But that’s never stopped me before.
So after asking my Twitter readers for inspiration (thanks Christian), I settled on a question that’s been on my mind for a long time:
Given no limits in ressources, time and talent, what would you design?
Hmm, that’s an easy one; I’d design something along the lines of the “Young Ladies’ Primer” found in Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. The Primer was a nano-computer with one main function, to act as an interactive smart-book that taught children through a long interactive storygame.
So when I say I’d like to do something like that, I’m not thinking about an actual book-shaped computer made with nanotech (although it would be cool), rather I’d like to do something that could, eventually, evolve into just that… with a tabletop RPG spin.
Here are the basic pitching points:
- An application for a tablet PC like the iPad or the equivalent
- The app features a richly illustrated (animated?) adventure story aimed at tweenagers, I’m thinking 8-12.
- The story progressively becomes fully interactive as a CRPG with elements such as dialog choices, character sheets, conflict resolution mechanics and character growth (XPs).
- The game should last between 5 and 10 hours depending on side-quests completed.
- A simple, yet complete set of tabletop RPG rules that allows readers to continue the adventures of the characters of the story
- Stats for all main characters for the story and rules to make new ones.
- A primer to teach parents how to play tabletop roleplaying games with tween-aged children, complete with advice on preparing new stories, inserting educational content (if needed) and letting the creativity of children drive the show.
The tabletop game would most likely be narrative-driven. So far, the mechanics that I envision fitting the most with what I need is is John Harper’s Lady Blackbird as it has just the right amount of rules element (fitting on a demi-page) to make it into really enjoyable roleplaying game for people of all ages.
I don’t know if the technology is there yet or if parents would be interested in this, but as a customer, I’d snag such a product (and pay more than once for different stories) in a minute.
What about you? Do you like the idea? What elements would you like to see in such a app/story/game?
More importantly, if you were asked the same question I was, what would you design?