Designing a computer in Fate

Wed 14 October 2015 | tags: Fate

I've been wrestling with several pieces of the game I'm building. The basic premise is a game where the players all are part of a corporation building a computer to compete in the marketplace. I've been playing with the general design of the computer and how to represent it in the game. In brief the computer should represent the following:

  • The dichotomy between game and business machines in the 1980s
  • The dichotomy between custom and off-the-shelf components
  • The dichotomy between the hobbyist "just mount it to wood" vs. the designs of some of these machines
  • The battle between expensive machines and inexpensive machines
  • The struggle between being unable to fill orders vs. being unable to move product
  • The struggle to get developers to write for your platform
  • Additional models of computers
  • Eventual obsolescence

I've been looking at Fate Accelerated Edition's approaches for a few of these dichotomies but I'm not entirely sure they're the best fit. Some of these can also be listed as aspects, and some as a form of "stress track" (the obsolescence in particular is perfect for a stress track). But the real struggle for me is determining the balance between just enough parameters for the machine vs. simulation. At what point does the machine just become a collection of numbers and levers and no longer "fun" or "gameable".

I'm still trying to find that sweet spot.