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Mix-O-Tronic: Creating Game Seeds

Second Base

by Brian Hollenbeck
April 17, 2002

Kuma created the ever-powerful Mix-O-Tronic tool, which spits out game/scenario concepts. From this, he's done game/scenario seeds, fleshing out the simple 3-word concepts into a more robust entity.
The next step is up to you. Folks are welcome to submit detailed games based on these Mixes, for publication in 52 Pick-Up. And we'll be adding more Mix-O-Tronic links and features soon! Plus we're testing out a rate-this-item feature, debuting with this column. Enjoy!

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Mix-O-Tronic Result: "Willy Wonka/trade/victorian"


Strategy Board Game/RPG

Imagine if you will, a game based on the idea of Willy Wonka, taken back to the Belle Epoch. In a grim and dirty England, awash with coal smoke, stand the greatest monuments to confectionery ever made - Wonka's, Slugworts', Haberdash's and Bandersnatch's. These fun factories turn out packet after packet of pure joy for children all over the world. Bandersnatch himself is a prince among children, his name breathed in the same hushed tones as Father Christmas.

In an attempt to solidify the hearts and minds of the world's children, these princes of praline, these titans of taffy work day and night trying to outdo each other, or send each other to the scrapheap of history. Along with the brightly packaged chocolate bars, Bandersnatch and the others employ the grandest of schemes: espionage, bribery and other, nastier plots.

In Bandersnatch's, you compete with the other candiers to capture territories by getting the children in that territory to prefer your sweets above all others. To do that, you'll have to create new novelties for the kiddies, open candy stores, hire traveling salesmen, kidnap chocolatiers, brainwash the masses and occasionally break into a factory or two.

The catch is that while these sorts of low-handed tricks are necessary, because the world of sugary fun can hardly run itself, exposure is lethal. Once the precious little monsters know that you're a backstabbing liar (and who isn't, really?), then sales will definitely feel a dip. The trick is to do everything that your competitor is doing, and make sure that he's the one who gets caught with his pants down.

Mix-O-Tronic Result: "gadgets/mythology/Alice in Wonderland"



The Clockwork Gods have come to Summerland. (Work with me, here.) In an infinite land of eternal summer, an agrarian society has lived for eons. Now, with the coming of the Clockwork Gods, technology, and all of it's blessings and ills, has started to spread across the land. Seige engines, windmills, canals. With this change comes the end of the old ways, of the Worldly Spirits.

Not that the Worldly Spirits are taking all of this lying down. Since the appearance of the Clockwork Gods, storms have increased their power, damaging windmills. Floods have become more common, drowning canal locks. The Clockwork Gods' greatest feats, the clockwork mecha, are susceptible to lightning; their pilots are falling prey to wolves and other beasts of the forest.

Caught in the middle are the people of Summerland. While the coming of the Clockwork Gods means less toil for them, their connection with the land is too valuable for them to lose. In the war of ideas, there are no more casualties than in the ranks of those just trying to strike a balance between clockwork and nature.

Clockwork Gods players can choose to play a clockwork god, a worldly spirit, a proxy or paladin of either, or one of the temporal leaders of Summerland who are caught in the middle of this epic conflict.

One of the key elements of the game is the balance the players must make between Clockwork and Spirit. The more adept one becomes, the less they can use the other. At the extreme ends, a person with high Spirit can use a staff but not a sword (too close to clockwork) and at the other, the character can run a clockwork mecha but become lost in a forest in a second flat.

©2001, 2002, Kuma Pageworks & Brian Hollenbeck

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What do you think?


All Mix-O-Tronic columns by Brian Hollenbeck
  • The Grimm World by Brian Hollenbeck, 26jun02
  • Space Truckin' on the Highway To Hell by Brian Hollenbeck, 12jun02
  • Second Base April 17, 2002
  • First Steps March 12, 2002

    Other columns at RPGnet

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