Thursday, November 8, 2007

Creating an Evocative Game

Deadlands takes place in the "Wierd West," a mixed setting of Western motifs with magic, undead and fantasy. But in playing the game, players use poker chips, rather than wierdly shaped dice like most RPG's. And in Dust Devils, a more traditionally Western story game, players use poker playing cards to determine who gets narrative control. These things evoke the setting. They put the player in the setting by the very act of playing the game. I don't know exactly why the best examples of this come from Western games, though.

With The Fifth World, I try to share a vision of what the world could become. That includes a view of human nature, a view of the world, and an animistic experience of the land as a living, breathing person. Of course, I've tried with varying degrees of success to communicate these ideas, or really these feelings, in a more straightforward, academic way before on the Anthropik Network, and in particular, the Thirty Theses, but I know that I've failed to a considerable degree in really sharing the feel of this vision. People still don't get it.

That gives me one of the big reasons I work on The Fifth World, hoping that I can share this vision better through a game than through writing. In a game, I can evoke the feel of the world. That gives me my ultimate goal: to create a game that shares this feeling about the future. But to do that, I need to evoke that feel, not preach it. And that means making a game as evocative as Deadlands or Dust Devils, or maybe even more so.

3 comments:

Giulianna Maria Lamanna said...

I'm sorry, but this drove me crazy: it's "weird," not "wierd." I know the whole "I before E" rhyme contradicts that, but that's what makes English so... well, weird.

Jordan said...

I can see this occurring. In an earlier post you talked of the cool factor. I can already see sparked imaginations creating crazy scenerios in a future where much possibility exists. The great thing, though, is that while the adventure can be basically whatever you want it to be, the implicit, invisible lessons of how the world works will constantly shape how individual stories unfold, and will begin to slip into the conciousness of the players themselves...

Jason Godesky said...

You've got the idea, right there. See also the post on emergent play.