Hi! I'm playtesting and refining my 2008 Game Chef entry, Spectre of the Beast, which addresses the tension between violence and hope in human history by sort of playing Shock: mashed up with Sid Meier's Civilization. In the game everybody makes their own fictional Culture and plays through successive eras as mini-arcs with historically pivotal protagonists, and we see how their actions grow their culture and the world at large
So! I'm trying to get a good handle on a framework for making up cultures according to the above specs, quickly and engagingly. Right now all I have is "Uh, come up with something," and I need a structure and context that'll flesh out the process and especially give shy or creatively-blocked players (like, uh, me
, in half the playtests so far) some kind of scaffolding on which to hang their ideas.
I'm thinking of a series of questions that'll sketch out the broad scope of a culture, like:
* What kind of government or leadership do they use?
* What religious beliefs and cultural values do they hold?
* What professions, gender roles, and social classes are prominent?
* What sort of technology do they employ?
* What styles of dress and artistic preferences do they have?
What I'm wondering is:
A) Are these good questions to ask, and
Are there other good techniques for doing this?
All bearing in mind that what I want is:
1) Quick and broad concepts that don't take forever to hash out, and
2) A solid focus on the social issue of violence and oppression vs. peace and justice.