Now, I begin to dip my pinky toes into the waters of actual game mechanics consideration. The three Codes have mostly been set into wet plaster, so now I want to erect some sturdier scaffolding around it, and prepare for some heavier work in the coming days.
Today, I’m mulling over the actual visual implementation of these three Codes. I’m envisioning each separate code as a seven-spot track. While I’m not intending to numerically number them just yet, doing so for the sake of discussion will help with imparting this vision.
In this idea, the “lower” numbers are closer to the Internal, aka the Self, while the “higher” numbers are further away from the self, and represent a greater connection to the External. True middle is perfect balance.
1: Isolation from / Rejection of the Code
2: Neophyte within the Code
3: Acceptance of the Code
4: Understand of / Balance with the Code
5. Empowerment by / Reliance Upon the Code
6. Deeper Connection with the Code
7. Consumption by / Fatalism resulting from Complete Immersion within the Code
I’m picturing one of two visual layouts for this (please excuse the crappy hand drawings):
In both setups, the rings go outward, with the Self on the inside and the External on the outside. The circle is set into three wedges, with seven rings. I’m currently leaning more towards Figure 2, being the Circle-within-a-Triangle. In this case, the circle would only have four rings (yes, I realize I drew the circle with only three. that was a mistake), while the extensions beyond the circle would have three more stages.
The player would mark their character’s current place on each of their scales. Using Figure 2, if the outermost ring is filled in, the character is in a state of true balance with his external forces. Continuing deeper into the Code, the outer points would be marked. Rejecting the ways of the Codes would drive the character more inward. In either case, there is imbalance, and imbalance will being the character into constant conflict with the world.
Indeed, a state of true balance would be even more conflicted, as it is just not in the nature of the world to allow such balance to maintain itself easily in the shadow of human emotion and necessity.