razafy.com - lerina - code - game dev

The thrust RPG

The heart of the game

Given a set of Tasks,

▲ Without Distraction

Beat the time

Build the habit to beat the timer

  1. Pick a Task or step.
  2. Set the time to beat.
  3. Finish before the time is up.

● Perform the Process

Perform Deepwork

Practice Deepwork for long periods.

Start with 20 minutes, then 40, 60, …

Perform the task. Nothing else matters until the time is up.

■ While in Session

Aim for 3 hours sessions

Divide the 3 hours into work sessions

Start gradually in 20, 40, 60, 40 , 20 minutes chunks.

This is the core of The personal productivity system called thrust

more about the thrust Productivity System

thrust RPG Gamification

We can use this productivity system to power our RPG game.


The purpose of the game is to create a story where your PC progresses only if you complete 9 specific items. The completed set of 9 items corresponds to a scene of the character’s adventure.

These are the 9 Items for the day.

There is one last but optional work to do. Writing down the scene to grow the story.


  1. Define the setting, the genre, the gameworld of the adventure.
  2. Create your Player Character (PC), a name and a brief description is sufficient but you can create your PC using the rules of any RPG you want.
  3. The PC starts with level 0
  4. Define a Lesser Award and a Major Award for your PC in case you complete the adventure in a particularly good way. Examples: Cool equipment, rare outfits, special titles or appointments etc.
  5. Define hindrances and costs
  6. To complete the adventure you need 21 consecutive days.
  7. To make it more solemn you can start on a New Moon.


This system doesn’t really use dices. Instead we check the current time and add the digits on the seconds. It gives a hat like distribution _—-_

1, 2
3, 4
5, 6
7, 8

Create the adventure premise

D6 Who? What? Why?
  The proposer The mission The incentive
1 Authority Explore Help
2 Organization Protection Fortune
3 Ally(friend,rel) Exploit Coercition
4 Mentor Rescue Impulse
5 Helpseeker Escape Ambition
6 Blackmailer Pursuit Revenge

D6 Where? How? Obstacle?
  The target The seed The complication
1 Person Casual encounter Opposition
2 Group Old acquaintance Deception
3 Location Rumors Environment
4 Treasure Mishap Disguise
5 A device Capture Time
6 Confession Object, map, Space
  Leak document


The proposer: A mentor (rolled 4: Mentor)
The mission: Extraction (rolled 4: Rescue)
The incentive: Retribution (rolled 6: Revenge)
The target: A Datacenter (rolled 3: Location)
The seed: Old acquaintance (rolled 2: Old acquaintance)
The obstacle: Flat open land (rolled 6: Space)

Create a character/alter-ego

D6 Good Known Have
  at for
1 Strong Weapons New Tech
2 Witted Hacks Corp access
3 Charming Tech Enemy
4 Quick Persuasion Secret
5 Focused Infiltration Disfunction
6 Deft hands Tracking Wealth

D6 Is Motivated Has the Burdened
  by Reputation of  by
1 Retribution Sly Ex-con
2 Money Consistent Blackmailed
3 Cure Driven Mental pb
4 Social J Efficient Physical pb
5 Fear Snob On-the-Run
6 Self-interest Dangerous Family


Good at: Social engineering (rolled 3: Charming)
Know for: Hacking (rolled 2: Hacks)
Have: VIP Access badge (rolled 2: Corp access)
Motivated by: Need to clear name (rolled 6: Self-interest)
Reputation: Can’t let go once fired up (rolled 3: Driven)
Baggage: Was setup by his own fixer (rolled 5: On-the-Run)

Then select a name and flech out the PC with the following questions.

What do they do?
What do they wear?
What do they eat?
Who are the people they spend time with?
What does their daily routine look like?
What habits do they practice?
What does their life look like?
What values do you share?
What values would you like to share?
What does your role model read?
What are your role model’s hobbies?
How does your role model spend their free time?

Focus on these questions; As a PC:

    Why do I want to reinvent myself?  
    What habits and choices would I have to say yes to?  
    What habits and choices would I have to say no to?  
    Will I stay the course even when it gets rough?  

Sketch a story

Using the adventure premise, sketch out a story outline using a version of Harmon’s story circle (eight phases modified for RPG) that goes like this:

  1. You (char_gen/intro) (a character is in a zone of comfort)
  2. Need (inciting incident) (but they want something)
  3. Go (commitment) (they enter an unfamiliar situation)
  4. Search (pinch 1) (and adapt to new situation)
  5. Find (midpoint) (find what they wanted)
  6. Take (pinch 2) (and pay the price)
  7. Change (climax) (now capable of change)
  8. Return (denouement) (and go back to where they started)

Whichever scene actually resolved the start of the adventure, that’s the climax. Having attained their climax in phase 7, that last phase - “Return” - is where the PCs travel home (or to wherever their home base is), experience is distributed, payment is made, effects are determined, loose ends are tied, and we wind down (as a group or solo player), ready for the next session.

Keeping the story circle in mind, we first start with our generated adventure premise, and try to fill in the outline for the first three steps of the circle.

char in comfort zone

  1. The PC: Freelance by day. hacker by night. hustler 24/24 For fn, hustling is not just a skill its an art. It take time to craft, practice to perfect, chance to master but thats the thrill of it. Aside from being able to brush aside past falures and adversity, fn is not only one who can get things done, but can make things happen. fn turns personal pain into steping stones and a chance of progress. fn also turns others pain into seeds of profitable solutions to apply.


  1. The proposer: The colonel sits on a park bench, erect like a post as if still on active duty. It’s been at least one score since he had retired. 10 years since he picked fn out of the gutter and the dangers of the street. 7 years since he had given his protegé a new life and identity. 3 year since the great betreyal, or was it?

  2. The mission: … We’re talking a risky mission here. Some kind of extraction under extreme duress.

  3. The incentive: It turns out that the “hostiles” are people fn want revenge on. They are the ones that wipped out the last tech-nomads of the old days. fn lost family and friends in that desaster. This is why the colonel, fn’s savior and ex-mentor called this informal meeting. Despite the confusion of the past year, the colonel knows, in all things, fn is driven in part by the prospect of retaliation.

  4. The target: Information. Locked away in a secure datacenter. The documents are explosive information in the correct hands. A game changer.

  5. The seed: The colonel got the information from an old acquaintance. It should be “legit” but hey! people can change.

  6. The obstacle: Space. Vast distance of desert and flat land to cross before any hope of reaching the target.

At this point the player accepts the mission. We enter the Go (commitment) phase and as the PC prepares for the mission, the first couple of scenes should make the PC enter an unfamiliar situation

Build a Mission: Selecting and designing challenges and activities

Once you have a tentative story outline, it is time to select some real life actions, tasks and things to avoid and map it to scenes in our story. Doing and accomplishing real stuff makes the story go forward.

1. Real activities

You make a list of all the tasks you have to do, big or small. Don’t filter or organize the items you add to the list, just write it all down in a list format.

As stated earlier, there are the 9 Items to take care of for the day.

The PIC (Player in character) and the story progresses scene by scene only if your POC (Player Out of Character) progresses in real life by completing or performing the 9 specific items for the day. A real day corresponds to a scene of the character’s adventure.

renew licence
pay rent
change winter tire

no coffee today
no facebook
no elevators (take the stairs)

read the third chapter of The Rust Programming Language book
do laundry
practice rust code with rustlings

2. Map activities to Scenes and action play

By maping activities within the game to be in the same spirit as those performed by the player in the real life, we get to evolve both the character and the story as the p[layer actually accomplish real life objectives and targets.

Map the story scene to a real life work session or activity
Real life (OC) In the Game (IC)
renew licence Get new gear
pay rent Rent a van
appointment to meeting with the colonel
change winter tire
- -
no coffee succesfully dodge the police
no facebook found a spyware tracker
no elevator survived a bar fight while trying to upgrade some gears
- -
read chapter 3 of Gather your team
The Rust Programming Language book
do laundry Settled the shares and loot division
practice drills Hack into DMV to get new IDs
Map story baddees to real life things to avoid

Momentum and consequences regardless of external factors or setbacks. Progress on growth.

The big boss of baddees is … your inner deceiver. The master of self-doubt and self-sabotage.

Subdue the inner deceiver and its five generals

Source and inspiration: Master your Mindset, Overcome Self-Deception, Change your Life | Shadé Zahrai | TEDxDRC

The Antidote to deceivers: Create emotional distance from the deceiver. This make room for more rationality. This helps shifting into an internal locus of control. How?

Become aware when under attack.

Call it out. Then choose not to listen. write down or go through all the deceivers arguments:

Your power: 0. What is is. What was was. acceptance/acknowlegdement of situation as part of life 1. What will be Restarts now. You can choose what you focus on at any moment. selectional attention (focus on things you can change/ on positive things, e.g. name three things you are/were grateful for) 2. You don’t make perfection the goal. You make the process the goal 3. “is what you are doing helping or harming you?” (control over situation/ be kind to yourself)

“A negative thinker will see the difficulty in every opportunity. A positive thinker will see the opportunity in every difficulty.” _ Zig Ziglar

RPG Real Life In Game NPC Why
1 Shopping spree JudgeMental Keep your money
2 Youtube while “working” Victimizer Protect your time
3 Incomplete task switching ringmaster Stay on course
3 Giving up when its hard neglector Be tenacious, persistant
5 Online “research” without bound Protector Don’t waist working time
6 Project without time constraint TheSiren Don’t just dream: Do!


We track three things: - Time spent on Deep work. - Commitment and consistency. - Real tangible results

Xp represents the number of Skcor completed in a period of 5 days. The time spent on deep focused tasks is called Skcor. A Skcor is a chunk or block of 20 minutes. Why Skcor? Because Skcor rockS!

Hp tracks your consistency streak. Every 5 days without breaking the chain, you add the total of Skcor to the Xp and increment the Hp by 1. You then reset the Xp and start tracking Skcor for another 5 days.

Optionaly, since Hp are incremented 1 by 1, you can use the space to also note the week number (or group of 5 days) and the total Skcor for that week. This gives use a opportunity to also track the progress of our ability to perform deep work.

Lv tracks your accomplishements. Actual non trivial work completed such as projects and certifications … Lv is incremented each time a “real” project with “real” consequences to your life is completed. Impactful stuff such as:

RPG Real Life to measure
Xp Skcor completed per 5 days Time actually used for meaningful things
Hp Number of “5 days” without Current consistency streak
  breaking the chain
Lv Number of project completed Compounded achievements

Running the game

Everything above could be seen as a productivity tool and story telling engine. Real life actions are mapped to in game scenes.

The real gaming begins if you add Twists and turns in the unfolding of the story. That is the story can take different directions without real life input, thus altering the dynamics of the game. The real life accompleshements become even more crutial, because you need all the points you can get since you never know what unpredictable mayhem the game can throw at the PIC (Player In Character).

Binary (ish) questions

Actions in the Scenes can be further enriched with dynamic ingame narratives. You ask a closed ended question and roll 1D6 and craft the answer.

Answer          Do you get what you want?                                   Harm
--------------  ---------------------------------------------------         -----------
Yes, and...     You get what you want, and something else.                  Cause 3
Yes...          You get what you want.                                      Cause 2
Yes, but...     You get what you want, but at a cost.                       Cause 1
No, but...      You don’t get what you want, but it’s not a total loss.     Take 1
No...           You don’t get what you were after.                          Take 2
No, and...      You don’t get what you want, and things get worse.          Take 3


If you roll twice the same number consecutively, you get to alter the narrative itself.

D6          Subject                             Action
1           A 3rd party                         Appears
2           The hero                            Alters the location
3           An encounter                        Helps the hero
4           A physical event                    Hinders the hero
5           An emotional event                  Changers the goal
6           An object                           Ends the scene


When the next scene is not clear, you can start by setting the mood.

D6          Next Scene
1-3         Dramatic Scene
4-5         Quite Scene 
6           Meanwhile


For skills that are not your forté you can roll and add these modifiers

Even Distracted, not in charge
Odd Directed focuced, in charge

razafy.com - lerina - code - game dev