This is a thread for meta discussion of any of the BBS door games.
The primary purpose of this thread is to enable out-of-character discussion on the finer points of playing, organizing, and or running a door game in the model that Saint Patrace bestowed upon us. Initial Rules Thread here.
Some example discussion points (not exhaustive):
streamlining overhead for the Game Master (specific requirements gathering of the GM Toolkit happens over here)
maximizing appeal across the broad spectrum of happy mutants
is there an optimal number of players and gauging player interests
balance between appealing to new players and keeping old hands engaged
anything you feel is a “lesson learned”
The point is to gather “lessons learned” and document collective wisdom for consideration of future iterations.
I don’t think my writing passed the Bechdel test on its own but thankfully there were some players who pushed it in the right direction. Whatever we create, I’d like to see it become a not-just-for-boys kind of game. I know it’s largely up to the GM and community to tell the story so maybe the best thing we can do is just leave gender and sexual orientation out of the stats and let the players develop their identities through their own writing.
Would welcome thoughts from lurkers who have considered playing but haven’t felt they would have a good time due to ___________. (whatever is creating a barrier to entry).
Having this world being primarily car based is not going to attract extra ladies I’m afraid. I’m not all that into car brands/names myself (favorite cars are muscle cars from around our era so at least that works in my favor) but I can only imagine your average lady would have even more trouble then me to settle on a satisfactory car.
Maybe some of the petrolheads (or is it shitheads now SHITGO was invented?) here can make a list with some suggestions?
That’s a good point. I do think that the car and wasteland scenario is naturally conducive to storytelling and roleplaying, but I would like to see the next game set up such that it draws from a larger, more diverse audience. Still, there are gearheads from a lot of different backgrounds, and it will be fun to truly meet your characters. Have you ever read the works of Shan Yu?
I am not sure this is true; some of the most popular old school games were car based:
Chris Lindsey believes that a big reason why Pole Position has remained such a timeless classic is that it has always appealed to women, in addition to men. “I think there are quite a few game developers who would like to figure out why some games appeal to females,” Lindsey said. “Perhaps this is just pop psychology, but I’ve seen two types of games women will take to: racing games, and games in which the character, or your representation on screen, is doing something besides destroying bad guys. I don’t know if that’s the correct way to describe it, but that is what I’ve seen. I’ve had occasion to work in different types of entertainment facilities, large and small, very modern and, of course, the museum. Without fail I see women take to ‘Pac-Man’, and I see them take to racing games, almost regardless of what the racing game is.”
Quote is from the golden era of arcade gaming, but I always remembered that. I don’t think cars per se will be the problem but “beat up bad guys”.
I also think women appreciate cars at about the same rate as dudes. Cars = freedom. What’s gender-specific about that?
Though I think the setting and the characterization of the game world we’ve come up with does have something to do with it, I think there are a couple of other factors at play re: women participating. After all, our world is largely based on the Fallout games and several of my real-life female friends were/are obsessed with those games (as much or more as Donald Petersen and I) so it’s not like that is inherently unappealing to women. On the other hand, women I know tend to be less into the Mad Max films, which we also draw heavily from. And you need only look at A Boy and His Dog (a big inspiration for Fallout) to see how post-apocalyptic fiction can go heavily in the wrong direction in terms of appealing to women.
As far as I know there simply aren’t that many women who frequent this bbs. I’m making the classic sexist mistake of assuming everyone on the internet is male (and there very well could be some of our players this time and last time that are female but just haven’t said anything - not like they have to as it really doesn’t matter), but I do also know that most of the regulars around here are male for whatever reason. There are several regulars who are women, and perhaps next time we can reach out to them specifically to see if there’s something more we can do to encourage them to participate (assuming they’re not just completely disinterested).
Anyway - last time to make the game less of a sausage fest I changed my character from male to female. I had based my character on Data from Star Trek, and was inspired by one of my favorite episodes, the one where he builds himself a “daughter” android. The child starts out androgynous and is able to choose which human gender to inhabit. That means that Data himself could have changed genders if he wanted, so that’s what I did with my character and it seemed to go over well. There were other female (and/or androgynous, which well-suits the future sci-fi cyberpunk world of BSD) characters too and hopefully it worked out OK.
This time, there don’t seem to be any female characters that the players have come up with. There are a lot of great female characters in post-apocalyptic fiction (and trucker/driving movies and other similar stuff) to draw from, and I hope that maybe another person signs up and decides to do something like that.
But because we did think about this question ahead of time, many of the NPCs in our game will be female. The main character (Cougar) is female, and I just introduced another character a few minutes ago who is female.
My question is… is this enough? Or is it even necessary? Are we doing something wrong that drives away women (like many myopic D&D nerds do in real life), or is it just a case of there not being enough women here in the first place to find a few interested in playing? It’s not like the vast majority of male bbs readers are interested in playing either.
I have not, should I? When I google the name it returns mainly Firefly and Mulan results
There is nothing gender specific about that freedom no, but there is a difference between enjoying the freedom a car offers and being a car enthusiast. In my experience it’s mostly guys who know every brand, make and model and how to fix them. I say mostly here since there are of course exceptions to this rule, I am one, I know most brands but hardly any model names and know only a little about the inner workings. This might be influenced by the fact that I live in less car centric country where a bicycle and a train pass gives nearly the same amount of freedom.
I picked a car I like based on the looks (I remembered I liked the look of the Trans Am but I did not know until today that this was actually a type of Pontiac Firebird named after the Trans Am race it participated in) after finding a make that was in the allowed time range I found the engine displacement on Wikipedia and figured out what class I could be. Together with finding a good picture this took me quite a while to be honest. Obviously there will also be female exceptions that know all this stuff by heart but they will be a minority I’m afraid.
This is not bad, and should not influence game play beyond choosing a car while signing up but it might still be a slight deterrent there. This is also why I’m really happy to see the list of suggestions by @daneel and @SteampunkBanana, These suggestions would be really perfect with some pictures, stats and class suggestions but I understand that would be a too much work
I feel you man, I have no idea how cars work, I’m greatly influenced by loud awesome cars I’ve seen while attending plane shows, early 1980’s television, the Space Age, and just about any car that has been mentioned in songs by the Beach Boys or Jan and Dean.
Pontiac GTO, perfect for an Escort with a big trunk full of fun. And caltrops. And machine guns. And Her Royal Highness’ Matched Luggage.
Ford Mustang, another good Escort option, but you could make it work as a Scout