Where was I? Oh, yes. Finished reviewing 2012. Time to talk about 2013.
I’m nearing the end of the Disaster Strikes! playtest, so first priority will be to get the game finished and decide how to publish it. Kickstarter, maybe? Watch this space.
But DS! isn’t the only idea I’m working on. Oh, no indeed. Here are some of the frontrunners.
Revolution! Extending the concept of my RPG Geek contest entry, Farmtopia, this will be a game about overthrowing a regime and living with the consequences afterwards. Like Farmtopia, the game mechanics will focus on power and status, the consequences of revolution, and a freeform, democratic sort of conflict resolution. But considerably fleshed out, and taken beyond the “Animal Farm” scenario. (Even though that will always be my favourite.)
The Shadow Game (working title). This is a game about having a dark side, and fighting against it. The basic deal is that two players “run” a single character, while a GM-type figure controls the rest of the world. The GM throws challenges and quandaries at the character. The “main” player must deal with them while the “shadow” player pushes the character towards dark deeds, offering power as the carrot, and loss of control as the stick.
The WTF? game (working title; working on with Admiral Frax). This is a game about going through the looking glass. Think Neverwhere, Utopia, and suchlike. This is a genre that has been done before, but we want to fix two things about it: the tendency to disempower the players as they find themselves lost in a world they don’t understand, outgunned by the all-powerful NPCs; and the reliance on massive GM prep to create a world that the players can plumb. We have ideas for radical new game mechanics which will turn all of this on its head, without losing the fundamental “what the f*ck” element of mystery and discovery.
The traitor game (working title). This is a game designed to allow you to play a tight-knit community but where some of the people in it are secretly traitors, without all the tedious stuff that normally goes along with treachery. Basically I want to create a situation where nobody (including the players themselves) knows which characters are traitors but the game mechanics incentivise people to skulduggery of a sort that might be explained by them being a traitor. There’s a kind of schrodinger’s traitor effect where you might or might not actually be a traitor. However (important!) some people don’t like being a traitor and there will be mechanics to allow them to avoid this and still participate in the game.
A Game of Popes. “When you play the game of popes, you win or you die”. Silly game concept based on watching the Borgias at the same time that Francis I was being elected. Game will revolve around screwing the other proto-popes over through skulduggery.
Not sure where I’ll find time to write all this while moving house and having a baby.