Warming up the Titans

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Here is a small report about the Titans. The tests were positive and informative, and I am now working on the text as well as the design.

Progress

Writing is progressing well following the required revisions. The book’s structure is set. The bases of the layout also. I am currently at about 95,000 signs. Several chapters are currently being revised, and some new ones have recently been added. I write first in french, but some chapters have been translated as they are done. I’m in the process of finding a native-speaking english proof-reader.

The six core Titans are completed, and I have already finished 4 of the 6 settings (one per Titan). I will soon present a complete example of them, with the rules for generating the setting. Some may say that 6 Titans makes only 6 games. Indeed, this is why I have started to lay the groundwork for additional Titans, which are a little (or even a lot) outside the « Fantastic Medieval » scope. And I also contacted other authors to participate to the game with their vision. And that’s dope!

In terms of layout, I currently have about 160 pages, in 6 »x9 » format. I expected less, I admit it, but I chose a clear layout, even if it meant having white spaces. I will soon do a first test of print-on-demand, to test the process with an unfinished book.

Warm-up exercises

During the planning of my chapters, and following the reading of Flotsam, in particular, I decided to include a « Learn the Game » section. Advice for the Facilitators, those people who will have read the rules and will propose games of Facing the Titan. How to ensure that the specificities of the game, whose rules are unusual, are well transmitted.

And then I remembered discussions from Éclipse and the Utopiales. In particular with Thomas Munier, but also Eugénie. These discussions were focused on workshops. Micro-exercises allowing you to get into the swing, to quickly test a mechanic, to force the move, to discover something else, without necessarily linking it to a future game. Matthieu B’s presentation of For the Queen also inspired me:


This game is so accessible that :

* you don’t need a facilitator in order to play it. You don’t even have to read the rules beforehand.
* the rules are taught in game : the players read the instructions on their turn, and thus start to use one of the main mechanics of For the Queen.

Matthieu B. presentation of For the Queen

Facing the Titan will therefore offer 4 warm-up exercises. The purpose of these exercises is to introduce new players to the specific mechanics of the game, through mini-games that should last about 15 minutes. The mechanics presented are:

  • Reading Tones on the dice
  • Finding a Motif in another player’s words
  • Incorporating an Echo into your narrative
  • Playing a Confrontation

You will find below a part of the second exercise. It’s very short, and that’s the goal. Part of the text, the part read aloud, is still missing. I’m in the process of finalizing it, and I have to hold some of it for the Kickstarter campaign.

Oh yes, because if you didn’t know, Facing the Titan will soon be on Kickstarter. Probably starting in the second half of April. I’m working on the presentation right now, on the rewards, the stretch goals, the budget. In short, enough to feed a future post!

Before leaving you with the warm-up exercise, thank you again for following me. Feel free to talk about the game, ask questions, share all this!

Warm-up Exercise: Motifs

The objective of this exercise is to introduce players discovering the game to the concept of Motifs. The prior reading of the section on Motifs is a valuable addition.

What is a Motif ?

A Motif is an ensemble of words that will be written down during the game by a player. These words must express a strong idea, an evocative image, a powerful feeling. At the end of a game, rereading the Motifs should bring back some memories. The Motifs of a game form a kind of trailer for the game.

The Motif must come from the words of another player, and does not have to be written word for word. When another player has finished speaking, if you have a strong image left that you can describe in three or four words, chances are it is a Motif.

A Motif must be as non-contextual as possible. He must be able to live and be self-expressive without referring to the moment in which he appeared. A person outside the game must be able to read it and understand what it says.

A little bit of listening

Each player is given a pencil and an index card. One of the players, usually the Facilitator, reads the following text aloud.

This is an ambient text that has not yet been finalized. Why not read an excerpt from your favorite novel? Speaking of which…

The sun had nearly reached the meridian, and his scorching rays fell full on the rocks, which seemed themselves sensible of the heat. Thousands of grasshoppers, hidden in the bushes, chirped with a monotonous and dull note; the leaves of the myrtle and olive trees waved and rustled in the wind. At every step that Edmond took he disturbed the lizards glittering with the hues of the emerald; afar off he saw the wild goats bounding from crag to crag. In a word, the island was inhabited, yet Edmond felt himself alone, guided by the hand of God.

He felt an indescribable sensation somewhat akin to dread—that dread of the daylight which even in the desert makes us fear we are watched and observed.

This feeling was so strong that at the moment when Edmond was about to begin his labor, he stopped, laid down his pickaxe, seized his gun, mounted to the summit of the highest rock, and from thence gazed round in every direction.

The Count of Monte-Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

The other players listen carefully, then write a Motif on their index card. This Motif must be something significant for the player who writes it.

Revealing the Motifs

Each player reveals the Motif he has written, and then the players discuss it. Some Motifs may be a little weak for some, or too context-specific. It’s time to talk about it.

The player who read the text also reveals the four Motifs, in bold, that had been deliberately slipped into it. Maybe they are in the players’ Motifs?

Before closing the exercise, discuss tacit rules for writing the Motifs in your future game. But don’t forget that everyone around the table was able to write their Motif without constraint. In the upcoming game, the Motifs will be recorded on a common sheet of paper, available to all. And there too you can write a Motif when it comes to you, without necessarily asking for everyone’s agreement.

There is no good or bad Motif. If it imposes itself on you, write it down. Don’t restrict yourself.


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