Have way too much unorganized time on your hands and need a time-sink? Do you miss old BBS DOORS games and wish you could have the same experience on the web? Why not try out State Secrets? From the marketing collaterial:

«Enter the murky world of global conspiracies and bizarre folklore as a Agent for the FBI or as a mysterious Man in Black working for the shadowy organization known only as The Lodge. Pound the streets for informants from whom you extract those forbidden secrets and unlikely rumors that lead you inexorably to the mind-bending truth of our Lifeboat Earth. Can you put all the pieces of the puzzle together before your competition?»

State Secrets is my most serious attempt to develop a computer game. One thing that I’ve learned already: games are a lot more involved than business applications. A few things to note off the bat:

  • There are no graphics. I can’t hack pictures, so I’ve designed the FE without them.
  • Not every feature is emplemented in the game.
  • The game play is too linear. Character abilities are far too linear and I think a truly beefly character would have no fun playing.
  • I don’t think the game play is balance too well yet. I’m hoping for feedback on this so that I may tweak game elements to attenuate the suck knob.
  • I need to write more rumors/secrets! There aren’t enough to support more than 2-3 players.
  • SS is more like a board game than an RPG. I didn’t want to write an RPG, but I wanted a few RPG elements.

If you’re seriously interested in working on SS, I can give you access to the CVS repository, or perhaps I’ll setup a sourceforge project for it. The internals of the game are a little weird at first, but I think there’s a logic to the system.

[Original use.perl.org post and comments.]