Storisende rose from a question. I had just written On inside out inventing in which I argue that working from 'core behaviour' may render games of varying complexity in a process that is almost self explanatory. In the article Mu is presented as an example of rather extreme complexity that yet unfolded effortlessly. Its basics include a mechanism to 'clear' territory by removing tiles from the cells of the modular board in such a way that a Wall between separate territories results naturally.
In Mu this process is fuelled by a multi-move mechanism featuring movement, capture, 'explosions' and growth. The 'explosions' may lead to chain reactions and combined with the multi-move character it supports a game that is well outside the common perceptions of what an abstract strategy game should have to offer, to say the least.

The question that in an unguarded moment presented itself was "what if the 'clearing' process were fuelled by a simple single-move mechanism of movement, capture and growth, without the complexities that result from explosions and chain reactions"? And if such a door opens it can't really be closed - not by me in any case. It implied the emergence of Storisende, and I didn't choose that particular name for no reason. Storisende is a simple organic game that features movement, capture, growth and diminution. Its goal is territorial but capture by replacement yet gives it an almost chess like feel. While advancing in the game, an increasing number of factors has to be taken into account and careful manoeuvring is required to keep the necessary breathing space. The image shows a position taken from a game on a small 7-segments compact lay-out without 'lakes' or inlets or peninsulas.
I've written an essay titled Organicity in Abstract Strategy Games that was first published in Nick Bentley's Blog. In it the emergence of Storisende is covered in more detail.

Enschede, april 2018

christian freeling