Stuffed Fables: Designer experiences

Plaid Hat Games are sharing previews of Stuffed Fables every Wednesday until the game’s release. This week Jerry Hawthorne, the game’s designer, shared his experiences bringing the game from concept to completion.

The idea originates from a few years ago. After seeing the Pixar movie, Inside Out, he became obsessed with gamifying it’s premise. He later realized that he didn’t really want to make a game inspired by the movie but rather to create an original story experience. His idea to create a game to evoke an emotional response lead him to think about kids and their stuffed animals which acted as surrogate parents. He then thought of weaving his tale around a little girl and stuffed animals which represented different parts of her personality as she grew up. The players learn who the girl is through the stuffed animals. In order to create this story he needed to break boardgame convention by relaying the experience in the form of a book instead of on a board.

Mr Hawthorne realized this would not be easy:

“Writing a story is tough in its own right, especially one that branches in different directions, but what Colby was proposing was to make each scene in the story fit on a ten by ten inch page. This meant that each story needed to be split into evenly sized chunks, and each chunk needed to fit on the given page. And each page had to not only offer a game experience, but also advance the narrative! Writing like this is incredibly hard, but it’s also a good way to focus your approach.”

The story’s antagonists needed to evoke an emotional response so he based them on anxiety and the things which cause us to lose sleep. This prevented the tale from being too dark and scary. For a detailed account of his experiences you can read the full article on the Plaid Hat Games website.

Expected retail release date for Stuffed Fables is December 2017.