Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Back to Theory!

Okay, as an example of some slightly less explosive essays, here's the first half of the first draft of a booklet I was writing about keys. It's lighthearted, but still not a real light read. :P

If you ever wanted to know more about my key theory - are you MAD? - this is your chance!



Patrick Dugan said...

I'm trying to forge a franchise, so the section on non-interactive keys, though a refurbishment of prior posts, was really nice. Heres my take for Fianna.

Characters: Thats obvious, especially since the engine makes characters fairly interactive.

Talismans: I'll have to think about items in the design and color schemes in the art direction, but quartz is definetly a powerful key of destruction (being the game's alternative to dynamite) and the differences between a magic irrigation resovoire and a constructed dyke is fairly powerful, harkeing to the non-interactive keys of religion and nationalism.

Home keys: Bodhmal and Finegas, being the powerful, non-playable members of Fianna serve this role, as does the HQ and Fianna herself, who does a lot to ground the action and set the pace.

Global keys: anima, the "magic circle" UI.

Play Keys: the reconnatuer (Bodmal and Finegas to an indirectly interactive extent), the mediator (Fianna), the instigator (Khail), the defender (Oswin and Liath for opposite sides), the healer (Muirne), the changling (Ur-grui), the hunter (Aed).

I think you discussions of emotion are prudent because they take into account the inevitable metabolic upkeep of feeling emotion over time.

Is it possible to use both tension (in the pot boiler sense) and emotional density (in the more literary sense) in the same deal?

Craig Perko said...

Not everything has to be a key. It's only a key if you link it in emotionally. "Quartz" is only a key of destruction if it features in virtually every destructive act and is never seen in a nondestructive act. Even then, you'd probably need to "comment" on it using character's emotions and attentions.

I haven't written the home, global, and play key parts. There's some wonk in your keys of these types, but I won't go into that. :P

Anyhow, it's certainly possible to use tension and emotional density. Tension is really just a subset of emotional density that makes the basic concepts easy to understand and use.

Patrick Dugan said...

Yes I imagined quartz in a way similar to how you describe, being a target for munitions raids and such, and its kind of symbolic of how rigid power structures can be imploded, with the fact that it explodes being a twist on that.

Patrick Dugan said...

Oh yeah, please complete this booklet, it sounds like it'd be very useful to me, and by extension, you. I am yet young and only mildly experienced.

Your book is what the IDGA Writer SIG's book on game narrative should have been.