I try to play some events. I believe that playing events helps improve the quality of the events I run. It gives me insight into how some things play through and what players are really thinking. I managed to go three years without playing anything. Previous to that I mostly played fantasy fest games. Then I moved to running sci fi. I honestly believe that isn't a sci fi game out there that's an improvement on Alone. Feel free to make suggestions if you think you have something.
I play fantasy fest LRP again. I returned to CP and it has, for me, become a really lovely system. It suits the players it has, and has a really good atmosphere. I also tried modern horror games. I love these as well. They feel to me like they have much more in common with the games we're running, although they're still different genres and we tend to close in and control the players environment much more.
Games make more sense if they’re set into a coherent universe. Each of the Alone games was tied together by being part of a coherent back story. We knew what was happening and why, and we knew about it in the sense of the greater story. There was a survivor of the first game (technically there were two) and we knew for each of the following games where he was in relation to the players. Each game built on the last. I don’t think most of the players knew. It wouldn’t have mattered if they did. It affected how we wrote, not how they played.
Similarly, a player needs a background - this can be really simple or really complicated. I often build them up ic, they don’t exist until they need to. However, no one needs to know that background. It is for the player to inform their choices and put themselves into the world.
Characters should feel real. They need to add to the world in the same way as the npcs, and the settings and the stories do. They should feel like they have a place and are tied to it.
When we write a character creation process we will often put in a detail that we want to know. It’s very easy to play a caricature. To take one element of a character and amplify it beyond what is logical. This doesn’t make for a natural feeling character and I tend to find it jarring.
The decisions we make help to determine how much we enjoy the game we’re playing. For example, if we don’t find reasons for our characters to go out and do things it can be quite easy to just sit around and hope that stuff happens and then get bored. We decide whether our character will go to an event or not, and how they’ll feel about certain situations. I’ve never played a character that’s interested in rituals because I find them dull. This doesn’t have to involve making unnatural decisions.