Sometimes during play, I wished for a GM or a firmer mechanic to push the action along and direct. Some tendency to analysis-paralysis. But I could say that about almost any GM-less game I've played. Personal preference.

    Here are some brief notes I jutted down on G+ straight after the game:

    "We managed to wrap it up without too many loose ends dangling, a fairly coherent story. We mostly managed to stick to first person narrative, with good effect. The questions were good as inspiration prompts, although we sometimes fumbled a bit with scene transitions. One player had to cancel, but I think three was a good number for the oneshot.

    And I really liked the one player truth/one fictional thing aspect of character, setting creation. Added some nice texture."

    Oh and a pet peeve: I find the examples given of the "threat in Hometown" in the PDF I have are at odds with the mood I'm promised by the rest of the game text. More outlandish than close-to-home.

    (I haven't played WtWE since the author demonstrated an early version to me and another player in Matthijs' attic 5-6 years ago. So I won't try to make a comparison. But I seem to recall we had fun making up a mind-mapped sf setting, with some prompts. I think both games do clever things with setting creation by seemingly simple means.)

  • We meet for 3 hours, but we could continue the Okult game next week; however, a few different players might come for later sessions and we would have to integrate them into the game. Would Okult be the type of game that we could bring players into who didn't show up for the first session? Thanks :-)
    Definitely the wrong game for that. Play WTWE, so you can wrap it up in a single session. Reserve Okult for when you're sure to meet with the same people for 3-4 sessions in a row, or maybe 2 longer sessions at a different venue.
  • edited February 2017
    It's usually been better if the "world" is restricted, otherwise you need characters with huge resources to be able to travel everywhere.

    We tried the world, we tried using a prison as a setting, and even a New Years Eve party in an apartment. Perhaps it was coincidence but the last one were the one that worked best for us.

    I would recommend at least a 5-6 hour session for this game.
  • edited February 2017
    We played a second session, and finished up our game, last night. It was definitely a success, and I would happily play again. We really only had one issue, which I will discuss here.

    Basic information (which is interesting, I think, especially to the designer):

    We played online (which, I think, means everything runs a little slower).

    Setup was about 1 1/2 hours (we spent 2 hours, but there were distractions and I spent a lot of time explaining the game).

    Playing through the scenes to a conclusion was just under 3 hours (over two sessions, in our case, so some of that time was spent going over prior events a second time). However, we had to really rush at the end to wrap up in time.

    I think if I played again, we could do setup in 30-45 mins and play for 3 hours or so, fitting well into a convention-type timeframe.

    We had to really consciously keep scenes short and to the point, however. A game given more space to "breathe" would run longer, as Rickard says above.

    We had 9 "driving scenes" and 7 "narrating scenes", not including epilogues. (I looked over actual play reports I could find which showed the map and breakdown, and most other plays seem to have had several more driving scenes, but about the same number of narrating scenes - 5 to 10.)

    Only one driving scene was a failure, which is unusual (judging by other people's play reports).

    I'm mentioning all this because it may be relevant to issues we had.

    Overall, the game was a total success, I'd say. The setting was fascinating and colourful - you can find a writeup of this in the "what did you play this week?" thread. Artificial Intelligences control a degenerate humanity, and seed them with a "Book" (a compilation of wisdom, philsophy, science, and history) in order to give the humans a chance to reclaim their prior glory.

    The game contributes really nicely to setting dramatic scenes, because the strategy guides you this way and that. A simple but really rewarding mechanic turns a relationship map into a tactical struggle. A very nice design, deceptively simple, and quite unique (from what I've seen). For a game designer, it's very thought-provoking and nicely effective!

    One of the players wondered if this game might have influenced or inspired the design of "The Quiet Year".

    Our story ended when Toyota, an orphan girl digging a little deeper than she should, achieved her Goal: she met a human who had merged with the AI-sphere, and thus discovered the author of the Book. In the meantime, Mercer, a enterprising anarchist and drug dealer, developed a formula for "Ghost", a drug which allows humans to evade AI surveillance, and used it to defeat some "artificial" humans sent to stop a forming rebellion.

    Humanity was thus emancipated, and began to merge with the Artificial Intelligence to build a new civilization (symbolized by the union of Toyota and the author of the Book).

    The procedures of play were clear and generally easy to follow. There were a few points I needed clarified, which I did in a conversation with Wilhelm (the author). Hopefully these will be addressed in the latest version! All in all, better than many/most games, I'd say.

    The only thing we had an issue with was the lack of depth we felt in the story. This may have to do with a number of things:

    1. Our setup was rather grandiose. I like Rickard's comments, above, where he notes that the best game he had was the most low-key one, confined to a single house. I have a suspicion that this game might work best if streered more towards "subtle", both in setup and in play. Of course, without playing again, I can't be too sure.

    2. We were on a strict timeline, so we were trying consciously to move things along, and cutting out details here and there, so as to get the game finished.

    3. We were both tactically smart and lucky in our rolls (only one failure was ever rolled), which meant that fewer scenes were played than, perhaps, in "typical" play.

    The feeling, however, was that we barely scratched the surface of the material we had prepared during the Setup, and most of the characters hardly engaged with their Goals and Fears. My character achieved her Goal, in three successful scenes, and only played a minor role in a couple of others, as a side character. I found it pretty difficult to create a meaningful narrative of world-changing import in just a few quick moments of play!

    Some of the other characters only saw a handful of scenes at all. Jesus, the wanna-be murderer (a pretty fascinating premise in a fully pacifist society!), only had one driving scene, and therefore never came close to facing either his Goal or his Fear. We resolved his issue in his epilogue, but that felt like it only got addressed "off-screen", as opposed to meaningfully in front of the audience.

    Two of our "aspects" barely ever came into play at all, but were just mentioned once or twice as details in a scene. A few of the relationships we drew never saw play at all (e.g. Jesus trying to kill Xiao, or his infatuation with Pilar).

    All in all, the game presented a nice overall narrative and a few narrow glimpses into the lives of our characters. No one's story felt complete, however, except for the plot points we wrapped up quickly in their epilogues.

    I think that the idea of a single "protagonist" emerging as central (typically, only one character will achieve their Goal before the game ends) appears to be intentional, or built-in to the game. Ending the game at the moment of their success places extra emphasis on their impact on the setting, as well.

    However, we were left wishing we could have found out more about the other details of play, the relationships and stories.

    Going into another game with less of an expectation of complete resolution, I think, would improve the experience for me. I would try to construct meaningful individual scenes instead of looking to build a larger whole from a sequence of scenes.

    I think it would be interesting, also, to try a version where either the Setup is more constrained (like Rickard's single-house game) or the game takes longer to play out. I'm not entirely sure how to achieve the latter, however. The author mentions the possibility of having more locations, but I wonder if creating more aspects and even more characters would just spread the story even thinner. Some kind of hack where more than 5 tokens are required for a victory, and additional tokens are added to the board if necessary to break a tie, could work. (e.g. When you run out of tokens, add one more to each location.)

    Overall, though, a really interesting and enjoyable game. I definitely want to play this again, and it's fascinating from a design perspective.



  • Jeff,

    Since you have some contact with Ben Robbins, you might get his thoughts, too! He wrote about the game a little bit here:

    Actual Play (Meetup)
  • We played a second session, and finished up our game, last night. It was definitely a success, and I would happily play again. We really only had one issue, which I will discuss here.

    Basic information (which is interesting, I think, especially to the designer):

    We played online (which, I think, means everything runs a little slower).

    Setup was about 1 1/2 hours (we spent 2 hours, but there were distractions and I spent a lot of time explaining the game).

    Playing through the scenes to a conclusion was just under 3 hours (over two sessions, in our case, so some of that time was spent going over prior events a second time). However, we had to really rush at the end to wrap up in time.

    I think if I played again, we could do setup in 30-45 mins and play for 3 hours or so, fitting well into a convention-type timeframe.

    We had to really consciously keep scenes short and to the point, however. A game given more space to "breathe" would run longer, as Rickard says above.

    We had 9 "driving scenes" and 7 "narrating scenes", not including epilogues. (I looked over actual play reports I could find which showed the map and breakdown, and most other plays seem to have had several more driving scenes, but about the same number of narrating scenes - 5 to 10.)

    Only one driving scene was a failure, which is unusual (judging by other people's play reports).

    I'm mentioning all this because it may be relevant to issues we had.

    Overall, the game was a total success, I'd say. The setting was fascinating and colourful - you can find a writeup of this in the "what did you play this week?" thread. Artificial Intelligences control a degenerate humanity, and seed them with a "Book" (a compilation of wisdom, philsophy, science, and history) in order to give the humans a chance to reclaim their prior glory.

    The game contributes really nicely to setting dramatic scenes, because the strategy guides you this way and that. A simple but really rewarding mechanic turns a relationship map into a tactical struggle. A very nice design, deceptively simple, and quite unique (from what I've seen). For a game designer, it's very thought-provoking and nicely effective!

    One of the players wondered if this game might have influenced or inspired the design of "The Quiet Year".

    Our story ended when Toyota, an orphan girl digging a little deeper than she should, achieved her Goal: she met a human who had merged with the AI-sphere, and thus discovered the author of the Book. In the meantime, Mercer, a enterprising anarchist and drug dealer, developed a formula for "Ghost", a drug which allows humans to evade AI surveillance, and used it to defeat some "artificial" humans sent to stop a forming rebellion.

    Humanity was thus emancipated, and began to merge with the Artificial Intelligence to build a new civilization (symbolized by the union of Toyota and the author of the Book).

    The procedures of play were clear and generally easy to follow. There were a few points I needed clarified, which I did in a conversation with Wilhelm (the author). Hopefully these will be addressed in the latest version! All in all, better than many/most games, I'd say.

    The only thing we had an issue with was the lack of depth we felt in the story. This may have to do with a number of things:

    1. Our setup was rather grandiose. I like Rickard's comments, above, where he notes that the best game he had was the most low-key one, confined to a single house. I have a suspicion that this game might work best if streered more towards "subtle", both in setup and in play. Of course, without playing again, I can't be too sure.

    2. We were on a strict timeline, so we were trying consciously to move things along, and cutting out details here and there, so as to get the game finished.

    3. We were both tactically smart and lucky in our rolls (only one failure was ever rolled), which meant that fewer scenes were played than, perhaps, in "typical" play.

    The feeling, however, was that we barely scratched the surface of the material we had prepared during the Setup, and most of the characters hardly engaged with their Goals and Fears. My character achieved her Goal, in three successful scenes, and only played a minor role in a couple of others, as a side character. I found it pretty difficult to create a meaningful narrative of world-changing import in just a few quick moments of play!

    Some of the other characters only saw a handful of scenes at all. Jesus, the wanna-be murderer (a pretty fascinating premise in a fully pacifist society!), only had one driving scene, and therefore never came close to facing either his Goal or his Fear. We resolved his issue in his epilogue, but that felt like it only got addressed "off-screen", as opposed to meaningfully in front of the audience.

    Two of our "aspects" barely ever came into play at all, but were just mentioned once or twice as details in a scene. A few of the relationships we drew never saw play at all (e.g. Jesus trying to kill Xiao, or his infatuation with Pilar).

    All in all, the game presented a nice overall narrative and a few narrow glimpses into the lives of our characters. No one's story felt complete, however, except for the plot points we wrapped up quickly in their epilogues.

    I think that the idea of a single "protagonist" emerging as central (typically, only one character will achieve their Goal before the game ends) appears to be intentional, or built-in to the game. Ending the game at the moment of their success places extra emphasis on their impact on the setting, as well.

    However, we were left wishing we could have found out more about the other details of play, the relationships and stories.

    Going into another game with less of an expectation of complete resolution, I think, would improve the experience for me. I would try to construct meaningful individual scenes instead of looking to build a larger whole from a sequence of scenes.

    I think it would be interesting, also, to try a version where either the Setup is more constrained (like Rickard's single-house game) or the game takes longer to play out. I'm not entirely sure how to achieve the latter, however. The author mentions the possibility of having more locations, but I wonder if creating more aspects and even more characters would just spread the story even thinner. Some kind of hack where more than 5 tokens are required for a victory, and additional tokens are added to the board if necessary to break a tie, could work. (e.g. When you run out of tokens, add one more to each location.)

    Overall, though, a really interesting and enjoyable game. I definitely want to play this again, and it's fascinating from a design perspective.



    Thank you so much for the write up Paul. I will respond when I have more time.
  • edited February 2017
    @Paul_T
    Hi Paul, I have a lot of questions, so if you don't feel like answering them all feel free to skip them...or just give brief answers...or just tell me to read the book :-) Thanks :-)

    We played online (which, I think, means everything runs a little slower).
    And why no invite… Just kidding :) ...but seriously, we need to actually play a game together when you, and whoever, get a chance :)

    The game contributes really nicely to setting dramatic scenes, because the strategy guides you this way and that. A simple but really rewarding mechanic turns a relationship map into a tactical struggle. A very nice design, deceptively simple, and quite unique (from what I've seen). For a game designer, it's very thought-provoking and nicely effective!
    The relationship map sounds really interesting. When you say the mechanic turns the map into a "tactical struggle," do you mean a tactical struggle between players? Causing some friction between players? Or players motives to be different from one another? Or do you mean something else entirely?

    Our story ended when Toyota, an orphan girl digging a little deeper than she should, achieved her Goal: she met a human who had merged with the AI-sphere, and thus discovered the author of the Book. In the meantime, Mercer, a enterprising anarchist and drug dealer, developed a formula for "Ghost", a drug which allows humans to evade AI surveillance, and used it to defeat some "artificial" humans sent to stop a forming rebellion.
    Are the players goals at odds with one another? Does this cause some friction or light PVP effects?

    The procedures of play were clear and generally easy to follow. There were a few points I needed clarified, which I did in a conversation with Wilhelm (the author).
    Good to know; I will reach out to Wilhelm, or possibly you, if you're OK with that, if I have any issues.

    The only thing we had an issue with was the lack of depth we felt in the story. This may have to do with a number of things:

    1. Our setup was rather grandiose. I like Rickard's comments, above, where he notes that the best game he had was the most low-key one, confined to a single house. I have a suspicion that this game might work best if streered more towards "subtle", both in setup and in play. Of course, without playing again, I can't be too sure.

    2. We were on a strict timeline, so we were trying consciously to move things along, and cutting out details here and there, so as to get the game finished.

    3. We were both tactically smart and lucky in our rolls (only one failure was ever rolled), which meant that fewer scenes were played than, perhaps, in "typical" play.

    The feeling, however, was that we barely scratched the surface of the material we had prepared during the Setup, and most of the characters hardly engaged with their Goals and Fears. My character achieved her Goal, in three successful scenes, and only played a minor role in a couple of others, as a side character. I found it pretty difficult to create a meaningful narrative of world-changing import in just a few quick moments of play!
    I know you can only be sure if you played again, but do you think if you made the adjustments about the story would be a bit deeper? Does it take a concerted effort to get into engaging your fears and goals? For example, are they just additions to your character that only come up in the game if you choose to place them in a scene, or are there rules that require them to be placed in some scenes? ... hopefully, that makes sense :-)

    Some of the other characters only saw a handful of scenes at all. Jesus, the wanna-be murderer (a pretty fascinating premise in a fully pacifist society!), only had one driving scene, and therefore never came close to facing either his Goal or his Fear. We resolved his issue in his epilogue, but that felt like it only got addressed "off-screen", as opposed to meaningfully in front of the audience.
    Does the group choose which characters are in scenes? Or does a mechanic decide which characters will be in scenes?

    Two of our "aspects" barely ever came into play at all, but were just mentioned once or twice as details in a scene. A few of the relationships we drew never saw play at all (e.g. Jesus trying to kill Xiao, or his infatuation with Pilar).
    I know you can't be sure, but do you think there are a bit too many facets of the characters: goals, fears, aspects, etc. to address in the game and that this may result in a lack of depth? Or is it more the way you played, and can be addressed by making adjustments and improving play as you play the game or more?

    I think that the idea of a single "protagonist" emerging as central (typically, only one character will achieve their Goal before the game ends) appears to be intentional, or built-in to the game. Ending the game at the moment of their success places extra emphasis on their impact on the setting, as well.

    However, we were left wishing we could have found out more about the other details of play, the relationships and stories.
    Do the rules require that the story ends once someone's goal is achieved? or does it create something that is important and therefore it makes sense to end the story when someone's goal is achieved? Or could you continue the game afterward in order to make the story more flushed-out and have a more satisfying, nicely tied-up ending?

    Going into another game with less of an expectation of complete resolution, I think, would improve the experience for me. I would try to construct meaningful individual scenes instead of looking to build a larger whole from a sequence of scenes.
    Because the game isn't intended to support complete resolution? Or perhaps for another reason?

    I think it would be interesting, also, to try a version where either the Setup is more constrained (like Rickard's single-house game) or the game takes longer to play out. I'm not entirely sure how to achieve the latter, however. The author mentions the possibility of having more locations, but I wonder if creating more aspects and even more characters would just spread the story even thinner. Some kind of hack where more than 5 tokens are required for a victory, and additional tokens are added to the board if necessary to break a tie, could work. (e.g. When you run out of tokens, add one more to each location.)
    It might be cool to explore these possibilities. Maybe Rickard could work on a companion book; something akin to the Fiasco Companion or Microscope Explorer... or he could add it to the new version and make a book version, which I've been begging him to do (even though I haven't even played the game haha; I just like books)... :)

    Overall, though, a really interesting and enjoyable game. I definitely want to play this again, and it's fascinating from a design perspective.
    Very cool, and a great and detailed write up :) thank you so much Paul, for taking the time to do it :-) i'm super interested to read it, just from the design perspective… I'm a little apprehensive about the lack of depth and the lack of complete resolution… But I really don't care if it's complete so much as if it's satisfying...and of course all of the stuff is just based on one play through, and maybe addressed with multiple plays or adjusting play somehow… But for you to say that it is better than the typical storytelling game, and that it is enjoyable and interesting, I think is a pretty good endorsement :) ...and makes me excited to plan read it…Anyway, thanks again, I really appreciate the write-up, Paul :-)

  • edited February 2017
    Jeff,

    Of the various collaborative story games I've played, I think that WtWE is one of the most interesting. I definitely recommend it, and I'd love to play it again. I actually send you a message about playing something in the near future through Gmail a few days ago - let me know if you didn't see it!


    The relationship map sounds really interesting. When you say the mechanic turns the map into a "tactical struggle," do you mean a tactical struggle between players? Causing some friction between players? Or players motives to be different from one another? Or do you mean something else entirely?

    [...]

    Are the players goals at odds with one another? Does this cause some friction or light PVP effects?
    The first thing about this game which you must understand to make sense of my comments is that it has two "layers":

    There is the main "game", which has two "teams" of two players competing to "win". Each team takes one side of the "change", which is a major transformation of the setting.

    The second layer is freeform (or almost freeform) roleplaying. There is no competition here, because the way that you - for instance - portray your character doesn't impact the mechanical aspect of the competition at all. This is clever, since it frees you up to play the various characters and scenes in whichever way you feel is best from a dramatic standpoint.

    Good to know; I will reach out to Wilhelm, or possibly you, if you're OK with that, if I have any issues.
    Absolutely! I have a good handle on the rules now, and I'd be glad to answer questions, or just play the game together sometime.

    Does the group choose which characters are in scenes? Or does a mechanic decide which characters will be in scenes?
    It's a bit of both. The main competitive aspect of the game revolves around this: drawing the relationship map allows you to frame scenes in locations you previously couldn't, and/or include characters you haven't seen yet. For instance, I might extablish a relationship with Cynthia, who works at the hospital, and now I can have a scene with her at the hospital (all of which ties into my team's odds of winning).

    I know you can only be sure if you played again, but do you think if you made the adjustments about the story would be a bit deeper? Does it take a concerted effort to get into engaging your fears and goals?

    [...]

    I know you can't be sure, but do you think there are a bit too many facets of the characters: goals, fears, aspects, etc. to address in the game and that this may result in a lack of depth? Or is it more the way you played, and can be addressed by making adjustments and improving play as you play the game or more?

    [...]

    Or could you continue the game afterward in order to make the story more flushed-out and have a more satisfying, nicely tied-up ending?
    I think that all of this definitely requires another playthrough for me to get a sense of which parts are characteristic of the game, and which were an issue with our approach to the game. Like I said, we were a bit rushed, and on a strict timeline.

    One note: "aspects" in this game are not "character aspects", but elements of the setting. We had five, but only three really featured in the story. Again, I'm not sure if that's typical.

    Wilhelm has told me, however, that he is experimenting with an optional rule where you continue playing out each character's story even after a team has "won", which would extend play a little and deliver more "finalized" stories for each character.

    That could be very cool! On the other hand, playing the game again with different expectations is to my liking as well - there's something poetic about a few unresolved storylines (feeling in play a bit like a chapter of In a Wicked Age....

    There's no reason you couldn't play out multiple games of WtWE in a row, to complete longer-playing stories, either.

    Very cool, and a great and detailed write up :) thank you so much Paul, for taking the time to do it :-) i'm super interested to read it, just from the design perspective… [...] Anyway, thanks again, I really appreciate the write-up, Paul :-)
    You're very welcome, Jeff. I think a lot of great designers put their games out there, often for free or for cheap, in the interest of sharing their passion and their ideas. I think the best way we can encourage and reward that is to give them as much feedback as we can.

    There's nothing quite as frustrating as seeing your games distributed and downloaded, and maybe even played... and hearing nothing about it (whether negative or positive).

    I try not to be that person!
  • edited February 2017
    @Paul_T

    Of the various collaborative story games I've played, I think that WtWE is one of the most interesting. I definitely recommend it, and I'd love to play it again. I actually send you a message about playing something in the near future through Gmail a few days ago - let me know if you didn't see it!
    Oh yeah, Follow, end of February haha :) Hey, here's an idea, we should play your game Musette soon. That way you can get some feedback, and you can make sure the rules are being played correctly. Anyway, PM me or email me if you're down. I also have some ideas about some procedures to implement some small changes, to the game, we had discussed, and when you message me you can let me know about all the issues with them haha :-) Thanks :-)
  • Jeff,

    Sure! Why don't you take that to e-mail or private message. Cheers!
  • edited February 2017
    However, we were left wishing we could have found out more about the other details of play, the relationships and stories.

    Going into another game with less of an expectation of complete resolution, I think, would improve the experience for me. I would try to construct meaningful individual scenes instead of looking to build a larger whole from a sequence of scenes.
    Good write-up in all but I think this is really worth noticing. I'm rewriting the above.

    1) Some stories will not be finished so,
    2) create intense scenes that gives a meaning for your characters - something to loose when the world ends,
    3) and that will leave the threads open in a good way, where the participants can understand what will happen just from what's not being said.
    4) Finally, you can sometimes have a short briefing of what will happen to each character, as an epilogue, or combine the briefings by playing out a final scene with everyone together in the same scene.
  • edited February 2017
    The first thing about this game which you must understand to make sense of my comments is that it has two "layers":

    There is the main "game", which has two "teams" of two players competing to "win". Each team takes one side of the "change", which is a major transformation of the setting.

    The second layer is freeform (or almost freeform) roleplaying. There is no competition here, because the way that you - for instance - portray your character doesn't impact the mechanical aspect of the competition at all. This is clever, since it frees you up to play the various characters and scenes in whichever way you feel is best from a dramatic standpoint.
    Out of the three sessions I had, I tried to play strategically in the last tw ones, and I still ended up with a good story (for my character, and in all). Why? Because what I said earlier about descriptive game mechanics, and why roleplaying game designers should avoid them.

    Because even if I tried to play in a strategic way, I still had to interpret the game mechanics to make sense of them. "OK, now I rolled something. Why?" The interpretation of how I used the game mechanic - the result of that - was fiction. The game leaves a gap between game mechanics and fiction, and lets the players fill in the rest.

    I have stated many times, in many different occasions, that you cannot combine »competitive play« with »collaborative storytelling«. I'm glad that While the World End has proven me wrong.
Sign In or Register to comment.