Tuesday, July 26, 2005

And Now the Frankenstein Procedure

So for the past couple years I have been writing sections of Full Light, Full Steam -- I've had an outline (well, many versions of outlines) and I've slowly been picking off items from the list and writing them out. It hasn't been very fast or industrious, but this is my hobby, so it needn't be any faster than every-other-weekend-when-I-get-around-to-it.

In any case, I've now got something like 85% of the manuscript drafted, and it's time to start stitching the pieces together. Instead of 200+ files, I've condensed them down to chapters, and the second half of the book I've condensed into one long file. The holes are now obvious and marked with placeholders, and the transitions that stretch between chapters and sections are now made evident. Needless to say, there's still a lot of work to be done.

Part Three, Gameplay, is my current quagmire, as I'm trying to set the entire thing up procedurally instead of as chunks that do not quite work together. I reason that, if the first thing your playgroup should do is sit down and discuss their goals for the game, that should be the first thing in the Gameplay section, before character generation, before how the rules work. If the GM is supposed to prepare the adventure based on the players' expectations and the player characters' themes, that section should go after character generation and before rules. Et cetera. When I'm done, it should be a step-by-step procedure rather than a collection of separate and disparate chunks of rules. Here's hoping.

In the first half of the book, though, the disparate collection of documents forming a collage of information is something that I'm aiming for. I really hope the personality and character of the setting will be expressed through all the voices that I've compiled.

In tangential news, I've decided that I'm just ditching Prussia. They're overshadowed by the other Powers that got to the other planets first, Bismark got hit by a falling meteor, whatever. That, and I've set up everything else in the game for Britain-France-Russia-America-Japan. With Spain and the Dutch in the background. I don't need another freakin faction, and I don't have any place to put them. Additionally, the focus on colonial holdings means that Prussia, who never really got into the colonial game, is a poor fit in any case. Bah. Bah, I say!

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