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Posted By: Robert BohlI think this is very interesting. However, I think the strongest split is between the physics engine games and the other kinds.
Posted By: Robert BohlIn particular, I find that third category hard to agree with. Doesn't fan mail make PTA a control economy engine? How are die rolls in Dogs a control economy?
Posted By: HituroI'd be quite interested to see the Physics Engine category subdivided (and the control economy as well), because I have a sneaking feeling that some "story Games" are in fact physics engines with a very different emphasis to something like D&D.
Posted By: HituroI have this notion that you could divide physics engines up into categories too according to the levels of realism / impartiality involved and include things like IAWA in that category too.
Posted By: scottdunphyDo you think the name/description of the third category is wrong or the games that are in it?
Posted By: scottdunphyPS - I'm changing some of the terms based on feedback and just a general desire to do so. Story Arc Engine is now Plot Arc Engine and Storytelling Engine is now Cooperative Narration Engine.
Posted By: Paul Czege(I'm thinking "Storytelling Engine" works, but it's probably too competitive for "Cooperative Narration Engine".)
Posted By: Paul CzegeCheck out the Game Chef version of Bacchanalhere(note: I entered it to the contest under a pseudonym). It's close enough to the print version that you'll be able to decide its engine. (I'm thinking "Storytelling Engine" works, but it's probably too competitive for "Cooperative Narration Engine".)
Posted By: Paul T.Why is it meaningful to place them in one category or another?
Posted By: Paul T.How do you decide which?
Also, the "soft" (non-mechanical) bits of the text are extremely important. Town creation, relationships, etc, and the way they interact with the system to create moral choices are just as important to Dogs as the dice play/economy (if not more so).
Another example: the Riddle of Steel. I'm not sure these games fit your three categories in any meaningful way. If you think they do, can you explain?
Furthermore, "physics" is a bit problematic, as well. It sounds like, by your definition, something like D&D would fit in this category. But the mechanics don't really emulate "what would happen". It's about providing grounds for tactical play.
So, why these three categories?
Posted By: scottdunphyI'm not certain that it is. I just had a thought that there were different types of Story Games engines and I wanted to explore that idea. It might lead nowhere, but so far it's been an interesting thought exercise - for me anyway.
Now, D&D is something I know a lot about. I don't think "physics engine" means "what would happen". Halo certain has a physics engine and it has little to do with what would happen in the real world. But I've always seen D&D as a simulation of heroic action movies, not reality. I don't think a physics engine is in conflict with "providing grounds for tactical play". Certainly video games with physics engines have tactical play.
Posted By: Paul T.OK, so here's the issue: if D&D is a simulation of heroic action movies, how is PTA not a simulation of, well, primetime television, or Baron Munchausen not a simulation of Baron Munchausen stories? Then why aren't they "physics engine" games?
Posted By: Paul T.There has definitely been a history of design as "physics engines". And the games being created now by fine folks like the people on this forum use a lot of techniques that would be foreign to one of those games. And many use "control economies" to accomplish one thing, "plot arc" techniques and narrate in character (for instance, flashbacks, Confessionals from InSpectres, etc), all at the same time. And many of those games wouldn't hold together if you took out or minimized any of those parts.
Posted By: Paul T.And what about mechanics that exist to create dynamics between _the players_, and have less to do with the fiction? For instance, things like Gift Dice (TSoY) and Trust (in Mountain Witch), while they do relate to the story, have a lot more to do with allowing the players to create certain feelings and dynamics at the table.
Posted By: Paul T.Pure storytelling games (like Once Upon a Time) are also worth considering, although they are rarer, and if they don't qualify as RPGs to you, that's fine.
Posted By: scottdunphyThey really do qualify as RPGs to me and that's one of the inspirations for coming up with this engines idea. I'm assuming "Once Upon a Time" is on the same plane as APFMT. Paul, Levi, do either of you have a link for "Once Upon a Time"?
Posted By: scottdunphyI actually think that Bacchanal is a Plot Arc Engine...