I’m not sure I’ve seen this discussion here before.
I’ve been thinking about how different CoGs/HGs/HCs (we really need an inclusive name for all three companies!) cover different lengths of time, and how that affects the scope/depth/stats of the stories.
On one end, we have some of the epic/sprawling stories like @Lucid’s Life of a X games, that follow your character throughout their entire life.
On the other end of the spectrum, some games cover a very short period of time. For example, my upcoming Zip! game covers only a few days.
And then of course there are a ton of games in the middle, that might cover a few months, or a school semester, or something like that.
What are some of the pros and cons you see in these different approaches? How do they affect stats? How do they affect width and depth of the stories? Do you prefer one over the other?
The first thing that comes to mind are primary stats and end states, but then I’m also thinking about dialogue, character relationships, etc.
With ‘conventional’ primary stats like intelligence, strength, etc., epic/life stories seem to give more opportunities to build such stats. I mean, how much can your strength increase in a few days? It doesn’t make sense, unless you somehow account for it in your narrative.
Epic/life games also probably allow for a wider spread of end stats, since by the fact that they are “life” games, there probably won’t be a sequel. It’s probably also easier to introduce/drop/kill off side characters, since the MC might end up moving on, going to a different location entirely, etc.
But perhaps games with shorter periods allow a deeper drilling into specific moments, conflicts, conversations, etc? Do they more easily allow for tension/emotion/themes? How are primary stats best served?
For example, I’ve worked and reworked Talon City 2 or 3 times now. I love the core content, but I can’t figure out how to best structure it as a game. Now I’m leaning toward keeping it covering only a week of time (focused on one thing, preparing for a trial), but instead of “normal” traditional stats, which just wouldn’t change in a week, I’m thinking of using stats like Hunger, Stress, Weariness, Doubt, etc., that would mirror how hellish a week of trial prep is (I’ve been there, done that).
So again, I’m just spit-balling here. Has anyone thought about this, or is anyone considering this in a WiP they’re working on? Does anyone have favorite CoGs/HGs/HCs that land on different sides of the spectrum?