One of the things we’ve been toying with since last year is adding a story to the game that went beyond the simple mechanics of play. Traditional games like Go and Chess have their own historic origins but it’s hard to give new games some character without background. So we’ve been working hard on this! We’ve also been working hard on a proper name for the game (Multiplayer Go variant #57 isn’t particularly compelling!), but more on the name shortly!
For the story line, the core of it quickly seemed obvious: just as Go and Chess were games of strategy and tactics, so is this new game. Even more, one could imagine ancient tribes and peoples using complex games like this to resolve their differences, to decide winners and losers or to avoid having people die on the battlefield. So, inspired by stories like Ian M. Banks “The Player of Games“*, the story of our game is:
- Set around the time of the events of Homer’s Iliad (Bronze Age Greece around 1000BC),
- Tribes and Peoples used to gather to play an ancient and mystical game of strategy,
- Playing the game whisks them away to a special field of game play where they follow the rules to determine who wins.
The game itself doesn’t change in time, so one could imagine modern day versions as well. The mythical world of Homer’s Iliad seems a great starting point though. There were also many peoples already around at that time: from the Greeks and Trojans themselves to Mayans, Norse, Ethiopians, Chinese and others.
So we’re working on artwork for different Tribes and fleshing out the story. Hopefully some of the first artwork will be posted here in a few days!