Friday, June 22, 2012

Something like a plan

OK,. so one grand, megalomaniac, plan for creating a strategic wargames campaign. 

Fact is, to do something like this right takes time and testing.  I want to put together a campaign that is enjoyable for me to run, delightful for the participants, and something new in the world. 

So the plan is not just a plan to take existing rules and run a campaign with them, but to start small with new ideas and develop experience in designing and running games based on them,

The terminology at left - what a surprise - comes from software development. 

  • I have written about architecture in this blog already.
  • Core rules are derived from the architecture and are essentially invariant from scenario to scenario.
  • The scenario is not just map, situation and objectives but also those detailed rules (properly integrated as defined by core and architecture) that reflect a particular historical or fictional context.
  • Alpha-tests are solo tests designed to exercise parts of a model or a full, small, game situation.
  • Beta-tests are normal games with a small number of participants exercising a limited situation.  The Franco-Prussian War (or even ts first 6 months) would be a good candidate for such a test.  Because these are tests, rules might change through the game and between games more than in the "production release"
  • The final "Prime Game Scenario" would be something can could run for years - Europe and Her Colonies 1740-1760 for example.

When you set out what a polished, large scale campaign would take to develop one thing is clear: this could take years.  That drives two conclusions:
  • Since I am a gaming butterfly, the core here has to be flexible enough to adapt to multiple periods and genres.
  • I have to enjoy the process - not just the nattering on about it process I am indulging in here ( although I do enjoy that process) but also the design, testing and most important refereeing of the resulting games.
Which is something to think about in a future post: what's in it for me?.

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