It’s the end of 2014, and I’ve fallen behind on the blog (again) because of taking some teacher certification tests. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to everything I planned to do this year, though there are some exciting things I did get done as well as things that will be going on.
Ostravia is a game set in 1202 near the geographical intersection of Poland, Hungary, and Bohemia/Moravia (modern day Czech Republic), and as such it has to consider several political structures, namely the fact that there really is a fair degree of social stratification in European society at this time. While it makes no claims to be incredibly solidly researched, Ostravia does care a fair degree about providing an authentic feel, and some of that is managing the social environment as such. Continue reading
Player inaccessible mechanics are a major part of any game; the things that players have no control over regardless of what they do are defining elements of only a few titles, but there are a few things that must be considered whenever a game is being made, because although these things may seem to be inherent to the game, creating a game in which emergent gameplay is extended by the use of background activities will result in a much more immersive experience. Continue reading
So this week I’ve been getting a lot of stuff done on Orchestra, and some of it is really figuring out how to handle certain things that would be very complex and need to be simplified in a way that can work well. As I’ve mentioned before, the combat system was originally going to calculate hits based on recoil versus bullets; this is perhaps the most realistic method of tracking this, and it’s incredibly hyperlethal, but one of the major downsides of it is that it doesn’t translate to other things very well, meaning that it’s a new mechanic to learn that means nothing in other cases. Continue reading
One of the biggest pitfalls a game can come up with is creating an environment in which the player feels overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that they can or must do throughout the course of play; whether it’s a 600-page rulebook for a tabletop game that forces every roll through four different complications or a video game which requires players to adapt to a variety of different control schemes on the fly, it’s important to look at the mechanics of a game from the perspective of intelligent design decisions. Continue reading
Dust Watch is a game that attempts to emulate a classic D&D experience for a solo adventure as well as a party-based adventure, and part of this will be obvious from the game design.
Unlike pretty much all of the D&D mechanics-modeling video games, Dust Watch is a solo endeavor-one does not encounter companions, because the Watchmen are too few and desperate to send a whole team for every last thing.
In this way, Dust Watch draws inspirations more from roguelikes-the player has to have a way to do everything in a single character. A locked door may require a Stealth roll (Stealth doubles as the general larceny skill), but it could also be opened with a Hardiness check. Continue reading
This post is well ahead of time, and details what I’m planning to do with Orchestra once the game is “beatable”, which as an open-world game with no more than 1% of all the main story content integrated into the game (and it’s about a sixth of the content, about 5% if you count player perceived content), doesn’t mean very much yet.
Let’s start out with what New Game + will offer: Continue reading
Guts is a statistic that plays a key role in 1-800 Regime Change. If you’ve played a recent tabletop game you’ll probably have noticed that almost everything includes a mechanic that allows a player to reroll a bad roll. Guts is that, but on a per-die basis, meaning that instead of rerolling everything they may reroll one die (before explosions, if appropriate). Continue reading
One gripe I have with certain tabletop games is that they entirely neglect any sense of the complexity of certain actions, or they make actually rolling for things impossible from the very start. I’m trying to avoid that entirely with 1-800 Regime Change, with a tree-based attribute/skill/specialization system. This allows me to make, say, assembling a gun different than sewing a ballistic plate into a vest, but have a shared skill so that it is not impossible to have some synergy. Continue reading
1-800 Regime Change will rely on an incredibly complex system of firearms, so much so that guns will have their own character sheets (well, maybe two per page, but it’s up there).
To do this, guns are made from a number of components. A popular and recent video game that used this system is the Borderlands series, but they did more of a cosmetic-driven approach rather than a mechanics driven approach. Continue reading