“Kathi Marries Markus”: New Game Project Revealed

Last week I finally married the mother of my two children, Kathi. Over the preparations for the wedding ceremony, we start joking about an (im)possible game that retells the various anecdotes that constitute our relationship. While we first thought that this can only be entertaining to people close to us, like our friends and family, we soon realized that the underlying themes are pretty universal and that getting-to-know-each-other-stories are something almost anybody can relate too. A new game was born. Well maybe not yet born, but say conceived. Ideally, I wanted to put out a playable prototype before the wedding to entertain our wedding guests. At that point it already was only a couple of week before the ceremony and still so much to do that was not designing/programming games. Therefore, I was trying to find a very simple game mechanical structure with a strong aim at narrative. I found this base game play in an indy piece called Ernesto. Indy impressions covered this early flash-based prototype of it a while ago, and Argentina based developer Daniel Benmergui (of Storyteller fame) is currently working on a revised and marketable version of it. (Skip this if you looked Ernesto up.) The game presents you with a randomly generated grid of event tiles and it is the players task to find the optimal way (or at least a way that does not kill you) through this grid. Each event influence character stats: gain money, loose health, etc. This minimal version of an RPG is very accessible and since each event conveys a piece of a random story, it allows me to realize various themes and tropes of a game story idea by creating event/tile types. This makes it also easily extendable (think episodes or DLC). In a first, I replaced the typical RPG fantasy/medival/magic like mechanics with once that fit the relationship/marriage theme and create a few dozens events that allow you to replay my (or your) relationships. You know date, overcome inevitable fights, increase your love and manage the various aspects of regular live to roller-coaster though thick and thin with your spouse. Expect a first gameplay video and more screenshots soon.

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