Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Details and Problem Solving

I'm not good with details, I'm just average. the only reason I'm considered "good" is because details are something people don't like to deal with and my mediocre work is something people are just glad to have. I've done some analysis of my methods and work and I really am in the mediocre range of the metrics I know because of BPO industry.

Unlike an accountant or a person whose training is in the details I'm really in the details because of opportunity. So I have a lot going against me... which brings me to how LOW the bar is set for details. If your counting on me for details, then the bar is so low you have to dig it out. 

But someone as crappy in details as me, and I'm still into details is kinda funny and a topic for another post. The bottom line is that details are essential for problem solving, and this is when we can't throw away the rules or where an abstract system cannot give you that nerd boner you can get from a really good mental puzzle. 

As offensive as Nerd boner can be, IME it best describes that irrational desire to unnecessarily complicate one's life. Funny that Games don't get more exciting unless the situation gets complicated, but fun stops when a system is overly complicated. The love-hate relationship of gaming and complexity is like a relationship with a crazy lover... the saying sticking your **** in crazy comes to mind when people have a relationship with a complex system (coughherocough coughgurpscough) and happen to have that complicated relationship with it. 

Its nice to know I gave up the more expensive crazy for GURPS LOL!

Sorry for being sidetracked, getting back into the topic - Details are really hard to make up on the fly, so systems with details: GURPS and HERO are awesome because the details are there and I can throw them out when I dont need them. 

In my games I've not been using GURPS combat "as is where is" and instead using simple significant action system: each character does something special and spot light deserving every turn (if my attention can juggle it at least). BUT when something interesting happens and everyone's brains get curious, we get into details that slow down everyone processing speeds, and I think that's a good thing. 

Since GURPS is pretty realistic I find myself taking expertise from the real world applying in the GURPS game. Funny how all the players were IT people, and I deal with IT in the BPO industry, so there was a lot of industry practices that was interesting in the context of spoofing an enemy's ability to trace where the players were hiding. Doing IT stuff with the freedom of all the money and the risks a PCr can take lolz! 

Anyway, details are just harder to make up. details make great Splat/Source Books. In fact they SHOULD be the content of Splat/Source Books instead of new options that test the limits of the game system and re-balance the power ecology. Details also should be disposable, and prepared in a way that if it gets in the way I can throw it out without so much reworking needed. 

Bottom Line - Details, good crunchy details are there, but when your playing and you don't have time for it you can ignore them. But they are they when you need them, and they are well made that they make good sense or follow a process that you can interpret on your own.

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