Here we are again; my annual very-late “new year!” post. So what’s changed since last year? Well…
Not a lot. And yet, some quite significant things. As is traditional, I’ve hardly made any progress on any of the games on last year’s list – instead starting a whole set of new projects that I can leave half-finished for next year’s update. However, two new projects are worth mentioning.
This one’s unusual in that it’s computerized. I can’t remember which came first – the game idea or just the desire to do some programming. Anyway, whatever. You play members of the monarch’s inner council in a fantasy world, trying to appear devoted to the monarch and their rule, but actually working to further your own agendas and interfere with each other’s. No prizes for guessing what TV show inspired that setup. The interesting thing here is that it’s turn-based like a Play-By-Mail game, so as long as you submit your turn before the administrator runs their turn (weekly, maybe), you can do it at your own convenience – which I hope will make it easier for people to schedule games around busy schedules. Unlike a PBM, though, I want this to be a story- and character-focussed game rather than a tactical one – and initially I’m aiming to use the Apocalypse World engine to help with that.
I have got a basic website in place, but no real functionality yet. I’d forgotten how much time coding takes :-( So this is kindof on the backburner already. Easy come, easy go. But it’s been surpassed by…
Ok so yeah please ignore the monstrously dull working title. This is a one-on-one game where you play a master thief (or other kind of ne’er-do-well) in, again, a fantasy world – focussing on character development and tension, and trying to minimise interaction with real-world cues like dice and sheets and stuff (though it’s far from absent entirely). What’s particularly exciting about this game is that I might actually make it; it’s the first game ever, I think, that I’ve taken beyond just the idea and a few brainstormed notes – I’m actually at the point where I’ve got first-draft concepts for most of the mechanics, and am in the process of gluing them together and producing an actual rulebook which I can test. I’m really excited!
A couple of shout-outs… First, if you think this sounds interesting, you might want to look at Will Hindmarch’s Project Dark Kickstarter, which is another fantasy sneak game (but I think will be quite different from mine in fact). Second, I’ve recently been helped a lot in my design brainstorming by the ReForged G+ Community. If you’re interested in game design, you’ll find some interesting people here willing to help answer questions, read texts, playtest, and so on.
And The Rest…
And as ever, there are a few bits and pieces that are nothing more than a paragraph or two of notes at this point, but I’ll mention them anyway:
- A whole suite of small games set in the same fantasy world but exploring different aspects of it – a bit like Vincent Baker’s Sundered Land. Thief would be the first of these, but I have sketch ideas for maybe eight or ten more.
- The Wake: the game opens with a murder in a small community, and follows the repercussions of that murder throughout the community. Some aspects of whodunnit, perhaps, but focussing more on the drama between the characters as they come together or fall apart in reaction to the awful event. The “GM”, such as there will be one, probably plays a detective inspector investigating the murder. (Again, you can spot an obvious TV influence here if you’ve been watching the same stuff I have…)
And that’s it for now. More to follow, sooner than usual I hope :-)