Master Mines

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[Decommissioned] Taking a step back

As I mentioned in the comments on the Fuzzy Logic post, I recently did a playtest of D-Com. I wanted to test out the timing (the part where the Core stat degrades over time) and how to resolve conflicts with Core and Fuzzy Logic.  I got some interesting results, but not what I expected.

The game was a playtest, my first playtest. So yeah, it was all off. I didn’t mind that the mechanics needed tweaking. What got me was that I designed a game that I am not good at playing and don’t enjoy. A timed one shot when I realized, “Hey wait, I don’t tell fast-paced stories… uhm, I don’t usually dig one shots either…. wtf?!?  Why the heck am I making a game I wouldn’t really play???”

So, with that in mind, I’ve changed my status on Master Mines in regards to Decommissioned.  I need to rethink.


July 30, 2008 - Posted by | D-Com


  1. Rich,

    I think it’s a shame you feel that you need to step away from this. If you’re still interested in the color, what about just reformulating it for a setup of game you would enjoy?

    Comment by robertbohl | July 30, 2008 | Reply

  2. Sometimes I think we unconsciously design to improve our skills. I have always been horrible at descriptive narrative at the table. Silence requires… descriptive narrative at the table. A lot. My text details how to do that… I’ve gotten much better.

    Just a thought.

    Comment by iamclyde | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  3. I’m rethinking, I haven’t abandoned the idea, though.

    At its heart I wanted a game where PCs started at the pinnacle of ability and played as things degraded (a D&D in reverse); I also wanted a non-humorous (at least non-silly) satire of corporate life.

    As I thought through the game and talked it over with people, I came to the realization that playing a character that is “dying” over the course of several game sessions is a tough sell. So, I moved the game to be a one shot. Then, I added the time element to give some challenge and structure instead of letting it be the whim of the DM. So, the changes to the game were logical, but they ended up being a game I wouldn’t want to play.

    Comment by orklord | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  4. So, let it be a tough sell. Make it so fun that it overcomes the tough sell.

    I would recommend fully designing your ideal game, then changing or editing or otherwise dealing with the marketing problems that might introduce.

    PS: I realize you’re not just talking about marketing problems. Still, I’d suggest do your vision, then tinker.

    Comment by robertbohl | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  5. Do you see corporate life as the death of a thousand cuts? Is that why you die? Or do you die by selling out? Hiding your true self? I think there are many ways to look at corporate life, and thank god I’ve always been on the outside of it.

    Inspectres is a look at start-up corporate life. Acts of Evil is a look at the stepping on people to get to the top bit of getting ahead. Office Space is of the dehumanization of the drones in sector 7G.

    Perhaps answering this is silly because you already have, and I missed it or something.

    As an addendum, I’ve thrown away like five completely different versions of Silence, each after contact with playtesting. It seems I get a little closer each time.

    Comment by iamclyde | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  6. Rob,

    Thanks for the advice. I want to make D-Com the game I want to play over and over. This version failed to be that. I’m at that point Ben talked about during your interview with him about XXXtreme Street Luge where I hate my game enough to rip out its guts and I’m at a place where I think that’s a good thing.


    I don’t think I’ve answered that here.

    Corporate life to me is completely dehumanizing, which is why I settled on using faceless drones as PCs.

    Corporate life is the idea of working for an amoral mass rather than for people; where decisions are driven by faceless stockholders towards profit regardless of the long term effects, where the people who built companies are driven out by a mob of people who aren’t part of the day-to-day activities, where operational decisions are made by groups of elderly people who are out of touch with how to actual do the job, led by executives who visit the teeming working masses only on scheduled visits filled with pomp and circumstance who see an office at an implausibly perfect state and deliver long presentations and answer prepared questions… and none of that is in my game. Dang, I just realized NONE of that is in my game. It informed my game decisions, but I set it AFTER the PC decides to run away from corporate life. Hrm….

    Comment by orklord | August 1, 2008 | Reply

  7. Wow. That last paragraph is rife with ideas that I’ve never quite seen before.

    Comment by iamclyde | August 1, 2008 | Reply

  8. Thanks.

    That’s the sh!t that’s been driving me to make D-Com, but I never put it in the d@mn game. GAH!

    Comment by orklord | August 1, 2008 | Reply

  9. Sounds like a breakthrough.

    “I’m sorry, our 45 minutes are up now. Make an appointment with my secretary for the next session.”

    Comment by robertbohl | August 1, 2008 | Reply

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