For Love of the Game

"If you’d be willing to make a little donation, for love of the game, I’ll be sure to pour the winnings straight back into our coffers." - Much the Miller's Son

There are many types of games out there, each of which challenges our capabilities – dexterity, strategic thinking, improvisation, puzzle solving. My very favorite games are tabletop role-playing games, because they challenge my imagination. The absolute freedom to approach a problem or a story with no limitations beyond my own imaginings harkens back to the days of crashing toy dinosaurs through a wall of monster trucks and plastic Vikings in my basement. Start playing with a friend though, and compromises emerge. Of course Vikings beat dinosaurs because they have axes, and axes are cool. But if the dinosaurs build a time machine, they come back with laser rifles and the Vikings don’t stand a chance.

As we get older and more game-savvy, we add more rules to those games of imagination. In the name of fairness, interest, or curiosity, we make things more complicated – in some ways, a reflection of our lives. But whether it’s dinosaurs versus Vikings or a table of friends playing Dungeons & Dragons with a full set of polyhedral dice and 600 pages of rules, the end goal is to collaborate on a story.

Nocked does a lot of things – there’s puzzle solving and exploration, resource management and settlement building – but at its heart Nocked is my attempt to collaborate with you, the player, on the story of Robin Hood. With the ongoing discussions of game mechanics and art development and whether the text should have a thirteen or fourteen pixel buffer, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that Nocked is a role-playing game.

I can’t be there at the other end of the table to adjudicate how dinosaurs fire laser rifles without opposable thumbs, but I’ve put as much thought and effort into the options that you’ll encounter – nearly 6,000 of them – that I hope to be up to the challenge of your imagination. What will you make of Robin Hood? I can’t wait to find out.

The Continuing Adventures of Development Robin

Your choices will decide Robin's fate each week.

Results from last week's adventure:

Backwards Day

Robin Increases Village Patrols

Part 6 - Reckoning

Thanks to your additional patrols, the villages surrounding Sherwood are safe and secure, and you are beloved by the people. Unfortunately, the Sheriff and his band of outlaws strike mercilessly at the caravans traveling through the forest. Trade slows, your coffers empty, and without pay your remaining guardsmen begin searching for other work. You need to refill your coffers before no one’s left.

From Bad to Worse

  1. There’s no helping it. I raise the taxes.
  2. I don’t need to be living in this castle. I subdivide it into condominiums and sell it off to the rising middle class.
  3. I hold a bake sale and archery tournament to raise money.
  4. Dragons have money. I go dragon hunting.

The Adventures of Development Robin are complete. Follow the story in subsequent blogs, or read the most recent blog to take part in our new adventure, Marian and the Sheriff, beginning July 26th!

The Bounds of Sherwood by Amanda Spaid

This is the Nocked! True Tales of Robin Hood development blog. Every week I’ll discuss some aspect of the game’s development, show off some art, and give you the opportunity to create an entirely new Robin Hood story. And be sure to check out the butler's take on the Sheriff of Nottingham, every weekday @ManOfNottingham.