Post Index

This page will list all the entries by the order they were made, and add a short description of each. This page is especially useful, since I think reading this blog in the order it was written is beyond helpful, as many posts build on what was laid down before.

  1.  Direction Shift, Refocus; Board/War/Card Games and RPGs, an Observational Treatise. April 29th, 2006. The first post, which covers my desire to explore the aspect of competition in RPGs and Story Games.
  2. Memes and Games April 29th, 2006.  A general post about the message certain games have or may have, the meme that they pass. Board-game origins continue.
  3. Slime Octopi and Coral; Power 19 April 29th, 2006. The Power 19 of a board game-story game hybrid I was toying with.
  4. Game Design as a Viral Disease May 3rd, 2006. I’m discussing why people design games, giving a sort of a (naturalistic?) manifesto of grassroot game design.
  5. CSI Games: So Why Bother? May 5th, 2006. Why I bothered to “brand” this thing, and why it deserves its own attention.
  6. Regarding Crowd May 6th, 2006. A continuation of the previous post, about the proper audience to playtest your competitive story games.
  7. CSI Games; A Definition May 7th, 2006. The first hard definition of CSI Games, in need of some revisions, but covers what aspects are vital to this endeavour. Somewhat of a manifesto.
  8. CSI Game Criteria; On Figuring Out if you Fit May 8th, 2006. A concrete check-list of things to look for when trying to figure out whether a game applies. As is obviously the case with such lists, it is incomplete, and may catch some cases it does not wish to. A good starting place.
  9. Cranium Rats – Meta-Chanics May 13th, 2006. Covering the “why” of some of the mechanics in my competitive story game, Cranium Rats. The first foray into blinders, with the reasons of why this is not in the playtest document.
  10. Game Theory and RPGs; Logic Vs. Reality May 19th, 2006. A post discussing a case of  Game Theory, the Trust mechanic, and suggest that it has direct bearing to games with an element of competition.
  11. With Blinders…; The System Stands Alone May 26th, 2006. The first real blinders post. Covering the idea that in order to test what the system itself does, one needs to remove from the playtesters’ reach your thoughts on what it should do and all mention of colour (details of the world and such).
  12. Questioning Analysis of an Analytical Tool; “Huh?”; Descriptive Vs. Prescriptive June 1st, 2006. An aside post, discussing the uses of analytical tools in furthering one’s research – descriptive tools can help you understand how something happens, but I think prescriptive tools, the part of the theory used to predict how things will occur is much more important. This post is in no way an attack on John Kirk and any descriptive only theory, merely pointing out some limitations.
  13. …and Double Blinders; The Players Don’t(Stand Alone) June 4th, 2006. Another blinders post, where I say in a competitive game the players you play with matter as much as the rules. I posit in the post that you should play competitive games with people you know, for the friction between the players to help drive the game forward. Thinking of it now, I’m not as sure of it.
  14. Winning and Losing; Tony/Capes “vs.” Guy/Cranium Rats June 9th, 2006.  Covering the different manner in which Tony Lower-Basch’s Capes covers “Winning” and “Losing”. In case it isn’t clear, I think Capes is one of the best study-cases regarding Competitive Story Games, which is why I discuss it as often as I do, and any “criticism” is not of Capes, but using it to show things, and where my goals differ.
  15. Blindness without Blinders June 19th, 2006. Not surprisingly, another blinders post. Mostly a discussion between Mike Holmes and myself, regarding Capes. Discussing that another thing which affects our games is our personality, a “blinder” that is beyond our control, and thus “blindness”.
  16. Specific Blinders; Constraints; Isn’t it Getting Dark in Here? June 27th, 2006.  I bring up “Constraints” as “Blinders”, because some CSI Games strive to be akin to board-games, and thus have all options covered. Constraints that drive the session, things which the game-play must conform to, can help limit the options, and ensure all options are accounted to – the opposite of freeform. There is freedom, within the choices available.
  17. Slime Octopi and Coral; I, Boardgamer June 30th, 2006. Informing the world I’ve finished a (very, very) rough draft of Slime Octopi and Coral.
  18. “CSI Games for All!”?; On Promotion July 7th, 2006. Discussing the merits of promoting a game by discussing its Colour versus its mechanical element/focus, and thinking that for Competitive games it is mostly better to mention the Competition, when it is the focus (also mentioning Emily Care-Boss’s Breaking the Ice, where the Colour should take front-stage, because it stems from the colour).
  19. CSI Game Wiki; Public Service Announcement. July 11th, 2006.  I create the CSI Games Wiki and bring it up, asking for public involvement, saying (and I still do) that this is something I wish to be a group project, rather than a solo one.
  20. “Going Anywhere?”; On Innovation. July 15th, 2006. Discussing the different forms of innovation in design, what it means, etc. Theoretical framework.
  21. Role-Play Vs. Playing a Role; The Semantics’ Attack; The Immersionist Trap. July 23rd, 2006.  Here I delve into an obligatory “What are RPGs?” discussion (there will be another entry someday, for different reasons), arguing to remove the element of immersion from the definition of RPGs. Bringing up the inclusive and exclusive versions. Interesting discussion and links in the comments.
  22. Logo, Label and Cliques; “Who’s Deserving?”; Discussion Begins. July 25th, 2006. A CSI Games “Community” post. About how to use the project’s logo.
  23. The GM Element; Considerations, Overview. August 3rd, 2006. A components post, where I bring up an element of games and explore their role and effect, specifically in Competitive Story Games. Here, I explore the GM-element in competitive games.
  24. Meta-entry. August 6th, 2006. An entry where I as a person talk to the readers about a couple of things. Not very relevant to the reading of the blog.
  25. Discussion Continues; The Cobwebs Attack. August 18th, 2006. An editorial, presenting the chosen logo for the community and bringing up another project, coming up with a new and unified definition of CSI Games. None had been given, and I need to write one, still.
  26. On Tunnels; A Repost. August 27th, 2006. Something that I feel I contributed; I took the concept of “Flags” which denote player interest, and made it into “Tunnels”. Scenes won’t be likely to revolve around these things (as with Flags), but will revolve around nothing but those things.
  27. On Flags; a Component. September 29th, 2006. Here I discuss Flags proper, and say Tunnels are a subset of Flags. A component post, so I explore possible uses in CSI Games.
  28. Competition? What for? December 4th, 2006. A discussion raised as a response to something Ron Edwards had said.  After exploring the issue, I make the claim that sometimes we compete because the competition is fun in and of itself (regardless of victory). Winning is about proving something, the question of what changes between games. See discussion in comments, also delves into issues of “Incoherent play”, I’d say.
  29. Blinders; Once More with Feeling. December 31st, 2006. A round-up post on blinders, where I bring up different blinders and mention again why I think they are so important: They help us see that the game-play is a result of what’s in the game and not what the players bring in. Which is important when testing a system, and needing to know that what you’re testing is the game.
  30. An Editorial: On Identification. January 29th, 2007. A post with (socio)-psychological leanings, discussing a person, and then player’s identification (with their character, their pawn in Monopoly, etc.) and how it affects our gaming.
  31. Competition as Training Wheels. February 24th, 2007. A component post giving a possible role to competition in a story-heavy game: The competition can serve as the vehicle on which story is created (or vice versa). Also mentioned as helpful in getting players active in games where the classical Game-Master role is shared amongst all the players.
  32. Story; Road or Destination? March 17th, 2007. I begin discussing the other big component of CSI Games: Story. I bring up the question, of whether our goal is to have a good story after we finish playing, or is the story the road we run along as we play the game, running towards another goal?
  33. Story? Really?! July 11th, 2007. This is an entry I think might be my most “important”, and certainly the one I find myself linking to the most. Here I bring up the fact that as Pattern-Finding and more importantly, Pattern-Creating Engines, humans will look at  a series of events and create a story in retrospect, so when looking at whether a game “creates a story”, almost any game does. At least on the basic level. Moreover, I say that during gameplay we don’t create the story, that the story is created truly after we finish playing.
  34. Competitive Games and Handicaps. June 21st, 2008. I bring up the concept of “handicapping” oneself in order to make a game more “fair” when one player is much stronger than another. I argue that players requiring to handicap themselves is generally harmful to competitive games. Many of the comments address things beyond the strictly stipulated scope of this post, which is about highly-competitive players who reject external rule-mutation.
  35. The Coin’s Other Side: On Losing (and Elimination) April 25th, 2009. If competitive games are about winning, then this post is about the other side of winning, an important component: Losing. I explore different kinds of elimination and winning, and their effects on the game and the players.

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