This is a post about the design and development of a currently unnamed Shipwreck Game. You can see the other Blog posts at the Index for the Game.
An important part of most Legacy games, is the evolution of the game rules as the campaign develops. Often stickers are revealed, which can be used to fill blank spaces in the rule book, or even cover over old rules entirely. The alteration of a rule book is fun, and whilst I don’t think my Shipwreck game will change rules in the middle of play, changing the information in the look-up Tables would offer some interesting interaction.
In a Make as You Play game, there are two ways to accomplish this. The first is to supply completely new tables when something changes. I had considered doing something like this when the player “triggered” one of the Legacy Scenarios.
“Until instructed otherwise, use the Tables found on Pages 10 through 16 for all Terrain Features.”
This would enable me to introduce all the new information for “Find the Pirates Buried Treasure” scenario, for example, in one swoop. However, this would cause problems with the generic skills and items, which would also exist on the same tables. If we go with the plan of crossing them off after they get looked up, we would lose where we are if we started to use a different set of tables. Therefore we need to keep using the same tables all Campaign, which bought me to the obvious conclusion for a MaYP … we need to make the Tables as we play.
At the start of a new Campaign, the Terrain Feature tables could be mostly blank, with, at the minimum, a different entry for the 6 possible draws for the beach space where you begin the game. With 6 different things to be found on the beach, there are plenty of different ways the stories can unfold.
47. “The beach is covered with small shells, broken coral and small pebbles. Part of a SAIL stirs in the low breeze at the waters edge, whilst a trailing length of ROPE meanders in the waves. You roll them up and carry them to the closest tree for safe keeping.
Add numbers 22 & 71 to any two different spaces in the Forest table, in Hex _5 or _6.
Add numbers 19 & 35 to any two different spaces in the Grassland table, in Hex _5 or _6.
The variability of the player choosing where to add the entry numbers in each table, will further customise the game. These entries would be a combination of specific encounters that utilise the Items found on the beach, and generic encounters, added to make it less obvious which options the player should choose. Maybe there should be more entries prefilled in the game, so the Player is not having to write almost all of them in. I am not sure where the line is, between being fun and being annoying. Play testing will tell.
It also seems to me there should just be look up tables for each terrain type, that are not further split by Hex number. 5 tables that have a lot of entries in them, accessible from anywhere, seems simpler, with a greater chance of them all being encountered, than a few specific entries, at each type of terrain, at each group of Hexes. Will adjust that in the Rules Document.