Oo! Let’s Make a Game! Episode 4: Social Networks!

01:06:30 long & 63.8 MB big

In this episode, Robert Bohl (designer of Misspent Youth) and Joshua A. C. Newman (designer of shock: social science fiction), discuss possible structures for a session of play, talk about how to structure technological and interpersonal relationships, and talk a bit about how mechanics might work. Lots of meaty game design here.

Joshua‘s and Rob‘s homeworks

– Listener feedback: Paul Beakley, Nathan Wilson, Simon C, Doc Holaday
– The book Starfish by Peter Watts
– Discussion of how many players the game should service
– Initialization, a word to be used a lot in the game
– Drop initialization phase created NPC?
Primetime Adventures
– Spotlight characters, scene order, and whether scenes are about players or characters
– Are there too many scenes? Can you run out of interesting stuff before you run out of time?
– The roles that PCs play in spotlight characters’ scenes when they’re not spotlight
The Wire
– Introducing new NPCs and new tech, tying Currents to them
– Talking about the tech web
– Separate relationship maps on each character sheet to reflect different visions of relationships
– What am mechanics?
– Joshua = power, Rob = meaningfulness
– Joshua promises a diagram
– Mind control!
– Personality Anchors, and we argue over it
– Richard K. Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs novels
– Rob keeps talking about “spotlight scene” when he means “spotlight episode”
– Anchors and immunity
– Vincent Baker’s thread where he’s asking for critique on Apocalypse World
– What to call the co-GMs?
– Homework: write up what a scene might feel like, which we’re probably going to do on the forum
– No listener homework

Rob’s during-the-show notes

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The intro music is “Gotta Whizz” by Boris the Sprinkler, from the album Mega Anal. The outgoing music is I Wish I Was a Boy by Angry Red Planet, provided by Podshow’s Podsafe Music Network.