Stories from The Road

I’m designing a zombie-survival card game with the working title The Road. It’s a semi-cooperative game. Your chances of surviving alone are small but the zombies are not the only threat on the road. Food is short and your fellow travellers are eyeing you dangerously.

The thing I like best about the game is the stories it generates. I’m playtesting at the moment and recording the stories on a new blog Stories from The Road. Check out that site for updates about the game.

I’m also looking for an illustrator to work on designs for the cards. I’m looking for a gritty, semi-realistic comic-book style like The Walking Dead or Y: The Last Man comics. If anyone is interested, let me know.

Published in: on December 5, 2012 at 7:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Why should I care?

I know I’ve harped on this before but playing Fallout New Vegas has brought me back to a persistent problem in RPGs: motivating the main quest. I know I’m not the first to say that FNV has a singularly un-inspiring beginning. I’ve just been shot dead in the course of doing some seemingly pointless delivery for some faceless client. By a stroke of good fortune, I’ve been brought back to life. What do I do? Of course, I should go and find the person who shot me!

Or… I could happily stay out of their way, figuring that life is cheap in a nuclear wasteland and I’ve already pushed my luck to breaking point. Who really cares about a lost poker chip anyway? Maybe I should just spend my time in this bar buying drinks and fleecing the locals at Caravan.
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Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 1:14 am  Comments (1)  
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Fallout 3: Jazz in the Wasteland

Fallout 3
I’ve recently finished Fallout 3. Lots of people have already dissected the setting, the characters and the the ending, so I won’t go into those things. There is one thing, though, that I don’t think anyone else has mentioned. The soundtrack. How cool is the radio feature?
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Published in: on January 13, 2009 at 3:19 am  Comments (6)  
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My Dream CRPG

I’ve just finished playing Fallout 3 and I’ve been thinking about what did and didn’t work for me. I’m not sure if I’ll post a review since others have already covered it quite comprehensively. So I thought I’d ask a different question.

In reviews we often focus on the things that a game does wrong. I wanted to avoid that path and concentrate on the things that are right. So I ask myself the question, “If you had your dream CRPG, combining all the best bits of every game you’d played before, what would it include?” I want to stick to things that we already know can be done, rather than pie-in-the-sky “wouldn’t it be nice…” features.

Here’s a few ideas I’ve come up with so far. If you have any other suggestions, I’d like to hear them.
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Published in: on December 9, 2008 at 12:34 am  Comments (4)  

Alabaster: Make-your-own-adventure

alabasterI’m a bit late to the party on this, but Emily Short is attempting an interesting experiment in interactive fiction construction. Alabaster is a ‘fractured fairy tale’, retelling the story Snow White with a halloween flavour. The interesting thing about the project, however, is its mode of composition.
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Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 2:45 am  Comments (1)  
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Going over the top!

I’ve been playing Deus Ex for the first time as part of the Vintage Game Club, although I haven’t really been keeping up with the conversation (I’m always a level or two behind everyone else). I’m about halfway through the game, and while I can appreciate the many things that DX does right, I’m still getting kinda bored.
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Published in: on September 30, 2008 at 2:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Not buying Spore

I have been waiting for Spore to come out for ages. And now, sadly, I will not be buying it. Sigh.

I was stopped in my tracks by the Amazon anti-DRM reviews. Given that I work on several machines, I would probably exhaust my 3 installations within day (especially since previous experience shows that at least one installation will fail to work for one reason or another). If I pay for a game, I want to own it, not rent it.

This really frustrates me. I respect copyright and I make a point of teaching my students to do the same. It is only fair that the creator(s) of an artwork are allowed to control its distribution. I don’t appreciate being treated like a thief. This action on the part of EA makes me more likely to seek out a pirated copy, when I would have gladly paid money for the game. It’s just stupid.

Published in: on September 11, 2008 at 12:31 am  Comments (6)  
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Understanding Games


On the Secret books thread I asked the question whether it would be possible to create a game which does for games what “Understanding Comics” does for comics. That is, a game which taught some of the history and design theory for games. Two readers pointed me towards “Understanding Games” a series of four short Flash games (#1 pictured above) by pixelate.
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Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 7:58 am  Comments (1)  
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