So we’ve talked a lot about NaGaDeMon on Haste recently but now it’s time for me to make it personal. November is a month for writing, growing beards, and a multitude of other noble things that go around the internet. Being an aspiring game designer/freelance writer/blogger/whatever in my spare time I’ve decided that this November I’d attempt to be doubly productive by not only refusing to shave, but by attempting to design a game.
Now, you can all 100% blame Micah for this because he’s the one who got me addicted to XCOM: Enemy Unknown in the first place. I’d only heard of XCOM in passing and stored it in the corner of my mind as ‘some old PC strategy game about alien that everyone says is/was great‘ and basically left it at that. With the new XCOM title recently launched for all the major consoles and PC my interest was piqued when Micah wouldn’t stop talking about it, so I looked into the game and was instantly intrigued. Now I’m more than just intrigued, I’m a little obsessed.
Tracking Our Progress
The tactical combat, making impactful choices, the fragility of your soldiers, trying to keep everyone in the world calm, researching new technologies, psychic powers, wiping out alien scum…the list goes on and on and on as to why I love this game. The very first time I played the game on PC my immediate thought was “This reminds me of Tannhauser (another game I’m obsessed with), but with aliens” because of the way combat flowed. When I heard about NaGaDeMon I decided to take all of those ideas floating around in the back of my mind and attempt to put them into something tangible.
My buddy Jeremy and I have kicked around the idea of making a board game for a while now so we’ve jumped on this as our opportunity to carry though with something. My plans are to chronicle our path here on the Obsidian Portal blog as things develop. I also want to ask a known game designer a question once a week as we move forward, just to make things interesting and so that I may glean their expertise and use it for my own good.
Let’s Bring You Down To Speed
I know we’re 2 weeks into the month already so I’ll catch you up to we have so far, and ask for your two cents as well. So far I’ve only got one game designer to answer a question so far but it was such an awesome answer it counts as two in my opinion! The great Wolfgang Baur gave his two cents on designing a game with a high mortality rate on the latest episode of Haste so be sure to tune into the last few minutes of the show to catch it.
We started out wanting to do a board game with a 2 sided board like Tannhauser, but then moved onto a tile builder with mission scenarios kind of like Level 7 or one of the D&D board games. After realizing neither of us are artistic or interlocking-tile-making wizards we scrapped the idea and moved toward an RPG.
Enemy: Known. Progress & Pitfalls
We’ve made good headway so far, ironing out the combat system by using d6 dice pool mechanics somewhat similar to shadowrun but not quite. We had our first playtest last week and are moving forward with the rules as they are coming out quite well. Simple rules for flanking, cover, weapon damage, and armor are all panning out.
However, the social aspect of the game seems flat and I’m currently wondering if going back to a board game would be better. We’d also like to incorporate the base building and research mechanics into the game somehow as well. We’ve still got a lot of questions to answer and only half the month left but hopefully the holiday will give us some much needed time away from work to focus on the game’s design.
I’ll be writing more as we develop more and get more answers from game gurus, but we’d love to have your two cents on things too so let us know what you think in the comments!