Posted by jekagames on May 06, 2022

Hello folks! Thanks for sticking with us over the past couple of difficult weeks!

Yesterday, I finished the script for our Cartomancy Anthology game, and today, I started to implement it! As a reminder, our Cartomancy story is called (technically still a working title but I think it's growing on us...) The Fool's Fairytale. It's a game where you play with Shadowpuppets and queer fairytales unfold, and you get to choose whether they're affirmative or critical of the monarchy and other tropes. 

Writing this game involved reworking the same scenes from two different ideological perspectives  while keeping the line count as close to the same as possible. 

Now, I'd say that that's already a pretty complex task. But one of these versions features ideological standpoints that I absolutely disagree with but had to write in a believable (but also firmly satirical) way. Identifying those viewpoints and writing them not only in a way that made sense, but in a way that made fairytale sense in the queer fantasy context that I was writing was a big challenge!

As I was writing yesterday, sharing bits and pieces with Allison and Squinky, Allison pointed out that part of what made a particular scene work is that everyone thinks that they're the good guy. Cartoon villains are one thing, but people generally justify their actions through one moral framework or another. They are acting in accordance with a set of beliefs. 

This is not a justification of those beliefs or those actions. It's more that writing from a different perspective in a believable way means learning about that perspective and the connected standpoints while also not surrendering your own. 

(There's some pretty scary research about how media bubbles and watching, for example, fascist alt right content, can really mess with your brain. I don't suggest doing, for example, as some journalists have done, and watching such content deliberately for a month.)

I don't know that I have much to say about that work except that it is a process. I regularly write thousands of words in a day, but this was a much more careful, subtle thing. Oftentimes, I found myself spending a lot of time changing the same word, trying to tune a phrase until it felt like it explored the belief but also kept the satirical note that I wanted. 

Eventually, the story sort of took on its own shape, each fairytale "moral" emerging as I wrote without a firm idea at first what each ending was driving at. 

I honestly can't wait to see what playtesters think! 

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