September 29, 2009

Since I’m a librarian in my day job, I wanted to say a word or so about copyright. I want to get this game distributed as widely as possible – for altruistic reasons primarily, but also in the hope of building a good reputation.

The licence I’ll be using is Creative Commons BY-NC-SA. For the un-initiated that means attribution is required, no commercial use is permitted, and any additions must also be released under a similar licence. I believe that’s the best match with my intentions.

Stockade writers, what licence will you be using?



September 29, 2009

The core mechanic in Behind the Screens is going to be Tension. Tension is what keeps the audience watching and what sucks more in. It builds up during a story and must be reduced for a successful resolution (unless you’re aiming for a cliffhanger). Truly special effects only ever occur at moments of high Tension. Ultimately, Tension is what makes players famous.

How I see this working is as follows: Players’ actions increase Tension, Tension decreases by a set amount after each scene, the total of the Tension at the end of each scene translates into Audience Figures (the XP analogue). A story can’t have an ad break without an uptick in Tension, and it can’t end if Tension is too high. Tension not only enable Players to activate SFX and introduce dei ex machina, but is needed to travel between genres or to the Green Room.

Today I also came up with a nice way to tie skills in with Tension. In the absence of any complications, any use of a skill which is higher-rated than the current Tension automatically succeeds. Otherwise a roll is needed – you need to roll under the Tension. This means that skills break as Tension increases, but you want Tension to be high for XP and SFX, and a sharp decrease in Tension is the best way to resolve a story.

(The easiest scale to run these both on is 0-100 i.e. by rolling percentile dice. So a skill rated at 40% works automatically until Tension is 40.)

The elevator pitch

September 25, 2009

My game is called “Behind the Screens”. It’s about the people who live inside your TV and bring all the shows to you, but who only get to chat amongst themselves when the ads are on. You play some of these people, trying to make your friends’ and genre’s shows the best. Along the way you’ll meet other Players, the Green Roomers, and the Dei Ex.