Friday, November 9, 2012

More Call of Khalris analysis

Good morrow to you all!  I have more analysis on the Call of Khalris.  I think the take home message from this is that readers will do what they like with a book and so I should not try to impose what I find significant in a story on the reader as there is plenty of fun to be had in finding your own significance (for example, people seemed to love the whole 'camel experience').

Anyway, have a listen for yourselves and find out how I amuse myself on my commute home.

Call of Khalris analysis of character creation:

Call of Khalris analysis of the cheat score:


  1. This has been quite educational. I had no idea players these days take issue with the mere presence of rules. After all, it's a game, so you go in knowing there are rules. I always enjoyed the challenge of rule adherence and progressing or triumphing in the face of the author's imposed rule system. But I've learned that some players don't enjoy this so much and crave more freedom.

    On the up side, we've all cheated before, so this new line of thought takes cheating potential into account...and deals with it. It's important to look at psychology to discover the best or most fun experience. I think the major problem with obeying rules is that you could be forced to redo work you've already done. And we all have limited time.

    On the down side, is it good to embrace cheating? It's not really hockey anymore if you can pick up the puck and throw it in the net because it's easier and more "fun". If we were to structure our gamebooks around this idea, then ideally, we'd be left with a CYOA: no stats because players won't want a stat check where they could fail and find concequence, no health loss because players fear punishment, no items because they will want to assume they have everything in the game, etc.

    I always found it fun to find ways of using rule systems to my advantage, or figuring out the method of playing that most enhances survival without stooping to cheating. This type of fun accomplishment would be lost if we smile upon cheating.

    Then, there are horror-themed games where the goal is fright or degradation, and allowing so much freedom from rules could lessen this experience. Rigid rules can remind the players of harsh reality and real-life physics, enhancing verisimilitude.

    Maybe something to consider is elimination of the bad side of rules instead of downsizing rules altogether. For instance, a structure could be made where following rules never leads to replaying the same parts again. Or, obeying the rules never leads to point loss, but throws you at an ending you won't find out about until you get there later. It will be quite interesting to see the cheating issue dealt with, but without making the game seem like hand-holding.

  2. I quite admired the way you created a single stat to represent a verity of conditions. I think it wouldn't have worked if you didn't give points back so often. If you were harmed a lot and didn't have many opportunities to heal. As it was though, a point or two was awarded at the end of each encounter. The game was very well balanced in that regard.

    As for cheat points, I blew off the concept because I very rarely cheat in gamebooks. However, when I got turned into a snake at the eleventh hour because I had the hubris to pick up a book, I was like "that was kinda bullshitty!" and then flipped forward as if I hadn't grown the scales. Then I thought "huh! I better mark those points." So what seemed like a pointless feature at the start actually informed my playing. I don't know if they were entirely successful, but they did get me to consider how was playing in a new way. So kudos for that.