September 8, 2013

Gaming Ballistic Interview: GURPS Line Editor Sean Punch

A one-hour interview with GURPS Line Editor +Sean Punch. In the interview, we cover GURPS' strengths and weaknesses, compare and contrast it a bit to other game systems, muse on the state of the RPG industry, discuss "realism" in games, and much more. At the end, Sean talks a bit about how to write well for GURPS, now that the pipeline seems to be open again.


This is my first video interview ever - not just for this blog. I will be attempting to add useful content to this post over time, including (eventually) a text transcript of the entire thing, since I find it entirely annoying when I have to play a video to get good content. So stay tuned.

Oh, and at the end, Sean throws down a bit of a challenge, which I will gleefully take up when I'm better at this: a panel discussion featuring more than one key player in the GURPS space. As was said about the Six Million Dollar Man, "we have the technology," and there's no reason such a good idea should go to waste.

I provided Sean a list of questions ahead of time, but other than a few moments where I forgot that the interview is not about what I have to say, I mostly let him talk. Here are some notable moments, messages, and themes:
I would be remiss if I didn't thank Sean for giving me so much of his time to conduct this interview!

Again: in case you missed the embedded link, here's a full-text transcript and an MP3 file of this same interview.

Links to GURPS various style guides and templates, from the Wish List:

14 comments:

  1. This is extremely interesting. I think it's obvious why GURPS is as good as it is--its authors are highly experienced, intelligent, thoughtful individuals!

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  2. The mic sounded a bit off, Doug's voice is fine, but Sean's is very echoy/reverby.

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  3. I assume that's because Doug is doing the recording from his computer, and Sean is elsewhere.

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  4. Replies
    1. Teh shelf, teh shelf, teh shelf needs more fiber!

      No?

      Carry on, then.

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  5. I don't actually hear him saying anything about a panel discussion at the end. Cut off early?

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    1. About 53:30-40 or so, he says "like to have other writers form a bit of a panel." We did discuss it more afterwards, and I have started reaching out to people.

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  6. Anyway, Matt, you get mentioned by name early on, so there. ;)

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  7. Finally got a chance to watch this (it's not always easy to set aside an hour for something to which I want to pay attention!), and found it quite enjoyable. I do have a question, possibly tangential, but it was mentioned so I suppose that it is at least nominally on-topic: I have seen and heard several references to the "Ritual Path Magic" system. I don't know anything about this, other than hearing about it being neat or cool or whatever. I already like the Path/Book Magic system outlined in GURPS Thaumatology (originating in GURPS Voodoo, and refined in GURPS Old West and GURPS Spirits and such) quite a lot. In fact, I think that it is one of the two or three best magic systems in any game (the others would be RuneQuest with its spirits and such and Unknown Armies). Why might I want to get the "Ritual Path Magic" system?

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    1. Then you already know it.
      It's the same system, it just went through a couple of name iterations as it was refined or adapted to other settings.

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    2. OK, but why is it then going to be published separately, since it is already in GURPS Thaumatology?

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    3. It's a greatly expanded book, covering and listing many pregenerated spells at the very least. I played a test-game using the system and it's very interesting.

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  8. GURPS Thaumatology describes a tool kit – a recipe – with no worked example. The RPM system is such an example. Moreover, it isn't an example of just one thing; Jason "PK" Levine cherry-picked the best parts of several rules sets in GURPS Thaumatology to come up with something cool.

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  9. I can't wait till home! I am close to watch this video on my work. Thanks for a great job!

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