So here’s what happened.
Over on Story-Games, someone posted this:
You played it till your thumbs blistered, now write it up RPG style!
It occurs to me that many people today who browse the 1KM1KT website have only played computer games and have no (or very little) experience with tabletop games.
This 24 Hour RPG contest is about introducing our computer gaming audience to the world of tabletop gaming!
Adapt a computer game into a tabletop RPG in 24 Hours! Any computer game will do: Doom3, PacMan, Zaxxon or World of Warcraft (for the uninspired).
The goal is to breech the gap between hardcore computer gamers and the awesomeness that is tabletop role-playing. Read that: “Try and make your content accessible to new gamers.”
The submissions will be judged by the folks here at 1km1kt.net and the winner will have their game heralded in our newsletter, bumped to the front page, and will receive a fabulous 1KM1KT fun pack! The fun pack consists of an official 1KM1KT T-shirt and T-shirt packing material! (T-shirt packaging material may present a choking hazard)
1) Games must be based on PC or console style video games.
2) Games must be completed within a continuous 24 hour period.
And I thought:
And I didn’t really think anything of it.
And then I thought:
And I did, in fact, actually work out about five post-it notes worth of thinking on the X-com idea. Meanwhile, on the original thread, people were talking about some whacked out stuff like Katamari Damacy and stuff like that. One guy took 90 seconds to write up Pong, using two quarters, and I’m sorta looking at the X-com thing and knowing I could never give it the tactical grit that I love in that game, not in a 24 hour span, not really.
And I told Kate about the whole thing, and Kate was like:
Man, you should totally do like… Frogger! Or… ooh! Pitfall. I used to LOOOOVE Pitfall!
And I was like… yeah, heh. Funny. X-com x-com x-com… I even started up my old saved game of X-Com from last year and played a few nights away. Good game.
And then someone in the Story-games thread posted a link to Lifemeter, which is like a site where people draw art based on old console games… and there was This One.
And I thought… damn… office guy… why an office frog?
And then I went and looked at the old art for the side of the Frogger stand-up console. You’ll see what I mean.
And this goddamn game got stuck in my head.
This is the nightmare of modern office life: work that crushes the spirit, office cubicles as cells, and managers as wardens. The office is a dehumanizing environment for the employees – the kind of thing that makes you a cog in the machine – a number. Nothing.
Faced with that, driven to a breaking point, human beings generally do one of two things: create their own petty fiefdoms and delusions of importance… or Get Out.
Frogger is about Getting Out. You remember the artwork on the side of the old Frogger arcade console? (Here’s a hint: look at the picture on the front cover of this game.) A frog, rushing somewhere, vest and tie awry, briefcase in hand. It’s easy to think that he’s imitating the White Rabbit, muttering “I’m late, I’m late…”, except that you know from the game itself that he’s trying to get Home. He’s an office worker, trying to get away, get across all these obstacles, and get to the thing he wants – the thing he needs.
Something happened to our worker bee that made him want to get away from the buzz; something hit that cog and made it slip off.
I grabbed the idea of that little game… and Office Space.
…Lost in Translation.
…Harold and Kumar go to White Castle…
…Shawn of the Dead
…Grosse Pointe Blank
…Road to Perdition.
This is what I ended up with.
Frogger, by Doyce Testerman – 24 Hour RPG submission – 2006