From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Once you’ve decided to start down the design road, there are a few top-level decisions to make.
Right now we have – fantasy – skirmish – hero-driven
What does that mean rules-wise?
What does that mean game-wise?
These are the questions that need to be answered before pen is put to paper. Yes, I write my first drafts in a notebook, using a pen. I find it easier when sketching things out, as tearing out pages of scribbling through unneeded paragraphs is easy.
Rather than solid game rules (those will come later) what I wanted to write were a series of statements about how the game would fulfill its own outline. Here are the six statement I wrote:
1. There will be two sides in every game – heroes and villains.
2. Heroes and villains can operate independently – there is no need to limit games to two players.
3. Each game will be scenario-based, with objectives for each side.
4. There will be multiple paths to victory for players to explore.
5. Scenarios will have a turn-time limit… the heroes have limited time to act! The intent is for scenarios to last 40-80 minutes, making this game similar to many board games in play time.
6. Heroes (and possibly villains) will have ‘side quests’ which if they complete add to their side’s victory
Firstly you’ll notice there is little that looks like a game rule. Rules are for later. In fact, this early, the only reason to have rules is to allow for playtesting. After the first round of playtesting, it’s likely that 80% of rules will be junked completely or changed. Don’t start with rules.
What I now have are a series of guiding principles to build my rules around. I want to enable scenario-based play. To have games over in around 1 hour, and to have strong characters with their own separate goals and motivations, even when they are on the same side.
On to the rules!