Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Great Desert, History + updated!

The second game I made on the site is called the Great Desert, and I took the idea of extreme simplification of movement and location to an even greater extreme, by removing it altogether. You are just in a desert, and when you explore or wander, it just sees what you find, so there is the idea of moving from place to place, but no actual places to move around to like in a game based on a map or abstract map.

At the same time, I decided to see if I could take out themes of violence and replace them with very positive themes. In The Great Desert, you are going around trying to meditate to create tranquility, and making art from junk, in order to make the world better. So the struggle is you against the environment and the clock. I worried at first that it wouldn't be as engaging, but people have liked it very much over the years. It turns out that if you put a theme in the background and people like to play they game, they can just accept the theme easily.

Even though the game is fun, I have been updating it in the last 4 months, to add even more fun encounters and polish. Recently I added some new encounters: A sand barge and a burial ground. Lots of little things have changed too. One thing I really like is now when a 'fixed' encounter is coming up, a line of text appears, saying, "You have a feeling something interesting will happen in X years." Even though you might have known that if you had played before, having it stated explicitly adds drama and interest in the timeline in that small section.

Take a look at The Great Desert, or read about The Symbolism of Deserts.

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