R&R Games is releasing a new strategy game in October called that features a unique action selection mechanic. In the game the town of Ulm is prospering, even as the construction of the cathedral is not yet finished, and people are looking to make their mark. You will do this during the game through card play, moving your barge farther down the Danube River, and gaining influence in the different areas of the city. When you can do these different actions is based on the action tile grid, which is a 3×3 grid of randomly seeded tiles with the different actions on them. On your turn you will take a tile and push one of the rows, and then the three tiles left in that row are the three actions you get to take. There are special rules for which rows you can or can’t push, but that is the crux of the action selection, knowing which way to push the tiles to get the actions you need. At the end, when the cathedral construction is complete, the player with the most points is the winner. Look for this game on store shelves and October, and then maybe you will be able to play a game about where you live.
Hundreds of novels could make fantastic video games, I think. Gene Wolfe’s enigmatic Shadow of the Torturer is always a treat. Altered Carbon’s cyberpunk noir city, where wealthy murder victims have their minds backed up on storage drives, could provide a wealth of great gameplay adventures.
Given the amount of years they’ve been around, it’s only natural that longtime video game characters would veer pretty far from their roots. Why limit Sonic and Mario to platformers when you can make even more Washingtons farming them out to puzzle and party games? Here is a list of some of the more bizarre scenarios that your old favorites starred in.
Thinking about adaptation as I’ve done here is always a fun academic exercise. For me, the real fun of it all is taking what’s there and trying to turn it into game mechanics. How does this story moment work? Can it be made into compelling gameplay? Sometimes, doing this has resulted in some pretty interesting gameplay ideas, some of which I’m hoping to implement in my own game within the next year or two.
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