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Archive => GNS Model Discussion => Topic started by: Torrent on June 10, 2001, 01:33:00 PM

Title: 6 W's in Game Write up
Post by: Torrent on June 10, 2001, 01:33:00 PM
I offer the following as an observation.  Feel free to debate and tear it apart if need be.  It came to me in the blank time driving back and forth to work.

I see this as being a checklist of things to go through once you have done most of the designwork.  Or as an organization framework during the design.

In writing classes, they tend to teach the W questions. Of which I really think there are 7, but have used 6 for this post.  Who, What, Why, Where, When, and hoW.  The W questions must be answered, atleast to some degree, for someone to understand an event or story.  
I use these W questions to organize my thoughts for games.  Following is my classification of each W.

WHO:  These are the Characters.  Anything related to people and who they are is here.  (Chargen)

WHAT:  This is What the characters are doing.  It is integrally linked with...
WHY:  Why do the characters do What they are doing.  These two W's encompass what others have termed the Premise of a game.  

WHERE:  Setting.  Pure and simple, where are the characters doing What it is they are doing.  
WHEN:  This is part of the setting as well.  I tend to use the When question to understand Genre.  A Fantasy game is usually a distinctly different When than a Sci-fi game.  

HOW: How is it that the characters do What it is they do.  This is my section for game mechanics.

Certainly there are elements of a game that will span questions.  And there probably should be.  If you have a game designed where the 6 questions don't mesh together, it will feel very disjointed as a game.  

As for this being an observation, it comes from watching all of the posts on several boards of people askign for input on their new game.  Quite often the reply is "Good, but wheres the Premise."  "Fine, what do we do."  I use this list to help me make sure I am covering all those bases with my own projects.  I offer it for others to do with it as they will.