Winter 0.1: Thoughts on Scene Structure

January 4, 2011

Here are my first thoughts on game structure:

A game of Winter consists of the 7-21 days in the trench before you are relieved. Each day is made up of one or more scenes. These scenes can be played out over the course of one session or many sessions.

A scene is just a moment that has an impact on play, they can be as long or as short as is necessary.

Scenes can be any of several different types of scene: the ones I’ve thought of so far are Camaraderie, Survival, Violence, and Volunteering.

Camaraderie scenes are moments in which you share a fleeting warmth with another human. This could be:

  • A game of cards with a fellow soldier
  • Sharing a meal with your bunkmates
  • Singing a song with your comrades while shoring up the trench

Camaraderie helps to keep one hopeful and sane. Note that, while you can play a camaraderie scene by yourself, you’re probably talking to a dead body.

Survival scenes are the moments where you are pushed to the limits of your physical endurance. They might be:

  • starting a fire with no wood
  • surviving a blizzard while stuck in a foxhole
  • finding food when your rations have run out

Violence scenes are exactly what they sound like – any scene that directly features violence. For example:

  • a raid on the enemy trenches
  • a raid on our trenches
  • a mortar shell, grenade, or other explosive goes off nearby

Volunteering is the most specific kind of scene. In a Volunteering scene, an officer comes down the line and asks for volunteers. Any character may volunteer. If they do so, they will have an opportunity to learn the nature of the mission. Missions might be:

  • acting as a stretcher-bearer for the hospital corps
  • sneaking out to cut razor wire for the spring offensive
  • raiding the enemy lines

Volunteering scenes are always followed by violence scenes.

Infoporn: “Yojimbo” means bodyguard in Japanese.

 

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2 Responses to “Winter 0.1: Thoughts on Scene Structure”

  1. guyintheblackhat Says:

    Sounds like a World War I scenario, but abstracted a bit. What does the game look like with only one player?

    • thehamp Says:

      Hi, thanks for your comment!

      Yes, the game is definitely strongly influenced by World War I. The only reason I’m not including that more explicitly is because I’m less interested in the where and the when, and more in the what and the how (if that makes any sense).

      For one player I imagine the game as almost indistinguishable from group play. It may be a little odd to talk to oneself, but that’s part of the jarring you into the place where you talk to yourself is what the game is all about.


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