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"King Me": A Defense of King-Making in Board Game Design

Started by droqen, January 17, 2022, 01:14:40 PM

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droqen

https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1025683/Board-Game-Design-Day-King

Fairness is a new concept. For most of human history, cheating was the norm in love and war and games.

droqen

[17:06-17:33] "The thing about might vs right that sometimes gets forgotten is in so many dogmatic logics, might is given to the people who are right. It's not like I'm strong so I'm going to pin you down to the ground and make you do whatever I'd like you to do, which is a very modern way of viewing it, it's like, no, God has appointed certain people to be strong, and then they carry a sort of rightness with them."

droqen

Mechanical/thematic friction
We both roll a die, but one ends up with
-"You gambled and lost all your money. Go back."
and the other ends up with
-"You quit gambling! Great! Go forward"
But we both rolled the die.

(Ludonarrative Dissonance? lol)

Out of this tension is born The Fun & Fair Design Ethos! Games should delight and instruct. ... so it follows that skill and experience should be rewarded by victory.

droqen

"I feel like fairness itself is a little storied. [and] if you start thinking about the cool games we're making as part of an ideological program, it makes the games a lot less cool" (i.e. the games are ideologically selling the (Cole says "calvinist") idea of fairness, that whoever has the skill and experience will be rewarded by victory)

droqen

[25:55] "If you are shooting for fairness in your design, you are making a kind of value judgement, and you should just keep that in mind as you're peddling your design."

droqen

"The biggest math-fest game is still communicating a story."

"We can talk about games in terms of cliche."

droqen

"These cliches can be frustrating. [..] But the song & dance .. is circumscribing the possible expression. [..] We shouldn't allow that kind of genre to dominate our larger thinking about games. Kingmaking allows designers and players to tap into [..] betrayal and domination"

droqen

Kingmaking allows us to tell a story of irony, revenge and redemption. It just opens up the kind of stories you're allowed to tell.

Single-session RPG.

droqen

* The Quiet Year
* Dialect

"These games really upset what you might think of as possible within games"

droqen

recommends Bernie's book The Well-Played Game (i think)

droqen

Quote from: Bernie De KovenWe are willing to play. We are each willing to play a particular game, we were willing to play with each other, and we arrived at the well-played game because of the way we combined with the game.

droqen

"The game is the medium that allows players to interact with each other. [..] The game is the thing that puts them on the same page, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the thing that's keeping them there."

(Keeping them there?)

droqen

"DANGEROUS GAME: Agree to play it, and also accept the danger"

droqen

"Diplomatic flexibility"

"There are no villains in real life. There are adversaries, and there are partners, and sometimes our partners become our adversaries. and sometimes we need to find partners in those who oppose us. No diplomacy system you're going to design is going to be as clever as your players."

droqen

"Victory conditions"

"[they] bind the players together"

you can't tamper with them, you want to lay them out first. but what do you do when someone has no chance of winning?