Chris Leigh
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Leighton Buzzard
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Hey guys,

I love these games and think its an underepresented niche. I have my theme (steampunk exploration of africa) and thought as a start to player interaction bidding on explorers with different skills would be a nice touch.

What else would you like to see in a story based game. Anything that promotes interaction is a big plus in my eyes, and anything reducing the total randomness of the story would be neato too

I'd love your opinions!
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Nate K
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I'm a big fan of customizable characters, or at least a wide selection of playable characters to choose from.

Also, in case anyone isn't familiar with the acronyms, Chris is talking about Tales of the Arabian Nights and Agents of SMERSH.
 
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Chris Leigh
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Leighton Buzzard
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I thought as it was an exploration game, you could have a bidding system on the explorers at the start, to customize your group and increase player interaction.
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Chris Leigh
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I know these sort of games are RPGesque but no I don't want to play a RPG. I want a narrative game like the ones mentioned above With no need for a DM and less in the way of the RPG number crunching and the like.
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Filip W.
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A dramatic arc.

That's the core of any storytelling, and the hardest thing to achieve through random encounters/effects.
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Benj Davis
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filwi wrote:
A dramatic arc.

That's the core of any storytelling, and the hardest thing to achieve through random encounters/effects.


That is the main downfall of Arabian Nights. With the Quests where you get another player to put down your Destinations, at least there's a sense that you're making progress. Not so with the ones that rely on luck. Which is a shame, because the things those quests ask you to do are pretty cool, just beyond your control.
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Chris Leigh
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I agree, I do think the lack of disjointed stories in Smersh made big strides in the area. The issue is if u have too focused a story then you lose replayability.

I think a solid quest mechanic might be a good idea. If you made it universal it might be a solution to the lack of interaction. You could be going to find soloman's mines or going to find livingstone, and it would be a choice to race there and get loads of points or just blip around finding amazing new wonders (like waterfalls and lakes) and get points that way.
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James Hutchings
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By "a story-based game", do you mean a game which uses Choose Your Own Adventure-style paragraphs?

If so, I don't know much about that type of game, but people seem to always complain about the lack of strategy and player interaction.
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Chris Leigh
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Yep those are the games I'm talking about.

The two biggest problems with these games are definitely a lack of player interaction, and a lack of a narrative arc.

The nature of a choose your own adventure style boardgame is that interaction will not be that strong.

My current thought to combat the lack of interaction are as follows:

At the start of the game there will be explorers with different skills. The players will have to pay out of their starting funds to acquire these characters. A player with them will have more favorable encounters but will have less resources of food, guns, wanawanga and askari to deal with the problems they might face.

Secondly, the quests will be open quests. Certain exploration tiles will be added to the different bags meaning that players can choose to skirt around the outer edges of africa, for safer and more numerous points or alternatively venture deep into the heart of africa in search of the big point locations.

Finally when you discover things they will only be worth points whilst the locations are the most "impressive" so if I find a 1000m waterfall, and another player finds a 1500m waterfall, mine will only be worth points if I get back to Europe to publish my findings before you!
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James Hutchings
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If you haven't already, I'd definitely look into 'keywords', as used in the Virtual Reality and Fabled Lands gamebooks series.
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