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Showing posts from November, 2012

Lapis Philosophorum #1: Tools and Toys

This is first instalment in what I hope will be a new regular (or semi-regular) feature on The Gaming Philosopher. In Lapis Philosophorum ("the philosopher's stone", something you'll undoubtedly find only on the bottom of a dungeon) I will discuss topics in the design of roleplaying games and roguelikes. The focus will be on strategic and tactical systems rather than on narrative, coding or thematic content. I expect my own game Kerkerkruip to come up regularly, but the discussions will draw from a much wider range of games. I would also like to use this feature as an excuse to read more of what other people have written about game design -- something that I am far too ignorant of!

Introduction

In this first post, I want to talk about tools and toys, two of the basic elements of RPG design. Understanding tools and toys allows us to understand the strengths and weaknesses of many games. I will be assuming that we are talking about games in which the player has a clear…

A new look

I had plans for writing a series -- perhaps a long-running series -- of posts on RPG and roguelike design. But the thought of having to make these shiny new posts on my ugly old Gaming Philosopher blog was just too unappealing.

"Maybe I should migrate to Wordpress," I thought. "Emily Short's blog looks much better than mine. And you can post comments in the messages themselves, rather than having to go to some ugly and irritating new page. Blogger sucks!"

And then I thought that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't making use of all the best and latest features of blogger. In fact, it was years ago that I really looked into the platform. So I opened the Tools menu, and I found a big button that told me to upgrade to the new set of themes... which I did, and suddenly everything I wanted was possible.

The current theme might not be my final choice, but it is definitely better than what I had. And there now is a reply field in the messages themselves. And the replies n…