Thursday 20 April 2017

Character Generation. Linear Flow. Quick Start Stats

BREAK!! development seems to be mostly one step forward two steps back!
Looking at a rejig of the first part of the book, character generation (1/3)

Despite efforts to cram character creation into a few pages, the system is wonderfully quirky and must be handled differently.
  • Will be a more traditional, linear flow
  • But will add Quick Start Stats to get you moving rapidly through the process (enabling you to skip over large chunks of text)

'Link' text points you to the next chunk of text relevant to your character creation path.

Will need to tie in stats to character sheet more tightly (whole sheet will needs a revamp... that's for another post)

Monday 10 April 2017

Character sheet

Somewhere along the way I forgot about the importance of the character sheet. It's a key player/game interface (despite paradoxically being relatively easily to replace with a pencil and paper).

And, following on from my last post on chargen, along with some reinforcing feedback from playtesters I'm prolly gonna add an overview page that explains which sections in the book are required to fill it out. Concept below.

Have been kindly reminded that this need to be practical, not infoporn (see below)

Sunday 9 April 2017

Character Creation, information flow.

Having parsed most of the character creation text, I am finding myself unsatisfied with my initial design for the creation process (see fig1 1. Hyperlink).

My original goals
  1. Create a short condensed character creation flow with minimal page flipping. Quick, obvious.
  2. Allow players to pick/roll results and get a feel (excited for) their character without getting bogged down in mechanics.
  3. Leave richer information/explanations to be cross-referenced later by the player if they desired a deeper understanding.
However! This hyperlink concept is not working as well as I'd hoped with BREAK!! because:
  1. Numerous sub-processes are required for different callings (classes) which complicate the flow. (fig1 4. Sub-processes)
  2. Complex information (stats, gear, blah) is accumulated and modified during the flow and can't be hand waived away to look up later.
While my hyperlink flow might work well for an interactive document, it felt unnecessarily complex for a print book. I tried to solve this buy bringing data/stats into the chargen section (fig1 3. Hybrid) to solve Problem 2 but this bloats the design (conflicting with my original goals) and doesn't help with Problem 1.

A solution?
Maybe the old way is the best. A long and linear approach (fig1 2. Linear). This is good because:
  1. Exceptions are dealt with/explained at time of creation.
  2. You only flip forward (clear sense of progress). 
But bad because:
  1. You get bogged down in detail.
  2. The key chargen tables are spread out over many pages, annoy for those familiar with the mechanics (I know, stick tables together in an appendix)
Flow analysis
Anyway, I visualised how information is extracted from the various structural approaches to see if it would help me design a solution. Not sure if it did, but it's a nice infographic.
  • Blue lines show references to other parts of the doc to collect information.
  • Dotted blue lines, return to chargen flow.

fig 1 - Character Generation Flow Analysis

 Still thinking...

Adventure site concept

Taking a (another) mini-break from the core rules...

I started noodling on a concept for an adventure site from what will (probably) be BREAK!!'s first piece of support material... Trouble in Sprocket

The Salvage Sanctum
  • Secret base of the pesky Drones (they bother the villagers when out working in the surrounding wasteland/junkfields)
  • I envisaged the Drones as buzzing about their scavenging duties like insects... which demanded an ant/termite hill inspired lair!
  • The Sanctum blends into the ruinous scenery, meaning the players need to discover its exact whereabouts (clues like the location and frequency of drone attacks on sprocket workers, smelt plumes, etc will help)
  • A hill is a good defensible structure should the party choose full frontal assault.

  • Drones usually only possess a limited intelligence, but these guys have 'developed' sentience. Their functional, robotic construction make them ill-equipped to interact with organics and due to this, and their simple machine-like appearance, are mistaken for garden-variety drones.
  • A quick random drone generator provides fun for the GMs! Determine locomotion type (wheels, biped, spider legs, hover), sensors (sound, vibration, movement), attack/defense options (burrow, retreat into shell, roll, stretch arm, gas), etc...

  • Main entrance access requires an understanding of bitstream (bot language) or the cardkey (item)
  • Drone service hatches create another way in.

The Sorting Room 
  • All entrances lead to this hub room. 
  • Drone deposit. Others sort parts.