Emotional Intensity - Game Idea
Here's a game idea I'm currently developing called either 'Emotionality' or 'Emotional Intensity'
The game board is a kind of mind map or interlinked diagram of emotions. Ideas include:
- A diamond shape with love at the top and fear at the bottom, with a range of emotions in between – the emotions in the middle being fairly neutral e.g. ‘contentment’ or ‘unease’.
- A circle with fear in the middle and negative emotions in the middle and love on the outside.
- A diagram like Plutchik’s with the most intense emotions in the middle and the least intense emotions around the outside, where similar emotions are in close proximity to other similar emotions.
- A more random mind map with lines (some of them one way) connecting different emotions together. This could then include actions as well as emotions (e.g. revenge could take you from hate to satisfaction, but with some guilt thrown in there too).
I think for the game to work, players will have to have more than one playing piece – so they will have different coloured or different shaped playing pieces to represent the range of emotions that they are feeling. In the case of revenge, this could mean that revenge would move a playing piece from e.g. hate, shame, embarrassment, etc. but would generate 2 playing pieces – one on satisfaction and one on guilt. An alternative could be that you roll a die or toss a coin to determine how you feel. Yet another alternative is it depends on the ‘fondness’ scale within the game.
This is another idea of mine, where there’s either a universal ‘fondness’ or ‘harmony’ or ‘accord’ scale or different players have different fondness scales between them. If there’s high fondness, then players have similar interests and therefore want other players to win too, if players have low fondness, then they have selfish interests – or even oppositional interests, where they want to win and they want other players to lose.
In this way, the game could be won by either 1 player or by several players or all players – in other words, there are different ways of winning depending on how the emotional dynamics of the game work out. It could be that the scale has 9 points:
If one of the first three apply – you can only win if the players you feel that way about also win. If the middle ones apply, you can win just by yourself (or perhaps have to move into a more intense state to win). If the bottom 3 apply, you can only win if the other players don’t win.
If the game was for up to 5 players the fondness scale between them could be represented with 5 dots with lines interconnecting them – forming a pentacle with a circle connecting the adjacent dots. Rectangular markers could then be placed on the circle showing the warmth between players – maybe a scale of 6 would be all that’s necessary.
In fact looking at a pentacle, if we had dividers on the lines, then either 5 or perhaps 8 ‘stages’ of fondness would fit best.
Anyway, I’m exploring a small aspect of the game here.
So, how does the game work?
The model by Plutchik has all 8 emotions equal to each other – like petals on a flower. I’m looking for a clear ‘win/lose’ mechanism, whereas his model is based on emotions arising from a need to survive. I therefore want a board that has a more clear ‘win/lose’ ‘negative/positive’ aspect.
Let’s face it, that’s also how most people view emotions – there’s ones that don’t feel nice and one’s that feel nice and we want to move towards the ones that feel nice!
So how will the game be played?
How could you win?
- Having to get all your playing pieces onto the positive side of the board.
- Having to get all your playing pieces onto a high intensity positive side of the board.
- Getting 1 playing piece onto ‘love’
- Having objective cards and fulfilling certain objectives. (This might work best if the game included more physical / intellectual / spiritual aspects as well).
- Having to get different playing pieces to different emotions at the same time – e.g. joy, trust, love.
The game needs to be dynamic, so I like the ‘fondness’ scale – this means that if another player is doing well, you could try to manipulate the fondness scale, or try to make them do less well.
I could perhaps also have a ‘survival’ scale for each player. This could be a simple score from 1 to 10, where 10 means survival is handled – you have a home, money, etc. 1 means that you’re homeless and broke. I would then be free to concentrate on the emotional aspects of the game, but allow the survival scale to influence certain options.
I see their being event cards of some description – I think that there needs to be an element of chance for the game to work, but at this stage my instincts tell me that there shouldn’t be a dice to move. I think there’s a possibility of the pull of gravity towards the negative – or perhaps towards the more extreme emotions, so contentment tends to move towards joy, but unease tends to move towards sadness.
I’m concerned that a fondness scale between each player, plus the survival scale might make it too complex – then again, this isn’t so complex, provided the rest of the game is simple. The other option is to have a universal harmony scale instead of different ones between each player.