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.
I am essentially going to be working on this as a Solo play game. Developing the story is somewhat independent of the player count, because it is about writing the narrative, and putting it into a format that can be looked up in an individual way based on choices made by the Player. This could work fine for an individual or a small party, but it feels like a person alone on the Island, surviving by their own wits, makes a better story.
A multiplayer game could work in a number of ways. 2 players could wash up on the same beach. Then we have double the amount of exploration, the learned skills, items being created, and the amount of resources needed to survive. It would be easy enough to implement it, because the story would be the same, with a slight adjustment of numbers required for encounters. Using the deck might be a bit more interesting. Items could certainly be found and shared without any problems, but the use of Skill development would require some thought, if we wanted to keep that player specific. Maybe they play their own deck, or half deck? Items swapped back and forth as they want?
But if I was going to play a two Player game of “Shipwreck”, I would much rather have the two players wash up on two different beaches.
Hidden Movement … and everything else
It would be a lot more fun if two players started out with their own game. They were each developing their own story and they were oblivious to the existence of the other player. But I would want them to be truly oblivious. They couldn’t play on the same Maps, because they would then know where to go to find the other person to start teaming up. So they would have to be working on their own Maps, until they stumbled across each other. Or much more interestingly, when they start stumbling across evidence that they are each leaving behind. Is that evidence of the other player? Or someone (thing?) else that is on the Island? Would reaching out to make contact be teaming up with an ally, or alerting an enemy to your existence?
The tricky part is, how do we keep them separated from each other, but still let them inhabit the same Island, and interact when the time is right? A common set of Tables or Reference book? Tables and a book that are being filled out by the players as they explore and interact with the things they find on the Island? That sounds like a cool mechanic to expand the game out in the future. But first, we need to get the core game play right.