FARSIGHT GAMES

Monday, 26 February 2018

The ODDS System - Time and game design

Has it really been almost 9 years since I created the 'Those Dark Places' RPG playtest document? There are times when I find certain design documents and I think that it's something I put on hold for a short while, but then I see the date on it and I'm shocked by how much time has actually passed.

The ODDS System back then was still a single die, a D20, but it was a little flat and stretched out as I tried to drag as much as I could out of it to make it a fully-fledged and detailed game. The document went out and I had a little feedback on it, but it never really amounted to much and my feeling was that there was no need for another RPG on the market. I also thought that my chosen genre - the dark sci-fi of the 1970s and 1980s such as Alien and Outland - was, perhaps, a little too niche and the dark, grimy and industrial future was a stark contrast to the bright and shiny i-future we were actually in. I didn't think people would go for it.

But, as the computer game ALIEN: Isolation proved to me, that wasn't the case. It could work, and that genre had an audience.

Now that I've created a new version of the system, and it's a lot simpler and allows for much more freeform gaming, there's a whole lot more I can do with it. The new version of ODDS as featured in 'To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!' (see the free download image in the right-hand column) is quick and simple, and the extra rules in the free adventures add options for much more action-orientated games. It was designed specifically for pulp adventures.

My next project for ODDS is a game light years away from that golden age of derring-do. I think 'Those Dark Places' is a good enough title for it and it'd be interesting to try and incorporate some of the themes I was trying to emulate in the original game. I'll have to create art for it, though, and spend more time in laying it out so this will be a totally different beast to my free game.