Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Lessons from Mike Rosewater

I listened to Mike Rosewater's talk at GDC and that guy knows how to design games. He taught me a few rad things I will certainly keep in mind while developing Trackmarks:

  • You don't have to change much to change everything.
  • Don't worry about trying to challenge players, worry about boring them.
  • Players are good at recognizing problems but bad at solving them.
  • Restrictions breed creativity; start in places you haven't before.
  • Don't confuse "interesting" with "fun."
  • Make the fun part the correct strategy to win.
  • Don't design something just to prove you can.
  • Don't be afraid to be blunt.

I think the OSR lends itself to these points, especially since it creates a space for childlike play (i.e., inquisitive, experimental, immersive).

Mike also said a lot about giving players options for customization and expression. The OSR is is not accommodating of these RAW, but certainly through the playstyle it encourages: Taking ownership by exercising utter freedom of action is what separates RPGs from all other game mediums.