When you’re designing a game, it can be helpful to ask—and answer—”what do I want my players to describe?” It’s probably not the first question you want to answer, but when you need to ask it, you know you will. It’s not quite the same as “what happens in my game”1 because, importantly, it’s about what details your players will dwell on, what will give the game its texture.
Once you have some answers to that question, the next thing to consider is how to get your players to actually spend some effort describing those things. This is part of what Vincent’s whole thing about “rightward pointing arrows” was about. They’re one possible technique for making the things described in the fiction meaningful and important enough that people don’t gloss over details, and thus describe what you want them to. (more…)
- Look at the wonderful illustrations from Dylan Meconis for the Italian edition of Dogs in the Vineyard for a great expression of “what happens” in Dogs. [↩]