Archive for the 'Super Suit' Category

[Simon’s Quest] Super Suit: The Landing Site

2011 Jun 6

Hey Simon! Here’s the landing site map that I whipped up. I may end up drawing most of the maps digitally, but I wanted to at least sketch out the first one by hand.

Off to the bottom left, off of the map, is the dusty landing strip where your ship touched and you rolled forward to rest at the base of this mesa that shelters the Camp II dig site. We didn’t talk about your ship yet, so I didn’t draw it on the map. You wanna tell me about that first and then we’ll get to exploring the landing site?

[Simon’s Quest] Super Suit: Post-Daydreaming

2011 Jun 5

Hi Simon! So this isn’t in the rules yet, but this is what I’m going to suggest we do now.

All that stuff you rolled up? It doesn’t matter now. That stuff served to get us on the same page and inspire our daydreams about the game. From here on out, we don’t look at it anymore, okay? That was just the initial brainstorming, not anything that’s set in stone in the fiction. If some of it caught our imagination, we remember it (without looking back!), and we want to preserve it, that’s great. But the stuff that we don’t remember anymore obviously wasn’t that critical in the first place. And we’re free to invent whatever new details we like to paper over any holes that exist.

BUT! From now on, everything (well, most everything) we say happens in the game, just like that.

Now, having generated some material and daydreamed about it, let’s nail down the premise (in the normal English sense) of the game by doing this:

1. First, you tell me about Joney: who she is and what’s her deal. We don’t need a lot of detail, just the kind of stuff that would show up as scrolling text in the beginning of one of these games.

2. Then, I tell you about this alien world and illustrate a map of Joney’s landing site.

3. Next, you tell me why you’re on this planet (your mission) and what your super suit looks like when you step out of your ship.

4. Finally, you walk me through Joney’s initial recon of her landing site and I tell you what signs (clues) she finds there, before she heads deeper in.

How’s that?

[Simon’s Quest] Super Suit: Press Start

2011 Jun 3

Simon Carryer and I are going to try out playing a 2-player version of Super Suit right here on this blog. He’s going to play the protagonist and I’m going to be the alien world plagued by the deep horrors.

Hi Simon! Here’s the first few pages of rules as they currently stand. They ask you to randomly roll or pick options off various lists, filling in the details about your character, her background, her mission, the planet she’s on, and the deep horrors. Here’s my thoughts on rolling vs. choosing, which haven’t yet been included in the rules yet (but probably will). When one of the options calls out to you or especially excites you, pick it. When you like a number of different options, have questions about them, or aren’t sure, roll the dice. These basic suggestions will apply throughout the game, I think.

So follow these instructions, maybe one 2-page spread at a time, and let me know what you’re thinking in the comments, plus whether you’ve rolled your options or picked them. Even though I’m playing the planet full of horrors, I’m going to be opinionated and offer suggestions, especially on the stuff that I’m going to be responsible for (like the planet and horrors, but also your mission), because I feel like there should be some give-and-take in this stuff when playing 2-player (even though, yeah, that isn’t suggested by the current rules either). So also let me know where you’re unsure or flexible with your choices and where you’re more certain.

There’s a working example of the intro stuff at the end of this batch of pages, in case that helps.

Super Suit: More Fun Tables

2011 May 11

Brave New World: Roll or pick what strange type of planet you’ve landed on. If you end up going to another planet, come back and roll or pick again.

  1. a world left abandoned due to an accident, plague, or other mysterious disaster
  2. a strangely undiscovered planetoid, not on any maps, perhaps cloaked, obscured, or kept secret
  3. a cluster of rocks, asteroids, space debris, wreckage, strewn all about in a planet-sized area
  4. a comet, meteor, rogue moon, or other thing drifting or hurtling through space
  5. a gaseous or liquid planet, with some more solid elements for landing ships on
  6. a binary pairs of worlds, orbiting each other, each markedly different

Hostile Terrain: Roll or pick the terrain at your initial landing site. When you enter a new area, feel free to roll or pick another type of terrain, either replacing your original type or intermixing with it.

  1. caverns (natural or alien/horror/human-made)
  2. facility (military, research, industrial, science)
  3. ruins (temples, tombs, monuments, lost cities)
  4. vessel (ship, space station, in space, landed, or crashed, inhabited or apparently empty)
  5. landscape (jungle, desert, fungal forest, underwater, lava tubes, icy crags, utter darkness)
  6. urban (make-shift colony, factory complex, megacorp spacescraper, the sprawl)

Initial Clues: Roll or pick any number of initial clues about your mission that you stumble upon in your landing site. When you acquire additional clues, come back and roll or pick from these.

  1. traces of someone or something you’re looking for, whether it’s a person, object, enemy, way off the planet, etc.
  2. signs of the deep horrors and their origin (what got broken, how it got broke, who’s responsible)
  3. a distress signal or cry for help
  4. something from your own past, triggering memories which you may or may not fully understand
  5. hints at a larger mystery (what’s this doing here? what was being done here? how was this accomplished? who did this?)
  6. you are sent (or your ship or suit automatically displays) secrets orders or additional information from a higher authority

Super Suit: The Deep Horrors

2011 May 10

Human existence is full of horrors, large and small. The deep horrors are different. They come from out of space to devour and corrupt because there is something fundamentally broken, something that gives rise to their abomination.

Roll twice or pick what’s broken:

  1. Death: The gates holding back the souls of the departed have been smashed. Where the deep horrors hold fast, the graves give up their dead, ghosts and ghouls roam free, and the dead feed on the living.
  2. Science: Mankind’s ambitions have transgressed beyond the boundaries of their ability. Their vat-grown experiments rebel against them, their monsters and mutants, their cyborgs and robots, their plague-ridden test subjects stretch out their cold fingers for human throats.
  3. Nature: The deep horrors are a mockery of the natural world, but of those aspects most alien to humanity: insects, plants, deep ocean dwellers, or simple organisms. They grow unchecked and fertile, like algae, like coral, like a nest of eggs about to hatch. They are full of legs and teeth, but have only blind sightless eyes.
  4. The Dark Mirror: On the other side there is a world like ours but twisted and cloaked in shadow. But the mirror is now broken and its nightmares have broken through into ours, taking our places, carrying out a carefully orchestrated plan, leading us all to ruin.
  5. History: The deep horrors hail from the distant past or far future, way beyond human reckoning. They dwell in ancient ruins where technology is advanced beyond magic. They seize this broken history and turn it inward upon itself until everything is predestined to spiral towards doom.
  6. Love: The normal bonds of kindness, nurturing, and loyalty have been broken, most likely by mankind. Mothers and children abandon each other. Creators betray their creations or leave them alone to face a cruel world.

When you beat a terror lord and enter a new region of the planet, you can choose to cross out one of the things you’ve rolled here and roll or pick another one. The brokenness has taken on new forms.

Super Suit: Another Cover Attempt

2011 May 8

Super Suit: Fixing XP and Difficulty

2011 Feb 8

While walking the dog this morning, I figured out how to fix the part of Super Suit that still vex me.

First, there’s no XP to spend or list of different “events” (upgrades, bosses, etc.) that you have to trigger in order. Instead, there’s just a list of things that can happen, like the MC moves in Apocalypse World.

Stuff like:
– You find a missile upgrade.
– You reach the boss chamber.
– You find an elevator, taking you deeper.

After all, the whole point of the game, really, is to use your creativity to create a really badass Metroid-style map and explore it, with the game providing enough structure to help you do that. So, basically, when you create the next room, you should just pick (or randomly roll) options off a list that make sense based on the pacing you have in mind. If you want things to get harder, then make them harder. If you think the boss should come up soon, then decide to have it come up soon.

The other thing is that the player should stop and generate the horrors’ stats by using her “foe tracker” or “xenographic analyzer” or something. So when you generate a horror, you add it to the database of enemies that you gradually build up over the course of the game. You can then choose to add another copy of a previously encountered horror to the map, rather that generating new ones each time. And it gives some logic to the idea that you stop and think about the horror before fighting it, since you’re recording its data in your log. And when you stop to generate the enemy, you can decide how difficult you want to make it, based on pacing decisions.

Perhaps, over time, it’ll become clear what the best pacing and difficulty practices are, but it’s really hard to know what they’ll be without me and some other players playing the game extensively, just based on our own “internal clocks” about what should come next. Then, perhaps we can distill those best practices into rules or XP or whatever, but that’s not really necessary for the alpha draft.

Super Suit: Suit Upgrade!

2011 Jan 31

A while back I contacted 8-bit artist extraordinaire Francisco “Metaru” Cifuentes about doing a cover image for Super Suit, so I wouldn’t have any copyright trouble due to the pixelated Samus image that I’m currently using. He had a few other projects going on and couldn’t get to it right away, but he just sent me this badass suit illustration. I’m going to have to readjust the title bar and cover layout slightly, but, man, I really dig Francisco’s super suit. Nice!

Super Suit: Spreads 6-10

2011 Jan 16

Man, this game and its layout keeps pouring out of me. It’s really too bad I have other things to do on this three-day weekend, or I could have a completely finished alpha draft done by Tuesday. As it is, it’s going to be very functional pretty soon, just without fully developed examples.

Super Suit: Spreads 1-5

2011 Jan 16

I’m having so much fun doing layout for this game that I had to share, and will try to keep updating this as I go. Hopefully, I’ll have a revised and mostly finished PDF (aside from the colored-and-lettered example pages) by the end of this 3-day weekend.