Those Guys Must Have Too Much Free Time On Their Hands…

Andy K

I Like Games
Validated User
Cirv said:
Everyone does it because it is so hard to nail down any good stats about gamers.
True, so very true. Take about 1,000 gamers and you'll find 1,000 different habits, gaming mindsets, favorite games, styles of play, etc.

There's very little common ground, which leads to lots of generalizations based on a group of any few folks you run across. Well, save that 998 of those 1,000 like Firefly.
 

Keith Senkowski

Retired User
How much time, say on a weekly basis, do you invest in actual, active gaming (not reading your rulebooks and dreaming, as I do most of the time)? How much of that is prep time, and how much is actual play?
The one group I play with is generally weekly. The other plays weekly in spurts (a few months at a time) depending upon schedules. When I run a game, I play by the seat of my pants mostly so there is minimal prep time (maybe an hour the night before). Both groups when they get together play for about 4 hours at a time.

How do you make that time?
Easy, a couple hours each week isn't all that hard to come by. It will get harder once the first of the little bambinos come along though...

What activities, if any, are you sacrificing in order to do the work of gaming? Housework? Non-school time study? Overtime? Weekend sports? Significant Others/Families?
I don't sacrifice any time for gaming. It works the other way around. I sacrifice gaming for other things (as it should be).

If you’re maintaining an active non-gaming social life, how do you manage everything?
Easy. It is called living your life. It is just one more form of entertainment. You could ask the same question of someone who plays in a lot of sports, is part of a book club, or plays in a poker night.

Do you ever find meeting up with the same gang every week and/or the prep-time required irritating and/or exhausting? In other words: Do you ever wish you spent less time gaming than you do?
Nah. It isn't the be all and end all of my life. If anything I wish I spent less time working. :rolleyes:

And what about you folks who’ve stepped over the threshold and gone into writing RPG theory or designing your own games (or both)?
I have to say I spend a significant amount of my down time writing and illustrating for my game and freelance. I enjoy it and it means I don't watch as much TV or play video games all the time.

How much gaming experience did you need to get you to the point of writing theory/designing your own game?
I think it is good to be exposed to other games, but I don't think you need to make games the focal point of your life when you set out to write one. It is just another gig to me...

How much gaming do you still do in between designing/writing?
Maybe a little more because I am going to be at more cons this next year in years past. Designing and gaming are two different activities that really don't cross over that much. Only when I want to try out something I've been working on do they crossover (ie playtesting)

Again, how do you achieve that work/family/gaming/other stuff balance?
The same way you create balance in your life with any other activity. Gaming isn't everything in life, just one more recreational activity... :)

Keith
 

Gentleman Highwayman

Registered User
Validated User
Four to six hours active gaming a week. O'mly have one session a week (tonight) and we alternate between two games of which I'm GM of one. The week I run a game I'll do two or three hours prep time.

Even when I was gaming twice a week, it didn't cut into other things because it cut out TV. So if someone wants to write an essay on RPGs in the space of time it takes to watch WWE Smackdown, it hardly means they have too much free time on their hands. It just means they have different priorities.

Iain.
 

Odie

If only she could breathe
Validated User
How much time, say on a weekly basis, do you invest in actual, active gaming (not reading your rulebooks and dreaming, as I do most of the time)? How much of that is prep time, and how much is actual play?

In a session, we play about six hours, once a week. Preparation time is mostly negligible. An hour or two at most? I used to prefer more, and I still jot down stuff and write up stats for things that I think I need, but... I'm a better GM now than I used to be, and now we're doing just as much cooperative storytelling as we are playing a game.

How do you make that time?

What activities, if any, are you sacrificing in order to do the work of gaming? Housework? Non-school time study? Overtime? Weekend sports? Significant Others/Families?


Um, none. I daydream, and my daydreams become my games. Or perhaps my games become my daydreams. Either way, when I'm involved in a game, it's just second nature to start pondering about it. I've got ideas on the back-burner constantly, for all sorts of stuff. Paranoia, Nobilis, my Exalted game, my Hunter game, the new Fair Folk stuff for Exalted...Translating those ideas from vague concepts to concrete storylines is actually fun, and no work at all.

If you’re maintaining an active non-gaming social life, how do you manage everything?

Firstly, I game with my friends; these are the same people I do other stuff with. And I do other things with other friends as well. It's not a challenge to do that. Friday and Saturday nights I go out and have fun if I'm so inclined and friends want to, and Sunday afternoons, my group games.

Do you ever find meeting up with the same gang every week and/or the prep-time required irritating and/or exhausting? In other words: Do you ever wish you spent less time gaming than you do?

Oh hell no. Indeed, I kind of wish we gamed more; I've got a wealth of ideas. Ideally, someone else would run a game that I could play in. I don't think I could run two separate games at once. I'd like to try, though. :D

And what about you folks who’ve stepped over the threshold and gone into writing RPG theory or designing your own games (or both)?

That isn't me.

There you are.

-B
 
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Von Ether

Registered User
Validated User
The website is down right now, but how about a game designed from the game up for those without much time?

When Pinnacle's website goes back up, I'll try to provide a link where the designer says his main motivation to design Savage Worlds was to provide a rules set to help out groups that didn't have much time to game or prep for a game. The essay often points out that the game went from character creation to coffee at Denny's for after game chats within 5 hours or so.

Me, personally, in a nut shell. I used to do 12 game sessions in high school, back in the 80s. Now: I play in weekly game and do occassional gaming on the side, such as a wargame league ... and even that puts a strain on me. I don't GM anymore because of life's demands ... and the lack of players that fit my style.

What I really need to cut back on is all the chatting about games on Internet message boards. ... ironic that.
 

danbala

Retired User
IMAGinES said:
  • How much time, say on a weekly basis, do you invest in actual, active gaming (not reading your rulebooks and dreaming, as I do most of the time)? How much of that is prep time, and how much is actual play?

I'm a DM. I run the game for about 6 hours once a month. There are eight of us that play regularly plus occasional "drop ins." My prep time for a given game is only about an hour a month but I read adventures and rules recreationally during my free time as time permits. I share DMing duties with one other player and we tag team which makes it even easier to manage my time.

  • How do you make that time?

All of this only takes place after kids are in bed and work is done for the day. When we play we do so on a Saturday night and start around the time that the kids are going to bed so as to not thrust too much burden onto our wives (although sometimes we start in the early evening).

As far as our wives are concerned, we are all aware that we are thrusting a little extra burden on them. For their part, they seem to be content as long as its only once a month. They treat it as "guys night out." Most of our wives know each other well and they usually cash in their credits by taking movies together while we watch the kids.

  • What activities, if any, are you sacrificing in order to do the work of gaming? Housework? Non-school time study? Overtime? Weekend sports? Significant Others/Families?

Only TV viewing. I really don't see it as much of a time burden.

  • If you’re maintaining an active non-gaming social life, how do you manage everything?

Its not much of a problem. Other activities take up much more time.

  • Do you ever find meeting up with the same gang every week and/or the prep-time required irritating and/or exhausting? In other words: Do you ever wish you spent less time gaming than you do?

No. We are all busy people and if we didn't schedule our one game a month we'd likely not get to together as often. Most of us are professionals. (Two lawyers, a doctor, school teachers, etc. We are mostly playing for an excuse to hang out together, in fact. Its not unusual for most of us to hang around after the game and catch up with each other. I would compare it to a regular poker game or bowling league.

The only bad part is that I have a much harding time keeping up with my other friends who I don't game with once a week. I'd like to figure out another hobby to somehow include all of them.

  • And what about you folks who’ve stepped over the threshold and gone into writing RPG theory or designing your own games (or both)?
N/A
 

Brand_Robins

Retired User
IMAGinES said:
How much time, say on a weekly basis, do you invest in actual, active gaming
I'd say an average of 15 hours. Rare weeks (like the week after Christmas) I get nutz and do as much as 50 hours, others (like the week of my wedding) I do none at all. However two 5 hour sessions per week is pretty standard these days.

How much of that is prep time, and how much is actual play?
Depends. When I'm running a new game I'll spend 40+ hours over a month doing setup for the game. Once games get running, however, I only average about an hour to hour and a half of prep per game.

When I'm playing in a game I probably do about 30 minutes of out of game work per session.

How do you make that time?
It's about prioritization, really. I do things that interest me, I don't do things that don't. It's amazing how much time that frees up.

What activities, if any, are you sacrificing in order to do the work of gaming?
Fucking about on the net, watching TV, doing nothing.

I game with my wife and most of my best friends. I read avidly, so no sacrifice there. The house is just my wife and I, so no huge amounts of housework are required most weeks.

Sports maybe. I don't play football as often as I used to -- but that might also have something to do with the freakishly cold Canadian winter.

If you’re maintaining an active non-gaming social life, how do you manage everything?
Time managment, really. If I'm gaming 2 or 3 mights a week that still gives me 1 or 2 nights a week to socialize and 3 to 4 nights a week to do housework, read, and watch TV.

Does 2 nights a week out with friends count as an active social life?

[*]Do you ever find meeting up with the same gang every week and/or the prep-time required irritating and/or exhausting? In other words: Do you ever wish you spent less time gaming than you do?
There aren't actually the same questions.

I don't wish I spent less time gaming. If I didn't want to game so often I wouldn't.

I do, however, occasionally wish I could get more shakeup in the people I game with. I've good friends who are good gamers that I never get to play with anymore becuase of schedualing problems. I can always get people over to game, having like 50 gamer friends to chose from makes that easy, but I can't always get the specific group I want on the night I want them.

And what about you folks who’ve stepped over the threshold and gone into writing RPG theory or designing your own games (or both)?
What about it? I do that in other time -- the time I set aside to get paid moneys for writing.

Being paid moneys for writing is nifty.

How much gaming experience did you need to get you to the point of writing theory/designing your own game?
How much did I need or how much did I have? The two aren't intrinsicly connected.

I started playing when I was like 5 years old. I got my first publication when I was 19ish. But it wasn't that I needed 14 years of play to do it, it was just that I wasn't likely to write for Dungeon when I was 7.

I know several people who've gotten published within a couple months of their very first RPG. I know others who've played for damn near 30 years and never written anything. The skills are not co-dependent.

Same with talking theory. I know a lot of game-theorists (outside RPG land) who theorize more than they play, and lots of players who never theorize.

How much gaming do you still do in between designing/writing?
Asked and answered.

Again, how do you achieve that work/family/gaming/other stuff balance?
When I'm teaching full time I write in the summer/winter/spring durring breaks.
 

GM Radio Rob

Voice for radio, face for GMing!
Validated User
inscrutable hahn said:
Sorry not to answer your actual questions, but as an academic insider I must point out that the "to much free time" observation gets applied to pretty much every form of highly specific research. Especially social research.
Yeah, but this is my form of highly specific research, Damnit! :D

Well, maybe not; after all, I'm not researching or theorising about a damned thing. But the question is aimed not just at the researcher, it's also aimed at the one-session-a-week gamer.

Thank you to everyone who's replied so far, by the way. You know what? I really think I ought to answer my own questions, so you can see where I'm coming from:

IMAGinES said:
How much time... do you invest in actual, active gaming? How much of that is prep time, and how much is actual play?
When the Heavy Gear: Black Talon campaign was running, I'd aim for one session per month. However, the aforementioned organisational factors and some paralysis after a couple of instances when players left the campaign (the first was out of lack of interest, and I was blocked at finding a game-world-plausible way of writing his PC out without killing him off, and the second was when a player went overseas and we had problems finding more players) meant that we were very lucky if we got a session in every three months.

In terms of prep-time, I'd usually cart a notebook, my campaign folder and maybe a book or two into and out on the train on most work days, plus two to four hours per week on the PC.

A friend also liked to run various games on a semi-regular basis, and that would vary from a session every two weeks to a session every month (unless Black Talon got in first - he was one of my players). Again, organisational factors were the main thing stopping a more regular game, but my wife and I would probably have resented the resulting intrusion into "us-time".

IMAGinES said:
What activities, if any, are you sacrificing in order to do the work of gaming? Housework? Non-school time study? Overtime? Weekend sports? Significant Others/Families?
Well, I'd say I'm sacrificing the possibility of extra-curricular study in order to improve my employability (after all, i could be learnign Linux instead of studying Eberron). As my wife games with me, it's usually not much of a sacrifice of "us-time" to participate in a game (whether as player or GM) but we're both a little protective of our relationship and somewhat homebody-ish, so you can usually count on one of the other of us grumbling about an upcoming game. I work nine-to-five, so gaming doesn't really eat into that time much, and as we live in our own place, family time isn't too much of a worry.

One problem is that we don't see as much of our friends as we'd like, but I think we'd have that problem anyway, game or no game. Of course, gaming gives us a chance to hook up with some of our best friends, but mix in the "herding cats" factor with the fact that it's gaming, not hanging out, and it still seems something of a sacrifice.

IMAGinES said:
Do you ever find meeting up with the same gang every week and/or the prep-time required irritating and/or exhausting? In other words: Do you ever wish you spent less time gaming than you do?
Well, not exactly. I think what I wish is, I'd prefer to game with less prep-time. Most of the games I've GMed have had a fair bit of rules-crunch to them, and I tend to admire complex rulesets the same way I admire a Rube Goldberg contraption, but I'm starting to find the requisite prep work a pain (not to mention intimidating).

The only problem is, most of my gaming group didn't seem to find the idea of playing things like InSpectres or such particularly interesting.
 
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John Wick

Just Wicked
Validated User
I don't spend time writing game philosophy.
I spend time writing games that reflect my philosophy. ;)

Friend of mine once told me:

"Don't make a point, make a game."

It turned into my new philosophy. :D
 

inscrutable hahn

I'll push it.
IMAGinES said:
Yeah, but this is my form of highly specific research, Damnit! :D

Well, maybe not; after all, I'm not researching or theorising about a damned thing. But the question is aimed not just at the researcher, it's also aimed at the one-session-a-week gamer.
Well, okay then!

How much time, say on a weekly basis, do you invest in actual, active gaming (not reading your rulebooks and dreaming, as I do most of the time)? How much of that is prep time, and how much is actual play?Around 4 hours/ week in play w/ around 2 hours of prep.

How do you make that time?
I find that in this modern, twenty first century world of ours, it's rather expected of someone that they have an involved hobby. I don't watch sports and I don't sit around drinking a lot, so I probably have more time than the average American, even with roleplaying.

Do you ever find meeting up with the same gang every week and/or the prep-time required irritating and/or exhausting? In other words: Do you ever wish you spent less time gaming than you do?
Yes. But not often. Usually a two week break, possibly coupled with a change of campaign or game system, clears everything right up.
 
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