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Question of Information

Started by ADGBoss, July 01, 2003, 11:32:06 AM

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I am working on a RPG related project (A space war game but with RPG tie ins) and there are two Human political states. Indeed there may be multiple political entities for several aliens.  Now since I prefer to write my Political histories from a academic view ie very race neutral, the History of the two human states is the same up until a certain point. Basically 3 paragraphs at the beginning of each history will be the same. Now in a scholarly work there will not be an assumption that the reader is going to read every entry, so I do not feel good just putting in a note, i.e.
<See Entry on Federated Corporate Worlds>

However, this is something people are going to pay for.  I am worried that a player will feel cheated by having some information repeated literally 3 or 4 pages previously.  

Any comments or suggestions?  Think of what I am doing as a Janes Fighting Manual type of thing (this section anyway)


Jack Aidley

Present it as exerts from a larger work? Then you can include the common history in the first one, and then just skip to the important point later.
- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter


Another possibility is to mention at the start of the game that you may repeat yourself to prevent excessive cross-referencing. Readers will put up with a lot if you warn them you're going to do it first -- and they might even come to like it if they know you're doing it and why.
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Jack Aidley

How about this: rather than presenting each as an impassionate scholar's history, write each with a distinct bias, and describe the common history in a very different colour in each version?
- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter



I had considered the biased report idea but thats going to be used in a different section of the book and so I was going for a contrast in this section.  Gives the reader (IMHO) a variety.

However, I do like the excerpts idea and am strongly considering that.


As always great to hear from ya.  Thats a suggestion I had not totally considered, actually showing some trust and appreciation of the customer, letting them in on the secret as it were and indeed bringing them on for the ride.  again something I am going to strongly consider.

Thanks to you both.


M. J. Young

Sean--I think that as writers we encounter two kinds of repeating information--one the sort that repeats with minor modifications because we're following the same structure, the other the sort that repeats because it has to be connected to the current information.

From what I'm understanding, you've got two major political entities that are human, but at one time there was one and they've since diverged. Your problem is that to do a complete history of either, you've got to begin with the time when they were together. Let me suggest a possible alternative structure. You're doing a history of the human race, not two histories of human subdivisions. Thus you start with a section that is the common history of both--however many paragraphs that is--and conclude it with, "At this point, humanity divided into the A's and the B's, which will be considered separately."

Then you proceed to do the history of the A's from that point forward, with only such references to the B's as are necessary to understanding the A's; when you're done with the A's, you start a section which begins by indicating that this is the history of the B's beginning from the point at which they split from the A's. The reader will understand that the two groups sprang from the common history (such that a simple page or section reference will be adequate), and will make the connection for you.

Does that work?

--M. J. Young