I have begun work on setting up the links between Verbs, and ran into a problem almost immediately. How do Actors react to the Verb ‘greet’? I walk in, I say ‘hello’, you say ‘hello’ – then what do I say? I don’t just launch into dealmaking; I need some soft way to get the conversation started. I can think of two soft conversation-starters: talking about relationships and talking about events.
Talking about events would use the verbs:
ask about past event [DirObject] [aura-tone] [Verb (clause)]
tell about past event [DirObject] [Verb (clause)]
But on the first turn, there wouldn’t be any events to talk about, so these would be useless on the first turn. So what happens on the first turn?
Relationship-talk would be handled with the existing verbs:
ask about feelings [DirObject] [aura-tone] [IndObject1] [Verb (feeling)] [IndObject2] [interrogative quantifier]
tell about feelings [DirObject] [IndObject1] [Verb (feeling)] [IndObject2] [quantifier]
But this raises a problem with relationships: are they fixed or variable across games? I had expected to make them fixed, so that players could at least start out knowing where everybody stands, but then the relationships would alter through the course of the game. However, if the relationships always start off the same, then the player doesn’t have much to talk about on the first turn.
I suspect that the solution here is to establish basic relationships that are roughly similar at the start of the game, but have some random variation, so that it is still worthwhile for the player to ask about them.