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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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The Interpersonal Subgame

My theoretical work had convinced me of the importance of interpersonal factors. Much work on the problem had yielded Gossip as a design study, and the result was good enough to integrate into the overall design.

Gossip provided a firm foundation on which to build, but it lacked context. Characters in Gossip adjust their feelings in response to each other's feelings, but there was no underlying dynamic to support these relationships in the first place. I needed a mechanism for creating conflict, a stage with some props on which my characters could develop disputes that could provide fodder for the Gossip engine.

Game design, like any form of software design, turns on the three fundamental steps of interactivity: listening, ...

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