Another university assignment has given me very different ideas that I could bring into game design. This assignment is all about the realtionships we have in our lives, the things that ared important and how they relate to us. We were basically asked to create a relationship map, something that thinks outside the box. Most people did traditional posters with lots of lines all over them.
A typical example is being held by the tutor, my effort sits on the desk.
It got me thinking about how elaborately interconnected a relationship map could be, and yet still remain feasible as a gaming tool (either for GMs to determine the local politics of a town, or perhaps to be used in itself as a character sheet).
You start with a central node, and then just continue to connect new nodes to it. I found that things started to get really complicated once there were more than 30 nodes and over 60 assorted connections between them.
Now the question is..."How do you optimise this for game play?", how could we turn this into Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency? It's actually pretty similar to the way settlement troubles are developed by a GM when setting up a Walkabout Scenario, but this level of added complexity might be the kind of thing your game only approaches when an entire campaign is set in a single settlement/town.
I'm sure there's a game design challenge in there somewhere.