Monday, April 9, 2012

Story Realms Weekly Update, April 9-15th

Hello everyone! 

A few weeks ago we announced our new game design studio, Escapade Games, and our big exciting project Story Realms. Today we’d like to tell you a little more about what we’re up to, and give some inside information about the design and development process for Story Realms. 

 Story Realms is a family-friendly heroic adventure game. In Story Realms, the goal is to work together to tell a great story. One person takes on the role of the Storyteller and uses the tools we’ve provided to run a fun and exciting adventure for the players. The players take on unique characters and get to decide how they will tackle problems, solve puzzles, and work together to accomplish heroic goals. Players are able to use their imagination and come up with clever ideas and flavorful actions while the Storyteller has all of the game mechanics and tools to make sure the adventures are smooth, exciting, and most of all fun. Each adventure is a complete story that takes about an hour to play, and we’re working on a really awesome series of linked adventures that will serve as a great introduction to the world of Story Realms. 

Our girls playing Story Realms in an early playtest
We’ve been working on designing and developing Story Realms for almost a year, and it’s been really great to see our ideas and hard work paying off. The current game rules and mechanics really help facilitate epic and imaginitive storytelling.  Playtesting has been overwhelmingly successful so far.  People love playing Story Realms, and that has been the biggest continuing motivator for us. We brought out the game at Gamestorm in Vancouver, Washington a few weeks ago, and had a blast playing with a bunch of new people. We also learned a ton of useful information from those playtests, and we think the game is getting better and better all the time.

Julian leading a group of eager players at Gamestorm!
As you may know, we’ve got a publishing agreement in place with Game Salute, and we’re excited to say Story Realms will be available to preorder in coming months. Since we have never brought a game to market before, we’re learning so much about the pre-production and development aspects of game design. After spending the last two weeks up to our elbows in art descriptions, I have a whole new appreciation for game designers and publishers! We want this game to be beautiful, and there’s a lot of steps to take an idea in your head and turn it into something tangible. There are so many little details to consider, and going from a game that plays well with friends and family to a game with quality components, clear written rules, and wide market appeal is a big undertaking! 

The best part of all this has been seeing how people react to their first experience playing Story Realms. This game is great at generating fun and dynamic stories, and we LOVE hearing what the players decide to do. At Gamestorm I was a little worried I’d get bored sitting and watching new players play the same adventure over and over, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Although the challenges were the same, each group brought the story to life in unique and special ways. We’ve seen the most innovative and creative solutions to problems, listened to players come up with elaborate plans and watched them use game elements in ways we never considered.  We have also been incredibly pleased that all of these zany, outrageous ideas have never resulted in any “broken” game mechanics or balance issues.

As a matter of fact, our experiences at Gamestorm have resulted in a new design goal: “more Delicious Pie!” In Story Realms players each have an adventuring kit with different usable items, and one we saw used in every game session in dramatic and interesting ways was the Delicious Pie from the Fancy Pants adventuring kit. Whenever the Delicious Pie came out, laughs or excitement were sure to follow… so we’ve been working hard to incorporate more creative items into every adventuring kit to ensure that these  awesome moments come up regularly. We WANT players asking “What can I do with this??” and generating fun ideas. The best stories are those in which the players feel like they each contribute in meaningful and special ways, and we really believe Story Realms delivers on that experience.

Although designed with kids and families in mind, grownups like Story Realms too! These guys rode unicorns into battle alongside a group of fairies. And yes, Delicious Pie was an important part of their epic battle plan!
 We are planning to attend Just a Game Con in Corvallis Oregon on April 21st and 22nd, so if you are in the area and would like to try out Story Realms (or just want to say hi!), feel free to join us at the convention! We’re going to see if we can get a few game sessions on the official schedule, and we’d be happy to run it at other times throughout the day as well.  

That’s all for this update. We’re going to post a weekly update on the blog every Monday from here on out, and we’re happy to answer any questions you might have about Story Realms. Drop us a line at escapadegames@gmail.com or leave a message in the comments!   Also, don't forget to check out and enter our ongoing contest! You can win a free game just for playing, you don't have to know them all!!!

3 comments:

  1. Story Realms looks very interesting! Can't wait to try it out myself!

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