Monday, 13 June 2011

Webs in worldbuilding

Science In My Fiction has a post up with the title Spiders In Space: Our Constant Companions. This may not be The Drune's post at ix on Space Spiders, or any of Needles' incredible creatures at Swords & Stitchery, but it's intriguing nonetheless.

It makes me think of the end of this article, when the subject turns to Biosphere 2.

Reading it all as a worldbuilder and games designer, there's a challenge - how to evoke or enable these evolving webs, with potential for unexpected niches and cracks? For me it also ties in with the idea of minus level characters, via ckutalik's image of ripples.

Can a game system represent or suggest an ecology in a simple way? The posts here on growing a tabletop say I think it can. And it seems to me a set of supplementary mechanisms like this could make a sandbox more of a living, breathing space, increase the fun through naturalistic development, greater immersion. Does it burst your buds?


Bartender said...

Necromunda used to have rules for toxic vegetation which was inspiring. Miss necromunda :(

DocStout said...

I keep thinking about sandbox gaming, knowing now that what I was doing when I GMed Shadowrun was exactly this, I just didn't know it was a gaming style. If I could understand the concept completely, I might be able to translate the skills in world and scenario building from a "missions" based game to one with a more traditional narrative structure.
I want to do that badly.

Paul´s Bods said...

Right...I´m posting this as a test...see if yout hits go up about now. I´ve left a thread about what I´m doing (no I haven´t gone completely round the bend) at my blog.

Porky said...

@ Bartender - Me too. The Outlanders bestiary was a real highlight of the system - so many good and characterful ideas. I loved the weather conditions as well.

@ DocStout - There's a lot of good advice on running a sandbox floating about these reaches of the blogosphere, sometimes specific posts on one or another blog, sometimes just useful hints or suggestions. I recommend clicking through the rolls here and at other blogs and seeing what turns up. Also, if a blog has a search bar, you might be able to turn up any dedicated material.

@ Paul's Bods - I definitely had some visits from your blog and country, but I can't say whether it was at the time you left this comment or not. I'd guess it was, but I don't know what you're up to exactly. I'll pop across now.