Will you Survive the Night? Will be a ‘choose your own adventure’ game mimicking the books I used to read as a child. These are novels that are written in first/second-person so that you become the main character. Each chapter, in these novels, delivering you multiple options that can either lead you to your demise or survival. In fact, these types of books were the very first games that were interactive. The formatting of this game, at least initially, will be in the form of a micro-RPG game, as I wish to keep costs of production down, but I also want this to be a simplistic game that allows people do dive into their characters with a bit more fluidity not always afforded to players when you’re using other board games with a similar style.
Micro-RPG games are adventure/storytelling/Roll playing games in their most simplistic form. The Pen and paper games, or games where all you need is a deck of cards and maybe even a dice. The pace is fast, and they can be played anywhere. Some of these games don’t even require you to print anything, you simply look the game up, i.e. Roll to see if I have shoes on which is just 7 different rules to play the game. Or something slightly more complex like Dog bear or Everyone is John where there is an actual story line/theme that dictates how the players might choose to play the game and they need to either download or buy the booklet to play.
For my game, I have mixed together multiple genre, including horror but also elements of comedy. The concept is based around one of my favourite directors, Tim Burton. His dark, comedic spin on horror has always captured me, I lost track of the number of times I watched ‘BeetleJuice’ and ‘Batman Forever’ was not only the start of my adoration for Batman, but also my favourite song by Seal ‘Kiss by a Rose’. But I digress. The Style of the game will, ultimately, take on a similar look and feel as that of Burton films. This choice came about while looking at new game releases and catching a glimpse of the trailer for ‘Little Nightmares’ and ‘Darq’ which were also styled to simulate the characteristics of a Burton movie, mainly his stop motion films.
The game I am creating is, when it comes down to it, an Indie game as I do not intend to send it off to be formally marketed by a corporation, I will be financing the entire project myself, I also intend for the game to be sold online (eventually) once I have completed it. It is also a Modded (when you take an existing game/show/film and turn it into an alternate product) version of the books I used to read, but also has a similar concept (though FAR simpler) to that of the game ‘Betrayal at House on the Haunted Hill’. A game which has 50 different story lines, and even an extension ‘Betrayal at house on the haunted hill: widow walk”.
The costs of producing this game are minimal. It is more that it will cost a significant amount of time. However, I have had a look at the costs involved in production of the booklets SHOULD I do a short run of them. The costing seems to be roughly between $125-$300 for a small run of 25 booklets, with some companies offering smaller runs of about 10. The list below representing a few Australian companies that offer the option to print professional quality booklets for games/promotional use. Officeworks, Naturally, being the cheapest option, but does not offer the option for a professional booklet, simply binding.
Dark Horse printing: https://www.darkhorse.com.au/product/perfect-bound-booklets/
The game itself is heavily story based, players will need a set of cards and 2 die as well as paper and pen/pencils. They will be required to draw up their own boards, being as simple or creative as they want, also keep track of their health and bladder points. Each played needs to draw a card from the deck to determine whether they will receive a scare (jump, slow burner or horror) or gain health or bladder points. Bladder points (starting with 3 and gaining a max of 6) are to help prevent players from staying in a single room the entire game so they can avoid moving. The game itself is timed, and players must move around the house drawing a card each time. The desired outcome is that each player manages to hold onto enough health that they make it out alive.
Some issues I have already begun to face with writing the stories for this game. When I began writing I was trying to make sure that the characters were gender-less and all stories were first person. It certainly is doable, but with the added hurdle of also having each scare not linked to a room thrown in, it has limited the scares that I can do. The only way around this is to write a set of jump, slow burner, and horror scares dedicated to each room in the house. It does add to the work load, but it would make the game far more interesting and will mean writing scares are much easier.
Another hurdle I have realised has to do with the complexity of the rules. I have already had one friend play test the game and it was suggested that, while the rules are well written and she could follow them, for some people they might be a tad complex. The suggestion was that I keep the rules but simplify them a little more so that
“they did not involve too much thinking” for the players. I completely agree, and intend to re-work the rules and simplify them.
Eventually I hope to also turn this into a full card game, and possibly an app as well. Although this will be later down the track, and possibly something to consider for my final work. The main aims for this game is to complete the booklet and have a working game that is close to being ready for distribution.