Fighting Fantasy bookThe Twilio powered Adventure Game has been a great success so far but I think I need to add a few elements from the original Fighting Fantasy books to move the game away from a simple path-following story to a more interactive story.

First-up is the introduction of enemies. Warriors, ghouls, werewolves, trolls and fiendish imps. Each one you meet on your travels will need defeating, which means we need to introduce health and a dice roll mechanism, which will probably end up being a simple random number generator to begin with. I’ve yet to work out the precise mechanics but I’m thinking you might earn back half the original health of the enemy you’ve beaten. We’ll need to add in some food and potions along the story too, to build up the health.

Second on the list for attention is the command engine. At the moment it accepts four keywords, the points on the compass. For the SMS version I need to let the user be a bit more description – so “Go north” or “Take the path east”, rather than forcing the user to be overly precise. With the addition of enemies and food I can being to accept commands such as “Fight the troll” or “Eat the apple”.

As for the fighting mechanism I’m trying to come up with a way of making it not just a voice or text that says “You rolled 6, the enemy rolled 4. You strike a convincing blow and the enemy loses 3 health points.” Maybe a system where for each hit you didn’t know whether you had to go above or below the enemies magic number. For example:

  • This hit round is “below”.
  • The player presses a key on the phone, let’s say it’s 7
  • The enemy picks a random number, it’s 4
  • The enemy would win that hit round because your number wasn’t “below” the enemies. You would lose three hit points because that’s the difference between the two numbers.

The adds an element of choice for the player – are they being careful with their choices, numbers like 4,5,6 or do they go all out with numbers like 1,2, 8 and 9. I think I need to play with the idea a bit more to test the format.

I’m also considering for the text version to allow the user to nominate a part of the body to go for. So “Go for the legs”, or “aim for the head” could be possible actions. The enemy would then randomly select areas to block or half-block, the level of damage given by the player depends on the percentage of the block. Anyway, that’s all coming up in the next version of the adventure game.

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