Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Monday, June 05, 2006

Card Games And Stories

After Randolph Carter I had every intention of taking pretty much the same format and altering it into more of a puzzle story using the Tell Tale Heart as the basis. However, as I got starting planning it (acknowledging Carter is still unfinished an unrefined), I started to critique myself on some of the points which remained with the format.

For one thing, there was still no control over the story. One of my caveats with the traditional style of interactive lit is that at one point the plot, as it were, often grinds to a halt while the reader must use trial and error to unlock whatever puzzle the author has left behind (and often to even discover what the puzzle might be in the first place). Carter may not have used any classic puzzle designs, but there was still plenty of trial and error involved. I wanted exploration more than expirementation.

I'm currently working on a new story which echews the noun-verb interaction completely. Instead, interaction takes place by the reader intervening at various point with cards. There are two styles of card interaction - one is a simple curse/bless upon a character which will branch out that character's plotline (and those around them). Another is an actual card game played against the computer which represents actual combat (or possibly conflict in general). The interactive layer is essentially played out on top of the narrative layer, rather than combined directly as in Randolph Carter. While the reader might still not have direct control over what will happen next, there's more of a direct association between the cards they play and the outcome.

Another change is that I'm removing the second person perspective. I've never really gotten along with it. It's a decent voice for a conversation, as in pen and paper relationships between a Game Master and a player. I'm not sure it's the best choice for the representation of a reader to a character, though. You is an insistent word of your role. You know who you are. The third person allows for the distinction between the reader and the character being controlled.

Later, I'll post the current card rules (for the combat version) as it plays in my head right now.

tagged: ,

No comments: