Narrative Design. These are troubled times for the Froggian Empire. The old emperor, Freddy the Frightful, has died after a long and cruel reign. The people are in distress; there is no heir in sight, and years of suffering have made them afraid. Afraid of their next emperor, and what terrible things he might impose onto them. They have decided to take matters into their own slippery hands, and uprisings have started all over the pond.
Gameplay based on Chinese Checkers
Goal. The player has to send their frog army to take over the opposing frog’s corner of the pond. Once they have filled all stones in that area, they win the game.
Objects. The pegs represent the frogs. Depending on the board, the colours might represent different clans. The holes represent stepping stones.
- The player must steer their frogs from stone to stone. Only one frog can hop per turn, and only to an adjacent stone. The exception is hopping over another frog.
- Frogs can hop over other frogs, opponents and friends alike. Still only one frog can hop per turn, but it is possible to hop over multiple other frogs in one turn with this frog. Frogs can only hop over frogs right next to them.
- Hopped over opposing frogs are annoyed but determined; friendly ones get motivated by their friend’s success. Both kinds remain on the board.
- Once the frogs have reached their destination, they get cosy. They may be moved to another stone inside the territory, but not back out of it. Frogs in territories other than the goal one can be moved in and out.
Spaces. The corners of the board are equivalent to the corners of the pond; the middle represents the pond itself.
- If enemy frogs try to remain in their territory to block invading frogs, the invaders will convince them to switch sides. Therefore, it is not possible to block another player by leaving frogs in one’s own territory; remaining frogs will count towards the opponent’s victory.
- If none of a player’s frogs are able to hop any further, but have not yet reached their destination, they will remain on their stones. The player loses the game.
- The game ends once a player’s army has reached their destination corner of the pond. This army has won the battle for territory and may recruit defeated frogs for further battles.
The player participates in the form of Fabian the Fabulous who believes himself to be the ideal replacement for the old emperor. Young and charismatic, he has already convinced several frogs to join his cause; now, he sets out to convince more frogs from all over the pond by conquering new waters without unnecessary violence. Can he prove himself as the frog who will lead the Froggians to happiness?
This setting works as a branching story. It assumes that multiple rounds of the game are played. The player may decide in what order to claim the waters, and since Chinese Checkers is somewhat flexible about the number of pegs used, Fabian might recruit more frogs to help him on his quest. If he decides to recruit frogs from, say, the deep waters, he might not be able to recruit from the shallow waters, since these two factions are hostile towards each other. If he decides not to recruit from the deep waters or take over the shallow waters first, he might recruit frogs from the shallow waters. Certain fractions may also turn inherently hostile once he is somewhat famous or might even attack him first.
Script. Click here to download the pdf.
The Frogs! Universe was created as part of a game writing course held by David Kuelz at the Gotham Writers Workshop. The objective was to pick an existing game and create an interesting story/plot for it, as well as writing the initial scene in form of a script.