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22 December 2007 @ 01:55 am
Lexicon Update  
As a follow-up to the previous posts, we've been working on sorting out some more details for the game.

For those who missed it, or who'd like a summary here: Lexicon is a game where players take on the role of revisionist scholars writing an encyclopaedia about some fictional setting, or event, or place. Each turn, players write encyclopaedia entries with topics that start with a particular letter; these entries must link to a previous entry (where such entries exist) and link to two as-yet unwritten entries. Entries may (and should!) disagree wildly on interpretations, but any fact given in an entry is true within the game world; your colleagues are misguided idiots, but are honest in their work.

Most people who answered the first poll seem to be happiest with using a wiki for the entries, and an LJ comm to sort out administrative and metagame stuff. To this end, we're currently planning to use Wikidot.com to host the wiki, and to clean up and recycle apathy_games for the rest of it. (Don't join the comm just yet, though; we'll be clearing out the members list at the same time as the old entries.)

At the moment, we're mostly settled on the idea of players writing two entries each week - A and B, C and D, and so forth, which would make a game last about 13 weeks. The "rule of X" would also be used - on the W-X turn, the X article can instead begin with any letter at all.

For those who can't write their entries by the due dates (for whatever reason), stubs are perfectly acceptable, provided they meet the linking requirements. These stubs could then be filled in at a later time, but would have to agree with any facts posted in later entries.

Theme and genre are yet to be decided; what we'd like to do at the moment is see what you think of what we've got so far, find out who's probably going to play, and start trying to sort out a game topic that works for everyone.

To that end, if you're still interested in playing, please answer the poll below and post any other ideas or comments you have in the comments here. Thanks!

Poll #1109658 Lexicon, poll #2

Player List

I want to play
I'd like to play if... (explain in comments)
I don't want to play

Suggest a subject/genre/theme

Entry Tags: games:lexicon
( Leave a comment )
O.K.: dark goatcaprinus on December 21st, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
OK, I have just read back the previous two posts and the Wiki page about the game. Comments: I don't like the name "Lexicon", but that's the game inventor's poor choice, not yours -- still, can we call ours something more apt? Like "The Periplus of X" or "The Y Omnibus"? Secondly, in this post -- we don't really have the roles of revisionist scholars, do we? How can we revise a nonëxistent scholarship? And thirdly, I would like it if the letters were selected in a random order, and from a pool which would include some not found in English? That's just the linguist speaking, I can be happy we with the standard 26.

I have no strong preferences regarding the setting, really, not that could not be bent to accommodate more picky players. I do like linguistics and geography, and prefer ancient to futuristic settings. But that can be reflected in my individual contributions more so than the overall themes.
active_apathy: Marvin Snapeactive_apathy on December 22nd, 2007 04:45 am (UTC)
The actual in-game text will have a name other than Lexicon, yes, chosen to be relevant to the subject and genre of the wiki. So, anything from liber somethingis to i>The Big Fantastic Guide to X</i> is possible.

Um, not really. Or necessarily. It depends on the topic, though it may be possible to imagine previous scholarship, or- something. It was late.

The letters are probably better running in alphabetical order for a few reasons, and we'd do better to not make players write entries starting with non-English letters (though, potentially, they could stand in for X).
Sir Squishington of Westminster: Ooh... Curious Kittypalmer_kun on December 22nd, 2007 05:01 am (UTC)
The problem with non-english letters is that, frankly... most of us are NOT linguists, and only speak English.

If I was presented with a non-english character, I would be physically incapable of writing an article as a result.

The name Lexicon is not entirely apropos, as this is encyclopedic rather than a dictionary... but it is a catchy name.
surrey_suckssurrey_sucks on December 21st, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
This message is for palmer: sounds interesting, but I just don't have the time or energy to participate. Or the creativity.

Edited at 2007-12-21 09:15 pm (UTC)
Jessigolden_purple18 on December 21st, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
Note: In my suggestion I didn't mean Harry Potter, I mean something a little more old fashioned, like pointed hats and purple robes and such. Also, I thought faries might be cool.
active_apathyactive_apathy on December 22nd, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
Something more like the Bartimaeus style of wizarding world, maybe? Or just something with Olde Worlde Magicalle Scholars? (And, perhaps, fairies)
Sir Squishington of Westminster: Jenova's Witnessespalmer_kun on December 22nd, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
She's out of town now until the new year, alas.

Neither of us are familiar with Bartimaeus yet, though it's on my read list after His Dark Materials.
A Smiley Viking: Flushed Away - Le Frogtrueflight on December 21st, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
I'm still not entirely clear on the rules,* but it sounds like a lot of fun.

*Only once through the alphabet? When referring to future entries, do you create the link to be written, or can the future-entry-writer choose what part of your entry to use?
Sir Squishington of Westminster: Big Damn Hairpalmer_kun on December 22nd, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
You create the link to be written.

When writing your article, you create two new article TITLES to link to as part of your article. When that turn rolls around, someone has to write an article for an existing title.

So if you had "By slaying the orc chieftan [[Gruulkar]], Anders Fellhammer singlehandedly turned the tide, allowing the Empire to triumph at the battle of [[Fire Crag]]"

Now the articles "Fire Crag" and "Gruulkar" exist, but have no text (are undefined).

When the F and G turns come around, someone (not you) has to write up Fire Crag and Gruulkar. If there aren't enough pre-defined G articles for everyone, then some players can just make up new ones.
A Smiley Viking: Mitch Hedberg - I Haven't Slepttrueflight on December 22nd, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
Ah, I get it now. Thank you.
Bgoblinpaladin on December 22nd, 2007 01:04 am (UTC)
Depends on how much the theme/setting/etc grabs my attention. Which I can't comment seriously on until I see it.
active_apathyactive_apathy on December 22nd, 2007 04:49 am (UTC)
Hmm. At the moment, it seems like it may lean toward a kind of Olde Worlde Fantasie kind of wizardly bestiary or field guide or such. Which, I imagine, may interest a medievalist with a taste for weird fiction. :)
Bgoblinpaladin on December 22nd, 2007 04:52 am (UTC)
Especially one who wrote an essay on bestiaries. So, awesome.
Bgoblinpaladin on December 22nd, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
Also, my comment should have read "Mievillian fantasy." Me spell gud.
active_apathy: Games - Nethackactive_apathy on December 22nd, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
That's kind of what I guessed, and New Weird is compatible with most of the other suggestions so far.
Sir Squishington of Westminster: Cid Says Drink Your Fucking Tea!palmer_kun on December 22nd, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
The problem with a bestiary is that it's really just a list of creatures... and it can quickly become hard to link every creature to three others in a coherent manner.

Personages and events are much easier to crosslink.

Now, if we were doing, say, a travellers guide to a fictitious nation, we could include places, people, things, events AND creatures.

And there's nothing saying a certain scholar, in character, may only write bestiary entries for instance :)
active_apathy: Planescape - The Painteractive_apathy on December 22nd, 2007 05:14 am (UTC)
And even other things - a [[thing]] may be made out of [[refined handwavium]], mined in the foothills of the [[somethingian ranges]] and processed by way of [[discombobulation]]; it's perfectly possible to add links to articles for other sources added later.

There's a problem if only one player writes creatures, though, because one of their creatures can't really be linked to another of their own entries. Food chains and academic sins don't quite mix.
Sir Squishington of Westminster: What The Fork?palmer_kun on December 22nd, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
I didn't say only one person writes creatures, merely that one person always does articles on creatures rather than events and such. Other people can also do creatures, naturally, allowing crossbreeding of articles.

But aside from shared habitat and basic food chains, an all-bestiary game would be very hard to link up.
active_apathyactive_apathy on December 22nd, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
I'm not saying that it'd have to be only one person writing creatures; just that someone who prefers to write creatures depends on other players writing things to link in.

And, yes. Also, kind of dull for some players.
active_apathyactive_apathy on December 22nd, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
...and the bit I forgot: so, yes, I'm liking the idea of something like the Upper Squibulon Council of Wizards guide to the Realm of Transalpine Thadeen, or such.
Sir Squishington of Westminster: Snigger Kittypalmer_kun on December 22nd, 2007 05:29 am (UTC)
It is a good idea. It allows all types of articles to be written :)

This also leaves open the Sequel Door.

Game 2 could be the Upper Squibulon Council of Wizards guide to the Fandethulathau Reaches... and so on.
active_apathyactive_apathy on December 22nd, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
Or Upper Squibulon: a History, or something. :D
Sir Squishington of Westminster: Rocks Fall - Everyone Diespalmer_kun on December 22nd, 2007 05:37 am (UTC)
Squibulon Academy: a History ;)
Robin Zimmermann: one-quarter viewpackbat on December 22nd, 2007 03:36 pm (UTC)
It sounds like it'll take a lot of time that I don't know I have, but otherwise I'm interested.
Sir Squishington of Westminster: Pthhhhhhhhhbt Kittypalmer_kun on December 22nd, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
Not necessarily. We're looking for 2 short entries (100-200 words) per week really. Not terribly much in the long run.
active_apathyactive_apathy on January 12th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
And, now that I remember about this: the rules will probably be set up so that if you're really pressed for time, you can write a stub with the required links and then fill in the article later - though you do risk trading away some of your power to establish new facts, since you won't be able to disagree with any fact that's been posted. (Interpretation, on the other hand, will always be fair game)
Robin Zimmermannpackbat on January 12th, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)
Hmm, that might help - though reading all the pages will still be a significant chunk of time.
Sir Squishington of Westminster: Full of Internets!palmer_kun on January 12th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
Search functions let you find what pages have the relevant bits quickly to avoid wading through everything
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