Cool, I'll look them over! Thanks for posting the links Frank!
If the old "Links" section still existed I'd post this there.
I've been browsing http://www.metamythos.net/ and it has a lot of articles for the GM who likes to tinker, or just needs some advice.
A couple that interested me:
"Gods and Their Relationship to Magic": Yes, that topic again, but the author's focus is less on philosophy and more on game effects, with a few options I hadn't considered.
"Human Factors in Game Design" ... or why your ultra-realistic system with multiple charts and die rolls will flop. Some of it is common sense, but avid gamers often miss their Common Sense saving throw.
Worth a look, at least.
"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)
I just read the Human Factors paper. Thanks! Very cool and insightful.
Recently I'd been over to Myth-Weavers, playing a Play-by-Post game. M-W is a neat site, and PbP is an interesting alternative to table play.
That said, I found PbP to be a tediously slow way to game and subsequently wrote a program to see how long it would take to play a game. In essence anything that takes time is your enemy. For instance, NEVER queue posting in initiative order if you want your game to go beyond a single combat round; post as soon as you can for a round, and let the DM sort the results.
Even with everyone posting asynchronously for a combat round, a round will still only go as quickly as the most lagging player. Establishing and enforcing time limits (2 days per round, for instance - play or lose a turn) can potentially help, but an encounter that covers 10 combat rounds will take 3 weeks to play. A simple adventure/module with a half dozen encounters can approach a half year to complete. While the orientation of PbP games is less about combat and more about role play, keeping a game fresh and players interested and engaged is in part a human factors challenge.
Point is that human factors for game design extends to games played away from the table.
Evil Math Ogre Kgh-Ra