In the game Full Steam Ahead, you design steamships under the glowering supervision of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
There’s an old dream in game design. It drives the design of games like SimCity, Dwarf Fortress, Tropico, The Sims, and Prison Architect. I like to call it the Simulation Dream. - Bioshock Infinite designer Tynan Sylvester on games, complexity, stories and simulation.
How to Host a Dungeon is a solitaire pen-and-paper game in which you create an underground complex of rooms, populate them with various fantasy races and monsters, and simulate its history. At almost any time you can stop and have the basis for a D&D campaign. Here's a YouTube playthrough of a game: Part 1 - Part 2 [more inside]
If you're occupying a financial center, you might want to pass the time with a game of Monopoly. Though Hasbro gives ahighly contested "official history" asserting that the game was invented by an unemployed Philadelphia man, it actually originated 30 years earlier as The Landlord's Game, an anti-capitalist protest against the movement of wealth from poor to rich via real estate profiteering. Designed and patented by a Georgist Quaker woman, Elizabeth Maggie, in 1904, it was published by her Economic Game Company, but also spread far and wide - including in circles of socialist-leaning academic economists like Scott Nearing - as a hand-drawn and independently printed folk game. [more inside]
This Sunday's New York Times Magazine interviews the creators of epic ASCII megagame Dwarf Fortress......and Metafilter credited as the "popular blog" which fueled public awareness of DF! [more inside]
You are in a warm, dark, comfortable place. This has been your place since you became aware that you are alive. It's almost time to enter a different world now. In 1986, Activision published a roleplaying computer game called Alter Ego. Unlike the action and fantasy titles that ruled the day, this game simulated the course of a single ordinary life. Beginning at birth, players navigated a series of vignettes: learning to crawl, reacting to strangers, getting a first haircut. The outcome of each scenario subtly influenced one's path, and with every choice players slowly progressed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Graphically minimalist -- one's lifestream is represented by simple icons, and the scenarios are all text -- the game was nevertheless engaging, describing the world in a playful, good-natured tone tinged by darkness and melancholy. And it had quite a pedigree; developer and psychology PhD Peter Favaro interviewed hundreds of people on their most memorable life experiences to generate the game's 1,200 pages of material. Unfortunately for Dr. Favaro, the game didn't sell very well. But it lives on through the web -- PlayAlterEgo.com offers a full copy of the game free to play in your browser, and the same port is available as a $5 app for iPhone and Android. More: Port discussion group - Wishlist - Vintage review - Original game manual (text or scans)
PanzerBlitz is a tactical-scale board wargame of armoured combat set in the Eastern Front of the Second World War. The game is notable for being the first true board-based tactical-level, commercially available conflict simulation (wargame). It also pioneered concepts such as isomorphic mapboards and open-ended design, in which multiple unit counters were provided from which players could fashion their own free-form combat situations rather than simply replaying pre-structured scenarios. (related)
They were one of history’s greatest teams. But by the late 2000s, Pro Vercelli were entrenched in the lower leagues, their glorious past forgotten. Until one day, a man bought a video game. Read the uplifting saga of a small-town Italian club, an unknown American manager, triumph, betrayal, passion, and several extremely good recipes, from start to finish [more inside]
The sequel to Warfare 1917 (previously) has been released: Warfare 1944. I was going to save this for tomorrow, but it seems that we've had a Flash Thursday today.
Park. Gentlemen, stop your engines. [Flash.]
The Intel IT Manager Game lets you manage an IT department (flash, reg. required, you don't have to enter a valid e-mail address). Here is another attempt (click "Simulation" at the top). For those who rather calculate than point-and-click, try the Ipas TCO simulation. [via Flex-MX Blog]
Rekkaturvat: You've already pushed a hapless dummy down the stairs. Now you can see what happens when that same guy gets behind the wheel - or at least inside the cab - of a truck speeding toward a wall. Scant on documentation, but not hard to figure out (the 1 and 2 sliders control the position of two ramps). Anyone find a good technique for a high score? (2 MB Windows .exe)
Film Mogul is an online RPG that's "a simulation of what it is like to be a power player in the movie industry today." Take on the role of studio head, agent, producer, critic, or journalist and make virtual movies every bit as crappy as the ones that the real Hollywood churns out!