T.I.M.E.Stories is a board game published by the French Space Cowboys which I have fallen in love with recently. As a big-time Role-player I found the board game a brilliant way to tell story, and for me, that is always paramount. It’s Quantum Leap, going back in time and finding the cause of a ‘temporal rift’ and correcting the wrongs of the time-stream. You play an Agent of this ‘Temporal Police’ and inhabit a character in the past, who may or may not be all that stable.
Because of the way the game is played, you play the game once, and then you know the mystery, the “who-done it” and it’s kinda over. Sure you can play it with others, but now that you know that Colonel Mustard did it in the Library with the pipe, it loses the excitement. So it’s a one-and-done experience, which at $30 for each story can be pricey. Space Cowboys have published 3 stories so far and looks like each quarter we will get a new one…. but this is where the fun begins…. Space Cowboys also provided a Developer kit. Nothing fancy really, it’s just a collection of PNG asset files so you can make your own story, but think about it, how many awesome stories are out there for creators to make and play!
Once I heard about this, I was hooked. Oh and for those that don’t know, I’m the writer and creator of Pariah Missouri graphic novel series, so HELL YEAH I’m gonna make a horror-western story for TIME Stories using my book!
Making this was no easy feat, and even though I have a bunch of art that I can re-purpose for the game, TIME Stories is a huge mind puzzle and as the puzzle-maker I need to know how this all works. I created a new story, figured out how all the locations worked, all the items and characters. Building this becomes very complicated, because there are certain events that must be triggered at the correct time. After over a month of working on it, I think I have it ready for play-testing and then after those re-visions I’ll be shipping this game off to France to have Space Cowboys have a go at it, and maybe they like it enough to publish. Either way, though I will be providing it for free here on my site for those fans of the game and my books.
Selecting puzzles that are both fun and solvable is the most challenging aspects of this game design. Even if you think it’s too easy, most likely it will not be. Also the types of puzzles to use; word, visual, numerical, riddles, all that has to be figured out, and hopefully make sense in the story. The year is 1854, so I’m not throwing in a scrabble or computer code puzzle, it’s gotta fit the time and make sense for the story.
Another challenge of the game was that it needs to be 130 cards… well that just ain’t going to work for me, I had to add more to get the story told, and that means I have to go to 195 cards! (For some reason with the production requirements, the game has be in increments of 65 cards) Getting up to 195 was not easy, those last 10 cards were killer, but I think it all works out and will be very fun to play.
Here’s some photos of the game:
I am 95% done, a few last teaks to go.
If you are familiar with the game, I’m opening it up for play-testing
A couple of notes: This is for PLAYTESTING, so I will need you to fill out a short form with some questions I’ll have on your experience and how to improve it. I will also need everyone to send me the form back by May 25th. So you have a little less than a month.
Lastly you would have access to a PDF (a big file), so you would need to print this out, which at 195 cards (4 cards per page) does add up to some serious ink/paper.
A little about it: It’s more role-playing, with some light puzzles, but nothing as complicated as Asylum (the first story that comes with the base set), probably it’s closer to Marcy Case, but it’s a LONG game, probably about 5-6 hours long, so a lot of adventuring and role-playing and uncovering the story of Pariah.
If you are interested, let me know, I’ll have the final PDF ready by May 6th.