Utopian Chronicles v2

edited October 2018 in Game Design Help
Hello, I have improved my game for simplicity and ease of manipulation. Some things have changed but it's still the same engine : storytelling competition with gloves on.
I'd be glad to hear feedback on what is still unclear or daunting. This way I will know where to add "color", pictures and play examples.
Also, it needs a name.


  • There's some good stuff in there (and it looks very much like early drafts of Muse, as I've mentioned before).

    I'm a little skeptical about the use of Cool (especially for winning the game), and I don't know how Aspects and Keys work without examples, but the basics dynamics have some promise. It's very similar to what we were going for with that game, so it's funny to see such a similar-looking design process at work.

    Have you played this version of the game?

    Do players take turns?

    How does it all start?

    How does bidding work?
  • edited October 2018
    Thanks for your interest in my efforts. Reformulation is an opportunity for me to understand better what I have done.

    You are right that Cool is too artificial as a gamer motivation. I believe it should work for gamers in a low resources game session, which is far from the beginners mode. In playtest the competition is always in the conflicts. Cool is mostly a gratification signal, a way to focus attention on feelings and communicating them. I'd say Cool is another way to win, a different prize category. Also when the end gets closer, we try to not spend these points, so it "messes" with the otherwise obvious maths of the game.

    Players needn't take turn. I realized how heavily influenced by Universalis the first versions were, and that players could totally accept a looser frame now. Maybe they were "reassured" by the heavy frame back then. We worked on checking - unchecking traits, playing card traits and tokens, tokens only, ways of making actions a resource.

    The heavy attention on scene framing never bothered us in the rules or play test. We play with my associate, family and kids (8-16) With 20-30' of setting and character work, it flows naturally to a scene when it's ripe. We have seen temptation to abuse scene framing, but we just pointed it was unfair, or dizzying quick, and the framing was mended.

    I haven't played this version of the game yet. Lastly we were testing the use of cards. The "tokens only" dawned on me like around 2 weeks ago. It clicked by its simplicity, coming out of the mold almost with a plop. The conflict mechanic is still central, so it is really the same game in my eyes, only with new handles.

    In this version rules for bidding are simplified. I took the "legal frame" mindset away in favor of intuitiveness. There maybe cases where it's unclear what to do, but nothing a FAQ can't solve. So, picture this :
    there is this postit on the table that says "the villagers are wiped dead with lots of suffering." One player puts 2 tokens close to this and he says "This won't happen. As a knight of the emerald stables, I won't allow this. I make an expedition to the haunted shrine." (other players : "I go with him." "And a peasant boy goes with you, too. As for me I'll stay to take care of the ill" etc. ) "OK, as you go up you enter a forest of stones. It's full of dark things slithering and you soon hear thunder approaching" The Dark player plays 2 tokens in the conflict. Needless to say this goes against the expedition, which means she prepares the death of the villagers. The ranger player adds a token to the knight's bid: "I call on the Eagles to take us up directly to the Shrine." The Dark player shouldn't allow resolution at this stage, the conflict is not close to being ripe. Now another player could put their tokens on one side or the other, or create a third side, like "yes, the villagers die, but without suffering." Okay, this one is not likely. But if the conflict was "who killed Barbie Jones ?" a 3rd option would make perfect sense. At some points, the Dark player or the Knight will have to concede defeat though. So : you bid and tell or tell and bid, and that's it. It's really like the conflicts in Capes, only with power steering. The main problem with tokens is when there are lots of them around a conflict, it's important not to knock the little piles...
  • I've had a quick look.
    The game is interesting but I think it needs a more strong focused design to guide players throughout the game.
    Let me know if you may be interested in some support.
    Also, from the office I cannot access Google Drive.
    If you can provide an accessible download link that would be better for me.
  • edited December 2018
    Like, it's a chassis but not a game. I see. I am planning a shoehorn scenario a la Lady Blackbird : a situation, a handful of characters, and... action. I am toying with 3 colours : high school anime, med fan, space op. Maybe I'll do all three. But I wanted to make sure the rules are understandable first.

    Do I need to store the file at a 3rd party's ? If so I'll lose auto updates. No go for me, it's publishing time I don't want to spend ! This kind of time is precious, it's for my students only.
    Maybe with this link ?
    Or that one ?
  • Do not worry...
    I'll find the way to have a look at your progress. :)
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