There and Back Again

I’m taking Mr. Jesse Schell‘s Game Design(ed) class this semester. As our first assignment, we were tasked with creating an improved version of Hopscotch. Here is my version.

“There and Back Again: A Hopscotch Tale” is a cooperative hopscotch game themed around Lord of the Rings. It is designed for nine players, but has handicap scenarios for less. The game is extremely difficult, and designed so that some players must fail for the others to succeed.

In playtesting the game was met with enthusiasm. The high difficulty was confirmed (which I attempted to tone down each iteration) but the result was exactly what I wanted – people were highly engaged with one another, encouraging each other and strategizing together to overcome the very difficult game.

I count this a success. We’ll see what grade I receive.

Live DMing in Digital Games

HeroQuest w/ LEGO figs and D&D tiles...

Alexis over at Tao of D&D posted a pretty intense vision for a digital D&D engine that would be infinitely tweakable, moddable, and mouldable to the DM’s wishes. I think it sounds like a super-fancy version of Rohrer’s Sleep Is Death. I would add that it needs a strong community content library, like Spore or LittleBigPlanet, because no single studio in the world could produce enough assets to uphold Alexis’ vision. I do very much like his image of zooming from world level all the way down to view the players, running around town.

Maybe there’s a better setting for this kind of tool than D&D, though… Continue reading “Live DMing in Digital Games”

Mario Showdown

My wife and I finished world 8 in New Super Mario Bros Wii the other day. We felt very accomplished; the final levels were as difficult as anything in 2D Mario. Having a wife who plays Mario is great. I love you sweetie!

Even my wife commented that the final showdown with Bowser felt more like something out of Sonic than a Mario boss (see the end of my Mario Galaxy 2 thoughts). Not that I mind. My favorite Mario games feature great bosses to complement the great platforming, like Mario World 2 and the recent games.