Let's talk about Chain Games

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by watermark, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. watermark

    watermark Veteran Veteran

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    I think these are called chain games. Correct me if I'm mistaken.

    Basically these are games where:
    1. One dev makes the game, but uses a chain story created by a whole bunch of people.
    OR
    2. A dev makes a part of the game, passes it onto another dev who makes a continuation based on the work of the previous devs. She then passes it onto another dev in the chain until everyone has had a turn.

    I haven't had a chance to do one of these before. And I can't seem to recall any famous ones at the moment. So I'm curious:

    1. Have you worked on one before? What was it like? How long did it take to complete it?
    2. How did the game turn out? Was it good? Or just so-so?
    3. Are these mostly spoof/parody games? Or are there "serious" ones out there?
    4. Anybody doing one now? Would you be interested in working on one?
     
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  2. Kupotepo

    Kupotepo Fantasy realist Veteran

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    1. No, I do not have the experience.
    2.No, I do not know.
    3.I think if someone makes a fangame or work with a team which you need to communicate with different people with certain roles.
    4. Why did you ask? Do you want to work with a team of writers or comic writers?
     
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  3. NinjaKittyProductions

    NinjaKittyProductions Professional Murder Hobos Veteran

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    While I have not done a game like this, a buddy of mine and I were passing a horror story back and forth as part of a writing experiment. I started the story, set the tone, set the genre, set the overall feel, and wrote about 6-8 paragraphs. Afterwards, I would pass it on to him who would continue the story using the set parameters, write about another 6-8 paragraphs and then pass it back to me. We did this for almost 3 months, never finished the story but it was a great experience and helped shape my writing for the better.

    I could definitely see a couple to a few developers doing this with a experimental game project and just see what can be made. It would be interesting to see different developers with different dev styles work together on a patch-game. =^_^=
     
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  4. hiddenone

    hiddenone Lurker Extraordinaire Moderator

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    I've seen a few of these tried, but never actually finished. It's hard enough to keep motivated for your own personal project, keeping a bunch of people going on a chain game seems almost impossible (though not totally impossible). How it turns out would really depend on the people in charge, with someone (or a main team) who's ready to make sure people communicate and keep to the schedule they set then I don't see why the game wouldn't end up fun.

    Personally I think it works best for less serious games, maybe something like conquering a tower where each floor or room is done by a different developer. For a 'serious' game, it would take a lot more planning to make sure everyone involved is going to stick to that tone.
     
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  5. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I've seen it done with books before, where each book in a series had a different author, but never with games.
     
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  6. Philosophus Vagus

    Philosophus Vagus The drunken bird dog of rpg maker Veteran

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    bgillisp stole my words. I've actually participated in a novela chain series, they're...interesting. You never know what people are going to do with your characters, settings etc. Honestly don't really care for it though, there can be some interesting tangents but to often the narrative gets derailed by careless, obvious plot holes or stupid sheep like a following author just mass-killing the already established cast in their first chapter and implanting their own, sort of a hard reset of everything if you will...which beggars the question of why they'd want to participate in such a game in the first place, possibly just to piss people off I guess.

    Seems like, game-wise it'd be a lot of freaking work. I think option 1 would be the only feasible way to do it, but whose gonna want to spend all that time working on a game with a narrative being pushed dozens of different directions by a community that ranges from the brilliant, to the competent to the incompetent to outright trolls? I feel the dev making the story a reality would probably get burned out really quickly, maybe if there were standards as to who is accepted as a contributor it could be done. But as hard as it is in reality to produce an actual passion project from start to finish I certainly wouldn't be placing any bets in favor of someone spending all the necessary time bringing a collective tale like that all the way to completion.

    The alternative idea, that multiple people will just work on the game in sections seems almost impossible to me as well. I mean you might get somewhere with it, a couple people might anyway but it's hard enough to keep one game balanced without switching developers constantly every half hour of gameplay or whatever. I just see such a thing ending either in a trainwreak or simply being abandoned, it honestly sounds like far far to much work to be worth doing in my honest opinion. Not that my opinion is correct or anything, I'm just saying I'd personally never want anything to do with trying to organize such an undertaking. :D

    One thing that I've seen somewhere before (might have been here even, can't remember) that was kind of similar was a sort of quilt-map, where a world map was comprised of like 50 different equally sized sections and different people made each map with the caveat that the connecting portions had to match any already made adjacent maps for connectivity's sake. It was like a past event or something that I kind of wanted to join, but it was already done. I don't know if (but don't think) much else was done to it beyond that, but the maps themselves were kind of cool to see and walk around and see how different mappers complemented each other's works.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  7. watermark

    watermark Veteran Veteran

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    @Kupotepo This idea came about due to me having writer's block. XD I thought...why not make a game where everyone contributes a bit. It might get very interesting. At this point it's still an experimental thought though. Also I wanted to know if anything like this actually succeeded. Apparently so far no one knows of a successful one.

    @hiddenone Yeah, I agree with you. There probably has to be a main team who coordinates everything for this to work. It's simply too chaotic if the game's just passed around.

    @Philosophus Vagus I never even thought that people would mass-kill characters of previous author. Hahaha. That's an interesting angle. The quilt map is the Arum world, which I believe is defunct now? I still think it's a good idea. It's like an open source resource to help people get started.
     
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  8. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I have seen a couple of events on RMN (rpgmaker.net) called something like "Swap in the middle", where a game is started by one person and finished by another. It seemed to attract a number of people and I know that there are finished games from that process.
     
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