You may have noticed I created a new collection of links to the right.

These links include a projected table of contents for my game book, and links to lots of different posts that represent either a summation of my progress on a particular mechanic or system, or wherever I left off or got stuck.

Creating this list of links was a fun little trip down memory lane.

It brought me back to the code of conduct and legal system work I did a couple years back, where I tried to define a set of moral and ethical “classes” that PC and NPCs might adhere to, before I had the whole destiny/agency revelation.

One of my pipe dreams was to create a sort of legal subsystem, or mini-game the players could play out. It was of particular importance to me because I’ve seen them handled so poorly in RPGs before. I want my game to stand apart.

As far as I know, there are Capcom’s Phoenix Wright series and Devil’s Attorney by 1337 Game Design — the former is to my knowledge, more a visual novel while the latter is a strategy game. I have only cursory knowledge of each.

When it comes to lifting game mechanics, Phoenix Wright has limited usefulness. There are mechanics at work but playing (the first game…?) is more about memory, attention to detail, and reading comprehension than logic or problem-solving.

While I enjoyed Phoenix Wright, I felt cheated in a few areas where winning a case was based upon developments in the plot — despite law having foundations in argument, you can’t win the game with logic.

Also, the game’s challenge evaporates immediately so any replay value is contingent upon enjoying the story and characters — you wouldn’t replay the game (at least the one I played) for the game itself.

Devil’s Attorney was an enjoyable enough game — I’d recommend you at least watch a let’s play, it was certainly entertaining — but the strategy isn’t especially deep. There are a few super-moves that eliminate most of the challenge.

What makes Devil’s Attorney fascinating though, is how it parallels criminal court procedures to basic turn-based RPG combat — which is pretty clever.

Would you be surprised to know that I’ve come up with some stuff to make fantastic court cases a thing? I figure some things can be hand-waved — much as they are with RPG combat — to create a fun and game-able system.

Interestingly enough, I found additional parallels between the types of logic employed in legal cases — that might apply similarly to academic systems and item creation. Depending on how this plays out, spell research could be a thing.

Like, comparable to combat. Like, play a game all about developing spells in a laboratory. How crazy would that be?