Design Scratchpad: Rising Action Game

What’s This?

In this series I will be showing a game I’m working on and how it’s being put together. Any insights or suggestions on these projects are welcome.

Game Intro.

The seeds for this system came from reflecting on the classic “save the world” style plot. Those stories start small with the most impact limited to a personal or local level at best, but by the end of the arc the stakes have grown to include huge portions of the known world. This sort of increasing stakes seems to parallel the classic dramatic arc with its rising action, climax, and falling action.

I want the system to support this kind of arc. At present, I plan to do this by having later conflicts build off earlier ones. That way the highest stake conflicts are the ones with the most connections to previous events and plotlines. Worked out fully this should create an “everything has lead up to this” feel in the peak conflict of an adventure or series.

To follow that dramatic arc, I want a system that plays fast and loose, with a more descriptive emphasis. I’m looking at things like emergent characters to speed up character creation and make them more flexible and adaptive. It also ties in nicely with the narrative feel of other elements as you don’t know about character traits until they’re brought up in play.

I’m also looking at techniques where all players can contribute to scenes and plots, as well as a flexible approach to changing and controlling characters.

What’s Next?

Next post I’ll go over a specific part of the system and how I’m thinking of handling it. I’ve listed some possible topics below, so let me know if there are any in particular you’d like to see. Feel free to ask for topics not on the list as well.

Sample Topics:

  • How are scenes set up?
  • How do you create characters?
  • How do challenges work?
  • How do you link challenges to each other?

Also, If you’d like a name for the project let me know. I’m holding off on final naming until it’s fully fleshed out, but I can slap in a temporary name like Crescendo or Rising Action in the interim.

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Published in: on April 2, 2010 at 7:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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