This in no way indicates that I have the time to go forward with what I’m about to describe, but I have an idea.
I recently ran a short game with my college Skype group, for which “off the rails” would be a very gentle description. The characters were a group of madmen wreaking havoc in New Jersey…and then a time traveler showed up and all hell broke loose.
That’s ultimately not important, but it led to a discussion of more serious gaming after the crazy sideshow was over. And in that, I came up with an idea for a setting that was a bit outside of my comfort zone, but intriguing enough that it didn’t matter.
And then today I came up with another idea.
I’ve tried to bridge the gap between my writing and my gaming since high school, with variable success. Ultimately, the plots and conceits of a game are too thin to make fiction that can be read passively and still be compelling. Therefore, one would presume, the only way to benefit from any synergy in writing and gaming is come up with a setting where richer and/or more personal written stories can co-exist with the more adventurous ones. And that is something I believe I’ve figured out.
In beginning my worldbuilding for this new (potential) game setting, I also have a story idea that works well with the setting, though it may not at all translate into a game context (too much romance, not enough shooting people, or something like that). My first idea is to write the story and some worldbuilding in parallel, and see how they feed off of each other.
I think the biggest reason I’ve felt this will actually work this time is that my story idea involves travel, and travel and locational awareness are disproportionately important in games. I’m a bit busy to promise significant forward progress on this in any particular time frame, but my hope is to start something and use the vehicles I have to brainstorm and get ideas recorded. More on this later.