MECC's elementary school computer lab classic The Oregon Trail probably taught its users relatively little about American History. The lasting impression the game did leave was the idea that choices have consequences and that, sometimes, bad things just happen, regardless of how well you plan for them. When you lost those oxen by deciding to ford the river rather than take the ferry (a test to see if you understood that, on four legs, oxen are only about 4 feet tall), that was on you. But there was very little you could do about that dysentery epidemic later on.
Oregon Trail was a simulation of people setting out into a world that was arbitrarily cruel and attempting to overcome it. That basic design element of Oregon Trail can be applied to a game that simulates something relevant to this blog: the life of a relatively unknown touring indie band.
The same pioneer spirit can be found in a band setting out into the unknown on its first tour. Many risks and uncertainties await, but so does the potential for success. In the following design document, I will outline the fundamentals of making such an Oregon Trail-like game revolving around the lives of touring musicians.More »