Three Levels of Stories
Photo by Jean Scheijen from FreeImages
For Spaceship 47, there are three levels of stories:
The main story is the story of the entire campaign, the reason the game is taking place in the first place. The game starts off with Spaceship 47 escaping from the attack on Earth. Its mission is to complete missions to find allies, technology and information to help them take back Earth.
There will be an over arcing story for this as the players will discover why the Draydun chose to attack Earth.
Each session will be a self -contained story. Some examples of episodes are:
The Ghost Ship – the obligatory pastiche of the film Alien
Rescuing the Chent Ambassador – a prison break mission to help the Chent get their valuable ambassador back. This is pivotal to get the Chent support
Destroying the Draydun base – sneak aboard the Draydun military station and blow it up, hampering the Draydun’s strength in keeping Earth under the cosh
I hope that each of these sessions will feel like a story, with:
HOOK – “Establish characters and starting state.”
PLOT TURN 1 – “Call to action.”
PINCH 1 – “Put pressure on characters; force action.”
MIDPOINT – “Move from reaction to action.”
PINCH 2 – “Really lay on the pressure; hero on his/her own.”
PLOT TURN 2 – “Get the last piece of puzzle.”
RESOLUTION – “Winning!”
(taken from Revisiting the 7-Point Story Structure — by John Berkowitz )
I want the length of each session to be between 90 minutes to 2 hours as that is the length of a film. This means that a dungeon crawler-esque game might not be the best fit for the game. I will think about this more.
The final level of stories are the personal stories that the characters will be going through. Examples are:
Revenge – a character has been wronged by a particular Draydun character and is out for revenge
Addiction – a character has an addiction to some kind of sci-fi stimulant and has to overcome it.
When I read Meeples Together by Christopher Allen and Shannon Applecline, they made it clear that co-operative games needed an element of selfishness in it or the game becomes just one giant puzzle to solve and is less interesting. Therefore in this game, each player wins if the group succeed in the overall mission of taking Earth back, but also if they complete their character’s personal story. I hope this makes the game even more interesting than it otherwise would be.
So there you have it. The three level of stories that I want to tell with the game. Will I succeed? Will I need to drastically re-think what I have created so far? Keep on reading to find out!