Door Game Meta Topic

What I liked most about BASD, and BDW, is that the dice-rolling is little more than a prompt for group improv. But I felt that storytelling and talking in-character with others was creating a huge wall of text that might be more reading than more casual players signed up for. (I admit I’m a huge offender in writing longish posts…frequently).

Thus, my motivation to make the Trucker Tales thread. I wanted a place where those that have the time and interest to continue to develop, and enjoy, the narrative storytelling aspect of this could do so, but in a way that would be completely optional and ignored without affecting gameplay mechanics or the main story arc.

But, yeah, huge thanks to Donald, Penguin, and Jonas, you folks are putting in a lot of work to the characters and stories and artwork, and it’s hugely entertaining.



AR and EN look a little low right now, too.

Again, I guess you’re still working through… :slight_smile:

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The Round 2 results need to be in a separate thread from the Round 3 mission choices.

Maybe we even want three threads per round? (1 - mission / shop / choices, 2 - strategizing, general mission chat, 3 - results), plus the general back story thread.

Or maybe that makes it even more complex.

Hear! Hear!

Yep, that’s the heart of the matter. Which is why getting the setting and backstory solid was a great contribution. But now that we’re here, please simplify game mechanics.

Luckily, there is an easy way to evaluate this. Try to work the players data submission form for a given round. If using the submission form feels like a setup screen for a great Xbox game, then you’re going the right direction. If that submission form feels like TurboTax, you need to simplify the game mechanics.

Thanks again for all the great work you’re doing.

  • 1000 to this!

Nope, that time I just plain screwed up. Will correct ASAP.

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I (we) really appreciate your input. All of your points are very valid and well thought out. You are, of course, right on several points, as Round 2 has very clearly shown, what with the large number of new developments all being revealed at once, and the massive confusion that followed. @Donald_Petersen, @penguinchris, and I will definitely discuss your points, and will respond as soon as we can talk it through.

Thanks for putting your observations and recommendations forth in such a constructive way.


That elicited a sizable LOL from me, since you’re absolutely right. This really was meant to be a fun little sci-fi romp like the Space Dragon was, and Round Two in particular got out of hand. More than anything, I’m astonished at the emergence of The Dismal Science into the game. It was meant to be about shootin’ and lootin’, not about the economics of auto repair, trade for services rendered, labor organizing, or any of that. Part of me began to suspect that the long delay between the end of Round One and the posting of Round 2’s Missions gave you lot too much time to discuss all ramifications in committee!

But you’re right, it has become unwieldy, and not understandable by an even slightly casual or noncommittal player. I should be proud (and I am) that so many of you are still hanging in there, making your gameplay conform to these convoluted (and yet pedantically logical, my lizard brain screams impotently) rules.

By design, many of our situations and restrictions can and will be altered as we go down the road, without rewriting history or making illogical leaps. There’s a strong probability that Repair will be simplified, since people have gotten too interested in all the myriad potential ways it could lead to either the extinction of all Mechanics or their eventual Rule of the entire Wasteland. It’s not terrible for someone to buy parts here, get cheap repair there up to a point, then top up the repair at the first place… if that’s all the thought they had to put into it. Couple that with negotiating labor rates and forging combat protection contracts in return, as well as the uncertainty of whether you got the best price or whether anyone at all can be trusted, and suddenly you’re not playing a game anymore; you’re lying awake in bed, staring at the ceiling, and worrying existential worries just like every other night, only instead of the mortgage or your girlfriend, it’s imaginary wrench-jockeys robbing you of sleep.

Anyway, we hear you, and many things will be simplified. Tires don’t have to be an issue. You need four to get around, and we had tire-munching gillmen last Round. We won’t see those guys again, and so tire damage probably won’t come up again. If it does, it’ll be isolated, and just means you need to buy a tire, either from a junkyard or someone who has one to sell. No Mechanic needed; everyone can change a wheel.

The most complicated part of the game was intended to be the fact that no Round would be too much like previous ones. Things would evolve and change in hopefully-organic ways. Wait till you see what happens when a player character dies. It will make sense, and will be more satisfying than a simple GAME OVER. It won’t be cost-free by any means, but it’s not necessarily the end of the road.

Anyway. We promise to make the game less of a headache, because it is a whole lot of fun now, and we don’t want to dilute that fun with unwieldy interfaces and cumbersome gameplay.



Almost there!

Just my 1 piece of scrap steel missing now :slight_smile:

No, that actually is there, it’s just on your individual character sheet, not the summary page.

I think we need a steady(ish) drumbeat; the longer we wait between missions the easier it is for things to get bogged down and everyone who isn’t an obsessive like me ends up drowning in tl;dr threads.

The idea of automatically sticking absent players into the Mule train works well, better than just having them AWOL. Then keep the whole thing ticking over, one mission every 3 days/bi-weekly?

The important thing is to let people show up, read the options, make their choices and be done, if that’s all they have time for. As soon as we’re waiting for proposals from other players, we all need to hold on until the last minute to see if one of the less frequent players is going to make an offer we want to accept. I’m sure @bizmail_public will continue to try to build alliances, offer incentives etc as that’s the way he plays, and it’s awesome, but we can’t be waiting on nine different people to propose repair schemes to us before we can make our upgrade orders.

Get rid of Stretch as a repair option, just have him offer upgrades, and let the mechs do 100% repairs (aside: do we really need the repair kit mechanism? Basically we’re all going to be buying one every round, unless the GM gifts us one, and you could just gift HP or LP directly instead). Cougar should set a price (allowing you to rebalance round-to-round if you feel the game needs it to balance classes), then distribute the takings amongst the surviving mechanics after the round in question as part of their payment. All battles to be pile-on or individual as the missions demand, don’t let us choose/negotiate who we’re looking after (which I’m sure complicates your calculations anyway), with the stronger vehicles taking on more of the work/risk in pile-ons, as I think BSD did?

Boy, you said it. I was hoping to keep each Round three days apart, and after two Rounds we’re already 12 hours behind (or more), but a big part of that was that Round Two got so damned much story (and so many groovy animated maps), coupled with the fact that calculating Round One’s Results was our first time doing Results, and my writing those Results into a post was my first time doing that, too, which further delayed me getting Round Two’s Missions written. Many, many things needed to be reiterated and refined, and we’ve learned a lot from it all, and most especially from you guys. We’ll be tighter this time, but speaking for myself, I have to really keep a tight grip on my natural tendency toward narrative complexity (or “bloat,” not to put too fine a point on it), and just concentrate on shaving everything down to a (hopefully) compelling and yet easily digestible mouthful.

Just about everything that’s frustratingly complicated about the gameplay is my fault. I don’t want things to be so easy or straightforward that no thought at all is required to play. After all, this is a text-based game that takes place almost entirely in our imaginations, fancy animated GIFs aside. We can’t rely on eye-grabbing graphics or cool sound effects. We have to evoke the players’ imaginations through, let’s face it, piles of words.

And like I was telling someone else in a PM, I have some fetish for making certain things make sense. I could make Repair as easy and mindless as running over a Health Pack in Halo. But in our game, that would signify a loss of complexity that would be counterproductive. I’m not saying fixing cars is an inherently fun part of a game, but if fixing damage requires nothing more than money (or running over a Health Pack), then there’s no point in having damage at all.

This is a postapocalyptic world of finite resources, and those resources must be husbanded carefully, and played against each other with forethought and a willingness to experiment. Somebody asked if they might craft Repair Parts out of scrap metal. Well, Skyrim and Fallout would certainly let you do that, but I’m not planning on our players (or me, for that matter) putting 150 hours of playtime into BDW, like I did for both those games. As you say, this game should be playable by those without the time for the narrative and interpersonal stuff, though the experience is richer for those of us who play that way.

I have the low-reward, extremely-low-risk Mule Train option for those who want (or need) to sit out a Round or Rounds, so we have that. We also have a mechanism in place to prevent death from being dismayingly permanent, as those of us who mourn the bold Hobar in BSD can appreciate.

We’ll do our best to keep the pace brisk, and we’ll simplify what we can (especially the more hair-pulling parts of the Repair system), but it all has to work in a way that make sense with the world as we’ve created it so far. Things can and will change and evolve, but out-and-out reinvention won’t happen. Player-characters are still going to have to figure out how to work together, or try to go it alone (which won’t always be a suicidal strategy).


Right. Can I have a helicopter then?!

I’m years behind the curve, so I only started playing that fairly recently. I think my wife was getting rather peeved at how much that bloody game sucked me in, so while it’s on hold the time I put into this instead is a major improvement. I refuse to look at how many hours it took me to do all the main and daedric quests, because I’m scared of the answer.

No, Major, you most certainly may not.

Not yet, at any rate. Carry on.


You should be. My 150 hours did not include any daedric quests.

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For that very reason I cannot touch games like Skyrim. I see the purdy piccies, and drool.

When Oculus Rift gets its Mojo on and sells me a pair of swim-goggle sized lunacy eyeballs, which hook up to an iphone sized thing with the power of 8 Mac Pros tied together into a thermally explosive heap, then I’m well and truly going to fall out of grace.

Until then … steady as she goes.

I think a complicating factor here in BWD versus BASD is the introduction of classes

BASD had

What’s the name of your ship?
Choose one of the following attributes to describe your ship - Sneaky, Fast, Powerful, Durable, Lucky
Is the captain human, android, or space lizard?

That lead players to chose missions based on their attributes: the sneaky ships all went on the missions that favored the sneaky ships, the shooters went on the hunt and kill missions.

In BWD the vehicle types are more like classes: tank, healer, damage-dealer, and scout. While those classes could be played analogous to BASD, the mission types we’ve seen so far have seemed to call for mixed-force operations. Driving in as a mule, I wanted the guns of an escort and the heals of wrench, and in return I agreed to damage-sponge. Looking at round two options, many of them also seem to call for mixed-unit strategies: 1b needs TQ to open the door and FP to kill Rex, 2 needs literate folk to get in the door but also others to protect them.

Now, I’m partially to blame for complicating classes by suggesting that a healer be included. Now, I’m not fully sorry for that, as I love how Donald has given them the special power to read and the freedom to self-heal and heal others, and I think these special abilities have lead to spectacular stories and interactions. But certainly, it places more emphasis on “putting a team together” and more emphasis on alliances (which is not necessarily bad, but does require a higher level of inter-player coordination), but it also can complicate the process of dice-rolling (e.g., do mobs all target the mule first, is the mule more likely to get fired upon, do mechanics with escorts get some sort of “buff”).

I don’t have solutions for streamlining, but I do think there’s an interaction effect between the classes and the mixed-force missions we’ve seen this far. Not sure how to keep the role-playing benefits of “classes” while having simpler and more straightforward maths for both the players and the GMs.

I do love how respectful everyone is about offering, and listening to, constructive suggestions.

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… imagine …


And all the dragon masks, and thane of everywhere…