TGDRT #42: King of Dragon Pass

Episode #42 is live!

Jon and Dirk are joined by David Dunham, the creator of the classic PC and new iOS game ‘King of Dragon Pass’. The panel discusses the game’s unique focus on player-driven narrative, reviving an old-school title on new platforms, and the challenges of indie development. And Jon gets excited, simply because he finally found another game that takes barbarians seriously!

King of Dragon Pass is a very different game from the ones we usually talk about on the show, and this one is worth a listen if only for that reason. It’s interesting to see how a game with strategy elements can lean more heavily on narrative and still strike a chord with players. KoDP’s aesthetic and unique setting certainly help quite a bit. Hopefully the second rise of the indies results in more titles of this sort in the future.

– Jon

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2 Comments

  1. Oh, how I love this game!

    I mean, if you have played quite a lot and know pretty much all of the random events and always follow some samey and close to optimal strategy, it can get a bit tedious (which should all take you quite a while really). That’s probably my major concern with the system: As a pure game it doesn’t hold up too well (i.e. there are definitely dominant strategies). But that doesn’t even bother me that much in this case because if you look at KODP as a world simulator and a story generator (which I totally do) then it’s pretty much still the absolute best thing there is in that category.

    Therefore winning the long game was probably the most epic and glorious moment in my whole “gaming life”. I was deeply emotionally moved. And that’s something very different from what I’m usually looking for in a “pure game” (which is learning, building up skill, excelling inside of a tight system of cautiously put-together mechanisms).

    Mind that I’m writing this as someone who 99 % of the time does not care at all for story, setting, characters and theme in general. I’m not “moved” by all these AAA blockbuster “press x to win” titles. I’m usually only interested in a game’s mechanics. So maybe it’s the combination of a serious (albeit not perfect) game in the backbone and the wonderful fantasy world simulation up-front in KODP that just really got me.

    Reply
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