22 December, 2012

A Return to the Gambit

A few years ago I wrote a pone page game called "The Gambit of Erzulie Ga Rouge". I think I generated it for one of the game chef contests, or something similar.

The premise was pretty simple. A group of characters have been buried over the course of the last year in an enchanted graveyard. Annually, on All-Hallows Eve (or some other specific night), a doorway is opened between the realms of the mortal plane, the Darklands and Paradise. On this night the spirits of the deceased have a single chance to resolve the issues of their mortal lives. A single spirit rises to paradise, while the others will spend the rest of existence lingering in the Darklands (a purgatory) until judgement day.

To make things interesting, the game was played out on chess boards, with players moving across the board using the movement of chess pieces. It also had a bit of a tower defense side to it, as Darkland spirits would invade the graveyard. If a player successfully took a graveyard spirit (in the manner of one chess piece taking another), they would have the opportunity to resolve a beneficial part of their backstory. If a player's piece was taken, they'd have to resolve a detrimental part of their backstory.

It was a complete game but there were a few things that never really felt right about it. It was one of those projects that I've considered returning to (along with "Guerrilla Television"), and the strict pocketmod format might be the way to do it.

I'll have some time with the family over the festive season for the next few weeks, so that will give me time to think about how to transform the game. I'd love to pull in ideas and game mechanisms linking characters with one another and with their world, through relationship maps and similar ideas. The original game used dice as a resolution mechanism, this time I might use cards or even pull in the magic eight ball (I've been wanting to do this with a game for ages...)
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