Since Spiral Island and some of my other titles are RPGs, one of the things I reference to sometimes for ideas is the OGL-licensed System Reference Document, a subset of the 3.5 edition rules of Dungeons and Dragons. Although a rather good reference, I don't really actually ever play Dungeons and Dragons, so for me particularly it lies as merely a reference, and, since the system of Spiral Island is already established, mostly useless aside from ideas.
One particular part of it, though, the Unearthed Arcana materials, has something of far more value then strictly a gameplay system. The Sanity gameplay variant, which in itself contains a miniature DSM. When I came across this while reading through the variant systems, I began to get ideas, thinking it would be interesting to use actual DSM-defined disorders for characters, and had one particular character from the Spiral Island games in mind as one subject. However, there was something I had forgotten, which I just barely remembered a couple days ago.
What I had forgotten was something from back when I was in high school, and originally writing the story Spiral Island and starting the story for another game idea I got at the time. We were doing registrations for the next year, I think it was my Senior year. I couldn't advance in mathematics, as the AP Calculus class was a 2 period class and only held at the same time as another advanced class that I was taking, so I was left with some free space. While trying to fill it up, I had wandered upon the Psychology class in the course list, and from that I began to get ideas, thinking it would be interesting to use actual medically-defined disorders for characters, and had one particular character from the Spiral Island games in mind as one subject.
I copied and pasted that, aside from the acronym DSM, for that exact reason. The exact same thing had occurred to me, with the same ideas. I ended up registering for the class, but retained almost nothing of it. The most useful piece I had gained was knowledge of the DSM, which I hadn't really thought about otherwise since. That aside, however, I find it now very interesting that I had come up with the exact same ideas 7 years apart, without realizing that I had come up with the idea before.
Date posted: 11 March, 2009 Tags: psychology spiral_island writing
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