I thought everything would be great and I was prepared...not even close.
I’m a huge fan of innovation in game worlds. There’s lots of fantasy RPGs, walking-undead board games, and sci-fi skirmish games out there. What you don’t see a lot of are games where you and the other players are mice who form a club and build their own motorcycles. But that’s what you’ll be doing […]
One of the most time honored adventure hooks is the treasure map. Essentially they exist to get characters from point A to point B, maybe with a little adventure in the middle. Here are some alternatives to the basic treasure map that serve the same purpose.
- The Compass: An enchanted compass that always points to some location. Similar to a map, but with just direction to go on. Characters will have to keep their eyes peeled for dangers to avoid stumbling into them, since there are no “here there be dragons” on a compass. Clever players may triangulate and overlay the results on a local map to help solve this problem. More powerful compasses may rotate through several locations as you reach them, or may activate additional locations via command word.
- A Ruined Road: A bit of an ancient stone road mostly reclaimed by wilderness, the direction it once traveled is clear. Following it’s last known direction in either way probably results in finding more fragments until you arrive at the locations from which it started and at which it finished. Following the road may require a good deal of beating bushes and searching, and may go through some dangerous territory that the characters have little choice but to enter. Some of these roads may feature intersections that lead to even more destinations.
- A clear Vantage Point: The reward for finding the ancient tree in the center of the forest or a lost wizard’s tower may be little more than the view from the top. From this clear vantage point, a character with keen eyes may spot any number of interesting locations, and any number of locations that seem to be interesting but are little more than a ditch. Clever use of scrying may be useful in determining which is which before outfitting a cross country expedition.
- Unusual Treasure: Treasure, or even trash that has no business being where you find it is a dead giveaway that another location of interest is nearby. Furniture, tools, utensils, weapons, scrolls, clothes are all things that could be a clue to search the surrounding area. Of course, questioning the current owners of these things may get your characters a guide, or it may get them a fight first and an interrogation scene after.
- Will-O-The-Wisp: Everyone knows not to follow the will-o-the-wisps, La Lorna, the haunting laughter of children, or the skittering black shadows into the deep swamp or the darkened wood. Especially as night approaches. But are they leading you to an ambush or a long forgotten site? Careful characters may find it well worth their while to follow these dangerous beings.
What clever alternatives have you used to guide characters to a new location? Let everyone know in the comments below.
Can you lie to your friends with a straight face? Well, “lie” is such a mean word. Can you bluff your friends with a straight face? Personally, I love bluffing games. But then, I could weave all sorts of yarns and probably get someone to believe them. So I’m definitely interested in Guardian’s Call by […]
I’ve been trying to come up with some clever way of introducing this game, but I think that straight-forward is just the best: Motes and Beams is basically Mormon Cards Against Humanity. Though there’s a bit more than that, as they throw in extra cards where you can swap or take cards from opponents, or […]
Want to get into the gaming industry? Well, if you’re in England or America (or willing to relocate), then Battlefront has a couple positions open. In the US, they’ve got a Customer Service Rep and an Accounts Manager. And over in the UK, they’re also looking for an Accounts Manager. From the post: The Battlefront […]
GOG and Disney have partnered up to do something a little unusual and bring the multiplayer servers for the classic Battlefront II game back online 12 years after release. ...
I wish I could be a sleeper agent. Just nap all day, snuggling up with your teddyrancor, under your X-Wing sheets. *gets handed a note* Oh… that’s not what a sleeper agent does at all. Apparently they’re deep-cover operatives that infiltrate a location and basically live a double-life, waiting for the signal from their command […]
Playground Games designer Grant Orban describes the challenges in designing Forza Horizon 3's smooth-as-silk online co-op multiplayer campaign. ...
The work week is firmly underway. I know I like to have some sounds going on beside the random clacking of keyboard keys and the conversations coming from the other offices. That’s why I keep my regular list of gaming podcasts (as well as several groomed Pandora stations). Seeing as it is Tuesday, that means […]
Game publishers must deploy a fully featured storefront experience to deter consumers from going to the gray market for game keys, says Jeremy Coker, group vice president for games and entertainment at Digital River. ...
Gamers love games (seems pretty obvious). Gamers, so I’ve found, by and large, love to drink. As such, you will very often see these two things mixed together and you get drinking games. Four Kings, by Tako Games, is one such drinking game. Players will draw cards from a deck and, generally speaking, drinks will […]
Not to say that I like when I see Kickstarters not do well, by any stretch. But I am heartened when I see a campaign that was struggling look at making a fresh start, reconfigure some, and get back into the swing of things with a new campaign that does just fantastically well. Outer Limit […]
It’s good to know what’s going on in the upper echelons of the game companies we love. The people in charge of the companies have a lot of say in what direction that company goes. You want good people with steady heads in charge. And that’s what CMON Limited is getting in promoting Jules Vautour […]
The galaxy can be yours… if someone else doesn’t grab it for themselves first. It’s a race to grab the best spots and keep control of them in Warpgate, a new sci-fi board game that’s up on Kickstarter. Take control of a unique alien civilization and head out into the void, conquering in the name […]
Well, the world’s come to an end again. Damnit, Todd! I told you to clean up your stuff! Now we’re living in a blasted-out nuclear wasteland! It’s not going to be easy, surviving out here. Good thing there’s the Fallout board game from Fantasy Flight. It’ll help teach us how to live in this environment. […]
In this post I'll go over some tips and observations I found from showing my first commercial game Gravestuck for the first time at the Boston Festival of Indie Games.
This post covers what I learned after demoing a game that did not offer conventional keyboard controls. 40% of my players never made it past the main menu because the controls were not standard.
Each week, Josh of Game-Wisdom examines one game for his Dissecting Design series. This week, we're talking Cuphead.
Groundbreaking games of recent years have taken the rogue-like genre and evolved them into something new. Heat Signature is another great game to add to that list, with its amazing Galactic Zoom mechanic.