Sunday, March 28, 2021

Open Gaming - part time is Awesome

 Hypothesis: rejection and preference are about opportunities. 

If the opportunity is monopolized then its rejection. So someone with the right to something and asking permission and being rejected is rejection, only asking one person out is rejection, etc... 

Its one of those Zero-Sum situations that requires a change of framing and to work with that framing. 

but if one is not limited to a License holder, example to use an Open system, to ask out a lot of people, that what we have to offer can adapt and change then its a matter of preference. 

Zero-Sum situations suck. Some people think in this way and forced to pursue a strategy that cannot adapt to changing conditions. 

Preference is interesting - its "Live and let live" its not my thing but I'm grateful I can enjoy my thing without diminishing from someone else's thing. There is no "Market to Consolidate" nothing to Conquer, no single group or person to impress, ... maybe just ourselves. 

But preference means being informed - knowing our OWN reasons to do something and what can happen - contributing to a market with a lot of Variety and option may not benefit oneself as much as trying to Control or Restrict a market - but it empowers buyers and the consumers. 

I'm doing this part-time while I do IT, Project management, and QA work. I can only give any surplus I can give after being a full-time professional at work and dad-husband and that's Ok. Enjoying making it is clearer now only because I've tried living without making this stuff and it sucks. 

Open Gaming License is not being Rejected. Power is not Zero-Sum. So far with all the Cepheus Engine stuff being made I'm appreciating it more. You get to try all these different ways of thinking and everyone's going to learn from each other. That's awesome. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Basic Spacer Modification in 2500

 Basic spacer cybernetics and modification. 

1) inner ear modification - for spin grav and free fall orientation, as well as inertia compass. 

2) Second heart aka 0G heart - an addon circulatory system that balances pressures around the head in low to zero grav. Crucial for EVA as well as helping prevent Passing out in high G. 

3) bowel and urinary enhancements - helps go and hold when the need arises. 

4) Skin micro-biome - skin bacteria to help regulate health, in an environment with little bathing, long hours in suits, the "plant life" that the spacers cultivate have come in many engineered scents from herbs, flowers, spices, and various exotica that change depending on the diet of the spacer. 

there are more expensive ones like 

1) bone mass regulators - similar to coral regrowth - branching microfilaments that vine around the bones to trigger osteo genisis  - can be used in performance enhancement for soldiers. 

2)  the "fresher" is going to be a very different concept. Its probably going to be a diaper so people can go in their bed capsul. 

3) Its hard to plan for humans - humans can't stand the gravity 24 hours. Thus sleeping pods are in the core of the ship. While Exercise and Physical Therapy and Med Bays are in Spin Gravity habitats. 

Work and Sleep is 0G. Therapy is in Gravity. Work is 4 hours x2, Recovery is 2hr x4, and Rest is 4hrs x2. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Lessons Learned - Distracted.

What makes it harder in practice vs theory is that:

1) importing the Pictures BLURS everything so I have a hard time guessing the actual center line. Wrong measurements add up over time in construction and you see it here as squares fail to align.

2) The PNG files of the are pictures and their Border is the Anchor and thus the isometric Gridlines actually get in the way, yet I still need the grid lines because of issue no. 1. (measurements are wrong over distance).

This is an MGT2 ship - modified Fat Trader with 2x the engineering tonnage (from 19 to 44), 2x the fuel (40 to 80), less than half the cargo capacity (200 to 90), 3 less rooms for Workshop and Med Bay, Thrust-6, a lot of suites, 3 turrets and 1 barbette. 

Mongoose Traveller gives you the Isometric PNG files to do this. You can import it in Inkscape. there is a way to do this efficiently which I'm discovering. 

Trying to recreate our ship in Inkscape in Isometric. 

its easier to do isometric in blender than in Inkscape.
I discovered Freestyle is now part of Blender, when before it was just an add on. 

I really should finish the Text. I'm so close - my distraction is the Dice Mechanic Diagrams to help people understand - people like me who become Dyslexic when reading text. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Theory and Practice - the dilemma on Guides

 I hate it how its so Theoretical - having to write a guide - but in my experience PLAYING is the BEST WAY to learn - making mistakes is the best way to learn. There is so much context in a few mistakes - a mistake, when applying the limits of the internal logic - is like so many  Examples.
I know the best example is trying to predict Ideal behavior and counter-intuitive Context that changes the ideal behavior. 

  1. When is it BEST to divide your forces? When the adversary concentrates their force - leaving an area of vulnerability. 
  2. When is this False/Wrong (falsifiability has been very helpful technique)- when you cannot coordinate - and dividing further diminishes one's resources that neither force can exploit a vulnerability or escape/delay a concentrated force. 
  3. When is the Above Wrong - when the adversary will behave believing you have sufficient force to delay their concentrated force AND exploit their vulnerability. 
  4. When is the Above wrong... etc 
There are many other ways one rule can have exceptions Depending on the Context, and we only know the context when we are immersed in the practice and fully loaded with all the data of a highly dynamic and changing set of conditions. 

How did I learn this - THEORY gives me the tools to discuss PRACTICE. But because humans have a finite bandwidth to discuss experiences we have no amount of THEORY can replace the information and context dense nature of Practice?

What is Practice? Actual Experience and GAMES are also practice - when it seeks to teach, learn, test, etc... I'm one of the few lucky people who had really Intense Games in a safe and constructive environment that allowed me to make mistakes and fail fast. 

Game in the Brain and Gaming Work is about struggling with this bottleneck - and trying to give the people the ability to create some unique experiences in their gaming that allows them to test theory and make mistakes. 

I'm frustrated when I talk Theory - because from experience I'm really bad at it. If I was a better writer I'd be a different person - but my strength is the precarious balance of Analysis, Practice, Experimentation, and Failing to Communicate - and sadly those who are lucky may glimpse sense in my writings. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Dilemma of Theory vs Practice

The dilemma of any Combat or Game System: 

1) THEORY is a very small part of Combat Systems.  Practice and Experience is the most crucial part of any Combat System. That's the first thing that should be explained - because if Combat or Any Adverse Work Condition doesn't need Experience as a theory then MASTERS of theory would be dominant. 

The reason it is always "IT DEPENDS" is because Theory can only help in defining and communicating the experience - but the experience is the most crucial part - it's the FIRST INPUT that triggers the causality that results in mastery. 

2) PRACTICE and Experience. If there was a way to do something good and be great without practice - wouldn't that dominate behavior and decision making? Being good at anything in a way that MATTERS to people is all about practice and experience. 

Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, and Maurice got their asses kicked, they were not the best - the way the BEST in any field don't necessarily come out with books or CAN write books. The brilliance of Theory is in being able to have a framework to Qualify discussion about the field. Being able to communicate all the knowledge they have and thus replicate and BUILD over their knowledge. 

the best do, the not-so-best teach. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Got back to Roll20, this is my Review.

Since 2015, what has changed is that I've had more Work Experience in IT, Project Management, and Quality Management. This is how it affects how I game. 

My Bias is that if I find a skill in either TRPGs, Hobbies, or Work and its Better than all the other ways in any discipline I've encountered I apply that skill in all the disciplines. Of course I modify the skill for the Tolerances of the discipline - hobbies have a HIGHER tolerance for failure vs work, personal finances (like applying my project management skills in managing the vendor who will construct our new home is higher than hobbies but less than work). 
  1. 75x75 is the limit if I can make it 25x25 it would be better. 
    1. Depends on how much Tactical DATA and Context to process of the Players. 
    2. How much players are willing to work with Uncertainty
  2. If I want Larger Scale then I need to increase the meters per hex. 
  3. I have to Translate the Actions and movement into new Scale. 
  4. Its just more simple to scale in 3s, x3, x10, scale. 
  5. Its better to have simple colors than to have "realistic" pictures because I want players to know they are walking into Broken Ground because its not Brown or Color Coded. 
  6. Tactical Language or Language of Constraints. this means color coding, legends or references, being able to communicate highly dense information to Players and thus SHORTEN the prep time. 
  7. This will Translate to my Ship Combat Rules as well. 
  8. The GOAL is to systemize encounters (be it ship, social, combat etc...)
    1. easily replicable
    2. GMs can decide what they will keep and their trade offs. 
    3. GMs can easily streamline their prep
This is again drawn from Airsoft and Milsims experience where I play out many of the scenarios as I understand them and Applying Occams razor to the scenarios. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Updated Scifi Assumptions

1) hard sci-fi combat and problems are typically thinking outside the parameters "box" because someone's already thought of it and it doesn't work. Someone has to always think of a NEW way to do something. (see physicists bill of rights )

2)  space combat is so lethal that diplomacy, intrigue, politics, memetics, tolerance, and insurgency are used to far greater effect (see Axlerods Repeated or Iterated Prisoners Dilemma).

2.1) People who cannot think in more nuance ("probabilistic models" - imagine processes, actions, and outcome as encounter tables; visualize a mind map and set overlay of probabilistic models). 

3) Systems and the rules that govern them break down at certain scales - be it physics, economics, psychology, ecology, (meditations of moloch)  

4) The amount of data we deal with is so great - we can measure our certainty by the number of minutes memory start degrading - we become more reliant on Visualizations of Context Or Narrative Techniques (the two ways most human brains are able to hold high-density information) It also means any any given moment we really dont know what we are doing, we just hope that "the me" that started the action really made the optimum decision.   

Monday, March 8, 2021

Earthsea Influence - hopefully make a Magic System

 I can't wait/impatient to work on a magic system after listening to so much Earthsea. 

I'm imagining a simple one where the level of Activity is an account compared to the Endurance Threshold. A very simple work model - similar to HP is a threshold vs Damage. 

The more "Work" I accumulate I compare it against my Endurance, and  it represents how Tired a character is. 

  • For example - the endurance threshold is 14 hours of Light Activity.
  • Moderate Acvitivy = Medium Load = x2 Light Activity of Work. 
  • Strenous Activity = Heavy load = x3 Light Actvity of Work. 
  • exceeding the threshold calls for Rolls which may result in Damage, and damage results in penalties. 

As for the Magic - A basic Concep-Affinity System. the Feat of magic has a Cost and margin of success and failure determine both Costs and Consequence/Outcome. With thresholds where various damage and magical tradeoffs occur. 

The thing about ANY magic system is that GMs cannot just RUN it without knowing. They are always inherently going to be about more intense and condensed rules. The few things one can do to make magic easier is to use existing mechanics - like Fatigue, concentration, skill checks, damage, conditions, etc... 

the only way it becomes easier to learn a magic system if it BUILDS over existing rules and uses existing rules in special cases. 

When I think of this kind of design I keep thinking of Global Maxima vs Local Optima. we tend to go back to Fundamentals over and over again and happen to learn ways to SCALE-UP fundamentals instead of creating new Global Maximums. 

Local Maximums

TRPGs dont benefit from a lot of AGILE or Incremental Improvements or Total Quality Management type of Engineering. People will argue "its an Art" - but like Wintergatan who seeks to improve his craft and I myself coming from an Art Degree - if we stick to it being an ART then we cannot improve - we will be always limited by "Talent" as a bottleneck and limiter. 

For those of us not born with Talent - Engineering - the application of Science is our edge. The great thing about Engineering is that those who dont have talent can participate in it in some degree. Science is not supposed to have Gate-Keepers, so are TRPGs (better the more accessible it is). 

One of my Problems is many Magic Systems is they Don't build on Foundations of Fundamentals. the introduction of NEW exceptions should be very limited as the magic effect scales up. 

One of my design philosophies is USE EXISTING KNOWLEDGE - the use of many real world heuristics in my TRPGs instead of specialized or EXCEPTION mechanics. 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Load Outs Rabbit Hole. How games taught me to be good at lists.

I've made a couple of spreadsheets to automate load outs, as well as long series of load-outs, as well as planned my loadout for trips abroad, airsoft, family outing very systematically over time and I know from experience - no one likes to do this, while its necessary for some, its not necessary for most. 

I realize this skill of getting materials all organized and planned is part of PMBOK, manufacturing and construction. As I help prepare the Bill of Materials and Quantities systems - this is all about Load outs. 

Since I'm part of the QA and I do the summary analysis of our Non-Conforming Outputs - many of our issues are "lacking materials" tools, missing parts, furniture, and works. 

Project Management Lists for Dummies, The Checklist Manifesto, etc... come to mind. 

The strange part of language where Schedule means Lists or Table of Data (Schedule of Parts), 表格 biaoge or Form or Table, or Schedule or Template. 买单 buying list means receipt AND menu of options.排队,安排,整理,经理,etc... words to mean Order or Arrange slowly drifting to mean Schedules, Tables, Lists, and grids drifting to mean Manager, Director, Controller, etc... 

It's so weird and I find myself so weird in how these all are interconnected in such a weird way. 

Mentally I visualize it a Bullets and parent and child trees, Pivot Tables (shifting tables of relationships), Arrays, Flow charts, mind maps, and how I need to switch Visualization of how I want to see the data - the categories, relationships, and interconnections.