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Florian Strzelecki
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Développeur web à l'instinct ludique
Développeur web à l'instinct ludique

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Do you want to design a tabletop game?

I’ve designed a couple of indie tabletop RPG games and a couple of indie board games. I’m in the middle of developing one of those board games, so I’m going through the process I’ve cobbled together over the years.

This is part of a series of blog posts in which I provide recommendations about tabletop game design. This won’t necessarily teach you how to design a game, but it will help you along as you build it.

There are four things I’ve learned that dramatically improved my ability to design interesting games.

3 Unique Things

At the beginning of your game document, describe 3 things about your system that are different than almost every other game.

If it’s really not different, why would people play it?

Shape the Conversation

The fundamental activity of a tabletop RPG game is talking. Your players will talk whether they’re playing your game or not, and whether they’re playing your game “correctly” or not.

The goal of your rules is to direct that conversation towards specific topics and experiences.

You should know those topics and experiences as well as you know the inside of your car. You need to know exactly what you want players to be saying. (And here’s a bonus trade secret: they’re perfect for examples of play in your game document.)

Design the Game, Not the Mechanics

This is a corollary to the advice above, but it bears expansion.

Don’t apply dice rolls (or card pulls or whatever) to your game initially. Imagine people talking and playing the game, narrating their characters’ actions.

Write the game to push the players towards the conversations you imagine. Tell them how to create their characters and what kinds of adventures they’ll go on. Build mechanics where you see the conversation getting bogged down.

Conversation usually gets bogged down in conflict resolution, but conflicts in your game may be very different than in other games, so don’t rush to apply another game’s resolution mechanics to your game. Look at how conflicts are shaped in your game, and build mechanics appropriately.

Mechanics Emerge from Play

When designing, don’t create rules for every conceivable situation, and don’t spend a lot of time polishing each rule. Instead, get your game to the table and playtest it. Watch the experience of people with the game, and modify or invent rules to deal with the actual situations and frustrations that you encounter in play.

It’s better to start with a one-page game with only a few basic rules and shape the game as you playtest it, than to try to design it all in your head. Let the games you play make your rules for you.

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Après la lecture des articles sur LeFix de chez Di6dent à propos du "Le foulancement : une histoire française", j'ai décidé d'utiliser mes petites mains pour compiler la liste de tous les projets de la catégorie "Jeux" sur Ulule, et de ressortir les chiffres des campagnes dédiés à des produits JDR. J'ai fait de même sur le site de "précommande" de Black Book Éditions.

Ces chiffres sont bruts, il n'y a pas d'analyse attachée (pour le moment). Pas de joli graphique, pas de moyenne générale, rien. Ce sera sans doute pour plus tard.

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Maybe I should participate...
It's time once again for you to make something fresh and cool for the Fantasy RPG Design Challenge!

You have TWO WEEKS to design a fantasy RPG that avoids typical tropes, as outlined below. And this time, there are rules about rules!

Thematic Requirements:

* No swords.
* No guns of any type.
* No dungeons (or dungeon equivalents, like widespread ruins).
* No undead.
* No demons or devils.
* No Conan-style barbarians.
* No elves, dwarves, or halflings/hobbits.
* The player-characters cannot be generic adventurers for hire.
* The setting cannot be just the standard Medieval Europe environment (peasants, barons, kings, Norman-style castles, horses, wagons, rolling farmland, etc.). It may include some of these individual elements.
* If your game includes monsters, beasts, or other non-sentient opponents, they must be complex and interesting, not just a handful of simple combat stats.
* If your game includes magic, it cannot use discrete, memorized spells with specific effects.

Rule Requirements (here's where things get interesting!):

* Your core mechanics cannot involve rolling a die or dice, adding modifiers, and comparing the result to a target difficulty number to determine binary success or failure.
* Your game cannot be directly Powered by the Apocalypse.

These requirements are meant broadly. Renaming swords to "blades" doesn't get you out of that requirement, and "swords" includes long knives, scimitars, katanas, rapiers, etc. If you're "skirting the line," you're too close. Make something different.

For the purposes of this contest, "fantasy" is not a simulation of the real, actual world in the past, present, or recognizable future. Anything else is fantasy.

The game must be playable. Don't submit a game where part of it is still an idea; make something up and throw that into the document. It doesn't need to be polished with all the margins lined up perfectly.

Okay! Submit your game by midnight UTC, August 12th, as a post in this Community, or by emailing your game to brent@brentnewhall.com. I'll choose whatever game most impresses me as a winner, who will get a .zip of every game I've ever published. All entries will be published on the official webpage at http://brentnewhall.com/games/doku.php?id=fantasy_rpg_design_challenge for the world to see and play.

Make something awesome!

(Image based on https://www.flickr.com/photos/maf04/11519036964/ )
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Si vous êtes développeur web python, que vous soyez débutant, expert, ou simple curieux, ne manquez pas la conférence DjangoCong 2016 à Rennes !

Ce sera le 21 Mai au Mabilay, le bâtiment de la French Tech Rennes & Saint Malo. Au programme, 9 conférences et des barcamps.

Inscrivez-vous et venez nombreux !

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Miaou ! Participez à la Coupe du monde des bonbons avec l'équipe jaune ! #GoogleDoodle

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How we used to organise stuff ..
In the early days, we used to apply one size fits all methodology because we didn't know better (see figure 1). We used to yo-yo between methods but in 2002, most of us in the open source world had gone "all agile" whilst the enterprise was mainly "all wate...

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No. Reason. At. All.
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