your game features

Like Abley hinted at, I'm more concerned with getting the game done first (and making sure it has a compelling storyline). People often forget that cool features are an addendum to a good game, not a substitute for it. A cool feature in a lousy game is... well, not a cool feature.

I've had some ideas of what to include (after mapping + storytelling is done), but the biggest one is some kind of skill system (including lockpicking, which could allow the player to break into and steal from people's houses). Naturally that would also require a kind of law-and-order system which I have no idea how to implement, so there is some disincentive to do crime.

Also a kind of ES-style fame and reputation system, with each determining what kind of jobs the player may get. (So for instance, a street gang would only give him a job if he had a low reputation; a local lord would only hire him if he had high fame; etc.).

Top Ten Topic: Bands, Music Groups, Artists

The categories needn't be mutually exclusive. One could classify them multiple times. I tend to think, for instance, that Leonard Cohen (who is both a singer and songwriter) is a great songwriter but an awful singer. So I'd put him in one list but not the other.

Newest Films!

I haven't really been looking forward to any new movies since I saw Cloverfield. I suppose I'd like to see the Indiana Jones one though -- always had a soft spot for the man with the hat.

Your opinion on RTP

RTP is useful for people who are just starting to get into RPG design, obviously. It's very difficult to go in and create a new chipset when you have 0 experience with the ones they provide you. I try to avoid using it where possible for that reason, since I unconsciously associate it with newbishness.

Though the funny thing is (and prolly most people here will agree with me), I still don't mind one bit playing games built with RTP -- as long as there's a compelling story and the dialogue isn't total crap. I'd rather play an RTP-based game that's actually fun rather than a game with brilliant chipsets that looks and plays like a turd.

Galactic Saga

Heh, this looks kinda' cool. Looking forward to the demo!

Mercenary: Episode 1

Well, I'd like to play, but the regular file won't run (RTP error) and the link to the RTP-independent file is broken. If you fix it, drop me a line; this is definitely one I want to play.

A Hand From Beyond the Grave

Looks like fun so far. The dialogue could stand to be more polished. It's got good atmosphere. Kinda' reminds me of Evil Dead, it's got the same fun campy feel to it.

Complete Chaos

Heh, looks like good cute fun. Makes me think of a cross between the second Castlevania game, Blade Runner, and Mad Max. I'm looking forward to it.

Black Focused Schools

I think it's a good thing.

I read that the dropout rates for blacks in Toronto are ridiculously high, and anything that might decrease that can only be a good thing.

It's not like Toronto doesn't have segregated schools anyway, what with those catholics and christians and jews and rich people (private schools).

Well, presumably it would only help if the reason black Torontonians (is that the word?) were dropping out of school was because those schools don't focus enough on black history and culture. I really doubt that has anything to do with it, rather than stuff like bad life choices (drug use, involvement in gangs, teen pregnancy, etc.) or the simple existential fact that most of them don't care to go to college and would rather get started working now. In many cases it's a rational choice for a person with no higher-ed ambitions to drop out of school, especially if they have an even-reasonably-lucrative job lined up.

(I should also point out that Catholics are Christians and that there's a big difference between private parochial schools and publicly-funded schools segregated by race).

Every other school focuses on white history and culture, so why not?

I'm gonna' go ahead and put it out there that it's because white people have shaped most of Western history.

Mr. Abley, I think you've touched upon some important issues but I think you're missed some key factors.

The feeling of hopelessness and irrelevance is not unique to african-americans.

Quite, and I've been saying this for a while, but it's worth pointing out that the situation is uniquely severe in the case of African-Americans since it's fed by a lot of other factors (like the vicious heresy called black liberation theology that is preached in many inner-city churches, the depressing grievance-mongering among black elites, etc.).

I'd call what Holbert called white male Christian values middle class values. When people of the middle class wonder why others aren't viewing the world the way they do, they seem to get angry. Native Americans in Canada get free education, and lots don't take it and the middle class compares. It's not fathomable that some native Americans don't want to have the middle class definition of success and would want to be on their land with their family. Policies given to the poor and different cultures are not to help them, but to assimilate them to having middle class values.

Well, can't speak for natives in Canada, but I think Abley's objection isn't that minorities are rejecting the dominant culture, but that they are then expecting the dominant culture to pull them out of the mess they find themselves in after doing so.

If it were simply that minorities were ethnic separatists I imagine most people would be inclined to let them go their way (live and let live, after all). But as this story demonstrates, they are quite not content with that, instead demanding public subsidies to underwrite the cost of that separatism, which they are evidently unable to bear on their own.

Hard Parts of Game Making?

Getting started!

There is so much to do in making a good RPG, and of course the more you put it off the more great ideas come to you ("maybe I can put in a weapon forging system," "maybe I can add customization to this feature," etc.). It's overwhelming. I find once I get started I can roll my way along at least for a little while, but it's getting over the first big hurdle (where you're standing at the bottom of the mountain looking up and wondering what possessed you to think you could do this) that's most difficult to leap. At least for me.
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