Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

B
BradHB
January 28, 2022
208 0
D
DavidNorris
January 27, 2022
308 0
A
adamr
January 26, 2022
657 0

Gandhi - a Punchboard Review

Board Game Reviews
MB
Michael Barnes
January 24, 2022
4368 0
Hot
T
thegiantbrain
January 24, 2022
585 0

Lords of Vegas - In Focus

Beyond Reviews
B
BradHB
January 21, 2022
535 0

Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game

Podcasts & Videos
D
DavidNorris
January 20, 2022
639 0
T
thegiantbrain
January 19, 2022
283 0
T
thegiantbrain
January 17, 2022
1267 0
W
We-reNotWizards
January 12, 2022
840 0

Ten: The Card Game - Review

Board Game Reviews
T
thegiantbrain
January 11, 2022
352 0
O
oliverkinne
January 11, 2022
635 0
MT
Matt Thrower
January 10, 2022
1198 0
J
Jackwraith
January 10, 2022
616 1
MB
Michael Barnes
January 07, 2022
2899 0
B
BradHB
January 07, 2022
459 0
×
Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

The "Great" Debate

More
09 Jul 2015 13:25 #205864 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic The "Great" Debate

Motorik wrote: People who, like, require some dipshit conventional narrative out of every board game they play confound the shit out of me. There's some bizarre, incongruous dissonance taking place between artistic medium and irrational expectation. I imagine these same people demand that the hamburger on their plate tell them a shitty derivative zombie story before they'll condescend to eating it.


Without any sense of narrative, a boardgame seems like just an exercise in making choices and following procedures. That sounds more like work than fun, and I don't want to spend my free time doing unnecessary, unpaid work. Might as well do some more yardwork instead. And a game without narrative is boring to discuss afterwards.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2015 13:59 #205869 by Motorik
Replied by Motorik on topic The "Great" Debate
I dunno I could do without the grab bag of limp genre identifiers that characterize most alleged "narrative" board games.

All games spool some kind of narrative, but directing your brain to search for a conventional narrative is both a weird self-imposed restriction and, to be frank, pretty insulting to the nature of the board game medium. It's a medium that can and is supposed to transcend conventional narrative, and that's why they're awesome.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2015 14:05 #205870 by Ken B.
Replied by Ken B. on topic The "Great" Debate

Shellhead wrote:

Motorik wrote: People who, like, require some dipshit conventional narrative out of every board game they play confound the shit out of me. There's some bizarre, incongruous dissonance taking place between artistic medium and irrational expectation. I imagine these same people demand that the hamburger on their plate tell them a shitty derivative zombie story before they'll condescend to eating it.


Without any sense of narrative, a boardgame seems like just an exercise in making choices and following procedures. That sounds more like work than fun, and I don't want to spend my free time doing unnecessary, unpaid work. Might as well do some more yardwork instead. And a game without narrative is boring to discuss afterwards.



Very true, but I don't need a game to always hold my hand and spoon-feed me said narrative, particularly if it's just art or flavor text. I've played plenty of Ameritrash games with less narrative than Knizia's Lord of the Rings. Like...what story are we telling in Smash Up, for example? (I like Smash Up as a Magic-lite way to burn some time, but still.)


But now...all this talk about Lord of the Rings being better than War of the Ring? Let's not get too hasty there, fellas! Heh.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Black Barney, engineer Al, mikecl

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2015 17:50 #205898 by mikecl
Replied by mikecl on topic The "Great" Debate

Mad Dog wrote:

Motorik wrote: I imagine these same people demand that the hamburger on their plate tell them a shitty derivative zombie story before they'll condescend to eating it.



Eat your art and shut the fuck up Jimmy Eat World and don't tell me no fucking stories.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2015 19:20 #205902 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic The "Great" Debate
Of course, not every Knizia game is designed/published like what I laid out there. With LOTR, of course he designed that with the setting in mind because he was contracted to make a LOTR game. And likewise, I think with his top-tier games the setting is likely applied at least very early on in the process and in many cases he might sell a game with the "original" setting and it gets to market with it.

As for storytelling and games...all this talk about "immersion" and whatever, give me a break. There was a time when I would have wanted that kind of thing, but now I could not care less about how "immersed" I am in most game narratives because to put it bluntly, most game narratives are about as valuable as a SyFy channel movie. Especially when that narrative is dictated by lots of ding-dong woo-woo mechanics where the designer(s) started with what they call a "theme" and then tried to apply various mechanics and systems to try to somehow vaguely simulate something resembling a genre story of some kind.

Yet the games that REALLY tell great stories have RESTRAINT and let the players tell the story with what they do rather than be told what it is by what is shown on the cards.

Forbidden Stars...I like it, it's a very, very good game and all but it is completely non-thematic and practically abstract if you strip off the 40k illustrations and leave EVERYTHING ELSE intact. It could be about any conflict. It could be completely generic with nomenclature such as "Infantry", "Tank", "Ship" and "Territory". It could be exactly the same game and tell fundamentally the same narrative in terms of themes, even in a plain white box with the word "GAME" printed on in black letters.

I'm sure someone will rush in to talk about how awesome that game is and how it makes them REALLY FEEL like they are in the 40k world because...pictures? Because of what their cards say? Flavor text? ALL THE FEELS.

Back in 2006 narrative and story meant something very different to me than it does now. Like "theme", they are presumed qualities of "Ameritrash" that got puffed up, over-emphasized and beaten into the ground by designers without a lick of the restraint and editorial sense of Knizia, for example.

The truth is that game stories SHOULD NOT be so fucking specific to the point where all we are doing is relying on these pictures and bits of text or even "thematic" mechanics to tell them. It should be in what we are doing, how we are interacting, and how we are engaging with the materials. Shadows of Malice tells awesome stories and puts almost all of the narrative in the hands of the players aside from some vague contextual offerings from the designer. Through the Desert is HUGELY thematic, as it is about travel, vital resources, and extending the viability of groups of nomadic people. There is no need to struggle to find the story there. There is also need for two pages of storyline in the rulebook to tell it.

This is "full article" material so I should stop, but the bottom line is that the really great Ameritrash games were never about piles and piles of cards and "thematic" shaped tokens. And a game with zero flavor text and even no artwork can be thematic and narrative. It's how the designer USES those tools and engages the player that matters. Not whether or not there's a Space Marine on the box.
The following user(s) said Thank You: wadenels

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2015 19:37 #205903 by Hex Sinister
Replied by Hex Sinister on topic The "Great" Debate

Michael Barnes wrote: lots of ding-dong woo-woo mechanics

I am pretty sure this is my favorite mechanic.

Sorry... =D
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shellhead, DeletedUser, wadenels

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2015 21:09 #205905 by boothwah
Replied by boothwah on topic The "Great" Debate

Hex Sinister wrote:

Michael Barnes wrote: lots of ding-dong woo-woo mechanics

I am pretty sure this is my favorite mechanic.

Sorry... =D


Have you ever played Shower Rescue?
The following user(s) said Thank You: Black Barney

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2015 21:24 #205907 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic The "Great" Debate
My copy is the version titled Black Barney's Ding-Dong Woo-Woo Shower Rescue.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Black Barney

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2015 21:34 #205908 by Space Ghost
Replied by Space Ghost on topic The "Great" Debate

Yet the games that REALLY tell great stories have RESTRAINT and let the players tell the story with what they do rather than be told what it is by what is shown on the cards.


This supports what I have always felt; namely, that the best games are the ones that supply just enough to allow the players' imaginations to truly flourish. Once you move away from this balance, then games can become very mechanistic, either by being too spartan or by trying to do all the imagination work for them.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 Jul 2015 22:00 - 09 Jul 2015 22:08 #205909 by mikecl
Replied by mikecl on topic The "Great" Debate

Michael Barnes wrote: As for storytelling and games...all this talk about "immersion" and whatever, give me a break..


I don't know what set this off, but if it was what I wrote, you missed the point entirely. I'm not talking about storytelling games or games with lots of flavor test which frankly bore me. I guess I like adventure-simulation type games. One of the earliest for me was Magic Realm. I like games that start with a thematic premise and set their mechanics to fit it, not the other way around.

I don't expect a game to tell me a story, but I love it when my gameplay tells one, like Duel of Ages, yes like Shadows of Malice, Ascending Empires, Merchants and Marauders, Specter Ops or Richard Launius's new game from last year, Alien Uprising to mention just a few. What is it that separates an immersive game from a pure abstract anyway? All those little bits and pieces? The art? Dudes on a map fighting for supremacy? Sure that's part of it. That's why each and everyone of us here crow about that stuff and show it off to each other. Well constructed games fire the imagination and let your gameplay provide the story. Even Beowulf uses lots of pretty pictures, but It's as dull as a text book. Like Shell said, I don't want to come home from work and do more work. I want to escape, not solve a math puzzle.

Of course not every game does this or should so this. There's games for all kinds of different moods. But these are the types of games I love. I appreciate austerity in design as much as the next gamer. That's why I re-acquired Lord of the Rings 2000, but to hear people now say that it's a superior game to War of the Ring, frankly is laughable ... at least to me.

Some games leave me indifferent. Some leave me engaged, connected and when they're over, fulfilled. So YES I want to FEEL something when I play. It's not a dirty word. It's why I play games.
.
Last edit: 09 Jul 2015 22:08 by mikecl.
The following user(s) said Thank You: iguanaDitty, OldHippy

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 Jul 2015 01:27 - 10 Jul 2015 01:30 #205917 by SuperflyPete
Replied by SuperflyPete on topic The "Great" Debate
It's like this: a guy can draw 100 pictures that are pure shit but if he did 5 that were so incredible that he literally shaped art for an entire generation, people focus on those.

It's as it should be. The man made some fantastic games. Astoundingly good. If you look at the body of his work, you can find something for EVERYONE. That's hard to do.

With regard to "telling a story", he is not great, but he did a solid job with Star Trek Encounters. I'm still fucked off that there's no expansion or sequel because I'd be first in line to throw money at him.

I'm not his biggest fan by a long shot but I have an immense amount of admiration for his ability to produce such a prolific body of games. I think he lacks the ability to tell a story of his own, but he is fully capable of taking someone else's story and making a good game from it.
Last edit: 10 Jul 2015 01:30 by SuperflyPete.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, mikecl, wadenels

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary Sax
Time to create page: 0.192 seconds