Сегодня представляю внимание вторую часть материалом, представленных на Летней школе по написанию игр!
The fadersOf course, there are endless numbers of faders that could possibly have been adjusted on the Mixing Desk of Larp. We have no intention of covering all possible design choices, but have concentrated on some of the most important parameters that can be adjusted when making a larp. We hope and believe that other larpwriters will add their own faders and remove the ones they don’t find fruitful when using this framework.
Fader 1: Playing style
Physical vs. verbalWhat kind of playing style is your larp making your players play? Is the natural way to interact in the game through talking, or through physical action and body language? There are many ways to adjust the playing style in your game – through the characters, through workshops, through scenography design or through simply telling the players what style you want. A physical playing style might be more thrilling, letting the players immerse more through using all of their senses, but a more verbal game might be easier to involve new players in, as well as being more realistic in many settings. What kind of playing style are you aiming for?
Fader 2: Representation
Abstraction vs. realism
How do your larp represent the reality in the setting? Do you use abstract elements to focus on the feeling and atmosphere of the setting, or is realism your goal? If the goal of the game is to create the atmosphere of a prison camp, you might do this in two ways: By trying to recreate an actual prison camp, or by using abstract, surrealist elements to re-create the paranoid feeling of not knowing if it’s day or night or what will happen next that some prisoners have reported after months in a camp. What will fit for your larp?
Fader 3: Scenography
360-degree illusion vs. modelingHow does your larp look? Do you aim for a 360-degree illusion, where everything the players see around them is part of the larp? Or do you use a minimalist approach, playing in a black box or something similar, imagining the surroundings of the characters and modeling the setting by letting something represent something else?
Fader 4: Openness
Transparency vs. secrecy
Are there secrets outside of the game? Are the character descriptions secret for the other players, or can anyone read them, so that the players know the secrets of the other characters beforehand? The first approach might make it easier for players to help each other play, to create a stronger drama, but of course it will ruin any real surprises for the players – but not the characters. There are also intermediate possibilities in which there are secrets for some of the other players, but not all, or where the players themselves choose what to reveal. What will make the strongest impact on your game?
Fader 5: Character creation responsibility
Organizer vs. player
Who creates the characters for the game? Do the organizers write them? Do the players write them themselves? Or maybe they’re created together during a pre-game workshop? Combinations of these are also possible, where for example the organizers creates the characters, but the players continues evolving them during a workshop or in groups before the larp. Organizer created characters might make it easier to create a coherent setting and fiction, but player created characters might let the players share the organizer burden as well as let them attach more to the characters they’ve created themselves.
Fader 6: Player motivation
Competitive vs. collaborative
What is the goal of the players in your game? Fulfilling some plot described in their character description? Winning? Immerse as much as possible into his or her character? Or creating the most interesting story together with the other players? Having the players motivated by obtaining some goal or winning is often considered a “gamist” approach, while “immersionist” or “narrativist” approaches is found on the other end of the scale, where the story or the characters are most important. There are many tools that you can use to introduce any of these player motivations in your game, for example clear plots for the characters or different sorts of competitive elements. These will influence the players´ motivation and feelings of achievement when taking part in your larp. What should motivate the players in your game?
Fader 7: Metatechniques
Intrusive vs. discreteMetatechniques are techniques for giving information to the players, but not the characters, during the game. Examples will be given during the summer school, but can for example be secret monologues that are held during the larp. The players can hear these, the characters cannot, but nonetheless, they can be an aid for creating stronger drama. Metatechniques may of course be turned completely off (although this is rare). If they’re used in a game, they might be intrusive or discreet. Examples of intrusive metatechniques are techniques that forces all other play to stop while it takes part, while more discrete techniques might for example be having access to a special room where players can go to act out scenes from the past or the future. Will metatechniques fit with your larp? If so, will you use discrete or intrusive ones?
Fader 8: Plausibility
Playability vs. plausibilityOften in larp design, you’ll encounter the trade off between playability and plausibility. When making a historical game, for example, having a female factory owner is highly implausible. However, it might be very playable – creating lots of interesting drama for the players to use in the larp. How will you trade off playability versus plausibility?
Fader 9: Game master style
Active vs. passiveSome organizers consider their job done when the larp has started – it’s then in the players´ hands. Others influence the game in different ways as it goes along. This game mastering might be of different sorts: the discrete ones, like sending instructed players into the game, or the extremely intrusive ones like stopping the game and instructing the players to do a scene again – differently. What fits with your idea?
Fader 10: Bleed-in
Designing close to home vs. differentiationDo you use elements from the players´ real lives in the game, or do you deliberately try to create a barrier or distance between the character and player? Using the players own experiences or background might create a stronger experience, but also has its downsides: Making the larp less larp and more reality. Taken to the extreme, you might have the players play themselves, just in an alternative setting. Are you willing to lessen the player-character divide? Or might it just do more harm to your game when you don’t have the cushion of this divide?
Fader 11: Player pressure
Pressure on players (hardcore) vs. pressure on characters (pretense)There are some things in larp that might be hard to play out. Hunger, violence, sleep deprivation, drinking, sex and drug abuse might be examples. If you want to include these elements in your game, how do you do it? Do you put the pressure on the players as well as the characters by using real alcohol, real food deprivation and waking people at night, or do you put the pressure on the characters only by using replacements like boffer swords, padded alcohol and telling the players to pretend to be hungry or sleep deprived? Hungry players will of course feel what it is like to be hungry, but their ability to roleplay and enjoy other aspects of the game might be hampered. Where will you put the pressure in your game?
The cost of complexity and the restrictions of the faders
Getting to know about all of this, you might be eager to try out it all, manipulating and adjusting all the faders to your heart’s content. We will advise against this – it might not even be possible. If you push all the faders on a sound equalizer all the way to the top, the only thing that happens is that the sound quality gets worse. The same thing might happen when you over-adjust the faders of the Mixing Desk of Larp. When all the faders are adjusted, you might dilute the effect of the most important parts of your larp. Think about when to adjust a fader, and when to leave in a more neutral position.
Also, fader adjustment might place restrictions on other fader choices. Making a larp with only player created characters might force you to use minimalist scenography, simply because you have no idea what characters the players will create. Pushing the metatechniques-fader all the way to intrusive might make it impossible to have a goal of 360-degree illusion, since the metatechniques will breach the illusion, and so forth.
Now that you have gotten to know the Mixing Desk of Larp, we hope you’ll start twisting. Good luck!
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