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Devlog: In Memoriam

A topic by aliengeometries created Jan 05, 2018 Views: 528 Replies: 25
Viewing posts 1 to 17
Submitted (1 edit) (+2)

Hi there! I'm Innes and this is my devlog!

!!! HEADS UP: as this is a game about ghosts, there will be discussion of death (no pictures of gore or corpses, I promise), so if that is a problem for you, please read no further.

The concept:

You are a ghost, and you know a few things about yourself. All the other players are also ghosts. Each ghost is trying to fulfill a dying wish (getting revenge on someone who wronged them, learning how they died, etc.). Once a ghost fulfills their dying wish, they move on to the afterlife. Your goal is to NOT be the last ghost left in the land of the living.

The platform:

In Memoriam is being created with 100% physical assets -- that is, pen and paper. The submitted game, and any future versions, will be available as a print-and-play PDF. While I'm reluctant to start immediately labeling it, it's closest in concept to a tabletop RPG, where you take on the role of a character and act out their adventures. If dice are involved, they'll be math-light. There will be character sheets.

It is not:

  • a board game
  • a card game
  • a video game

It shares some DNA with games Powered by the Apocalypse; look there for a better idea of how this game may operate.

The goals:

  • a character creation system with stats that impact gameplay
  • a combat/conflict system that takes advantage of those stats

These two goals are connected, so I'll be working on them in tandem at times.

Feel free to ask me questions or check out my Trello!

EDIT: clarified the "platform" section, as not everyone is familiar with how tabletop games operate.

Popping in to say i'm Super Stoked to see how this will turn out, it sounds really cool!


Good luck with the jam, the game sounds very promising. It's nice to see a project which isn't a video game! :D

This is super exciting, I'll totally bring this up to my tabletop buds! Good luck!


I agree with the rest, I am real excited to see where this is going!


love ghost stories, so I'm  very excited to hear about this. Good luck in the jam! I'd love to be able to play this game when it's done!


Jan. 5, 2018

Aw, y'all are sweet.

Today I got some of the basics down for the character sheet -- I'm using playbooks, but this is only intended to be a single-session game, so the term doesn't feel like it fits when they're just half a page.

The final version will be in pen, but pencil works for now.

Stats I have in mind (may be renamed):

  • Knowledge of life: this can only go up, as there's no way in-game to get amnesia once you become a ghost.
  • Stealthy/Interactive: These are opposed to each other; as you become more stealthy, it's harder to interact with the world, and vice versa.
  • Spooky/Friendly: How much you scare people vs. your ability to communicate.
  • Progress to goal: This needs some tweaking, but the thought is that when your progress gets all the way to the end, you've fulfilled your dying wish. It'll take different forms for the different playbooks.

My thought is that there will be four playbooks for the jam version, differentiated by their dying wish (again, may be renamed):

  • The Vengeful: Someone wronged you in life, and you want to make sure they suffer for it. The person who wronged you may be your murderer; I'm still working that out. You win by scaring the person out of their skin.
  • The Shadow: You don't remember who you used to be. You win by learning your true identity.
  • The Victim: You remember a lot about your life... except how you died, and you really need to find out. You win by learning your cause of death and whether it was murder or an accident.
  • The Lover: You have someone you need to take care of in the land of the living, and not in the way the Vengeful might! You win by ensuring your loved one knows you're at peace.

Now, these goals don't have much in common with each other. How is anyone supposed to progress?

Here's how: everyone also plays a side role for another player, and those interactions facilitate progress. There may also be opportunities to progress by interacting with other ghosts; who's to say at this point.

I'm with everyone else as super excited to see a pen-and-paper game among the offerings here. I'm curious about your plans for 'winning', since that's not a word I hear often when talking about PbtA-style/rules-light PnP games: does one player winning end the game, or can multiple players (or none of them) win?


Everyone but one person wins! In theory. It might end up being coop or having a coop mode.

Ohhhhhh this is promising! Love to see a non-videogame game in the jam, I just wish I had thought of it first, haha- it'll be interesting to see how you plan on balancing the systems together. 


Hey, if you do one, I won't think you're copying! :P It's mentioned in the FAQ, I believe.

...and yeah, it'll be interesting to see how I balance the systems for me, too.


Jan. 6, 2018

No pictures today; I woke up exhausted and most of the work I get done before bed will probably be doodling art assets later.

To make something clear, when I talk about "winning" in this game, it's mostly shorthand? I mean, in the "competitive" version of the game, 3/4 of the players are going to "win" equally. I mean, they achieve the condition that removes their character from the game in a positive way story-wise... but that's a bit unwieldy. I want "losing" to be less about competition and more about character development. Being a ghost is hard, and it's not always happy.

In the meantime, more about the side roles:

  • The Target: The Vengeful's counterpart, the object of said vengeance. They counter the Vengeful by trying to protect themself from harm in some way (salt circles, leaving the country, obliviousness, what have you).
  • The Investigator: The Victim's counterpart, the person investigating their death. They are on the side of the Victim, but are thwarted by circumstance (they're a forensic expert and all the evidence is circumstantial, they're a child and nobody believes their testimony, etc.).
  • The Lost Love: The Lover's counterpart, the person who needs security/protection. They are beset by some threat (foreclosure of a house, someone won't leave them alone, nightmares about the Lover's death, whatever). Their relationship to the Lover need not be romantic; "love" is used here to mean "caring" rather than a strict romantic sense. They could be a child, parent, significant other, close friend, etc.
  • The Memento: The Shadow's counterpart, the key to the Shadow's memories. The Memento need not be a person, but it must be something animate (be it a person, a dog, a robot, a particularly unpredictable toy...) so that it can interact with its surroundings in a way directed by its player.

I am not a game designer (if that wasn't immediately obvious), so questions, feedback, and whatnot are appreciated.


Jan. 7, 2018

I drew a little and organized my Trello. That's about it. I've been sick.


I totally feel you about being sick. My head's been congested for about a week and it's making motivating myself to keep working pretty difficult. I do have a question: I'm not very familiar with Powered By the Apocalypse games, or many tabletop games in general (though I wish I was); would this game have a GM controlling the action? I've been assuming that's standard for tabletop, but I'm not actually sure.


Some PbtA games do and some don't, so it's a good question! GM PbtA works pretty much how you'd think, generally, but I'll be doing GMless. Avery Alder has some good (free!) examples of GMless PbtA in the form of Perfect, Unrevised and Dream Askew. (The PDFs credit her by a different name; she's since changed it.) 

The Law players from PU and the Psychic Maelstrom/Society Intact/etc from DA resemble the Lost Love/Memento/etc I have in mind.

Note that these games are not exactly like mine is going to be, lol!


I hope you get feeling better soon. Being sick is no fun, specially when you are in a game jam! :-(




Jan. 8, 2018


This is most of what I got done today; I'm still sick. But it's something!


I think it looks good




Jan. 10, 2018

Welp, being sick got to me more than I thought it was going to; I've spent a lot of time on the couch, not so much working on the game. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling better.


ohhhh this is a really neat concept. we always get one or two analog games per jam and they're always very unique--this is no exception! i'm really interested in some of these character traits--i thought the stealthy/interactive dichotomy was very interesting. i think your discussion of the game's win state and the player goals is very interesting. i think with a premise like this there's a lot of potential for role-playing and narrative, and i feel like emphasizing that over win states is a great way to embrace the tabletop format of the game. i think getting your players engaged in a narrative makes for fun table-top game interactions. really cool stuff!


Thanks! I don't know how much of this I'm going to be able to do by the deadline since I lost several days, but I like what I've got so far!


Jan. 13, 2018

So I was sick, as said previously. I then spent a good part of yesterday recovering from some UNRELATED stuff, whoops, but GUESS WHO FINALLY GOT SOME WORK DONE AGAIN THIS MORNING. (Me.)

I've written up part of a draft of the rulebook (very final, I know). But hey, it's something! Now I have things written down that I did not previously.

It's looking like what I publish for the jam is going to be incomplete, and if that's the case, I will be updating it after the jam ends to get it into a playable (or, dare I dream, polished) state. Y'all can follow me or add In Memoriam to a collection once it's up if you want to see my after-jam edits; I might announce it on the Discord as well.


Jan. 19, 2018

Well, in a very convenient turn of events, after losing most of the time to sick days, my scanner is broken. There goes my "all physical assets" plan. I'll type up what I have for the rules as a .TXT because if I try to make it anything else I'll overthink the presentation and upload that. Again, I will be finishing this, just not in the span of the game jam.


Jan. 20, 2018

IT'S POSTED. It's missing a good deal of content. But it is up there. Little victories.