Posts Tagged ‘dynamics’

Uncontrollable Mutation

July 1, 2010

I’m a big fan of the basic idea of super-powers in one form or another — it can make a great play mechanic in a lot of settings, and provides a lot of interesting opportunities. I’ve made several uses of White Wolf’s Aberrant RPG for these types of games (the original d10 version, not the d20 edition they printed later), and with a few modifications (and an entirely new setting) it works really, really well. But there’s one thing in the base Aberrant setting/system I’ve always really liked that I’ve never had the opportunity to properly explore: eruptions.

For the uninitiated, Aberrant is a X-Men style super-hero setting, where some humans have experienced a miraculous mutation that gives them their powers. The initial onset of the mutation is a violent presentation of those abilities, normally preceded by a week of migraines and then triggered by a stressful event, called an eruption. It a very cool basic idea, which suggests that the character’s powers are normally selected based on their personality, and the nature of those events. (more…)


The Rescue Mission

May 27, 2009

As usual, I feel that I need to quantify yesterday’s pots about continuing with failure in games — It’s always easier to point out a problem than it is to solve it. So with that in mind, here’s an overview for something I call ‘The Rescue Mission‘, a game designed to let players fail.

The premise of this game contends that there is a war going on between two major powers; this war has been going on for quite some time and it’s ambiguous about who is ‘right’ if anyone. Somewhere in a city near the front lines, several important soldiers have been captured and the player is tasked with controlling the small squad sent to infiltrate the city and liberate their comrades. (more…)

Living with Failure

May 26, 2009
Mission Failure... but is it the end?

Mission Failure... but is it the end?

I’m not interested in self-help or anything of the like today — don’t let the headline mislead you. It’s a popular theory that video-games with someday evolve in to software that can write a story for you, so that a player’s adventure through a game will be unique to them and their actions. People who naysay this are on pretty stable ground, because we have a long way to go before our games will look anything like that. In fact, these days most games are something of the antithesis of that; you’re limited to a small number of choices across of linear storyline, and the choices you can make are either scripted or trivial.

So how to we get to that place where our games are completely open? Well, we have to start by designing them open ended. Sandbox games do try hard to let players operate independently of their storyline, but these games don’t have dynamic stories. Eventually you have to follow the painted line to the end of the story. Additionally, the world around you doesn’t typically react to what you do, except by whatever is scripted. (more…)