Back on track (hopefully)

This is the first post in over a month. In that time I have acquired a new computer, moved to New York, and survived Hurricane Sandy. Things have been frenzied. The good news is I am settled and prepared to work on this stuff again. The bad news is this game is due in two weeks. Damn. I’m still not ready to post the dragon AI information, but within the week I will be running a play-test of the game, and that should generate a pretty interesting post. Until then, enjoy this great picture of George Washington.

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If con is opposite of pro, then is Congress the opposite of progress?

Today’s terrible one-liner brought to you by the Continental Congress, which is exactly what you will be saving in my upcoming game The Founding Fighters. I’ve been hard at work at the gameplay, but the graphics work has been slow. That is, until tonight. So here’s some images and some explanations that are long overdue.

So besides the Dragon board, which I’ve posted before, your adventure will also take place on a map of early America. Starting at the Canadian border, a pawn representing the dragon will work its way down the board until it reaches Philadelphia. I don’t think I need to point out where that is. As you go down, you may enter fields (yellow circles), towns (grey circles), and cities (black squares). The path you choose is, um, a work in progress. More on that in another post I promise. Anyway, when the dragon takes its “turn,” it will roll for its thrashing attack, then determine its movement. While in a city or town, thrashing will not only throw you off, but will also cause “casualties.” This is a mechanic I’m introducing as a secondary defeat condition, although not an alternate win condition. The reason you might want to go into a city is that while there, the dragon may not move to the next space on the map, giving you more time to attack. The trade-off is that in the city they can potentially kill citizens. Again, a Dragon AI post will have more information about this stuff.

My god do I love those drawings. I don’t think I would even be considering doing this game without them. Obviously I’ve vectorized them, but basically I just followed what the artist drew. Anyway, here’s a shoddy character card that I’m posting to illustrate the basic workings of a Founding Fighter. First, there are the stats. During a single turn, a player must allocate 4 units of “effort” into three different actions. The first is movement, and the number of spaces that can be moved is determined by the character. For Franklin, using 3 effort to move allows him to run 5 spaces, while only using 1 lets him move 2. Effort can also be spent on attacks or special abilities, like the ones written on the card. Each character will have two abilities, with one costing a single effort unit and the other costing 2. Finally, whatever is left over will be used to “hold on” during the thrashing of the dragon. Benjamin Franklin is a very slow character, although you just have to take my word for it in the absence of comparison characters, but he is very good at holding on. Thrashing is a modified 2d6 roll, so you can imagine that having 11 hold strength means he can grab hold and stay on through some bad stuff. In terms of special abilities, I wanted Franklin to be a support character, who plods along creating improved circumstances for his teammates. Also, I’m not opposed to the idea that he could be used to slowly crawl up the neck and attack the head using his extreme hold strength. Either way, should be fun.

The other reason for this post, and I guess the title, is that I can’t be sure how consistent my progress on this game will be in the coming weeks. I’m actually planning to move within the month, and that will take precedence over game design. Obviously I will continue to dedicate brain time to the project, but actual work is less guaranteed. I do hope I can bring this game to completion, since I am increasingly excited with it, but I just have to put it out there now that it’s not my first priority right now.