Cortex had its "Hacker's Guide", D&D had its System Reference Document (and a few other games have followed suit). As I put together the bits and pieces that make "The Law" what it is, and allow for those components to be rearranged into something new, I'm thinking of things more from the perspective of a cookbook.
The ingredients are the fundamental components of the game, in this case I'm looking at...
- What makes an oeuvre?
- What are the demographics of the setting?
- How is narrative resolved?
- What is the mood?
- What are the core rules?
The recipe is how those ingredients interact with one another...
- How do the demographics of the setting reflect the oeuvre?
- How do the core rules support the narrative?
- (every pair of the base ingredients can be combined in some way that provides some insight into the game we are planning to run)
Finally, the presentation...
- What leads up to a game?
- What should a game in progress look like?
- What can a game look like beyond the preconceived notions that might be implied?
- What about after the game?
- What else is there that could impact on the whole experience?
I still haven't worked out the whole thing, but it makes sense to me as a way to explain how I write a game, how I run a game, and why I do those things.
This idea came to me after my initial attempt to generate a similar style of book vanished into the ether as my computer crashed last night.