And here we go again! As promised, this is Part 2 of my interview with the designers of the Cinema6 RPG framework. If you’re not up on C6, check out their website, and if you missed Part 1, find it here.
Troll in the Corner: What are the biggest challenges that you have faced in the design process?
Jeremy Streeter: That is a tough one… The first thing that comes to mind is staying open to change, but also making sure a good process is in place for keeping things in working order. Anytime a lot of dependent mathematics exist within a game system it needs a lot of QAing to test for changes made in one spot not breaking something elsewhere. Beyond that its been about staying focused and persistent and not letting anything break attention from the goals to completion.
The Cinema6 RPG Framework is meant to be an ever-changing structure, designed with the purpose of finding and adopting the strengths of new ideas. The biggest challenge each day is accepting that it will never truly be finished, and that each day we move forward by improving it even more.
Brett Pisinski: Challenges, roadblocks and hurdles come in all shapes and sizes. Personally for me, one of the biggest challenges during the design process has been
time-management. Jeremy and I both have full-time jobs and lives outside of gaming which has proved tricky with scheduling. Especially when we get the Wicked North gang together for playtesting sessions. Jeremy and I work extremely well together and have developed a system that allows us flexibility while staying on task with the deadlines we set for our projects. We are passionate about gaming and dedicated to pushing ourselves forward when testing the Cinema6 Framework. We listen to our testers, challenge ourselves, and take all ideas into consideration. If you have tested Cinema6, we would love to hear from you.
TC: And what do you think that the biggest challenges of publishing will be? Are you guys looking to do a print version of the rules in the near future?
Jeremy: The biggest challenges of publishing are making sure we have products worth publishing. Apart from the basic quality c6 reflects of Wicked North Games and the various extensions we will eventually release, we definitely want to print something that makes table top gaming more accessible. A lot of our products will eventually be available in print as we progress further, but they will likely be available as print-on-demand unless some line of them really takes off and the print-on-demand service does not meet the needs of the product. We are currently seeking out multiple licenses for IPs that we view as worthwhile investments for Wicked North Games and the RPG community. Right now, we cannot say much more about the IPs other than they all make us quite excited. If anything pans out we will be happily discussing them publicly.
Brett: We’ve taken our first few exciting steps forward which will hopefully open the doors that will lead us to publishing. Echoing Jeremy’s statement, we can not go into much detail here but as soon as the news breaks it will be up on our site. We have a few contacts we’ve initiated talks with so right now we’re in the preliminary stages of obtaining a few different IPs. My personal biggest challenge is being patient during the process, especially since its fun to let the imagination go wild with “what-if’s?” But at the same time, we’ve grounded ourselves with realism and that continues to help push ourselves while we continue to wait and develop our own content for Cinema6. In the near-future, after we’ve obtained some IPs we would love to see the core document itself printed so that anyone can pick it up and begin running adventures using our Framework. The ultimate goal here is accessibility which is why we’ve chosen to offer it on our website as a free download.
TC: The idea of free availability of RPG rules is something that WotC did well with the 3.5 OGL. In fact, it has led to a variety of new products, including Pathfinder. With C6 following a similar model, do you think that is where the industry is headed? Free access to rules, but licensed IP products for which consumers pay?
Jeremy: That’s absolutely the direction of the industry. Tabletop games are not only competing with one another with a fan base for finding complimentary and organic feeling games, we are also competing for a share in time of those people who play computer-based games, which are driving ahead of the curve in both financial resources and growing a wider audience. A tabletop game that will last will have to adapt quickly, and also have the willingness to provide a solid foundation for an interactive level still not quite available. Cinema6 has a design at its base that involves computer-based design infrastructure, so it could more easily translate into a computer-based RPG experience.
A Licensed IP is the only real way to get a wider audience. We can reach a smaller fan base without licensed IPs through social networking and having a presence at conventions, but that will not be enough in this industry for the long haul. Role-Playing Gamers are looking for greater immersion, as provided by games like World of Warcraft, so to compete with them, tabletop RPGs must provide not only a game mechanic, but also a game “experience” that is associated with a unique and exciting IP. Without that investment in something more tangible with which to relate, a game company is preaching to a choir of millions of exceptionally creative people who all can go and create games on their own. A game company should serve to provide the IP on a platter so players do not have to think too much to play the game.
Brett: It does seem to be the current trend with RPGs – for both mainstream and indie games. Its also a great way to get people talking about your game while generating buzz. With Cinema6, our business model approach is we want to grow the RPG as we continue to develop the Framework with a community led effort as we reach out to all types of gamers. Every voice counts, and every fan matters. I do see this trend catching on in the near-future as more and more RPGs continue to adopt this method especially as more success stories continue to catch on.
TC: Lastly, if you two had to each pick one thing that you wish every gamer and GM knew about gaming, what would that thing be?
Jeremy: There is no spoon…
Seriously, though? For me, gaming is about friendship and exploring our identities through fiction. It is not gaming that I love; it is time spent with friends, eating snacks, sitting around a table, and intertwining our imaginations. Those with whom I game and gamed became my lifelong friends.
Brett: Within our core gaming group we have established a few “unwritten rules.” As with any gaming group that’s been gaming together for a long time, we’ve developed our own inside jokes, banter and list of memorable encounters. Several of the infamous “mishaps” during these memorable encounters have tipped the scale in their favor, or that seems to be the case whenever I run. So just before we begin every adventure, I like to remind my players: “Listen guys, we’re in this together to tell a great story. This isn’t about me trying to kill you.” And yes, throughout the years we have all told and experienced many great stories.
Gaming is about friends getting that chance to goof around, and relieve some stress while dabbling in fantastic worlds that are not our own.
Much thanks to Jeremy and Brett for answering my questions. This was my first interview for TC, but I hope it won’t be my last. Also, if you liked what you read about C6, stay tuned to Troll in the Corner for my First Impressions of the system. Hell, if I can find the time and the people, I’ll try to run a session of it and post a full review.
[tags]cinema6, d6, interview, Role Playing Games, rpg[/tags]