FORTUNA: Out-Takes



Once Nick conceived of Fortuna, he wrote what high tech companies refer to as a functional specification, in essence, a description of what a product is supposed to do. Here are some excerpts.





Fortuna: Functional Specification  

1.0 Overview 

The purpose of Fortuna is to model life in the light of Renaissance ideals and culture, and to create an environment where individuals can aspire to greatness while dealing with the practical problems and moral choices of the real world.  

Outcomes will reflect the two forces that control the course of an individual’s life according to Machievelli: fortuna (chance, fate, luck) and virtù (cleverness, personal power).  

Exterior elements (architecture, clothing, financial structures and transactions, laws governing personal behavior) will mimic the conditions of the Renaissance as closely as possible while allowing personal expression in both art and commerce. 

Fortuna is to be a self-funding entity with primary (membership) and secondary (transaction-based) financial extraction capabilities.


1.3 Educational Mission

Fortuna is to be, at least in part, a living museum where students (as viewers) can experience the Renaissance environment that gave rise to virtually every aspect of modern society. Issues related to the creation and use of buildings, statuary and other entities of historical (and therefore educational) interest shall be the purview of the Historical Review Board (HRB) in conjunction with the Educational Review Board (ERB).

Specifically, the HRB shall be charged with ensuring the historical accuracy of designated “Structures of Importance” (SOIs), such as Il Duomo, Santa Maria Novella, etc., (See Appendix C for a complete list.)  The ERB shall have non-negotiable authority over their interior and exterior design. The ERB shall negotiate with the owners/funders of such structures to arrange public access, which access shall not be unreasonably denied.   

In addition, the ERB shall contract with appropriate vendors to create ancillary materials that leverage ingame assets, such as educational simulations that can exist outside the game, printed materials, quizzes and the like. 

Finally, the ERB shall create and administer a rating system for governing viewer access analogous to that of the Motion Picture Association of America. This system shall be integrated with the access control system that governs players, with one important exception: For the viewer access control system, the Chance Algorithms shall be disabled, such that access control can be unequivocally guaranteed to education institutions wishing to arrange visits for their students. It is unacceptable that a class of fifth graders should inadvertently wander into an orgy.                           


2.1.3 Quality Control, Garments 

To ensure authenticity, the Historical Review Board (HRB) shall have the power both to directly approve the design of garments, and to license designated purveyors, who shall be subject to random inspections as well as annual reviews. The HRB shall also be charged with investigating and resolving player-reported deviations from historical norms.  

Once a garment has been approved, the controls on authorized wearing (portage) shall be modeled on the Florentine sumptuary laws, which were designed to limit the ostentatious display of wealth. (See Appendix H.) The right to wear a silk garment, to display jewelry, to carry an ornamental falcon and the like shall be determined by rank (station). The wearing of items that are above a player’s station shall be a crime and shall serve as an input factor in all chance-based calculations. 

Every item of clothing or display (e.g. ornamental daggers) shall be embedded with a digital marker to be used by the access control system to enable two functions: 

·   the global exclusionary function, which prevents players from entering an area above their station 

·   the family-specific exclusionary function, which relates to privately-owned domains, structures, gardens, etc. 

The concept of embedding avatars with rank identifiers is specifically rejected as contrary to the spirit of the Renaissance in general and Florence in particular.