Flash Game Design Challenge

edited September 2011 in Story Games
Some of you might be interested in what I just posted on my blog:
So, inspired by Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction challenges, I had a weird, possibly useless idea: Flash Game Design Challenge.

I'm going to give you three mechanical ingredients. You use at least two:
Two dice that you don't add togetherA single token that sometimes is and sometimes isn't on your character sheet/possessed by the playera countdown mechanic (whatever the hell that means)
Write a game that takes 500 words or less to explain, which should include a hint of setting. No "generic" games!

Post a link to it on my blog post by Friday, September 23rd.

Go!
In case that's of any interest to design geeks with some free time, or folks who want to challenge themselves.

- Ryan

Comments

  • Sounds cool, and I'll try to come up with something!

    However, you might consider changing the title. I know you're basing it on flash fiction, but "flash game" means something already, and it's not this, it's those little in-broswer games using flash-player.
  • Posted By: whiteknifeHowever, you might consider changing the title. I know you're basing it on flash fiction, but "flash game" means something already, and it's not this, it's those little in-broswer games using flash-player.
    I thought about that after the fact. But it's posted, so not worth title changing.

    - Ryan
  • edited September 2011
    “Stockholm Syndrome”

    Relief washed over you when you saw their face. You could finally rescue them from this place. But it was replaced by horror when you heard them say “I don’t want to go.” Worse still, they don’t even seem to remember much of you. What has this place done to them? But it doesn’t matter what they think, it doesn’t matter if they think you’re the enemy. You have to get them out…

    Players have two stats:
    Friendly: Use to reassure your rescue that you’re worth following, that it’s all for their own safety, even when you act against their new “friends” or lead them through danger.
    Practical: Use for everything else.

    Stats are rated 1-5. Divide 7 points between them.

    Whenever you do something meaningful, roll a d6 and a d10. Put one die towards speed and one towards effectiveness. If your effectiveness roll is equal or less than your stat, you succeed. Subtract your speed roll from your remaining time.

    Your goal is to escape with your rescue. Use a photo to represent the rescue.

    The GM presents challenges to you. The world you’ve entered seems friendly, but you know it has a dark side lurking just behind the veneer of friendliness, a veneer that will begin to strip away as you get closer to escaping. Of course, the less friendly it seems, the more deadly it will become.

    Your starting time is 100. You escape after succeeding at 7 practical escape rolls (to defeat challenges presented by the GM, each one metaphorically related to one of the seven deadly sins). Every time you fail an escape roll, you must make a friendly roll to reassure your rescue. If you fail a reassure roll, you lose your rescue. You can insist and make another friendly roll to get them back or, if that fails or you skip that step, you may make as many practical rolls as you need to try and coerce or kidnap them. However, if you coerce them, they will be uncooperative and act against you, giving you -1 to your stats until you reconnect with them with a friendly roll.

    Every time your time drops by 10, the GM can come up with an event that threatens your progress. Perhaps your rescue wanders off, the kidnappers come after you, or the world becomes more hostile. If you fail to deal with these threats (with a practical roll), they harm you. You can’t die, but each time you’re harmed; you must recover with a practical roll (or a friendly roll to have your rescue heal you) or suffer -1 to your practical stat.

    If your time hits 0, you don’t lose yet, but now every 10 time the threats start to come after your rescue, and now they take 2 practical rolls to deal with (or 1 roll to escape from…for the time being). If they harm your rescue once, they’re ok. Twice, and they’re dead or irrevocably against you. You lose.

    (499 words) (theme song)
  • I've got a game for this, but I want to go back and revise a bit before submitting.
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: misubaHere's mine:The End Zone
    I like it! I've had idle thoughts myself for how to do a college football game, and yours is a good approach. There's been an explosion of little, playable game drafts written in portland over the last month. We really need to get together and play this stuff.
  • Posted By: Hans c-oPosted By: misubaHere's mine:The End Zone
    I like it! I've had idle thoughts myself for how to do a college football game, and yours is a good approach. There's been an explosion of little, playable game drafts written in portland over the last month. We really need to get together and play this stuff.
    Thanks! If you can do Red Castle this Thursday, we should rock some of them maybe?

    Although I guess playing 11 there would be... a little funny.
  • Posted By: misuba
    Thanks! If you can do Red Castle this Thursday, we should rock some of them maybe?

    Although I guess playing 11 there would be... a little funny.
    Yeah, I'm not sure about playing that one at Red Castle! I won't be there this Thursday, but next one for sure. Other than 11, these are the games I was talking about.
  • Here's mine: Molemen & Missives
    I also made a fancy-pants PDF.
  • edited September 2011
    I didn't start my entry until today, so I guess it's gonna be a kind of 24-hour design challenge for me by default. But I'm still over by five words as of right now, and it should probably be more like 25, so I still have to figure out how to bring it in under budget.

    UPDATE: Figured it out! Here's Nerdball.
  • edited September 2011
    I thought I'd throw one in, too.

    Iä: A Game of Dark Worship
    player sheet
    GM sheet
  • edited September 2011
    Ugh...I worked on this one for about 15 minutes a week ago and kept meaning to come back to it. Ah, well.

    Here it is...

    When Are You Two Gonna Fuck Already?
  • Posted By: DorkThoughtsUgh...I worked on this one for about 15 minutes a week ago and kept meaning to come back to it. Ah, well.

    Here it is...

    When Are You Two Gonna Fuck Already?
    You had me at "When Are You Two Gonna Fuck Already?"
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: Mike_OlsonI didn't start my entry until today, so I guess it's gonna be a kind of 24-hour design challenge for me by default. But I'm still over by five words as of right now, and it should probably be more like 25, so I still have to figure out how to bring it in under budget.

    UPDATE: Figured it out! Here'sNerdball.
    I really enjoyed this game. Thank you for posting it.
  • I've posted a game called Terminal.

    "Everyone has a time to die. You just happen to know yours.

    Give your character a name. A job title. A wife or husband. Kids. In the end it doesn’t really matter. You’ve just been told you have days to live."

    Terminal: The Game
  • Here's my game, Feral Survivors

    http://www.dicefoodlodging.com/2011/09/feral-survivors/

    It's Lord of the Flies meets Exquisite Corpse in a storytelling journal game.

    Prettier designs coming later.

  • edited September 2011
    Behold Weapon Q:

    A supersoldier (Wolverine type) must escape a war-torn region after their secret mission went awry. Their monstrous side is struggling to get out and they may need to give in to it to get out alive.

    Two players vie for control, with one playing the secret agent side and the other playing the superpowered mutant side. If they can't collaborate somewhat, the Jungle will get 'em both.

    Here's the 500 word version (well, 499, actually).

    That length constraint was really tough for me! If anyone finds the game interesting but can't parse the short version, this longer version with more explanation may be clearer.
  • Dave,

    I like Weapon Q! (Though, yes, the longer version is much clearer.)

    Some questions:

    1. Is there any reason NOT to say that the Jungle's goal is to kill the Weapon? Then you'd have straight-up victory conditions for each player.

    2. Do you think this could be played by two players, with the non-Controlling player acting as the Jungle? I could see that working out, maybe, but I only read the rules once so I could be off.

    I could see using this game as some kind of character-creation minigame. Instead of the "Token", you pass a character sheet back and forth, and after each roll one of the three players gets to add an appropriate Trait (or whatever) to the character. If the Agent has the Weapon shoot his way through some guards, maybe he can add a "Marksman" trait, whereas if the Mutant wins he might get the "Murderous Rage" trait... and if the Jungle wins, maybe the Weapon gets some kind of disadvantage or plot hook or injury or something like that (phobias? flashbacks?). By the end, you have a short story to introduce your new mutant/secret agent/superhero. You know how s/he deals with armed threats, and maybe something about what haunts them.

    Also, I guess I wish the choice to pass or not pass the die had some more concrete link to the fiction. (Although I suppose it might, indirectly, since giving narration rights to one side or the other will probably take the Weapon in different directions, right?)

    Nice one! Have you played it?
  • edited September 2011
    Thanks for taking a look, Paul! No, I haven't played it; I finished coming up with it right before I wrote it up and posted it. Looking at it now, though, I can see that it borrows from Swords Without Master, Don't Rest Your Head, and my Ronnies game Memory Quest. As for your points:

    1. I don't think the rules really empower the Jungle's decisions to sway life or death. I mean, they impact life or death somewhat, but largely via the responses of the other players. I also think that a "victory" of death would only feel cool if you also brought out the Agent/Mutant tension. But maybe I'm thinking too directly. Straight-up victory conditions are nice, and an indirect link to the social rewards works fine in tons of games. So I'd say your idea is definitely worth a try.

    2. Yep, could definitely be 2-player, but then the incentives are very different for the Jungle. You still want to tempt the Controller to invoke the Other, but you no longer want to harm the Weapon. There's something weird about winning a roll and then narrating a result that sucks for you. I could fix that weirdness by adding Injury Cards with little snippets of fiction on them, though. If the basic game seems like a winner, that's something I might explore.

    3. Char-gen minigame? Cool! You escape the "war zone"... and step out of the training simulator. And your teammates step out of theirs. And now you all get to go play Government X-Team together and save the world or destroy it or something. Heh. In that case, Weapon Q play should mimic the situations that'd pop up the longer game. So if the long game is about getting info and equipment and position and escapes, then cool, done! You spell out how you want your character to do those things.

    It's kind of like enlisting another player's creativity into your character design... but also relinquishing a lot of control. Might be frustrating... but might also build a good group sense of aesthetic accountability.

    Oh! Maybe the winner of the Agent-Mutant struggle is the one who gets to / has to play the character in the long game -- if the character survives! So if you're the Agent, and the Mutant starts authoring shit into your character that you know you wouldn't want to play, then you start playing to LOSE. That could be nifty or terrible.

    4. There is a link! I should write a note about that. The 5 seconds when the Jungle counts down are the moment when the Weapon is staring death (or significant injury) in the face, and feels his Other rising up to help resist that death, and has to either (a) give in and lose control for a better chance to live, or (b) clamp down and battle alone, against the odds, but in control. I don't think it's necessary to narrate that whole struggle aloud, but an indicative line or two when passing the die or not would be nice. "I've got this!" Or, "Fine, you bastard, come on!"

    BTW, I don't like the name. "Weapon X" would be perfect but is already taken. Any ideas?
  • edited September 2011
    Weaponized [the lovely term for when you take something from nature like a disease and turn it into an uber effective weapon of mass destruction.]
    Mark I [the traditional name for all prototypes, but it can be pronounced "mark eye" as in I'm Mark and not a thing]
    Weapon Omega

    Classics like Beowulf, Grendel, Shiva
  • edited September 2011
    Shit, man, I wish I'd come up with a game that deserved to be called Grendel. :)
    Mark I is clever, but doesn't fit, for me.
    Weaponized is pretty sweet! Could come across as goofy, but a good type treatment should solve that. Here's a stab:
    image
    Hmm. Not sure. But I definitely like it better than Weapon Q! Thanks!
  • I like "Weaponized"!
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