Here are some of the experiences I design for and associated theory.
An emotional immersion game is one designed for an intense, nuanced, dynamic, and continuous thread of emotional experience, prioritizing their experience above other elements such as narrative and strategy. In order for the emotional container to be truly immersive, the game must also be logic-deep (see below).
The "Root" of a character is the aspect of the character that the player grounds in in order to be considered playing the game. Some common roots involve Situations, Relationships, Goals, Emotions, and Style. A given game will support some roots but not others, and identifying supported roots is a good way to guide player contribution.
The fictions we create in games have two components, content and logic. Content is literal pieces of reality like nouns and verbs, whereas logic is the connective principles. A logic-deep game contains pervasive, consistent, and nuanced underlying setting and/or narrative logic that is capable of pushing back on the players and characters.
Pattern language for larp design
A pattern language is a set of design techniques or rules of thumb. How does a game make the best use of player short-term memory? What arrangements of space, time, or temperature will encourage the social interactions we're looking for?
Though larp is limitless in variety, human habits are universal.
This document lists out some common patterns for larp design.
COMPLEX VS COMPLICAted
A design is complicated if there are a lot of interconnected pieces to keep track of. It's complex if the pieces fit together in such a way as to allow a lot of unpredictable nuance in outcome. Complicatedness affects how much work a player has to put in; complexity affects how much engagement they get out. A game can be differently complex or complicated with respect to different Roots or types of Player Energy.
Here are just a few games I've run into and love that are logic deep & emotionally immersive.
There are many others out there that I haven't met; this is by no means an exhaustive list!