I've been playing a lot of King of Dragon Pass lately. It's an excellent game, with resource management, exploration, combat, diplomacy; in short, everything I like to see in my large scale civilization building games. What I like most about the game however, are the series of semi-random events that happen every couple of turns. It is also, sometimes, what I like least, especially when the outcome also feels random (a fact I test with multiple playthroughs.)
Tabletop games and board games also make extensive use of randomness. In this case, it's usually dice rolling – often with modifiers - to determine outcomes; will my character succeed, how many spaces will I move, and so on. The difference between that and randomness in a video game, is that I effectively understand how I got to the current game state; I didn't roll the right number or pick the right card. There is ultimately a fine line between the thrill of random discovery or the tension of the long odds, and the merely arbitrary. That line becomes easier to cross when you hide, as do most video games, the mechanisms of chance behind the scenes.
I find no satisfaction in the arbitrary, or even the appearance of the arbitrary. Nocked has nearly no random elements (the exceptions which I hope you will find entertaining). Your choices and their consequences are entirely derivative; play the game exactly the same way twice, and you'll have exactly the same outcome (or nearly...see my comment above). The game is big, there's plenty of replayability without the vagaries of chance. Nocked gives you full control of the story. Use that power wisely.
The Continuing Adventures of Development Robin
Your choices will decide Robin's fate each week.
Results from last week's adventure:
Part 10 – The Domino falls.
Your diabolical plan goes off without a hitch. The masquerade ponies prance around the room, each of their masks containing a hidden mirror that flips open when they're petted. As all the ponies' mirrors are open due to Marian's love of the equine, light bounces off of hidden compartments set in the walls of the ballroom and cages fall from the ceiling on to Marian and the Sheriff.
You've captured both Marian and the Sheriff. What now?
- Kill Them
- Imprison Them
- Release them, for who are you without your enemies?
- Trade places, full of empathy for the Sheriff's difficulties in governing Nottingham.
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!
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, most weekdays @ManOfNottingham.