Extra Credits

Some of you may have seen Extra Credits before. I found it through Penny Arcade TV as a series that explored things that games had done, how they could do them better and things that games had yet to truly even have any real thought put into. It focuses on video games, but in many senses, tabletop roleplaying games are a lot like video games without graphics. Mainly, they’re both an interactive medium that requires getting and keeping player interest, mainly through design and implementation of a detailed and challenging storyline in a fictional environment. Granted, not everything working for one works for the other, but I have found a number of episodes that gave me things to think about in my design and I wanted to share some of them with other people.

I could write posts on each of these, and some I may use as stepping stones for future posts because of the ideas could be useful to talk about in specifics for RPGs. I realize this can be considered a cop out for a post, but I mainly try to get people thinking and these got me thinking. I figure rather than linking one video and posting my thoughts and expansions for the tabletop genre, I’d like to think that, like me, if someone finds an informational source they like, they’ll digest more than just that one scrap given. So, instead of linking one and the reader seeing them all anyway, I figured I’d just give you some examples. They’re all a few minutes each, so I think these can give some ideas to you all as well. All should open in new windows when you click on them as well, and other than a few that are done as a series (Choice and Quest Design), they are general independent episodes that may reference a topic from a previous episode.

Series on Choice

The Feeling Of Agency

The Illusion of Choice

How Much Agency do Games Need?

Negative Possibility Space

and another on

Choices vs Consequences – What Player Decisions Mean in Games

Quest Design Series

Why Many MMOs Rely on Repetitive Grind Quests

How to Create Interesting MMO and RPG Quests

Character Design

Myers Briggs and Character Creation

Word Choice (not just for characters, but a big point of this)

Overall Design


Achievements (An option for Player Rewarding)

The Difference Between Challenging and Punishing Games

Fail Faster

Narrative Mechanics

Depth versus Complexity

Intrinsic versus Extrinsic rewards

Easy Games


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