Progress With The 3e Player Handbook

I had gotten to the point in rewriting the Engineer’s Resource where I had to confront the biggest and hairiest challenge, building vehicles. I was a bit intimidated by this, especially when it came to building vehicle drive systems. I’m happy to say I’ve cracked that bit. The system is more consistent and hopefully more intuitive.

There’s still a bunch to do, I’ve been making notes as I go about things I’d like to see work better so I’ll be going back and addressing these next.

I’ve tried various tests so far against real world vehicles and ones in the book and they’ve stood up to the tests so far but I’ll be handing the book over to Cody soon to see if he can’t abuse the system.

I was hoping to have some time to work on a cover but that hasn’t happened yet. I have a few thoughts after going to a Star Wars exhibit in the Indiana State Museum. It’s not that I want to copy Star Wars but there was a lot of material in the exhibit that talked about how the model makers and the sound designers thought about producing the look of the movies that I found informative.

Primarily the idea that was repeatedly discussed is that the audience expects certain visual and audio queues. If you don’t give it to them then they get confused. Now, I’ve known that for a while but the examples given gave me a few new ways to think about it.

What do players expect? Sometimes game designers want the players to get excited about nuance and possibility (ok, I do anyway) but the players want a hard hitting game that’s straightforward. They want to know they can have that kind of game and have the game reassure them that it’s okay to want it. I’m okay with that too, so that’s what I’m going to try for.


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2 Responses to Progress With The 3e Player Handbook

  1. Mh, well, you probably design for a specific audience, right? I know I try to, even if I fail at it (by that I mean, I end up designing for myself; never mind that I don’t finish things much). When it comes to Sci Fi, I think players tend to be more into crunch, and are more likely to be gearheads, than for most other genres. So when it comes to vehicle rules and the like, as long as it’s usable and playable, you probably don’t go wrong if you stay on the crunchy side.

    • Loc

      Hey Nils. Yeah, I’m not sure what will be a hit until I do it and it (usually) gets no traction or it gets a reaction.

      What was interesting about the Star Wars guys, was that they kept trying to do things as they would really be. Space ships sounding like rockets, so they’d try and record rocket engines. Then they’d find out that the sound of a rocket engine was really annoying so they used the sound of a broken air conditioner because it felt better.

      The other thing that’s heartening was that they had no idea if the things they were trying, actually would work. They didn’t have a feel for if their efforts would resonate with the audience. Heartening because that’s how I feel most of the time.

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