Straight into the deep we go. Breathe in, hold your breath, dive.
I wrote most of the foundation in ‘The stage of commerce’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/25/the-stage-of-commerce/) but not all, the foundation is larger than what I set there. I did it some time ago, but the article came to mind on February 25th 2022. Yet over the last few months I also reconsidered other parts. I stated “In the past I already discussed bookshops, taverns, and smith. We need to include goods and foods. This gives us the shops we need as a bare minimum, and considering the size of any area (in the past shops were seen in larger towns and anyone within a distance came to this place). So we now have the larger stage, and the people in that area add to this commerce.” But the world is larger than this, even if we base it on a 17th century fantasy premise. The cogs tend to simplify the setting, but does not change the dimension and that is what we need. But I feel that additional cogs to prevent the game from falling short. We can all rejoice into tables and the setting for armour, weapons, groceries, food, general items, books, jewels, taverns, masons and the list goes on. There are the cogs that drive 1:1, and the others tend to set the equation 1:2, 1:3, 2:1, 4:1. It is the balance that they set that keeps the game going and the more balanced that is, the longer the attention span the gamer gives it, and that I part of the equation. You can run from quest to quest like some set it, raid after raid and a quick trip to the stores to exchange equipment to coins. The one needs to be prevented, the other needs to be dismissed. The first element was discussed yesterday, by altering the concept and the kind of loot you find, the larger your benefit is in the beginning of the game. As the game progresses we get quarries and mines. The mines might make some of the requirements go away, but not all. As you get into the need of silver weapons, gold for enchanted jewellery. That gave me the idea to add Platinum as a source (it started with an engagement ring, but that is another story and she does not know it yet). But Platinum added a few other options, a few I had not considered before. So as we can find every mine EXCEPT Gold or Platinum we can create a handle on some parts of the equation. Then the idea goes from one side to the other.
These are all over the place in many games, there we see villages, towns and optionally cities. This is how it has been, but the setting that we see villages and towns, they support farms, abbeys, convents, and keeps. Keeps have a more central setting in my mind, Keeps are supported by towns and cities, but the distance of a keep allows a town to BECOME a city. That is the larger setting, people can contribute to the creation of a city, but cannot push it. One person does not make an economy, people do, so I had to consider the setting where people are the foundation towards creating a city and even as the player you set the domino stones to get it done, I need a stage where (at least) 10% is out of our hands. I believe that the cog system does work and it works beyond economy, it could be the balance setter for entire games, not to manage it, but to set is as a setting of checks and balances. A setting where we can test the game in its true potential and that is essential. Streaming RPG’s are basically new, they might be based on old games, but the moment the makers realise what else is possible, they will run to what more they can get. They will make their games merely larger but not better. The deeper I dive into creating the next RPG, the more I see that another system is required, another pattern is required and in this I came up with the cog system. It is not unique, it is not the only way that it can go, but it is the way I designed it to go. I personally believe in the cog system. It is flexible, it an be adjusted and tailored to any specific situation or need and that is the foundation towards creating an RPG, is the cog model too small, we can add a cog, we can move cogs to be connected, it is a foundational choice. I believe that for me it is the best choice. For you? You will have to make up your own mind on what works for you.
Four elements towards any RPG, towards any new story that gives life to a dynasty of gaming, it is time we prepare for the next stage of gaming, whether it is Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, PlayStation 6. We need to prepare what what comes next, not for the 10 year old game that we can play again, even if it was a really good ride.