18 April, 2009

Game Mechani(sm) of the Week #15: Disposability

I've got to that point where I'm starting to notice some rather annoying habits in my game mechanisms.

A lot of them are simply new ways to roll the same dice, new ways to play the same cards.

Time for a bit more innovation.

I saw the notion of disposability in the recent Little Game Chef contest.

I can't remember which particular entry made use of this function, but when I saw it I was instantly intrigued and wanted to investigate the phenomenon in a game.

The character sheet was literally burnt away during play with a match.

It would make a far more visceral visualisation for sanity checks in games like Call of Cthulhu, especially when a game like that allows players to degenerate into insanity but doesn't allow them to regain their senses. Once you've become aware of the truth in the universe there is no way to go back to a narrow world view, and once you've lost contact with humanity, there is no way you can ever relate to them again.

I'm trying to think of other ways that this type of mechanism could be used, but if anyone's got suggestions I'd be more than happy to discuss them.
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