grumble grumble

Some people will give you a screwdriver, and tell you to use it like a hammer. Then later they'll stumble across a real hammer, and they'll act like they invented it.

quick unrelated game idea

Merry Christmas everyone! Especially you Dave. Merry Oppressive Christmas.

I've been having the frustrating, complicated dreams that come with working late while sick, but this game idea popped out last night and I think it's cute.

Movie Plot Dominoes.

We're all directors, working on the same movie. We each specialize in a particular genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Romance. We each have a deck of cards that references our genre, full of locations, characters, plot points, etc..  The goal is to contribute the most to the film and bring the movie mainly into your genre. Play works like dominoes - the movie's central plot develops linearly, scene by scene location by location, with offshoots for character development and subplots.

Players take turns laying down cards, but most cards must be matched, dominoes style, using a number of continuity symbols (probably less than 6, maybe just 4). Score by contributing cards to the main plot, resolving plot lines, and resolving characters. In addition to their mechanical symbols each card has flavor, version 1 rips all the cards straight from*

I'm trying to figure out if it demands any make-believe work, or "pitching" or auctioning, or if it's mechanically mostly just dominoes. I think with enough flavor on the cards it could work fine as dominoes, but that seems like a cop-out. On the other hand story telling games like happily ever after limit their audience by requiring high levels of creativity from everyone, and also it tends not to work so well for competitive play (when the correct competitive move is to claim that someone's story is bad and their turn is over).

Maybe each next scene is chosen randomly or something.

Anyway yeah that's my idea.

*Kill Dr. Lucky is an example of a game that lives on flavor. Or, hangs onto flavor by its fingernails as flavor leaps the Gap of Angry Making.


I love the (locus? nexus? I'll settle for 'cognitive connection') between pagan true-name magic and modern computer systems.

The idea behind name magic is that if you know a thing's true name, it confers a measure of power over that thing. It's an idea similar how a voodoo doll is supposed to work, the name is a proxy for the thing, and by using the name you can control the thing*.

Computer architecture falls very easily into this metaphor. Every piece of information in a computer has an address, whether it's in memory or on a hard drive. This address can be thought of as a name. And if you have the true name of a piece of data, you can literally do whatever you want to it.

If we are all living in the matrix**, it's an easy leap to think that the developers put in a developer's console, that's intended to let players access the inner workings under certain circumstances. So if you have access to the console (magic), and if you have someone's True Name, you may be able to affect their life in any number of ways.

Actually, if you look at identity theft, it's pretty much the same story; and identity theft only gets more powerful, the more of our identity is represented remotely, by numbers and systems instead of face-to-face.

*I honestly don't know the first thing about name magic so maybe I'm grossly misrepresenting its origins or metaphysics. But anyway I enjoy the idea so much that I'm going to run with it. There are lots of examples of the importance of naming, going back hundreds or thousands of years in the cultures that I'm aware of, so I figure I can always fall back on those if I have to.