#INDIEGAMEaDAY2016  
“What game created your most elaborate relationship map? How much of it did you actually use?”

Back in 2006, I ran “Fires Over Omac”, a demo for Burning Empires at Chicago Gameday. You can see a snippet of the map at the bottom of the attached pic; that’s all the evidence I have left. As you can see, BWHQ knows how to design demos where everyone is so tightly connected that shit’s gonna ‘splode before the one-shot is done. I absolutely used all of this for the demo.

(The whiteboard above the map is the Firefight we had at the end of the game.)

Granted, this was me trying to map out the relationships presented in the scenario, so I could have overdone it. I’d honestly never missed with r-maps before this.

And, well, I haven’t used them much since. I know! I suck! I just have yet to really grok them, as I don’t know that I’ve been playing a whole lot of games that really rely on them (or I was just unaware how helpful they’d be for a given game).

Any tips? How can I practice my r-map skills? Anything more insightful than “play”?

10 thoughts on “#INDIEGAMEaDAY2016

  1. I know Adam Koebel has some tantalizing Mac program. The sort used for like mind mapping. What makes the app great is you can gesture and draw lines, and the program will automatically organize it for you. Turning everything into vector lines with nice even spacing.

  2. Well, Mark Delsing  , I’d love to learn more about how people use them as well. What I use them for is tracking the motivations and attitudes between NPCs, particularly for intrigue.

    I try to set up a web of interactions between NPCs. What they want from each other, who hates who, who loves who. I try to set up a roughly equal number of positive and negative interactions between them (love/hate, wants something from/refuses to deal with, etc), then wait for the PCs to enter the mix.

    Once they start interacting with a particular NPC, the map gives me a good idea of how the other NPCs now feel about the PCs, and how they will interact with them. Your PC just befriended the NPC I want something from? I now have reason to persuade/pressure/blackmail/intimidate you into helping me get that. And so on.

    It’s a dynamic thing, so I re-write and change the lines as needed.

  3. https://twitter.com/skinnyghost/status/594576898467889153

    Here’s an example. Adam also makes great R-maps.

    You don’t always have to go with the bubble and connect method. I think BitD’s faction ladder is a good tracker for relationships, as well.

    With BW itself, I find it more useful to have NPCs with beliefs that conflict, exaggerate or complicate the beliefs of the players. So I track player beliefs a bit more than relationships. Though to be fair this might be just because I suck at R-maps.

  4. https://twitter.com/skinnyghost/status/594576898467889153 Here’s an example. Adam also makes great R-maps. You don’t always have to go with the bubble and connect method. I think BitD’s faction ladder is a good tracker for relationships, as well. With BW itself, I find it more useful to have NPCs with beliefs that conflict, exaggerate or complicate the beliefs of the players. So I track player beliefs a bit more than relationships. Though to be fair this might be just because I suck at R-maps.]]>