I wanted to talk about a particular subject, but realised I didn't have any terminology for it'; does it exist or can we make it? Here's what I'm looking for:
The Bit: A standard unit of 'thingness' in computing, you can measure the 'size' of digital information by counting the number of bits its takes to communicate it.
The Phoneme: A standard unit of the spoken word, you can measure the 'size' of verbal information by counting the number of phonemes it takes to communicate it.
What's the equivalent in RPGs and storygames? Let's take A Penny for My Thoughts as an example; here are the units of thingness to be communicated:
- 3 memory triggers per player(n).
- n-1 questions per memory trigger (except when extra questions are posed)
- at least 9 guiding questions per player over the course of one game (2 pennies+3 pennies+4 pennies)
- 2 answers per guiding question.
Therefore, a 4 player game of Penny has approximately 108 units of thingness; what does this tell us, other than that A Penny for My Thoughts is clearly the work of the Dharma Initiative? What I'd like to be able to do is roughly calculate how long a game might take, by comparing the number of units it would take to complete my game to the number of units it takes to complete other, similar games, e.g. if I want my game to have a similar length to Penny, then I should aim to have around 108 units in it; if I look at my game design and its got far fewer units, then I might want to think about adding other options or additional rounds of play. If my game has far more units, then its overrunning and needs to be trimmed down.
Finally then, what would be a good common name for the standard units of thingness in a game?
Ludeme?: This might be technically correct, but it sounds a bit lame.
Ludosum?: Approximately meaning "I am gaming" in very bad Latin.
Ludino?: Now we're just getting ridiculous, but at least it sounds cool!