Conversation with Minerva Zimmerman

This morning, the talented Minerva Zimmerman posted the latest in a series of conversations she’s having with writers. This one is with yours truly, talking about a host of stuff including RPG writing, setting design, Storium, gnomes, being/not being “Ryan Fuckling Macklin from the Internet,” brief lion copulation, and weird things we know from day jobs.

Here’s an excerpt:

MZ: ‪Huh. Now I’m trying to think of all the formats that have a narrator to see if there’s new RPG opportunities there. Like… maybe, Nature Documentary RPG.

RM: ‪That could work, if you know what the point of play is from an emotional standpoint.

MZ: ‪Well if the players are the animals being documented, and the GM is David Attenborough

RM: ‪But that is its own trap. A lot of early game designers try to make games that emulate a genre of storytelling, because we think in analogies, rather than be homages that appreciate a genre of storytelling without trying to be awkward about it.

Okay, let’s run with that. So the players are playing (important difference) animals being documented.

MZ: ‪if you did it sort of like a theater game

RM: ‪The GM could also be Morgan Freeman.

MZ: ‪so the players are throwing out things the narrator has to deal with and vice versa

RM: ‪So, we know what the characters are doing. We have a lot of ideas about what the players could do, but what do we want them to feel? What’s the thing we want to reward players for doing?

MZ: ‪Being… interesting?

If you dig that, check out her conversation with Jaym GatesWendy Sparrow, and several others. She’s also a fantastic author. Do you like unicorns and bioterror? Maybe check out her story in Growing Dread. She has other fantastic stories available.

Also, she was the Human of Honor at my wedding.

– Ryan