I’ve been playing a lot of Free to Play games recently: League of Legends, Wizardry (though not for long), Warframe, and Planetside 2. I’ve documented my playing of others here in the past, as well. We’ve seen a few shut down recently, too, due to lack of funding; Glitch and City of Heroes come to mind. Every time a F2P game shuts down, we hear the same two cries: “Why is it shutting down? I love this game!” and “Yes, but did you ever spend any money on it?”
My buddy and I have taken a big jump into Warframe. From what I can tell about 10 hours in, it’s a Vindictus-style FPS game, meaning it’s got a central lobby for stage choice and character development and a series of procedurally-generated boards that you and a few friends can play. We can argue some other time whether that makes it a multiplayer ARPG or a MMORPG, but for today’s sake I’m going to refer to it as an ARPG, which is how Steam categorizes it (seemingly proving me wrong, I might add).
We’re 10 hours into a relatively fresh F2P game, and I have to say it’s the second best F2P I’ve encountered, only topped by LoL. That is to say, then, that it’s LEAPS and BOUNDS above most F2P games. It’s got intense firefights, a fair amount of character development, randomized loot drops, and crafting.
I got to thinking about LoL and the hours I’ve played (probably 50+ by now) and Warframe and the probable hours I’ll play (though Vindictus grabbed a lot of my attention and then faded VERY suddenly). My buddy and I were joking about “It’s been worth every penny,” mostly since we’re becoming penny-pinching game misers who refuse to pay full price for games regardless of the fact that we badly want to play them. That’s a very unflattering phrasing, but intentionally so.
I’ve mentioned before the “Ed Value,” an idea that originated from a friend of my buddy’s and mine who was otherwise kind of a sleazebag. The idea is that a game should provide at least X hours of entertainment, where X is the cost in dollars. Well, with a F2P game, you’re always getting your Ed Value for the game, even if you hate it and uninstall it immediately. But how does that interact with the F2P business model? Should my thinking, perhaps, adapt to the CoH and Glitch deaths and create something that works the other way, too?
Hence the Reciprocal Ed Value. I propose spending money in F2P games for the amount of time one’s been playing them. I haven’t decided on the exact amount, but I’m going to suggest to my buddy that it be 1/2 X calculated every 20 hours of play time, so 10 bucks or so every 20 hours, up to a cap of 50 or 60 bucks over the long term, which is generally the very top-end of game prices. I expect he’ll scoff and refuse, of course, but you never know.
What do you think, dear reader? Is it foolish to buy the cow when you’re getting the milk for free (a nice reappropriation of an otherwise sexist old phrase)? Do you ever spend money on F2P games?
Stubborn (and inching back into WoW – played 5 or 6 hours from Fri to Sun)
I’ve a shorter, lighter correspondence for you today after the more theoretical posts of the last week. Today, I just want to discuss options for inching one’s way back in to WoW. I find that I’ve not played for about a month, but I’m feeling the urge to return. However, after updating and excitedly preparing to play, I found myself staring at the server screen, not sure where to begin. I know I want to play, but not necessarily what I want to do.
One of the primary reasons I haven’t been playing has been that my wife has lost interest. While I don’t mean to suggest that she schedules the play in our household, she certainly has a lot of input. I’ve said before that I believe my current goal in playing is to spend time with people I like, so since I like my wife the most, I certainly give her the lead in our play decisions. As a result, we’ve been playing a lot of League of Legends, and while I enjoy, I also liked my game diversity.
So when my wife went out of town this weekend, I told myself I was going to get back into at least one of my characters. I struggled between Stubborn, Iambic (my only 90), and my DK on the new server, to work to max him. I decided against Stubborn eventually since I’m leveling the baby druid, and I wasn’t sure if I just wanted to dive into dailies again, so I put Iambic aside and loaded up Liberated, my DK. I immediately dove into two smooth dungeon runs, which made me feel good, but again, it’s more and more LK dungeons, which I’ve now done 11 times.
So I’m left with a quandry: I don’t know how to return to WoW any more. I figured a level a day would be a good way to inch back in, but I immediately felt some repulsion to the dungeons. I might try some BGs, but the gear disparity in LK is one of the absolute worst, not to mention I have no heirloom gear. I could do quests, but good lord; I don’t know how many times I can kill the troll idols in Zul’Drak.
So I’m here looking for ideas. I’ve got a lot of broad interests, and I’ve got the will to play, so I know I will regardless of what is said or not said here, but I’m curious how others have returned to WoW for the first, second, third, or - for me – fifth time now.
Stubborn (who cannonballs into pools, not inches)
In our last two correspondences, we discussed the qualities of good management, and the signs that management is failing. Today, we’ll examine the last part of this situation, what individuals can do to deal with bad management.
The sad fact is that there’s often very little one can do. So many things can go wrong so quickly that often a single person trying to work to right the ship is simply going to be overwhelmed by the many spinning and negative pieces. Still, many of us who’ve encountered these situations feel an obligation to try, either from a sense of loyalty to the organization or simply as a moral imperative to try to do what’s right (or often both). So for those of us, here’s some strategies that you might be able to use.
Let me start with a disclaimer, though. If you’re suffering from compassion fatigue, which was excellently explained a few months ago by Apple Cider, then this is only going to greatly add to it. Also, some people may view these actions as meddling, and it may make you a target, like a neutral party getting in the middle of a pair of spatting spouses (which you should never, ever do. More police officers die this way than any other). If either of those are too big a concern, then keep your head down or flee, both of which are perfectly acceptable responses to a failing management. If, however, you feel that taking some action on the off chance it helps is better than taking no action that will definitely not cause further problems, then these strategies are for you.
1) The Mediator
I worked for many years training peer mediators in public schools. These students were trained to help mediate minor peer disputes that needed attention to prevent any escalation but weren’t really problems in the first place. Teachers or the guidance counselor would sit in as well, as a secure background in case things didn’t work out. The students were trained to provide a set of rules to the opposing sides: all comments should be made to the mediator. All comments must be about facts – something that happened or a way that the speaker feels. All participants were to keep as level a head as possible. Of course, there were many more specific ones, but those were the gist of them. By making the opposing sides speak to you instead of to each other, the directness of the confrontation is lessened. By having them talk about things that specifically happened or about how they feel rather than hurling accusations, the participants must be more introspective. And by enforcing a realistically level-headed environment (there’s bound to be some runaway emotions, but then you take a break and come back when everyone’s calmed down), you keep the tone of the conversation more civil.
It worked wonders in the school, but of course the threat of ADULT INTERVENTION usually encouraged the participants to want to make it work. If the management is one of the problems, though, there’s not a higher authority you can turn to. Still, sometimes all it really takes is a good conversation that helps clear the air to get the process of rebuilding started.
2) The Devil’s Advocate
I often find myself talking to both sides independently, though, as it’s usually quite quickly that communications break down. Since I’m generally friendly and am always willing to listen, I often find myself in a position where both sides are coming to “confide” in me, and while I never break a confidence (in the effort of full disclosure: except to my wife, who I talk to about everything and keep no secrets from), I feel it’s a good opportunity to play devil’s advocate to see if I can get each side to at least acknowledge the other’s point of view. If you can get both sides to at least acknowledge the other, it’s much easier to get them to come together and begin to work things out. You can then use this consensus-building to start to find a middle ground that everyone can work with. I usually then provide this middle ground to both sides, so they can approach each other with a “solution” that they already both agree with. Sure, it’s clear in the end that I helped set it up, but you just duck your head and deny, deny, deny, letting the squabbling parties feel good about coming to a working agreement.
3) Tough Love
If you’re in a position close enough to your management that they truly want to hear what you have to say, then sometimes tough love is best. Sometimes, particularly in long-existing or heavily friend-based organizations, management surrounds itself with like-thinking individuals, and as a result, is constantly affirmed on every thought they have. That’s not a very healthy situation, and in the long term, it can be quite dangerous; governments often do this, which leads to many, many problems (see: North Korea – or, for that matter, GW). Sometimes just having someone be honest with them about how the members are feeling creates a epiphany moment when they realize that the opposition isn’t just a group a whiners, but might have a valid point. Even if it opens only a tiny crack in a leader’s self-assuredness, that’s a start at finding a solution.
Occasionally, what a failing organization needs is just someone to break the negativity. If that seems to be the case, you can always try to be the “let’s pull together” person, trying your hardest to keep things positive and moving in a corrective direction. Management often feels the weight of all failures more than they should, and as a result, if you simply buck up and play the cheerleader for the organization, you can generate some “team membership juices” and get them fermenting into – one would hope – eventually re-ownership of the organization for all. This is more often a good strategy during short periods of rough spots, like when you’ve had a fragmentation and a group of core raiders have left, leaving the team temporarily - hopefully – short staffed. Those events can often turn very negative very quickly, causing more raiders to bail, but if you’re willing to shoulder the Atlas-ean nature of the job, it can make a huge difference. Just make sure it doesn’t go on too long, and that if you need to switch to “adult-conversation” mode about the guild’s future, don’t let your efforts get in the way; covering up for failure isn’t your goal, just bridging the hopefully small gap between temporary setbacks and a return to normalcy.
5) The Vocal Majority
Sometimes the best way to solve the problem of two sides fighting is to create a third site that just wants to see the end of the fight. Since there’s often far more people in the middle of the argument than on either side, organizing those people to speak up and ask that things improve – not taking sides mind you, but just coming to some resolution – can get the ball rolling. If both sides truly want the group to stay together but simply have different opinions about how to do it, seeing an organized group of upset individuals who aren’t making any demands other than a resolution of some kind can really make clear how harmful the disagreement is. That way, both sides have more of an impetus to find a solution than to dig in their heels, and getting talks under way seems more pressing since there’s such a large and now-vocal group who’s saddened by the tussle.
Those sum up the various strategies I’ve tried, but again remember that they’ve never worked out for me. I either got into the game too late to do any good, was overwhelmed and lost my own fighting spirit, or was shouted down by one side or the other (or both) and told to stay out of it. In each of those cases, though, I’m still glad I tried, even if it was to no apparent avail. I know at least there was nothing more I could have done before I left, leaving my conscience clear.
I’m sorry to break into the management posts, but I find myself having a hard time finishing the next one. Please be aware that this post comes at a very odd moment and may reveal far more about me than anyone should know. Still, it’s what’s happening.
I found out yesterday that my grandfather passed away. I wrote about him briefly last Veteran’s Day.
The thing is, I’ve never been particularly close with any of my family, and his passing was foretold for the past several months as coming “any day now.” He suffered from a bad case of Parkinson’s Disease, and towards the end had lost all mobility – including the ability to speak. During his lucid times, though, when the medication was working and he wasn’t too tired, he was still the old card shark he always was, indicating that he still had a quick and clever mind. To be trapped in that way – a working mind inside a paralyzed body – seems nightmarish, so his death is probably a great relief to both him and my grandmother.
I’m not in a place financially to buy two plane tickets to Florida on short notice, nor do I really feel that missing more school would be good for my students, so when I was speaking to my mother receiving the news, I was simultaneously feeling grief while also wondering how to – or even if I should – broach the question of whether I was expected at the funeral. Luckily, my mother, who knows me well, broached the topic herself, telling me that my uncle, who lives further away, couldn’t find a single plane ticket to Florida right now because it’s so many schools’ Spring Break. She followed that up by letting me know that the funeral would be held on Monday, and that it wouldn’t be practical for me to come, since I’d have to make the two-day drive and miss so much school.
I don’t know how I feel about being so – honestly – selfish. Or realistic. I’m not sure. That’s the problem I suppose with living so much in my head; everything’s getting a lot of analysis whether it should or not.
That bit of horror was followed by my mother’s suggestion that I call my grandmother, which I knew I should. She suggested I call today, so I did. It was the most uncomfortable conversation I’ve ever had. My grandmother didn’t recognize who I was at first, but as she’s not suffering any senility, I suspect it’s just fatigue and grief. It took about four minutes to get her to figure out who I was, and after that, I didn’t really know what to say. I generated what I could – my condolences, we’ll miss him, he’s in a better place, he was an inspiration – all of them true, but cliché and superficial-feeling, and she agreed with each, but the conversation itself was so filled with silences and grief on her end that I simply didn’t know what to say or do.
I know my strengths and weaknesses. Consoling a grieving widow of any age is so far out of my experience that, basically, I froze. I wish I could do more – feel more – and thus be prompted with the right things to say, but my overt formality about so many things to anyone who’s not in my closest sphere of friends – the teacher/professor armor that I put on to do my job on a daily basis – has greatly atrophied that part of my personality, it seems. I deal with problems by thinking my way out of them, not feeling, so coming up against something like this leaves me at a loss.
I don’t know. Perhaps I’m just over-thinking it. I respected my grandfather, but realistically he wasn’t much of a presence in my life; I saw him maybe once a year, and less since I became an adult. I suppose that’s the nature of things, but everywhere I’ve lived it’s seemed to others that family was super-important, and that’s just not something I’ve grown up feeling. My wife is my family; if I lost her, I know I’d feel devastated. My students, too, are part of a surrogate family, though less-so since I started teaching adults. That’s always been enough. When I learned that one of my former students who I’d taught for two years had died when his brain tumor – which he’d “successfully” beaten – suddenly returned, I felt far more grief. He was one of mine. Somehow, this feels different.
Regardless, I apologize for such a depressing post, but I write what I know and what I’m thinking about, and this is it. I hope this has cleared my head enough to get back to my regular schedule for tomorrow. We’ll see.
Today’s post comes on the heels of last Friday’s, when we discussed what characteristics good managers have. I had good comments from Balkoth and Rimecat, both of whom added greatly to the discussion with their ideas and links. I’ll sum them up here, but don’t hesitate to check out the comments in their original form.
Balkoth provided a link to a story about good management from an internal Google study: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/business/13hire.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all. The results were interesting, to say the least.
Rimecat pointed out some qualities that perhaps should have been highlighted: self-awareness, transparency, and delegation. I think those are each probably covered under one of my categories, but they are also incredibly important of their own right, and thus should have been mentioned in the discussions of those broader topics.
Today, though, is about what happens when management fails. We’ve likely all experienced at work or in other aspects of our life (games, teams, clubs, etc), and it’s a uncomfortable place in which to find oneself.
Before we start, we should talk about what we’re really covering about here. There are plenty of times one may be unhappy with their management, but that in and of itself doesn’t mean management failure. A worker may disagree with a decision or be negatively affected, but that in and of itself does not mean management failure.
Management failure is a situation in which a manager or leadership team repeatedly makes decisions which negatively affect the group. The decision can be group-wide (like a new, poorly-thought out strategy) or to an individual, by which the manager reveals an untrustworthy quality (such as punishing someone at random, revealing an arbitrariness or lack of consistency). Often it’s a mixture of both of these over a longer period of time so that the organization begins to fail.
I’ve never been at a job long enough to experience this – not because I’m bad, but simply because I move a lot. I’ve seen the start of it, though, when we got our “new” principal in at my NYC middle school. She was from the “leadership academy,” a “rehabilitation” clinic for (failed) business people who were friends with Mayor Mike Bloomberg and decided become public school principals. They got 3 years of training; one as a student teacher, one as a teacher, and one as an assistant principal, and then were given schools – often flagship “best of the best” schools, like mine – to lead.
She had her heart in the right place, but no concept of how education worked. She worked against the teachers, supporting bad students and befriending bullies because she thought that she was “playing” them, making them be good, when in fact they were overtly playing her, much to their own satisfaction. She attacked teachers verbally in front of students, parents, and other teachers, isolating them and herself socially. She tried to turn teachers on teachers.
She lacked most of the qualities of a good manager, and as a former businessperson in a cutthroat NY money exchange (apparently not a good one, since she didn’t last), her attitude towards co-workers was very hostile. The funny thing is, I’ve seen the same thing in both WoW guilds and LoL teams. Sometimes people simply do not understand what it means to work together.
As the management fails in any organization, you begin to see a series of problems, each of which I noticed both in that work situation and in WoW guilds. These behaviors can act as warning signs to group members who hopefully can work to right the ship, which will be what we discuss on Wednesday, since this correspondence is already getting lengthy. The warning signs are as follows:
Greater Absenteeism – invariably, as things start to fall apart, more and more people stop showing up, show up late, or show up and mentally check out. You see this at work as people start taking more “sick days” that are clearly just “tired of putting up with this place” days. In a game environment, you see people stop signing up for raids, or signing up and no showing. You also have people who come on the raids but are clearly not performing as they normally do. It can also take the form of constant AFKs – sometimes unannounced. Additionally, both at work or in games, you see people wanting to leave earlier and earlier, and often doing so. This behavior can even become accepted, which is part of our next warning sign.
Loss of Standards – often, as management fails, you start to see a loss of standards. Due to the higher and higher volume of “problems” that management has to handle as it fails, it begins to become lax in dealing with small things. It’ll be called something like “choosing their battles,” but there shouldn’t be a battle to begin with; if you have clearly stated expectations that aren’t being met, then it should be simple to address them, not a “battle” at all. It wasn’t as easy for me to notice in my educations situation, not being aware of every other teacher’s timecard, but there were certainly more teachers showing up late, texting on their phones during class (which really irritates me), or strolling leisurely back from lunch hour instead of meeting their class, which was the stated expectation. In guilds, you see it all the time. People not signing up but being allowed into a raid before people who signed up. People showing up late or taking extended or frequent AFKs. People not having basic consumables. As more and more people see that this is an accepted behavior, the behavior spreads until the organization loses the capability to perform whatever task it’s meant to perform.
Greater Emotionality – as the ship sinks, members succumb to greater bouts of emotionality. Now let me be clear; I’ve no problem with having emotions in an organization; a D&D group is predicated on the idea of role playing, and playing those roles requires creating those emotions. However, every group finds the proper balance, and that balance is accepted as long as the group is functioning. When, however, the management starts to fail, the emotional balance becomes offset. At both work and in game, you see more nasty emotional encounters happening, and those encounters breed more emotionality among others, spreading the discontent.
Formation of sub-groups – the common result of this discontent is the formation of sub-groups, or cliques. Even under bad management, there will be “loyal” members who support their leader. These members will huddle together around the leader, becoming increasingly defensive to any perceived slight. There will be a group of strong opponents, as well, who will huddle in the other corner. There will be many, many small groups of relatively neutral parties in the middle who are generally unhappy with the state of things, but who are being bombarded by both sides and begin to dislike both.
Secrecy – another consequence of the failure of management is greater secrecy. As part of the existence of the sub-groups, communication between groups and individuals will break down. People will complain to receptive ears, but since nothing’s changed when they previously addressed problems with the management, they’ll stop trying to talk to them. The management, too, may stop trying to explain itself because it usually ends up having to defend anything it says to a semi-hostile crowd. As a result, decisions coming from above arrive as mandates and appear to be unilateral edicts that don’t take members’ ideas into account. As this continues more and more nothing is said, decisions are made in secret, and plots form.
Negativity – the final result of all of these is an overwhelming environment of negativity. In particular, distance and distrust reign. Anyone who’s still around, whether by choice in a game setting or by necessity in an employment situation, begins to turn inward and keep to oneself since so many encounters lead to negativity. Here, the organization has essentially dissolved into a disconnected group of individuals, and while the organization may still exist in name, it does not in function.
While I presented those warnings as a series of events, they need not actually occur in any particular order, and, more likely are occurring in small quantities all at once, feeding on one another as the drama and unhappiness grow. That’s what makes breaking the cycle of disintegration so difficult; you can’t necessarily face only one front, since it’s being reinforced by so many others; instead, you have to address the culture as a whole. Ferrel talks very clearly about this in his Guild Leader’s Companion.
Next time, we’ll look at a more hopeful situation: what individuals can try to do when they see these warning signs and want to help right the ship. I’ll be honest, though; I’ve never succeeded at doing so. I’ve tried, though, repeatedly, and will at least impart what good and bad decisions I made along the way.
Stubborn (and too often looking for warning signs)
Hello again! I hope you enjoyed my series of PAX East posts written by my wife and friends. Today, though, we’re going back to the more traditional correspondence, wherein we discuss prevalent issues in gaming.
The importance of the message in today’s post can’t be overstated. I suspect that anyone who’s ever been part of any kind of organization – club, guild, job, classroom, team, RPG group – understands how important good management is, but I really wanted to take a moment today to look at what good management is (and where you can read more about it), how things go wrong when good management fails, and how to potentially deal with poor management.
This topic comes up now because of several concurrent events in my life. First, I haven’t logged on to WoW in a while (though I have to admit that today for the first time in about three weeks I was about to, but decided to try out a new game instead). I truly attribute that to management issues in my previous guilds. Even now, with the promise of a good guild at hand (again), I am having an extremely difficult time motivating myself to level another character on the chance that things work out. If I’d had better previous guild experiences, I don’t think it would be an issue, but every guild I’ve left I did so due to bad management – not other players. Secondly, my wife’s decided to quit her roller derby team because of the way she’s been treated (I won’t go into much more detail than that, but everything said here definitely addresses problems there), and I’ve been really working in LoL to figure out how to develop a sense of unity in the extremely transient groups that form there. Each of these situations have gotten me thinking about management.
Good management is the art of inspiring people to do their best in whatever area they’re working. Whether it’s working together as a team while healing, dpsing, or tanking, or whether it’s getting each part of a program completed and working with all the other parts by a particular deadline, managers have to find ways to motivate their employees to achieve their best. While whole books can be (and have been) written on the art of managing, the actual skills it requires are relatively few. Unfortunately, like precious stones, these few skills are rarely found in a single individual.
I’d say you can boil down good management into five basic qualities. These basic qualities cover many sub-qualities and combine to form other qualities, but if you have these five basic characteristics, managing should come easily to you. These are in no particular order.
The first important quality is understanding. This one quality has broad use; managers need to understand their employees as well as the content of their managerial project (whatever they’re getting their “team” to do). Understanding the employees means that a manager can make an informed decision about how to react to requests that come up as well as knowing how best to motivate individuals on their team. Understanding the content means having at least a basic understanding of each employee’s job so that they can – at a bare minimum – have an intelligent conversation about problems that come up and perhaps help the employee work out how to solve them. Understanding also means having a sense of fairness; if you truly understand situations from multiple viewpoints, it’s far easier to come to fair judgments when situations require you too. Too many managers make snap decisions on partial information, which causes their team to lose confidence or faith in them. This is precisely what happened with my wife.
Being a good manager also requires having standards and holding people to them. If you’re too lackadaisical and forgiving, people will inevitably begin to push at the boundaries to see what they can get away with. Knowing what your standards are and communicating them to your team is key to helping your team understand what goals are set and what boundaries exist. Without either of those two aspects – goals and boundaries – a manager’s going to have a hard time getting their project complete. The goals show your team what to be aiming for. These can be strategies to use or percentages of projects to complete by certain deadlines. The boundaries explain what minimally accepted behaviors are and define lines that should not be crossed.
In order to communicate standards and understandings, a manager must have good communication skills. Knowing how to talk to people in a calm, intelligent way means that you’ll have less misunderstandings and, thus, fewer staff-caused setbacks. Additionally, good communication skills means good listening; being able to hear your team when they bring you issues can make the difference between heading off problems and being smacked in the face by them. If all you’re doing is waiting for your turn to talk, then your team’s going to lose confidence in you.
Charisma doesn’t hurt, either. Being able to be friendly and smile convincingly (or sound like you’re smiling over a voice program) really helps projects run smoothly. I cannot overemphasize this aspect in particular, as often it’s this where teachers begin to fail. All the knowledge and communication in the world can’t turn a bad situation into a good one if you can’t smile first. Being a little disarming makes it much harder for problematic people to keep pushing their point, and it makes people more likely to want to work with you. To be honest, this was one of my biggest failings as a raid leader. I can smile and charm my students all day long, but when my raid team failed over and over, I just couldn’t keep the irritation out of my voice, and it demoralized my team.
Lastly, a healthy dose of humility helps. Humility can be in the form of patience – understanding that everyone takes some extra time sometimes – or a fair sense of self-deprecation – knowing that everyone screws up sometimes. Admitting when you’ve made a mistake or being empathetic when someone’s having a hard time adjusting can really encourage people on your team to adapt, forgive themselves, and refocus to do better. Acting as if you’re the best all the time doesn’t instill anyone with anything other than a healthy dose of skepticism in your leadership.
For more reading on this subject, I’d recommend several books. From a more business-like perspective, I’d recommend How to Win Friends and Influence People. Yes, that book is still valid after nearly 100 years in print. I’d also recommend The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. That book gives a lot of practical strategies for management. Lastly, from a more motivational stand point, I’d recommend Made to Stick, which details how to make ideas that resonate with people. For more gameplay-oriented reading, I’d suggest either of Ferrel’s excellent books, The Raid Leader’s Companion or The Guild Leader’s Companion.
On Monday, we’ll look at how management fails and how to potentially deal with those failures. Being a manager in incredibly hard, but being under one who’s clearly destroying the team can be even harder, as many of us have unfortunately experienced.
Stubborn (and a classroom manager)
Today’s installment is from my “other” buddy, Malchiah. He covers an indie RPG panel.
The Indie RPG panel was a particular pleasure at PAX East this year. I’ve played a number of indie games and enjoy exploring new systems or mechanics, and while there are more games than I will ever get to play, it’s always good to see more independent game designers in the mix. Sometimes fresh ideas can add a new perspective we otherwise might not experience since too many players limit themselves only to the tried-and-true game they’ve played for years.