Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

Participate, Participate, Participate

Okay, I’m going to throw this out here so that folks we bring on board can look at this post know what we (I partly mean me personally, and I’m partly speaking for the group as a whole) are looking for out of everyone in Master Mines. In a word: participation.

The reason we started this is because we found the environment of Game Chef to be very, very amazing for game development. Now, we can’t keep up that “post every few hours and participate like crazy” momentum forever, which is why Mike & I have said that we’d really like more-than-once-a-week participation, but we understand that no one — not even us — will be able to keep up that pace. Life interferes, creativity gets tapped, and GenCon will eat us all. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, nor does it mean we should slide when we do have the time and energy to throw into these projects. Our ideal is something like a longer-term, sustainable Game Chef-esque collaboration.

So, here’s the rub. Say you post up four posts in a week about your awesome design. Sweet! Rock on! That’s what I’ll probably be doing for awhile. But what happens after that? Well, posting can help us sort through our thoughts, but we’re here to collaborate. Otherwise, well, we all have blogs we could just post to, right? I’m preaching to the choir here, but I’m doing it to make sure everyone knows that the biggest thing we have to offer each other is collaboration. I’m going to comment on your posts. I want you to comment on mine. We’re here to discuss our games, not just read them.

A lack of commenting is something we’ll ping people on just a much as a lack of posting. Again, it’s not to be a jerk. Maybe when I talk with you about why you aren’t commenting much, you might tell me that you don’t understand the ideas behind my game. Perfect! That’s what I need to hear. Maybe you’ll tell me that my game turns you off. Awesome! I really want to know why. There isn’t much we can do with silence, but there is something we can do with expressions of confusion or distaste (the latter should, of course, be very civil, but that’s not a problem for any of us). If there’s something else going on, we can talk about it. Master Mines is a design support network, and it’ll only be as good and effective as you and I make it.

I’d like to close with one general request: I’d like every designer to tell us all what sort of comments they’re looking for when posting up a draft or idea, especially if they have something that want the group to focus on. When I asked Paul what sort of comments he wanted for the draft of A Penny For My Thoughts, he told me he was mainly looking for outside playtesting comments. That tells me what sort of value there is in my comments about how I’d like to see more examples — that doesn’t mean I’m going to withhold that comment, but I’m not going to focus as much energy on that as I am on what he’s asked me to check out.

To quote Paul’s comment on this: “Every post and comment should have a purpose behind it, you should know that purpose when you post it, and you should be explicit about it. Know what you want to get out of putting something here, and let us know how to help you get it.”

In short: post, comment, and help us make our posts and comments relevant & helpful to you.

– Ryan


June 13, 2007 - Posted by | The Rules


  1. Preach it, Brother Ryan. This thing is about collaborating, not broadcasting.

    Your general request touches on a larger issue that I want to make explicit: Every post and comment should have a purpose behind it, you should know that purpose when you post it, and you should be explicit about it. Know what you want to get out of putting something here, and let us know how to help you get it. Cool?

    Comment by ptevis | June 13, 2007 | Reply

  2. Very cool. So cool that I’m editing the post to include that text.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | June 13, 2007 | Reply

  3. I’m down with this manifesto.

    Comment by Daniel M. Perez | June 13, 2007 | Reply

  4. Yes indeed. Again, I think J-Walt and Shreyas are providing the model with the way they’re working at Secret Wars. They aren’t a mutual appreciation society by any means, nor a mutual beatdown society – they are working. Working to understand their own work and each other’s work. Now I will say ‘work’ again. Work!

    Comment by misuba | June 14, 2007 | Reply

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