Cherry Picking

Game design doesn't exist in a vacuum.  Neither do game designers, come to think of it; we enjoy all the pleasures of food, water, and air. But seriously, Nocked wouldn't be here without my experiences with great text and role-playing adventures of the past. Choose Your Own Adventure books are obviously the biggest influence on this genre, but I want to call out a couple recent games I've been playing, and their impact on Nocked's development: Dragon Age: Inquisition , and Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt .

I was very impressed with Dragon Age 's map room, and the mini-quests you could accomplish by sending someone else out with a task (in exchange for the nebulous power  resource). In Witcher , I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the investigative tracking of the Witcher contracts. With those systems in mind, I decided to create similar experiences in Nocked (subject, naturally, to the technical limitations of a predominately text based game).

Once you're settled in Sherwood, you can spend Grace to influence regional events without leaving the comfort of your own home. And that empty space that always wanted for something in early tests? It's now full of hunting, tracking, and the interesting choices that information can give you. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so if you haven't done so - give Dragon Age and Witcher a whirl while waiting for Nocked to come out. You won't be disappointed.

The Saga of Marian and the Sheriff continues... 

Return to the castle, or descend into the depths...

Marian takes the stairs down.

A Curious Crossroads:

The stairs descend, deep beneath the earth, ending at a circular stone room. An atrium, or a temple, holding a single pool of water and three other exits. I expected a sequence of structures, history wrapped in stone. This, this is different.

To my left is the stout lintel of a Viking longhouse, the flicker of torches in the smell of roast meat intimated beyond its darkened doorway.

To my right, a passageway flanked by the heavy, carved standing stones of the Celtic druids. I can almost feel the first rays of dawn stretching around the corner, and smell the tang of fresh blood in the air.

Across, around the pool, are heavy wooden doors and carved, fluted columns in the Roman style. I listen for the trickle their courtyard fountains, and imagine my feet across their smooth, patterned mosaics.

The pool shimmers with a moonlight that cannot reach beneath the earth, but this is no ordinary crossroads. I heft the sword of the wolf swallowing the moon, and consider my options.

  1. I take the Viking path.
  2. I take the Celtic path.
  3. I take the Roman path.
  4. I turn back and climb the stairs to Nottingham proper.
  5. I step into the pool.

Marian's decision at this juncture has been made. To continue her adventures, check out the latest dev blog and vote on her current actions. Read the entire adventure starting July 26th.

The edge of a very different forest, work-in-progress, 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. Be sure to check out the butler's take on the Sheriff of Nottingham, occasionally updated @ManOfNottingham, and mention us in your tweets with #whosyourrobin.