In November of 2015, I retreated to develop a tabletop rpg system and the first title that it would feature. I shut everything down and told myself no incremental updates or teasers until I had something substantial to report. During that blackout time, I halted work on all of my other projects and spontaneous flavors of the month to hunker down, work out the details, and get the damn thing done. I can now see light at the end of the long tunnel, which means development is almost over.
It’s been an incredibly rewarding and educational ride.
When I started this studio in 2014, I had just completed a stint working on half of the Post World Games series 1 Protocols, and a handful of titles that appeared in series 2. I came away from that experience with a strong desire to tell my own stories, and began my search for an interesting architecture that I could incorporate or reinterpret into an enjoyable game system. In the following months, I stumbled upon kishōtenketsu, a classic narrative structure that was used to explore plots without conflict resolution.
Kishōtenketsu has been around for a very long time to say the least, and is featured in many popular art forms such as poetry, manga, and video games. Around 2012, there was a flurry of attention centered around employing it in tabletop rpgs, but then suddenly the topic died off. My research led me to believe it had remained under utilized. In fact, the only game I could find that used the structure was in what would become the second version of Raspberry Heaven by Yaruki Zero Games. In my estimate, the field was wide open, and in late 2015 I chose it as the inspiration for my system.
To be fair, others had shopped kishōtenketsu as a narrative platform for rpgs. However, the overarching opinion was that it was dull or impossible to implement. More popular storytelling frameworks included conflict resolution, and this didn’t have it. The truth was, in Kishōtenketsu there could be conflict, but resolution would not be the focus. I found this to be appealing. Also, the component parts were simple and linear, and could support a variety of themes and dramatic elements.
Right now, the completion of my first game looms on the horizon. I’ll be posting more details in the coming days as we head toward its release, so stay tuned.
Copyright © 2016 James Glover and 1000mg Games. All rights reserved.