the Fairgame Archive

2008-02-03: Chat interview with Elizabeth: Part 1, Design
by Emily

So a few weeks ago, Elizabeth and I got to chatting on google.  She let me know she was playing James Bond with Graham using Breaking the Ice and we got to talking about other things. Now, that woman asks good questions. We ended up being on for some hours, and she got me to talk about the process of me coming to design games, and even give her a short sweet overview of Forge Theory, basically an unintentional interview, that I thought I'd share here. It's long, so I'll break it up into two parts, edited a bit.

Part 1: BtI and Emily's game design history:


Elizabeth: Oh wow, Graham and I just finished our first date of James Bond: Breaking the Ice. It was the MOST FUN I have had, dialogue-wise, roleplaying in quite some time...

Emily: awww..thank you! I"m glad you are having such a good time. What is Bond's conflict?

Elizabeth: Well, you know. Constant attempts on one's life makes old-fashioned courtship a bit impossible. ;)

Emily: ha! that's great.

Elizabeth: We had the greatest word clouds, too. Bond's color was gun-metal gray—which lead to "the sea," which lead to "fishing," which lead to "bait."

Emily: nod

Elizabeth: And the bond girl, Raven, was all blood and talons and adultery and mirrors.

Emily: awesome!!! What was the [favorite]color graham picked?

Elizabeth: Scarlet. :)

Emily: oh yeah. I love your choice of gunmetal grey. So perfect

Elizabeth: One of Raven's attributes is "Protects broken things," So hopefully after he got beaten unconscious, she'll rescue him from whatever elaborate death machine her husband has cooked up. ;)

Emily: oh, man that's a beautiful trait

Elizabeth: And Bond had "Haunted" for one of his. Seriously, so fun. :)

Emily: oh dig:

"[James Bond] Bond's eyes never leave Raven's. "Oh, I believe you, La Glasse. Which is a shame, because she quite seems the sort of creature worth living for."" adore

Elizabeth: :D I got a bonus die there. The cheesy, arch language is so perfect for this kind of game.

Emily: nod

Elizabeth: I almost feel like it's cheating for the play challenge, because it's such a perfect fit.

Emily: ha!

Elizabeth: So, um, if you don't mind my asking—what lead you to start designing? BtI was your first game, right? (Or was it just your first published game?)

Emily: nod. BtI was my first published.

Elizabeth: (And of course, if you DO mind me asking, that's quite okay)

Emily: no, it's more than fine! I grew up playing games. Didn't start rpg until college, and fell in love with it. My partner Scott was a game designer and I learned a lot about game design by playing board and war games with him. Meanwhile, I was playing wickedly collaborative, in-depth world development, freeform games with my friends that I lived with. (including Vincent & Meg) And also, I was exposed to RGFA advocacy

Elizabeth: RGFA?

Emily: :) I am looking for the link as we speak:

That group was the forebear of forge theory and my friend Sarah Kahn was deeply involved. That got me interested in looking at games as more than just stuff that happened. Later, Meg, Vincent and I played a free-form, then improvised system campaign of Ars magica for 6 years, in which we experimented with collaborative structures and mechanics. And during that time, the Forge started up. I talked a lot with Vincent and did theory and some design with him. And started on my own designs. It was Game Chef that made me believe I could be a designer, though. I took part in one and came up with Sign in Stranger. Completing it for that made me realize I could do it too. :)

Elizabeth: SiS was your first? Wow, you certainly don't start small. :D

to be continued...

2008-02-04 17:46:37 ScottM

Cool beginning.  I'm looking forward to part 2.

2008-02-04 22:51:18 Emily

Your wish is my demand...

Back to ToC