Month: January 2015

Chess and The Art Of RPG Design

A lot of the gamers that I have met know something about the game of chess. At the very least, they know basic moves,  enough to play a game or at least understand a talk about it. There have been a few things that have brought this concept up in my thoughts lately, starting with God’s Chess from the Vornheim City Kit, where at the end of the chess game the pieces remaining influence the statistical effect for players and enemies in the game. A great idea, and you could even do this automatically with any chess program these days does have automation on various skill levels to select. A little less player involved but not everyone can play a chess game before a tt game.

Some games have chess as a central point but are not completely what I would call pure chess. Mortal Kombat had a chess minigame in one of the console games, as well games like Archon and Battle Vs Chess used Chess gameplay with a combat minigame to take pieces so the better fighter won. It wasn’t really until Watch Dogs where I was considering using a chessboard to plot out a campaign. The game has were Chess minigames, solving puzzles like how to capture all the pieces or how to prevent getting in check. In one puzzle I played as a break from doing some work in a game, my mind wandered to the idea of using the board to map out movements of NPCs. Have a few pieces on the board and as they move that is then carrying out their plans.

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The Parable of Stanley versus the Railroad

“Art Games” have been around for a long while, and have a wide variety of styles of challenges and options like exploration games like “Journey” or interactive novels like “Dear Ester” or even playing up monotony with integrated story elements like “Papers, Please” and “Cart Life”. The Stanley Parable is another one of these games where the player guides Stanley through a surreal environment while the narrator delivers exposition. The player has the opportunity to make numerous decisions on which paths to take, and because at times the narrator says what Stanley will do next, the player can choose to ignore the narration and make a different choice. Every choice made by the player is commented on by the narrator, and depending on the choices the player makes, they will encounter different endings to the game before it restarts.

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