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B-17: Queen of the Skies» Forums » General

Subject: Why I love this game..... rss

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Alan Barrett
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I really like games with an 'immersion factor': the ones that suck you in to their reality and, especially, ones where reading background material adds depth to the experience of the game. I have been a wargamer, role-playing gamer, DM, etc. and long ago reached the conclusion that the complexity of rules does NOT correlate well at all with 'realism'. Simple rules, well-thought out and researched, are often much more appealing to me than pages and pages and pages of small print which just add paperwork and headaches. I want to be IN the game, not the rulebook: early D&D captured this well. I used to just make it up as DM.

I vividly remember an early Donald Featherstone chapter which had 1d6 tables for unit actions and combat resolution. We had the MOST fluid, fast and essentially no less realistic wargame one night using these rules: the OVERALL events seemed 'realistic', without worrying about minute aspects of equipment variation etc. I don't play computer games much, but I remember 'Elite' back in the day: no complicated controls or graphics; written in 48K; totally immersive, week-end stealer. 'Silent Hunter' put me in charge of a U.S. submarine in the Pacific Theatre: I vividly remember sinking a Japanese submarine when it had already submerged by estimating its position from speed and heading and getting a solution and firing a spread. Great stuff! The Games I have designed (notably the card game 'Captain Jack' - pirate-themed LONG before Johnny Depp!) have tried to have this immersion-factor, with broad-themed brushstrokes rather than minutiae and exceptions.

Most of the games I enjoy playing could have theme-tunes! B-17: Queen of the Skies is enhanced (for me) by Glen Miller (and 'Lucky Strike' American cigarettes during breaks - but I've given those up). If money was no object, I'd DRESS for gaming (and have done, with Poker - and it's Draw in a saloon, not Hold 'Em in a Casino, for me). It's part of that immersion. Am I alone? I doubt it.

I also like games which are NOT just dumb luck: chess, for example. A beautiful, perfect artifact. If Earth were to be destroyed tomorrow and only one thing could be left behind floating in space to mark what we once were, it would be a chess set (and rules), I think: we were game-players, we were artisans, we were war-like, we were competitive, we were social, we were clever.....You get the idea.

Oh, and apropos nothing at all, really, I think 'Euro games' are mechanically innovative, clever and strategically challenging, but (so far) I've yet to find one that is thematically really all that gripping for me. They seem a bit 'damp' and Sunday School, a bit 'tame' and worthy with bits that look like something from a church creche's Noah's Ark (you can play with them if you're good). Who wants to see who can grow the most beans or whatever when there's a chance of shooting down Messerschmitts or raising an army to take the throne of England?
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Ray
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StinkyHarry wrote:
...and long ago reached the conclusion that the complexity of rules does NOT correlate well at all with 'realism'. Simple rules, well-thought out and researched, are often much more appealing to me than pages and pages and pages of small print which just add paperwork and headaches. I want to be IN the game, not the rulebook: early D&D captured this well. I used to just make it up as DM.


I also tend to like the games that don't require a Law Degree to play. I use to it seems, but I discovered years ago that a game doesn't have to be vastly complex and overly detailed to capture the flavor of the topic or theme being gamed, but most importantly I think a game has to be enjoyable when being played.
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Alan Barrett
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That's it, exactly. In one sense, all games ARE role-playing games. Jasta6 - if you read this one - I edited the first post to include 'Silent Hunter', the old sub game. For a while there, I FELT like I could command a US sub in the Pacific!
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Alan Barrett
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Actors would understand this 'immersion'. It's not so much about being something OTHER than what we are as it is about being what ELSE we are, or could have been. Over.
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Chris Dippel
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StinkyHarry wrote:
Actors would understand this 'immersion'. It's not so much about being something OTHER than what we are as it is about being what ELSE we are, or could have been. Over.


Well said. As an actor, I can tell you that this is very true for me.
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Alan Barrett
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cdippel71 wrote:
StinkyHarry wrote:
Actors would understand this 'immersion'. It's not so much about being something OTHER than what we are as it is about being what ELSE we are, or could have been. Over.


Well said. As an actor, I can tell you that this is very true for me.


.....And, as an actor, the 'what else we are or could have been' can be distinctly uncomfortable to confront, but allows you to play a part convincingly, from a psychological perspective, I imagine. Even playing villains needs a capacity to think 'there, given the right circumstances, go all of us'. Macbeth. Richard III. Eichmann.....
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