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Author Topic: [Shangri-la] Thread Design  (Read 5266 times)
Lxndr
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« on: May 03, 2005, 04:33:22 PM »

A word document of the game as it stands can be found here:

http://www.twistedconfessions.com/files/shangri.doc

Specifically, right now I'm looking at the concept of threads (and, as an extension, knots). I know exactly what I want these to be, but so far seem to be lacking the language to understand them.  So, I'm hoping a discussion on them might help clarify them.

Mechanically speaking, a thread is something that gives the player a bonus, and a knot is something that gives the player a penalty.  They're both reflections of the same thing, which is metaphysically manifest in the game.

And this is where I fall down.  They're supposed to be allegories, patterns, images, metaphors - things that manifest around the character even in their waking lives, but become alive in the dreamworld, as literal as they can get. Threads are always supposed to be broad (although their metaphor can include specific images), but knots can be as specific as one person, or one object, or can be as broad as a thread (up to mirroring it exactly).  There is a knot for every thread, but there are a whole lot more knots that don't have threads at all.

But coming up with examples, not just of threads and knots but of their uses in the game... well, I'm a bit lost.  I know what I want, but I don't have the language for it.  So, what does the whole idea of thread and knot mean to you?  How do you imagine it in play?  That will hopefully help me clarify my text.

A bit more game rules, just in case it matters:  before each scene begins, the knots and the threads are determined.  This then informs the players roughly how the scene should appear, and what elements will manifest within.  The actual "what happens in this scene" part, where the goal/stakes are decided, comes later.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
Lxndr
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2005, 08:33:20 PM »

Okay, thanks to discussions on indie-netgaming and the like, I've gotten a little further with threads and knots.

They now include manifestations separately from their core meaning.  This way a person doesn't have to pack all the allegory into a single thread or knot, they can define the knot as the general idea, and then use the manifestations to decide various images/ways that the knots/threads display themselves in the dream world.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
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