Still feeling a little fatigue in my creative muscles, also DMing regularly on Friday nights takes some of the juice that I would normally use to post on here.
But I've been playing Fallout: New Vegas. First, be careful it's buggy; the only console game I've had that's frozen on me. Second, it's more linear than Fallout 3; sure you can go into the hills, but when they say your bullets won't hurt the critters up there they mean it. But even after all that and some other little annoyances it really gives me something I crave.
I love exploring and scavenging. In the game, I see an abandoned gas station up ahead and I burn with curiosity to see what's in it. I know from experience there won't be much of value, some radioactive food, a little cash, some ammo. But I want to see it just the same.
And then once I've barely survived the giant scorpions surrounding the place-- and spent more ammo than I'll ever be able to buy from the combined trash in the place-- I proceed to pick the place clean.
I imagine if this video game allowed for cooperative play, most folks would find the way I play boooooring. How does this compare to an oldschool D&D game? I wonder if group exploration is fundamentally different from solitary exploration.
That is where I see our group play slow down most, (or maybe I should say that is where play happens?) when the group is trying to decide where to go and how long to stay there. Not sure what to do about that other than talk with players about what they enjoy most in the game, and try to facilitate the group communicating with each other when they make decisions.
A recent post by Trollsmyth made me think about the idea for an exploration based game is not so much to have appropriate rewards to be found after appropriate exertion, which I've long thought, but to have interesting things to find and interact with. I think this applies here because if a party of six find a glowing sword, five people go without-- but if the party finds a fountain that does weird things to imbibers, each party member can choose to interact with it or not.
And if party decisions about where to explore mean some players will have to go places that weren't their first choice, the least I can do as DM is to make every place as interesting as possible.
Not sure I have an insight here, so I'll put it to you: What ways can a solo exploration game differ from a group exploration game fruitfully and vice versa? What are the limitations of each type?