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Default GamesIndustry.biz - Tribute to Gary Gygax

July 30th, 2012, 22:12
Thomas Rawlings, the designer for Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land, has written a tribute to Gary Gygax at Games Industry.

A quote on to become a game designer:
Playing Dungeons & Dragons is one of the best ways to learn the foundations of game design. It is how I (and lots of others in the industry) learned about making games. By running Dungeons & Dragons games we had to master a number of key skills including narrative, drama, gameplay balancing and crucially, the all important stats systems. These diverse areas make Dungeons & Dragons a bit of a paradox; at once a geeky stats-fest and yet also the ultimate social game that only works with a group of friends. What makes it a great way to learn about game design also points to why all games developers owe its co-creator and gaming legend, Gary Gygax, a full horn of ale and a lot of thanks.
A quote about Gary Gygax's vision for D&D:
It is also the great-grandfather of much of video gaming. Why? D&D, the product of Gary's rich imagination was based on a key insight to merge character, narrative and stats into a 'game engine'. D&D envisioned a fictional world simulator designed to be played within (and with). This core idea is still the basic framework for so much of today's video games industry. For example D&D has Hit Points and Damage Modifiers, Hit Rolls and Armour Classes - how many other video games, even non-RPGs, have borrowed this combat framework? D&D has progression with character levels, equipment, skills, spells and more. How many games use the various incarnations of levelling up to keep players interested? Tens of thousands. D&D gave roles to the participants via character classes such as Fighter, Magic User, Cleric, Thief and more. How many games use this approach of allowing the player to map their identity into the game? The answer is legion.
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July 30th, 2012, 22:12
Strange that Dave Arneson is so often forgotten, or rather, neglected.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 31st, 2012, 01:45
Yeah, I was thinking the same. I'm not real sure what part of the game came from him and what parts came from Gygax. <shrug>

…at once a geeky stats-fest and yet also the ultimate social game that only works with a group of friends.
No you didn't! There was a nice little section on randomizing dungeons that could let you play solo. I remember finding the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords being guarded by a couple of giant toads with that system. Sweet.
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