As long as it's in 2022, go right ahead!
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Thanks! Glad you dig the concept. It's been nice seeing some of the submissions start to push things a little bit further too.
Hopefully I can finish up the idea that I have for a two player version...
I can totally understand feeling a bit intimidated. I still do pretty regularly! But don't worry too much. Everyone in the TTRPG community that I've met or interacted with through Itch has been great and I'm happy to help answer questions or anything I can do!
One catch from a Reddit sub noted that I had goofed when rebalancing the difficulty.
I had intended to lower the needed Proof to 3, but another Redditor suggested gaining +1 Proof as well as +1 Danger when you roll a duplicate, which is probably more flavorful.
If you tackle this game, try it out and let me know which way you'd prefer and I'll get the PDF updated along with updated phrasing on the duplicate rolls if improved wording can be decided on.
If you want a free game to check the system out in action, I've launched Hard Case today. It takes the same basic engine and transports it to a noir mystery setting. It also tweaks the end conditions of the game and separates them while offering some rudimentary character creation and scenario setup. I think it's a great evolution of the system.
Grab Hard Case for free here.
And as always, I'm excited to see what advancements and tweaks you all make!
I had some questions elsewhere about how much of the existing system you must use in order to still qualify.
I'd like to clarify that I'm not being picky about that at all. If you want to do a game that keeps things bare bones as is and functions just like One White Eye, but tweaked to your own scenario, feel free. If you want to change things up and see what you could do with different dice or by adding some different moves, or seeing if you can twist this into some kind of one page OSR-lite, I'd love to see it.
By no means do you have to, but I would really love to see folks push the boundaries of what could be seen to be inspired by the Second Guess System. Honestly, the two new games that I'm tinkering around with to drop for the jam do so as well. One doubles up into a two page duet game, while the other I'm trying to tinker with adding some PBTA inspired moves. We'll see how they go and I welcome you all to get as creative as you like as well!
Hey all, I thought it would be fun to introduce ourselves a bit and chat some while we work on some projects. I'll go first!
Hi, I'm Will and I live in the Ozarks (Springfield, MO to be precise). I've been an analog gamer of some kind since about 7th grade when I picked up some Magic cards. Most of my gaming has been pretty well devoted to card gaming and in particular, A Game of Thrones, where I run a 450+ episode podcast.
That said, over the last 5 years or so, I've really found roleplaying games to be a more fulfilling venue for my own projects as opposed to trying to create my own card games or the like. Something about the conflux of mood and mechanics and making my own world seems to connect better with me. The ways that they interact and reinforce each other in really good games is fascinating to me. I suppose that might be how I end up with most games being at the very ends of the emotional spectrum from horror to despair to romance. Something about having that very defined goal and lining up mechanics to match it really appeals to me rather than the more generalized nature of something like D&D.
Anyway, that's probably enough about me for the moment. How about yourselves?
You might also notice on Itch that this is the first submission to my first attempt at hosting a Game Jam, the Working Through Some Stuff Jam. Now, I don't necessarily want to delve into all of the details, but I will say that I've been a very long time member of another gaming community (since 2002) which has been very near and dear to my heart. Sadly, that game lost official support and production earlier this year and then COVID hit, which hampered the ability of anyone to meet and play publicly. Then late this summer, the community elected organization to keep fan content churning collapsed in on itself. It's been a rough year for my hobbies.
That said, at one point earlier this fall, I started to realize that the collapse of an organized society could really be anything. It could be a hobby gaming community, it could be a parliamentary government, it could be the death throes of a monarchy. There are so many options that could be played with in different levels of scale and flavor, but that all really boiled down to the same types of human failures.
And of course, I became rather obsessed with Wretched and Alone about this same time.
So you can pretty quickly see how that realization and somewhat hopeless mindset plays very well with the near certain inevitability of collapse in Wretched & Alone. And thus, The Collapse was born.
I've been fascinated by the concept of solo tabletop games ever since the release of the Lord of the Rings LCG and my realization that a coop card game meant that it could be played solo as well. I had not followed the thought through to RPGs until more recent years, however, but among other things in 2020, I discovered Wretched and Alone and the many games based on it, English Eerie, 1000 Year Old Vampire, and more. And those concepts just wouldn't leave me.
So, while out running on Thursday evening, a nugget of an idea hit me. The name, One White Eye. Sometimes ideas hit you like that. A singular phrase or image, that you can't shake. This time it was both and the fixation on that one awful body part led me straight to Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell Tale Heart.
But why fixate on an eye in particular? If I wanted to use this idea for some type of game, then the player will need to do something to or have some relationship with the eye. Hearts of course, represent life, but what's the strongest connection for an eye? What do they do? They see. They watch. And so, I hit on the idea that the player was being watched.
From here, I needed a reason for the eye to be watching. And what's more, I needed a way to fixate solely on the eye and to not let the bearer gain too much focus, nor for the player to be able to leave the eye behind and no longer be tormented by it. Aha! The player must be imprisoned in some way. Which leads, naturally, to another Poe story, The Pit and the Pendulum.
Now with the heart of the setup established, I had only to craft a game system. This also came quickly with the realization that a game of such narrow scope really only needed to be a single page. Thus, the system would have to be short and tight as well. As mentioned, I've been researching a great deal of Wretched and Alone games over the past few months. It's a great system and setup. I only had to figure out how to strip it down in size as 52 prompts is a great deal to fit on that single page. I needed a smaller number, but still needed some random determination to change the flow of the game. And thus, a d20 with twenty prompts.
Of course, one of the best features of W&A using a deck of cards is that it eliminates the recurrence of the same prompt more than once. With a d20, this is a problem, unless you institute a reroll each time you get a number you had previously used. But a simple reroll felt narratively and mechanically flat. Where's the risk or reward in this game? How does it end?
Which lead straight to the idea that the game won't stop you from rolling the same numbers and prompts, but it will twist what happens. Everyone lies all the time. They lie to each other and the lie to themselves. What if each time you rolled a prompt over again you had to admit to something that you had lied about previously in that prompt? Surely someone imprisoned like this has been lying about something.
From there, we just add a quick d6 roll and an escalating tracker of your Dread which must be beaten or elsewise you succumb, and there you have it - a game!
After this, it was just a matter of writing it all down and working up a nice layout on Friday. I hope you all enjoy!