Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Planning a new project

Having recently completed and published my gamebook "Dwarven Vengeance" I started thinking about a starting another. Despite it being a lot of work, I have really enjoyed the end result, so I wanted to start another one.

This time I thought I'd do a little market research about the subject matter. I went onto Role Playing Game Geek (RPGGeek.com) and posted a poll asking which genre would they be more likely to part with thier hard earned money for.  the poll ran for 15 or so days and got 49 responses.

The options on the poll were:
  • Sci fi trading and exploration: 18 votes
  • Pulpy noir detective (with tentacles): 9 votes
  • Marines vs Bugs: 4 votes
  • Dungeon crawl/landscape crawl: 4 votes
  • WWII, pilot escaping occupied territory: 10 votes
  • Other: 4 votes
I was hoping for Marines vs Bugs, but the omens have dictated otherwise.

This is a new genre for me, especially in gamebook form. It's set me a challenge. A gamebook needs a "system" of rules, those rules should match the expected game play. For instance it's no use having game rules for trading if there is no trading in the game.  So now I'm going to have to spend some time debating with myself what the focus of this new gamebook will be and once I've done that, how to implement a complimentary set of rules that fit the genre without over complicating something that needs to be really simple to fit the book format.

So now I'm collecting ideas and making notes about possible scenarios that could appear in the book. At the same time trying to avoid going too far down one line of thought without considering mechanisms at the same time.

At this point I know there are some limits on story. I polled a bunch of role players and "sci fi trading and exploration" means the RPG "Traveller" to them. The Traveller game has a number of tropes and associated expectations that goes along with the name, so those will be my focus to start with...

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