Still tearing the game design apart regularly
Yesterday I did some more rethinking and have put together a design for the social relationships part of the game that is more complex, possibly more accurate, and I suspect makes for better gameplay.
You will benefit (in kudos terms) from both a large social circle, and a social circle that has 'inter-mixed'. Basically, you score points for creating new friendships. If you notice one of Bobs friends, and one of Janes friends are both trekkies, you can introduce them to each other at an event you organise. Providing the event isn't a disaster, they will probably get on, and if you continue to invite them both to good events long enough for their relationship to mature to a self-sustaining level, you will have created a friendship , and earn kudos.
So in terms of defining success in the social sphere, its a case of having
a) lots of friends
b) some GOOD friends (with a strong relationship to you) and
c) lots of interconnections between friends
So a good player (in the social side of the game) will be like a 'connector'. Somebody who knows everyone, and everyone knows them. Effectively you will be the person everyone says hello to at parties.
This isn't exactly my personality (unless Im drunk), but its a popular personality that many (esp young) people aspire to be.
Theres was an advert for something, might have been some beer, with 2 guys getting jealous of someone at a bar. He arrives in a ferrari, meets 2 gorgeous leggy blondes, all the guys in the bar know him and are pleased to see him, and the waiter greets him as "doctor" something. So this guy has it all - Money, Respect, popularity.
In a sense, that advert is my game. They say that every game lets you live out a fantasy. Often that fantasy is to be a sword-wielding warrior or a gangster. I never understood the gangster bit. I'd only like to be a gangster so I got lots of money, respect, and hot chicks. Kudos lets you get all that without the chance of being gunned down.
Just got to code the poxy thing now...