Wednesday, January 5, 2011

G - Solitaire Game

Right now there's the RPG Solitaire Challenge going on, which is a challenge to design an RPG that can be played and enjoyed by one person only.

It's an interesting concept to me and I decided to at least work on something that I would enter into it. In fact, due to the fact that I can describe how I'm building this game and what it's about rather than simply building it in the timeframe, I'm almost certain to enter it.

My idea for this game is inspired by things like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon and to a lesser degree parts of Red Mars and Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. The concept is that of an astronaut or such (I know astronaut is a more specific term, but I'm rolling with it for now) who has been assigned by themself to a ship or an outpost of some kind. They are at least one year distant, communication-wise, from any other living thing and they must remain there for at least a year. The game is about exploring boredom, diminishing levels of sanity and health and happiness, about dealing with problems as they arrive and generally just exploring the mental and physical space this character finds themselves in for a year.

It's equal parts a tactical or strategic game dealing with the accidents and manipulating the 'points' of happiness, health and sanity that you have, but it's also a creative game where you record videos in-character, from your astronaut to people back home. You maintain a personal journal, you have weird symbolic dreams that you invent and then write down.

I don't have a lot of structure at this point. I have some vague ideas that I don't want to write down here and in fact I think I'm going to try and just... play it. Simply make up enough of a structure to play it and play it. After all, I'm the only person it has to entertain at this point.

There are two 'steps' or things you do in the game that I have decided upon and you do these before you do anything else.

1. Draw a map of your ship or outpost, with a few little unique labels of your own. Make it familiar.

2. Write a history of your astronaut, as detailed as you wish but remember this is the foundation you build the character on. Also, other people outside of the game will be able to read this and send you messages or videos that you can access after the game is over.

And that's it. For now.


  1. This looks very cool and I can definitely see myself participating late at night. I instantly got what sort of fiction you're trying to replicate, but would there be more guidelines then simply "An approopriate amount of boredom scenes"? I also like the idea of this playing out over the course of 52 minutes up to a year. The number 52 also has significance in the number of cards in a deck. Maybe that could be integrated somehow? If you're looking to inject a bit of randomness Aces are exciting/dangerous events , everything else boring...just a thought.


  2. Thanks for reading my ideas! I had considered the deck of cards thing, and I'm glad that it's an obvious choice to someone else. At this point, only certain cards will be 'events' and the rest of them will be routine days.