Week Five: Guide Details

By nuff
October 10, 2023
2 min read

This is a rough draft version of the guide—things are very much in flux!

What is your guide?

I am creating a tarnschriften-style guide to puppetry (spoiler: it’s actually about installing a puppet government and controlling the universe from behind the scenes).

The book will (hopefully) fold out into a paper puppet (still need to figure this out).

What are you titling your guide?

Puppet Master by Clivia Almeh

Who is your guide for?

Aspiring dictators (hopefully the rest of us will learn what not to do)

Why did you choose this form for your guide?

I loved the idea of a clandestine text or literary trojan horse. I also wanted to actually help people make a literal puppet.

What are the affordances of your guide?

  • It’s small and light so it can be stored in pockets, stashed inside another book or otherwise hidden away
  • It looks like a regular book on puppetry so aspiring dictators don’t have to out themselves
  • It can be turned into a puppet
  • 20th-century modernism gives the feeling of a "safe" book


I'm trying to work out a way to generate these subliminal message illustrations—I like the idea of a single-colour, inky look which doesn't naturally come out of the Stable Diffusion instance I'm running. There might be another one I could run it through to create that effect.

What does your guide enable for your audience?

Some hopefully humorous, light reading related to a fairly dark topic

How do you know if this guide is successful?

More bland idiots in charge being manipulated by shadowy geniuses? More seriously, I'll go for laughs and/or smiles while reading.

What are two questions you have about your guide, as it currently stands?

  1. How can I better blend the puppetry and puppet mastery themes?
  2. What printed format will allow both the fold-out puppet and the book to co-exist?

Would you add/edit anything to the Critique Guidelines from the Summer Session? If not, why?

I love the Physical Computing playtesting guidelines we got from David Rios in the summer—I think the kind of acting-out-speaking-out method described there works really well.


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