Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How I would have Done it - Some of my story telling rules

Some of the Story telling Rules I try to follow (with limits of my attention) that is applicable to games and writing I use for my games. As a logistics and ops guy in management who appreciates shit being an artist and writer.  I think I'm in a position to maximize creativity in a sustainable cost effective way.

This is some frustration in finding good Anime lately.


  • Action

    • If its spectacular show it. 
    • Action is Coloured by Character and Backstory
      • The scene is framed in a way that the audience can see the options and why the choice of the character informs them of what he thinks.
    • If I can use it to illustrate a challenging concept to De-mystify then it gets some points on priority. 
    • If it informs on difficulty, complexity, and skills needed then it gets points in priority. 
    • If it frames the kind of thinking the character goes through and the limits of his attention points in priority. 
    • If it does a good imprint of the mind of the audience about the character, points. We don't show the melee monster killing a bunch of guys, we skip that. We imply that (see efficient storytelling), we focus on the other characters. 
      • We can have 3rd hand knowledge or observations and clues who did what. Hacking wounds is the Axe man, piercing wounds is the spearman. Etc... leave it to the inference of the audience. Challenge their observation. 

  • Efficient story telling

    • My favourite in this Downton Abbey. Some basic rules. 
      • If the scene is predictable skip it. It its tedious in a non-dramatic way skip it. 
      • If its effects can be inferred, and its effects are a greater mover of the story than a scene of action it self.
      • If it doesnt fit the budget. 
      • There are a lot of scenes that can tell the story, be most efficient that engages the audience in being able to Infer why, how, what, where, when, etc.... 
      • Like in running the TRPG - does your audience want this scene? Distinguish between fan service and story driving content. 
    • Only thing worth Telling is if the telling is an Act that infers something about someone else and the character instead of Explaining something. 
      • if there is time note historical precedence and examples. 
    • Distortion of Probablity. 
      • One of the new tool's I've learned is the biases regarding to Probability really affects our Narrative Thinking (Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel Kheneman). Distort it. 
    • Challenge their observational Ability. Give a scene and see if they can figure it out before someone spills it. Set it as a trend and slowly leave stuff for inference. 
      • Dress the Story Board like an Observation Game. Let's see what the audience can pick up using our Game design training to pick things up. 
      • 3 sets of levels: 
        • for the newbs, telegraph the next scene. 
        • for the fans, telegraph the intrigue. if they can figure it out, use efficient story telling reward them for the observation. Their reward is not just seeing the intrigue but being able to fill their imagination how the character got out of it OUT OF SCENE. 
        • For the BIG fans, reward them for ability to telegraph the next episode and arc. Reward them by something really important happening OUT OF SCENE, that they can figure out from the 3rd party information and observation. 
        • Reward Observation and Understanding the character's have flaws, needs, motivations, and dreams. Reward empathy. 

  • Characters are Flawed but Not Caricatures.

    • They are fleshed out, even the Archetypes. always an inconsistent view. Use narrative bias towards behavior (Thinking Fast and Slow). Characters sell a narrative to the audience but the words says different thinks and their flaws are out of scene. 
    • They do not exist in a vacuum. 
    • If death can move a story - kill the character. 
      • But not before milking it. 
    • Set a Pattern of Expectation - who dies, and break it unpredictably. Make them guess. 
    • Add layers of depth. Compose a scene with the 5W&H in mind. Then Ask the guide questions again with the following tool:
      • About characters not in the scene. 
      • The over-aching plot. 
      • What are we priming and anchoring - What are we telegraphing. 
      • What should we prime fore and break that dissonance. 
    • Fleshing out the World through the Character. Using the availability bias to telegraph the setting. 

    From my Old Notes. Just as a Comic with a a lot of pages.  
    • Release at the rate Manga is released. But all the story board and writing has been done already. This is pure production and flexibility to allow for audience participation. 
    • 1 year project.  
      • Capex for a small office with bunk beds for a total office of up to 15 people. Living and working. 
        • Probably cost all in all 2,000/mo including all utilities. about 4,000 if I include all the capex. 
        • Near a University with Artists so that the Project Manager (typically a University Prof ) can easily come back and forth. 
      • The script is done with a staff or writers who did the ugly drawing. ideally another artist did the story board to see how different the project manager translates. 
      • Drawing tablets and Rigs (Krita)
        • Side project is Adding more to the Krita Body of Knowledge.
    • A project manager, a senior artist who would do key composition. Senior Artist of about 800usd/mo. he just needs to be in the project for over view and on call for problems. Making sure all deadlines  
    • An art staff of 3, 
      • averaging 500-600usd/mo for a contract of and work he could do about 6-10 hours a day if they had to do reworks.
      • Background Artists
      • Inker and Colorist. 
    • Paid Interns of 4-5
      • 200usd/mo per mo. Lock in. 
    • Hosting discussions weekly. Talk to the artists and challenges. 
      • Talk to various experts who can comment. Discretionary budget of 1k usd for consultations. 
    • Secretary and IT. 300-400usd. two different people. Secretary is assistant project manager for follow up.  
    • Capture Team. Hiring a Studio to capture and make videos with the team for Best pRactice for making this.  About 3,000usd for a set of video projects of a total of 120 minutes of 5 minutes each. Ideally document the whole thing for Crowd funding. 
    • Crowd fund as a way to recoup gamble. 
    • All the material if able to be used for fan and Wiki building. The project should run for a 2//3 the time and the rest in content creation. That content should give some shares for the artists. 
      • Some not broken way to make money out of the IP to give some parachute for the participants in a way proportional to the success. But guarantees that the IP will be public in 30 years. (like a savings fund that pays out dividends)
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