Archive for the 'Snow Queen' Category

Updated Priorities

2008 Aug 21

Now that Geiger Beta is out, it’s time to take a break from that and give people some time to play it and make comments. Which means I can finally think about other things.

Dev recently said that he wants to play the Avatar game, which means I need to tweak it a bit. I might just end up blatantly stealing the fight mechanics from Mist-Robed Gate, because I think they’ll work mighty well. Then a few other tweaks and we’re off. The Avatar game still gets the most hits of anything on my website, so perhaps I should just release it through Bleeding Play in PDF form, once we playtest it a bunch more.

Push is definitely near the top of the list. I want to get the other articles from Push 1 up in HTML format on Bleeding Play, make the link to the PDF more prominent, type in the edits to her article that Em sent me months ago, and get Push 1 set up on Lulu so people can order print copies at cost. I also want to start getting some of the stuff from Push 2 up. Eero and Bill’s articles in particular are things I’ve been sitting on for many months. I just need to edit them, ask for a couple corrections from the authors, and post them up there.

Currently, it looks like Transantiago development may move to Secret Wars for a bit, since Shreyas has agreed to help me work on the passages from the rules that are supposed to be read aloud during play.

And then there’s Fingers on the Firmament, which I’ve been thinking about a ton and can’t wait to get to. Development-wise, I think it comes right after Transantiago, since Justin is still focused on getting the John Rain game done. It will rock some serious socks. Honestly, after playing 4th some more, I’m also interested in seeing the changes they’re coming out with for the GSL, on the outside chance that Firmament might be able to mine some of the better parts of the new edition. We’ll see.

Then, on the outside, things I still want to finish some day:
Agonia
The Snow Queen
Sorcémon

Ice Castles

2008 Jan 31

I’ve been sick since Friday at noon and been home the first part of the week because of it, barely being able to think because of lots of sinus pressure. I’m feeling pretty solid today, so hopefully I’m through the really bad stuff.

While I was home, I managed to finish Ico, the brilliant video game that is the main inspiration for my future game based on The Snow Queen. While I thought the last section of it was fairly anticlimactic — I expected the game to be longer, exploring the rest of the castle, and wasn’t expecting actual combat to be at the focus of the finale, given the relative lack of violence in the first sections — it was good to see the entire scope of it.

In the imaginary Snow Queen game in my head, there is a GM who plays the enormous ice castle and the players, however many there are, play Gerda and Kay, the two children trying to flee the Snow Queen’s palace. Ideally, I will be able to eventually work something out with Tony Dowler, who will draw a giant poster-sized ice castle with hundreds of rooms.

To give structure to the castle, I am imagining that the rooms will probably be broken down into sections, like the aerie, the catacombs, the crystal chapel, the wolfen kennel, the snowflake factory, etc. In most sections there will be one or two main puzzles that the children must solve — working together! — before they are able to move on to the next section, but the puzzles will probably require doing things in multiple rooms or moving objects around the section. I’m imagining that the game will often be played with actual children as the players, right before bedtime, instead of, say, reading to them. So the children might play through one section of the castle and then go to sleep, tackling the next section on a subsequent night.

In my mind, the game consists of a laminated poster of the castle and a small booklet that explains how to play. It might even be possible to put the text of the game — both the instructions and the short descriptions of various rooms — on the poster as well, in the white space around the outside of the castle illustration. That would be cool, but if it doesn’t all fit, the rest of the text could go in the booklet.

The Snow Queen or, Ico the RPG

2007 Dec 8

So I’m not allowed to start another game before I finish Geiger Counter or Transantiago. This doesn’t count as me starting another game. This is just a post describing a game that I might start after I finish one or both of the above games.

Adapted from the Project Gutenberg Etext of Hans Christian Anderson:

The walls of the palace were of driving snow, and the windows and doors of cutting winds. There were more than a hundred halls there, according as the snow was driven by the winds. The largest was many miles in extent; all were lighted up by the powerful Aurora Borealis, and all were so large, so empty, so icy cold, and so resplendent! Mirth never reigned there; vast, cold, and empty were the halls of the Snow Queen. In the middle of the empty, endless halls of snow was a frozen lake; it was cracked in a thousand pieces, but each piece was so like the other, that it seemed the work of a cunning artificer. In the middle of this lake sat the Snow Queen.

Little Kay was quite blue, yes nearly black with cold; but he did not observe it, for she had kissed away all feeling of cold from his body, and his heart was a lump of ice. He was dragging along some pointed flat pieces of ice, which he laid together in all possible ways, for he wanted to make something with them. Kay made all sorts of figures, the most complicated, for it was an ice-puzzle for the understanding. In his eyes the figures were extraordinarily beautiful, and of the utmost importance; for the bit of glass which was in his eye caused this. He found whole figures which represented a written word; but he never could manage to represent just the word he wanted — that word was “eternity”; and the Snow Queen had said, “If you can discover that figure, you shall be your own master, and I will make you a present of the whole world.” But he could not find it out.

“I am going now to warm lands,” said the Snow Queen. “I will just give them a coating of white, for that is as it ought to be; besides, it is good for the oranges and the grapes.” And then away she flew, and Kay sat quite alone in the empty halls of ice that were miles long, and looked at the blocks of ice, and thought and thought till his skull was almost cracked. There he sat quite benumbed and motionless; one would have imagined he was frozen to death.

Suddenly little Gerda stepped through the great portal into the palace. The gate was formed of cutting winds; but still the little maiden entered the vast, empty, cold halls. There she beheld Kay: she recognized him, flew to embrace him, and cried out, her arms firmly holding him the while, “Kay, sweet little Kay! Have I then found you at last?”

But he sat quite still, benumbed and cold. Then Gerda shed burning tears; and they fell on his bosom, they penetrated to his heart, and began to thaw the lumps of ice.

Hereupon Kay looked at her, “Gerda! Where have you been so long? And where have I been?” He looked round him. “How cold it is here!” said he. “How empty and cold!” And he held fast by Gerda, who wept.

But the Snow Queen might come back as soon as she liked. They took each other by the hand, and wandered forth, seeking a way out of the palace…

My preliminary thoughts on the design are posted HERE and HERE.

Plus, I just told Elizabeth: “I think, after finishing Geiger Counter, I will know how to write it; mapping out the rooms with cards and such. I could even make a big dungeon with rooms marked off and no description of what was in the rooms, like the World’s Blankest Dungeon. That kind of Prince of Persia-style play is totally something i’m capable of replicating. It’s like mixing Geiger Counter and Transantiago with the two-player stuff i’ve done.”