Last night, I piloted the first iteration of an interactive story game I created for my friends. The idea that sparked it all was that I wanted to play a group game where we would have a common goal to work toward together, and have fun while we’re at it.
The first scenario was simple: three masked gunmen have invaded a home and taken a woman and her two children hostage. They are heavily armed and will be making their demands soon. You (as a group) are the police special forces unit, and it is up to you as a group to save the woman and two children.
I even made a floor plan of the house!
As a group, they were given the following rules:
- The game progresses in turns. You can make as many movements in an area that you like, but the minute you go to another area, you are moving onto the next turn. Certain milestones happen on certain turns.
- Actions with an ambiguous certainty in completion are determined with a dice roll (using two dice). For example, picking the lock on a door would have a dice roll for success or failure, the range of which is determined by the game master.
- Combat requires two rolls: a roll to determine the winner of the first exchange, and the loser must roll to determine what part of the body takes damage. 1-2 is in the legs, 3-7 is the torso, 8-9 is the arms, 10-12 is the head.
- The only limitation to actions is if it is completely infeasible or unrealistic. For example, you cannot curve a bullet around anything, or suddenly gain magic powers and blast the bad guys.
We got rolling and I think it turned out alright. Well, for me anyway.
As a group, they immediately decided to storm the house. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and they waited for the gunmen to make demands before doing anything, and THEN they decided to split up into two teams and break in through the back and lock pick the front.
Unfortunately, it all went awry when they were discovered inside the house (each action inside the house required a roll for discovery, as in, whether or not they made enough noise to be discovered) and a firefight broke out. During the firefight, two of the team were shot in the vest and taken out for the turn (wind knocked out of them) and a third managed to take down a gunman while getting shot in the limbs repeatedly. The other teams managed to storm into the living room, where the hostages were being held, and taking down the last remaining gunman. However, they were not quick enough and he managed to take out the mother and one of the children before he could be taken down.
I received plenty of feedback on how to improve the game and its mechanics, and the suggestions are definitely going into the next story that I craft for this. A really fun experience, and a wonderful excuse to flex my creative thinking while spending time with friends!
One of those things that I get asked semi-often: What games are you playing?
I don’t have all that much time for video games, but I do set aside from some time for gaming because it’s a fantastic outlet for me during really stressful times.
That said, check out my new Games I’m Playing page to take a look at what I am playing!
This great presentation from Johanna Blakley discusses how the fashion industry, which does not have the luxury of copyright protection, is a flourishing and innovative industry despite their lack of protection. Being strongly opinionated on the matter of copyright protection, I felt I had to make a few comments.
I think Johanna’s use of the fashion industry doesn’t necessarily apply to the movie, music, software or games industry (Anything that suffers from piracy.) because in fashion, it’s designer to designer copying, not consumer to designer. In other words, it isn’t a consumer issue as much as it is with the aforementioned industries.
But Johanna brought up a fantastic point: designers are making it more difficult for other designers to completely rip off their designs, but they aren’t making it more difficult for the consumer to consume, unlike all of the initiatives that the movie, music, software, and game industries have been undertaking. (Cough, Ubisoft, cough.) I think it’s a very valid point: these people who have no copyright protection are becoming very creative at designing something difficult to rip off, and people want it because it’s designed well.
So lesson to the movie, music, software, and game industries: make something we want, something unique, and we’ll buy it.