Monday, July 13, 2009

Tinseltown: The Setup

[before we start, it's important to note that this game still only exists in matt's head. if you are the programmer who wants to dedicate yourself to the cause (for no pay, initially) please comment]

Welcome to Tinseltown, the online film and television industry role-playing game!
As an up-and-coming star of the silver screen, you compete with and against other players to create a world of entertainment. You become the star. You create the next blockbuster film or hit TV show. Become a living legend whose legacy influences the future of this bustling metropolis.

But enough about us, let’s talk about you. After all, that’s what you want everyone to be doing…as long as it doesn’t get out of hand.

When you begin your career, you choose one of four career paths –
Actor, Director, Screenwriter or Producer.

Actors – The personalities who show up on the screen. Actors come from all walks of life and appear in all shapes and sizes. Their Presence and Credibility can potentially make or break a project.

Directors – Directors cast the project, pick filming locations, set the tone, manage setbacks, keep the film to schedule and create a finished masterpiece.

Screenwriters – The generators of all the ideas that enter Tinseltown. Screenwriters pen plot outlines and attempt to sell their golden ideas to a visionary who can bring their idea to life. Screenwriters create ideas for Commercials, Television Series, Television Movies or Feature Films.

Producers – Producers have the money. Producers use that money to turn ideas into projects by attaching personnel, funding production and leading the promotion of their finished project. The buck stops here. No decision is made without the final stamp of approval from the Producer.
Note:Producer is a $$$VIP-only character class. In early phases of the game, the creators will be the Producers.

Crossover Stars – You guessed it. All of the above characters have the potential to achieve success in a field outside their primary career.


To a large degree, these are your natural born characteristics. Over time these attributes may change but usually not quickly. To begin the game you have 250 points to distribute among a number of Physical and Mental attributes. The maximum score for each attribute is 100.


These attributes apply to every class of character.
Beauty – What’s on the outside
Conditioning – Strength and Endurance
Agility – Gracefulness
Timing – Timing… is everything!
Voice – Vocal strength – booming or timid

Actor Attributes
Intelligence – Book Smarts
Intuition – Going with your instincts
Improvisation – Making stuff up as you go
Diction – How well you use that Voice
Wit! – Cleverosity!

Director Attributes
Cinematography – Artistic Direction
Management – Directing Personnel (& Resources)
Technical – Technological Innovation
Wit! – Comedic Direction
Gravitas! – Serious Direction - Bringing Tension to a Scene

Screenwriter Attributes

Action –The ability to create compelling situations
Dialogue – The ability to create compelling character interaction
Imagination – Creating flights of fancy
Realism – Remaining within your audience’s suspension of disbelief


A character’s aura, or professional reputation, is graded from light to dark.
Lightest is a player whose work is geared strictly toward the kiddies. (Big Bird)
Darkest is attached only to the most graphically violent pictures. (Rob Zombie)

You can imagine this attribute as being measured by a meter that resembles an odometer.

Age Range
An actor’s Age Range is the age for which he may reasonably pass. A character’s Age Range is presented as Primary, Secondary and so forth. The Producer will attach an Age Range to each available Project role.



How does one measure success in this business?
Fame? Fortune? Accolades?
In Tinseltown, you decide how you wish to be perceived, though a fickle audience may make up their own minds.

Presence – This attribute indicates how instantly recognizable your character’s face or name is. Presence points are gained through your performances, appearances or box office accomplishments. Savvy or unwise off-screen decisions may also have a great effect on your character’s Presence. A high Presence often means more people are drawn to your films, though it may just mean you chew up the scenes in which you appear. A low Presence may mean that your character has an everyman quality that blends well into a film or it may just indicate he’s boring.

Credibility – Ah, the struggle for respect. Wise career choices and hard work can help you gain the esteem of your audience, though a single poor review can do irreversible damage to your Credibility. Over-the-top characters may pile on the Presence points – at the expense of their Credibility. Highly Credible dramatic actors may have a tough time convincing audiences they are the world’s deadliest martial artist.

Discipline – How well your character is able to keep to a schedule.

Developer’s Note: Characters with poor discipline will burn up money quickly

Chops – (Actor Attribute) - How well your character can hit their marks. Chops are gained and maintained through practice. Too much time away from the business and your character may begin to lose their Chops. Characters with low Chops may put a project behind schedule because of the extra time it takes needed to finish a scene.

Vision - (Director Attribute) – How well your director brings all the elements together to create a unique film going experience.

Money - Without it, you’re likely to end up taking up a new career. With too much of it, you’re likely to end up in the tabloids. Balance your project choices and your checkbook.

Become a fan on Facebook to be notified of updates regarding Tinseltown.
Click on the ads to subsidize this project!
(c) Matt Jarrells

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