Three weeks ago I wrote a post about the name Mind Weave where I mentioned the aesthetics of Mind Weave. This is something I’ve thought about a lot in the course of developing the game since seeing the Aesthetics episode of Extra Credits. The rest of what I have to say will make more sense if you understand the things they say in that episode. With that out of the way, I think the name Mind Weave implies the three primary aesthetics of play I aim for: Fellowship, Expression, and Narrative.
Fellowship is key. With all the players contributing to the experience and interacting with each other as well as the world, getting to know each other is practically inevitable. Mind Weave is also designed with the goal that no one character be strong in all ways. What this means for play is that many situations in the game will require teamwork. Because Mind Weave also makes it easy to split the party or act without consulting other party members, it requires more cooperation, communication, and coordination than the average Table Top RPG. This contributes to the Fellowship aesthetic of the game.
Expression is a big part of the game. Players get to express themselves in their characters, who are highly customizable and whose voices are the voices of their players taking that role. The Master Weaver expresses himself through the whole world, especially the villains who will share his voice. This expression plays a big part in creating real life fellowship between the players. It also means that everyone involved plays a part in defining the story, they can express themselves both as individuals and as a group..
Narrative comes from the fact that the focus is on the story to be told by the Master Weaver, and in part by the other players in the party. Even players who get along can engage in the drama of their character’s disagreeing on religious, personal, or tactical grounds. Romances can be played out, friendships developed, death’s mourned, all in the story told by the Master Weaver and the players.
Fantasy, Discovery, and Challenge are also aesthetics common in the Table Top RPG genre. I believe Mind Weave satisfies these. Fantasy because in Mind Weave the player is a powerful hero with super human abilities even at low levels, god-like at higher levels. Discovery because each setting and campaign comes with a wealth of places and secrets to be discovered, but also because there are so many potential interactions to be discovered within the mechanics of the system. Challenge because encounters, campaigns, and dungeons are designed to stretch the abilities of the characters, requiring thought, strategy and teamwork to overcome.