Song of Tales Designers Diary – Core Principles
I’ve said a few times in blogs how vital it is to have the core principles of your game set out as touchstones that you can refer back to while designing, to make sure that you don’t end up in the design wilderness or lose the shape of what you’re doing to well meaning playtesters. I’ve also noticed that I’ve not shared my core principles of my pervious projects in this blog. Since I’m in the middle of designing Song Of Tales I thought this would be the right time to set out its core ideas here.
This is the key for Song Of Tales, it’s the thing I realised that I needed to get right or I wouldn’t bother making the game. I want to do it in light of the other principles, but it has to work. There are story telling games where one person just tells a story, or starts and passes it off, and there are story telling games where one person steals or subverts the story of another away from their intentions. In my experience though, when someone is telling a story in real life when someone joins in they seek to expound and extend the story as a form of assistance before handing it back to the original teller. In the original inspiration for Song Of Tales, the Canterbury Tales, this happens repeatedly within the context of a storytelling competition. I wanted a reason why I would want, and trust, my opponent to take my story, add to it, and give it back to me to finish, that collaboration had to be in the game, and it had to be key to it. I want competition, but I also want to be able to score competitively without being forced to end a story that I’m enjoying listening to and experiencing being weaved before me.