Friday, April 8, 2011

Simplicity vs Complexity

As I have been writing the game, I have had to look at how simple or complex to make systems.  Some times this has lead to interesting methods to avoid complexity, like making item creation completely abstract.  While other times I have purposefully added complexity to make the system more robust and useful.

This balancing act is one that comes with the work.  After all if the game is to complicated, people won’t want to play.  But make it to simple and there is no challenge in playing the game.  So how much is to much, or is to little when it comes to complexity?

Well, simply put, there is no real answer, not that I have seen.  I know simplicity for the sake of simplicity is not an answer.  Just as complexity for its own sake is also not an answer.

The trick that I found though is to try and keep things as simple as you can adding complexity when necessary, I did this with magic.  I made magic use the same rules as the normal test system and the combat system.  But after simplifying it, I added some complexity.  This included making spells into skills so they could develop if the player wishes.

So while combining the systems and making them all work the same reduced the over all complexity of magic in the game.  I was able to add in a little complexity with out harming the flow the system.

Another area that I added some complexity to has been with common roles.  In this area I added the environment to the target number.  If say the fight is in an open area on a temperate day and solid ground, then no penalty would apply.  But if your in heavy armor, in the rain, and fighting in knee deep mud.  Then bets are your taking a penalty in comparison to some one wearing light armor.

So those are two ways that I have changed how the game is played.  Reducing systems and making the whole less complex.  While adding simple rules in key areas to add details that tend to go missing.

But in the end there are always paths that I could take.  And even now I have moments where I am reading through what I have done and I think “WTF was I thinking” and have to rewrite things to be that touch simpler.  Ahh the joys of writing a game.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More progress means more things to think about.

Well I have finally gotten back on this to write something.  I know I do not write allot about what I am doing and that is just cause what is there to say.  Why say something when I do not have anything to say.  But this time I do have something to say.

I have been working off and on as time permits.  Expecting a new baby and having my wife home on disability does tend to mess with your thinking time.  Throw in kind and things vanish real fast.  But I have made progress.  The main story has been refined and edited to be clear and interesting.  Even people not into games have told me that...a good thing from my perspective.

I also was able to finish the addiction elements of the "Drinking, Drugs, and Debauchery" section.  It was not that hard but for some reason it just escaped me at the time.  So now it is complete and I am happy...people can now get stoned to their hearts content and pay the price if the GM pleases.

Third thing I did was alter some of the weapon creation elements in the game.  Ranged weapons that use custom ammo, bolts, and darts have had some added refinements to be clearer.  I also cleaned up some ambiguity with the mechanical option allowing a crossbow to fire faster.  It is far more clear now and I am happy.

Finally I have been going through various sections of the game cleaning up my bad wording.  Allot of the sections had not actually had a pass of the clean hammer.  Many of them have an atrocious amount of bluster and nonsense.  So from now on my wonderful wife and mother of my 2.75 kids will be doing some editing for me.  She helped me through college with her English skills so this is a great thing.

Any way that is that, there is the update and I hope you enjoy.  OH one more thing, art, yes art.  I found some one willing and able to do art.  I have to pay, but hey free never seems to work any way so I can not complain.  Any way I will try to get another update soon and may be some story stuff to.  Till then, have a great day.