Hall of Banners

Albanian Heavy Industries
Jim Waldrop
Dave Leung
Clint Lohse

Carl Stern

Other individuals and groups should feel free to send dave a link to a graphic no more than 100x100 for inclusion here.


Parley is the SIK-equivalent of the Ides of March: an afternoon session of panels (lecture/discussion) on a variety of topics concerning SIK games.

Everyone is welcome to attend, especially those people interested in writing SIK games.

Panels that are Open are those panels seeking panelists. Panelists should submit a short abstract (which will be hyperlinked in). Closed panels are full.

  Notes from Parley I (7 Nov 2004)

Philip Tan

  • SIK games should have crystal-clear, bullet-list points. There's no time to be clever.
  • Background plot is fun, yes, but separate the flavortext from the actual info.
  • Assume players cannot correctly analyze plot in realtime.
  • Players need to know their options. Having a default option is good; having backup/alternate bonus stuff/goals is good.

Stop Putting In The Suck
Carl Stern

  • SIK games are N teams shooting each other. They are boiled-down combat, with well-defined teams and goals.
  • High-action games have plot.
  • Correct advertising is key: need to have players come in with the right mindset. Also, this gets the right players to app.
  • "Why are they fighting each other": everyone, at every moment, should have an obvious reason why it's better to be fighting than not fighting. This applies mostly to PC-vs-PC games, but should be true of the PCs in a PC-vs-NPC game.
  • Run-time adjustments are Not Possible. This includes re-setting the game space or making mechanics adjustments.
  • SIK games are defined by their mechanics. If you have great mechanics and crappy flavortext, you'll have a good game. If you have bad mechanics and stupendously awesome flavortext, you'll have a terrible game.
  • GMs never play. This is the general rule. Break it with extreme caution.
  • Victory points suck. The point is to shoot people, not amass victory points.
  • NPCs: separate NPCs from their mechanics, preferably via an NPC mommy who tells NPCs what to do. ("You have X hit points, go rez twice, and then come back to me.")
  • Stealth: Downsides: no fighting, cheesy surprises, items can disappear into stealth, stealth people can get in the way of firefights.
    Fixes: decloak outside of range of anyone, time limit on being stealthed.

Jim Waldrop, Carl Stern

  • As simple as possible, including the language used to express them.
  • Jim's Theory of Balancing: (This is a hotly debated theory.)
    • Use the inverse square law. Namely: if you have 10 people on one side and 6 people on the other side, if they have equal stuff, then the 10 people are 100:36 or 3x as likely to kill the other side.
    • Mods: casting, cool gear (powerclips, etc), time delay/concentration/dispersal of repair (stim, armor repair), topology (narrow corridors lessens the effect of the inverse square law).
    • That said, mods tend to balance each other out.
  • First build a robust game, THEN tweak with weirdshit.
  • Barriers (forcefields, etc) should always be shot-permeable.

Support Love/Weirdshit
Joe Foley, Dave Leung

  • Radios: yes, they work. Having a map would be good. In general, they have a range of 2 units, where 1 unit is either a floor or another building.
  • Shields: huge force multiplier for the skilled. Huge deathsink for the unskilled.
  • Boffers: use almost never in a fast-paced SIK game. Most people cannot use them safely indoors.
  • Upgrades: upgrades, esp slow upgrades, are good. Even better is when they consume stuff to upgrade things.

Standard Rules
Dave Leung

  • Generally, people think that standard rules are a bad idea: since SIK games are defined by their rules, GMs should not be constrained.
  • That said, having a set of conventions or definitions, with metholodology reasonings, would be a good idea. A group has been formed to start working on this.
  • Yes, there should be some standard rules: they should be as minimalist as possible.

Order of SIK
Dave Leung

  • An idea that basically no one else liked.


Stop Putting In The Suck

Summary How to write a good SIK game, and equally importantly, how not to write a SIK game.
Panelists Carl Stern, Dave Leung
Status Closed.

Support Love.

Summary How can we make support roles (techies, medics) more interesting, without watering the game down to a committe-plot-punctuated-with-gunfire? For instance, what if there is an ongoing upgrade plot that people could be doing (think starcraft upgrades)?
Panelists Dave Leung
Status Closed. (This panel may be combined with Weirdshit.)

Four rounds of larami ammo, three points of armor, two hit points, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Summary Mechanics can make or break a SIK game. What is the thought process involved in balancing gun/armor/ammo mechanics?
Panelists Carl Stern, Jim Waldrop
Status Closed.

Weirdshit: frisbee shields, boffer combat, etc: to use or not.

Summary What wacky things can be thrown into a game? Radios, cellphones, terminals (laptops running game software), and other stuff could add flavor and complexity, or it could just make the game suck.
Panelists Joe Foley
Status Closed. (This panel may be combined with Support Love.)

Plot: to story or not.

Summary Wouldn't SIK games be more interesting if there were plot in them? Or across SIK games? How can we accomplish this without losing the "fast-paced, action-oriented" label of SIK games?
Panelists Philip Tan
Status Closed.

Order of SIK?

Summary Should SIK games have their own Master-equilavent? If so, how would they be awarded? What should the citation say? What skills should be considered?
Panelists Dave Leung
Status Closed.

SIK Standard Rules

Summary It's long overdue that we have the SIK Standard Rules. Alright, let's hash 'em out.
Panelists Dave Leung
Status Closed.


  • Sunday, November 7th.
  • Time 2-5pm.
  • Location 1-190.


  • Call for Panel Ideas: deadline is Sunday, October 10th, 11:59pm.
    Suggestions for panels should be submitted by this time. Submissions can be as short as a single sentence, although overbrevity may be mocked.
  • Request For Panelists: deadline is Sunday, October 24th, 11:59pm.
    Applicants should submit one abstract per panel they wish to participate in. Abstracts should clearly state the major points applicants wish to convey.
  • Panels Announcement: Sat, October 30.


Parley is run by a benevolent dictatorship; the dictator is dave leung. Send all enquiries, comments, etc, to him.

Here's the original mail I sent out.

dave leung
Last modified:
Thu Nov 11 18:18:40 EST 2004