Story Games Names Project, How it could be better

edited April 2008 in Story Games
I got my copy of Names just before Dreamation 08, I found it useful but very much uneven. Some parts are more useful then others.

For example I liked how Ethiopian section shared a little bit more.. it gives me hooks for play. If you meeting with someone and they refuse to share a meal, that tells you something.

Just a list of names just isn't enough, we need clues to how things worked in that society.

Also very few of the names are defined. Most names have a meaning. Once more these are hooks and tells. I want my Games to have layers of Meaning.

Lastly what's up with it not being available via IPR? This book would sell well at Con's.

How hard would it be to start work on a revised edition?



  • It was a joint project with dozens of contributors, and the idea was only to collect names to use spontaneously in play. Those extra features are, well, extra :) I'm not sure you're going to find someone to do all the work on their own to add bonus features to each name section.

    Though, if anyone volunteers, I'm all for it! :)

    It's not on IPR because it's a charity project.
  • Hey, Nick, the answer's going to be: if you write some descriptions of names and how the societies worked, you'll be welcome with open arms.

  • edited April 2008
    Hi Nick,

    We've discussed ways to get the book into retail. There are two problems that stem from choices I made.

    1. When I started the project, I chose a license that is very restrictive (CC attribution-sharealike-noncomercial), thinking that protecting individual contributions would encourage participation. What I've learned is that this wasn't really necessary, and next time it'll be CC-attribution. So I (or someone) would need to contact all the contributors and get their permission to change the license or remove their stuff if the book were ever to enter retail. I'm happy to change the licensing of my parts, and I suspect most people would, but I'm not up to tracking them all down and asking, myself. Some really good lists came from people I have not heard of before or since.

    2. It was a benefit for the Carter Center, and we raised money by selling advertising up front, with the stipulation that the book would be sold at cost. Selling it at cost means that I - or anybody else - would have to donate a substantial amount of time and energy to facilitate getting it more widely distributed, and IPR would have to host it pro bono. Again, a lesson learned, but this arrangement is what allowed us to get such nice art.

    On top of that would be the work involved in laying out a revision. I'm sure Josh would leap at the chance to take this on again. Anyway, a revision that corrected these mistakes would be great, and entirely possible, but somebody would need to commit to doing a lot of work.

    As far as the uneven content, that's the charm of a community effort. I set a very basic quality bar and didn't turn anything away.
  • Or perhaps a Story Games Names Project Mark II cold be a good idea.

    New names! New features! New license!

    I for once would be interested in a more complete book (and probably in contributing to it too).
  • Rock on! I'll contribute a ton of stuff, including all my original name lists with a newer, better license if you want them. Go do it.
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