Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Save Game - The Ingredients


With the release of Venture City Stories this week, the Fate Patreon experiment begins to bear fruit. My project, Save Game, is moving forward, so I thought another series of development blogs would be in order.

What's going into the pot this time?

Tron: The grandaddy of pop-culture inside the computer fantasy. It's a bit of a mixed bag between the original, the sequel/reboot (requel?) and the animated series, but it's got a lot of great ideas that still resonate today. 

Wreck It-Ralph: This love letter to video games put the idea of video game heroes coming together into the public consciousness. It also mashed up video game genres in fun ways. I want the heroes to deal with problems they aren't used to in the safety of their own game. they also did a lot of clever references and Easter eggs, which should be evident as setting details come out.

ICONS: This excellent supers game has a fun random power generation engine that compels the player to come up with a reason to link the randomly rolled powers. When I saw some combinations, I immediately thought of classic video game heroes that had really odd collections of abilities. You've got a surfboard and you're a ninja? Makes sense. You are an angry hockey player with a laser guitar? Obviously. You're a plumber who can shapeshift, jump really high and hurl fireballs? Welcome aboard! Sounds like a group of players to me!

Lord of the Rings: When I originally  envisioned the setting, I was thinking of it in superhero terms. But reframing it as an epic quest not only fit the video game paradigm, but also let me focus on the Glitch, the main bad guy. Rather than a battle against other characters, it became protecting home from the invaders. It also explained why the most well-known characters aren't fighting this battle - they blew it.

NES: I needed to pick a specific timeframe of video games because that's a pretty broad category to cover in 15,000 words. The 8-bit era was when I remember characters having personality on a regular basis rather than only the breakout stars. I'd love to see the artwork done in 8-bit style for a unique visual look. In theory, there are other islands on the Sea of Information for 16-bit, 32-bit, and 64-bit versions. I don't think I'll be able to go into much detail, but I do know that the same character's different versions are distinct - and they squabble like family.


Mystery Men: The odd combinations of powers and the lack of famous video game characters reminds me this is a story of unlikely heroes. There are hundreds of characters that were made. This is their chance to shine, as the last defenders of their home, with everyone else unwilling or unable to do anything. I think a lot of groups will have fun playing knock-off versions of popular characters, heroes who think they are more popular than they really are or has-beens who never thought they'd get a chance to save the world.

That's what's currently bubbling in the pot. Thanks for taking the time to read this first entry. If there's anything you'd like to see in one of these entries, feel free to comment or Tweet me at @robowieland.