Character Maps - Graphical Visualization Continued
A recent posting by another Savage player brought me back to the idea of using GraphViz in gaming. This particular example was in mapping player characters with their in game relationships to people, places, things and ideas to help a GM visualize how they are all interconnected. I went through the post and created several .gv files that have presets setup to make doing more of these easier should I continue down this path with my own games. Each relationship has a weight that is colored. Yellow is for weak, green for Normal and red for Strong. The colors can be adjusted for each edge or for each type of edge by changing the parameters either at the top of the given section (changes all of them) or right next to the connection (changes just that edge). The first gv shows the two initial characters, Grimm and Klovis, and Grimm's connections to his initial choices. The second gv expands on the first connections file reflecting some new comments and examples from the blog. Grimm's boss now has a name and the relationship shows how Grimm is conflicted about authority figures. No connections were defined for the other example characters, so Klovis doesn't have anywhere to link to still. The nice thing about GraphViz is that it will move nodes out to provide space for the edges that link nodes together. The last gv adds another connection with the note about it being a negative relationship. This would probably be better represented by a different color edge rather than a note near the edge since each relationship will probably end up with some notes near them. Other links that could be added are the interconnections of the PCs, but those aren't as needed as seeing how the various PCs are connected to the NPCs in a campaign setting. This idea would make for a great idea for dealing with games of more Political Intrigue, like Shadowrun or Legend of the Five Rings. Of course once you go this far with mapping relationships and places, then the next step would be to build the entire world in something like a GIS database to actually show where everything and everyone is in relation to each other. A massive undertaking for any single GM, but maybe more possible with the collective masses for a popular world, like the OpenStreetMaps project.