CFL: RPG and Hypertext Design  3/7/06

This is a quick Call For Links. I'm currently designing a role playing game setting, and all the reading on RPG design has me thinking. Similar challenges arise in writing interactive fiction, writing 'literary' hypertexts, planning a session/story/adventure for a role playing group, and designing digital games with interesting plots. If you have a link, please write (and say whether you're comfortable being credited by link and how).

  • How do you give the reader/player authentic agency while still propelling the narrative in a meaningful direction? (Can you?)
  • What RPG devices, especially game mechanics, facilitate or restrict narrative agency?
  • What are useful techniques for adapting an existing story or setting written around a single protagonist to make it interesting for a group of collaborative players?
  • What are useful techniques for making a hypertext or interactive fiction appealing to a multitude of reader/players with a variety of goals and modes of play?

I'm looking for good readings specifically about the parallels between hypertext and RPGs. There seems to be a lot of thinking about one side or the other (especially about digital games), but I've found little on the interaction of the two pursuits. If you have a link, please write me. I'll make a follow-up post soon about what I've found.