While brainstorming mechanics for the Golems game we were talking through the notion that the protagonists were busy with other aspects of their lives while also trying to assemble golems. We explored the idea from the perspective of a high school under siege from zombies. So our little team (much like in Buffy) would be holed up collecting supplies and defending the school at the same time as preparing for the school dance, studying for exams and a swag of social obstacles along the way. Protecting the school at night is one thing, but it is also important to keep the principle safe but you dont want him to catch you either.

Thinking like this saw us look at an event ‘stack’ where the events would file along until fully triggering when they hit the end. This first in first out event track would give the players a few turns of notice before the full effect of an event takes place for most events. An event like ‘Movie Night’ would require spending enough ‘social’ to get the benefit vs not going and taking the hit. Equally having zombies chewing on the generators really needs to be dealt with.

We had lots of fun melding the golem ideas with this theme, having the chemistry lab as the base with other areas of the school offering different options/benefits like the gym, library and canteen. Keeping the principle not too scared (seeing zombies or golems is a bad plan), using sports gear as weapons, gaining knowledge from the library etc.

We liked the idea that the ‘core’ of each golem sets up the AI it will use, so you can send them out with specific intentions in mind, even if you have little or no control of them after that point. Later you just craft another golem and send it out as the game’s priorities shift around.

Despite all this synergy, things were toooo complex now. Too many ideas that either required more mechanics or just overloaded the current mechanics with too many elements. Basically the game was getting too complex. It felt like two games now, one about golem crafting and one about teenage drama at high school. So I will have to think about this some more, come up with the core elements that the game will model, leaving the rest to be flavour text or left out entirely.

In the meantime here is the next suite of concept sketches for the golems, showing off a variety of addons of various sorts. The ‘core’ is the larger element on the back, all the other pieces would be interchangeable and either represent actual upgrades or just be purely decorative.