Thursday, February 07, 2008

Weekly Review January 27th to February 2nd

A more active week, this week sees more discussion of ritual, drama, and systems.

Ritual and System

Fang Langford describes the relationship between the game system used to play RPGs, and the rituals of play a group of players assemble as they learn to play together. He suggests that there is an important distinction, which is washed away by describing all of these as just system.

Drama and Webs

Will Hindmarch constructs a method of breaking down distributed stories like those in RPG planning and computer games. He takes the idea of a story web and merges it with a graph of rising and falling drama. The resulting three-dimensional structure, or pyramid as he calls it, may be used to manage pre-plotting to ensure that regardless of the choices made, a strong story structure will remain evident.


Chris Chinn talks about resources as an important component of many RPGs. He breaks down different properties of a resource: expendability, global limits, and dynamics. He then discusses how resources can work together in the economy of a game. He uses the example of 1001 Nights to show how resources can subtly drive play.

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