chapter  8
13 Pages

Online Freeform Role-Playing Games

WithJessica Hammer

Online freeform role-playing games have significant similarities with other types of role-playing games. Online freeform games do not limit themselves to a single platform. Rather, these games draw on different types of software to serve game goals. In Cryptic Conjuring, for example, players post their characters' actions on a web-based forum. As in online freeform games, players are asked to address problems narratively and socially rather than through explicit formal mechanics. For example, players are guided to be "subtle and believable" when weaving supernatural elements into the game's world. Online freeform players select technologies to serve their social and narrative purposes in play. TL Taylor frames these types of choices as anassemblage of play, a complex relationship between software, game design, and player choices that produces a play experience. Online freeform allows multiple activities to proceed in parallel, including scenes involving some of the same characters and/or players.