Archive for November, 2012

NaGaDeMon – Redesigning Previous Cookings

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment

This month marked the beginning of the National Game Design Month 2012. Not actually a game design contest per se, but more like an event where people plan, design, create and play games, supported by other people going through the same process. Since there are no rules or guidelines, I decided to go back to my first Game Chef -game Psykhotherapy, and redesign the game to better fit my original vision.

Main idea

The game is about people who are seeking help for their mental disorders. The characters enter a new form of therapy where they try to help each other to get over their problems by investigating the subconsciousness and trying to find reasons for the problems. During each session, one character is put into a deep, coma-like sleep where the other patients then enter. The Dreamer is the game master of the session, and the others try to understand the Dreamers subconsciousness: The Dark Mind.

Game mechanics

Originally Psykhotherapy had a d12 based mechanic where the characters Abilities were used to calculate the difficulty of success. It was a decent mechanism, but I am not certain if it serves the game and the themes well enough. I have recently been thinking about using a more direct approach, giving the players a resource to use for solving problems they cannot solve otherwise.

Being a group therapy-based game, the game needs to be structured as such. Each session starts and ends with a therapy session where the characters discuss about their problems and share information to each other. This information should be relevant to the characters illness and to the eventual visits to the Dark Mind.

To measure their progress, each character is given their own patient sheet to fill out. The sheet functions both as a character sheet and as a tool for preparing the character’s own Dark Mind. The sheet contains a few questions intended to help the player to create interesting and entertaining characters and their backgrounds.

What’s next?

Since the main idea and some of the mechanics are already written, I don’t have to spend that much time working on them. Instead, I am going to refine the idea and mechanics, and also rewrite all the (poorly written) text of the previous version.

I’ll update once again after I have done some progress.