Friday, August 11, 2006

Ron Edwards' Super Secret Project

Going over that same monster thread from which I pulled Old Geezer's Law of Hobby Taste, I found this quote from Ron Edwards:
The design decisions I've made with my current project are so not-RPG, but at the same time so dismissive of what's ordinarily called "consensual storytelling," that I cannot even begin to discuss it on-line. I can see the influences of Universalis, The Mountain Witch, and My Life with Master, but I cannot articulate the way that I have abandoned the player-character, yet preserved the moral responsibility of decision-making during play. That's all I'll say here, and I won't answer questions about it.

...

I don't know. I can see its parts forming, as with a mid-term embryo, but what it will be and how it will work, and who will use it for what purposes, I don't know. My current project may be right on track with it, or I may be veering off in a hopeless direction.

I have only this quote in isolation and I haven't really researched the matter further. But I'm a bit puzzled. Here's the guy who put the Forge, a huge collaborative site of game theory wonks, on the map. He could bring vast legions of fans to bear, get the public input of a dozen top indie designers, and employ playtesters across the globe. Why is this guy working in secret? I just don't get it. Even one such 'no questions, please' comment gives ammunition to the crowd of people who thinks the man is a fraud. It would be much wiser to keep your mouth shut completely than to bleat about working on a project that will redefine roleplaying. I don't expect comments like that from the guy who wrote the Fantasy Heartbreakers essays.