The last six months I’ve been pretty engrossed in Story Synth design. I’ve had a lot of fun with it so far and will continue adding new features and making new games with, but I’m starting to think about some off-platform games, too.

One idea I keep returning to is the riffing on the giant quest logs that accumulate in games like Skyrim or Fallout – where the hero picks up tons and tons of side quests and objectives that get tracked and plotted across the map.

I think there’s probably a fun game that involves building out a giant log of quests and using it as a way to worldbuilding on a map. There’d probably be one overarching quest but a big part of play is coming up the side quests:

  • Prerequisites for completing the main quest
  • Quests that relate to your traveling companions
  • Quests given by random townsfolk or factions

I’m not sure the best platform for this game. If could work well in Airtable, where it’s easy to track quests, factions, and locations. It also might work well in a tool like Notion or Roam. One big question is how much a visual map would play a role. I think it’d be fun to have a map scattered with icons but that adds a bit of complexity to the project rather than it being purely text based.

A different direction (though a compatible one) might have an emphasis on quest rewards. I could see an interesting fast-paced storytelling game where the initial phase is about creating a bunch of quests and the related rewards. Then, the focus shifts to quickly saying how the quests are completed, often by using the rewards from previous quests. This might be a fun with with a big stack of quest and reward cards.

Lots of fun ideas in this direction – I’ll post any updates here as I explore the design space!