And that got me thinking. I'm a designer of roleplaying and storytelling games; I'm good at engineering structures that inspire storytelling (see Bacchanal for an example). What if I designed something that helped artists create stories for webcomics?
And so I am. It's a deck of cards called The Well of Else. And I'll have my in-progress prototype at STAPLE to show off (we're at table 59, Half Meme Press & Cream Alien Games).
Here's how it works. You turn over a card and it tells you how to advance your story based on the cards you've already played out, based on the characters you've created, their personalities, and their relationships. If certain conditions aren't satisfied, you move down to the next instruction. There are several levels on each card. You'll either hit one with conditions you've satisfied, or you'll discard and draw another card. Maybe you create a new character. Maybe something transpires among characters you created previously. Have it happen in your webcomic. Trust the cards. They've got your back.
And they know the truth and lies of heroism. They set the monomyth aside, as a pattern in fiction with no relevance to how, say, America achieved independence, and create stories of epic cultural change that feel more like history than like Hollywood.
Anyway, here are some reasons to stop by table 59 for conversation:
- The prototype cards are really really text heavy.
My goal for the next prototype is to have a vocabulary of iconic cartoons instead of text. If you're good at creating iconic graphics from text, I want to talk to you.
- If you have creative energy from frustrations working under corporate leadership, I want to talk to you.
- If you know anything about the relationship between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, I want to talk to you.
- If you aspire to having an ongoing webcomic, and you think you might want to help me understand how well the cards are working by giving them a try, I definitely want to talk to you.