Cake in the Forest

Not quite as exciting as cake by the ocean, but cake has been on my mind – and in my belly – a lot, lately. My favorite recent cake is the Smith Island cake, a local specialty composed of upwards of 12 layers of cake and frosting. Those layers are usually the same, chocolate and yellow cake. But what if they were different? What if there was a repeating sequence of different cakes and frostings, all blended into an epic ganache at the top? Naturally, this is just a clever segue for me to talk about the concept of layered game mechanics.

I've made mention of a variety of different subsystems in Nocked; there's resource management, base building, tracking, romance, and more. What I haven't mentioned is how the game gradually introduces you to each system. Unlike, say, a boardgame or a card game, where you need to know the rules upfront, the video game format allows me to increase the game's complexity as you learn and master the different systems. For example, in the opening scene, we begin with the basic premise of interactive fiction. A few choices in, and you start getting rewarded for your actions, accumulating resources. Towards the end of that scene, you have the opportunity to spend some of those resources, exchanging them for a story benefit. And just like that, we come full circle through the first layer of the game's mechanics – you control the story progression, the story rewards you with resources, and resources can be spent to unlock more story.

There's no manual for Nocked (though a help screen and tooltips are there just in case). The game is designed as an intuitive, accessible experience. We all lead busy lives; why spend time learning the game when you can just live it? And cake. Don't forget the cake.

The Continuing Adventures of Development Robin

Last Week...we didn't get enough votes to progress! Help Robin make up his mind and vote for this crucial action! Alright, one more time, here it is...

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?

  1. Kill Them
  2. Imprison Them
  3. Release them, for who are you without your enemies?
  4. 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!

An early cavern view, 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, occasionally updated @ManOfNottingham.