Articles & News >> Game Design: Cybertek – Scrum and Resources


Game Design: Cybertek – Scrum and Resources

I’m still evolving my little part of the Encoded Designs blog space and since I do enjoy talking about design and why I’m making the choices I’m making I thought I’d share a bit about the newest design we’re working on.

cyber armSo we’re making a new game called Cybertek which is using a new design process, something I guess programmers call Scrum, you can read more about it here. Anyways it’s supposed to be an agile, incremental, and iterative way to build a thing. What we’re doing is picking things off a list to design every two weeks. Then we design them, bring them to the table, and play a game with them. After that we tweak what we’ve designed, then add a couple more things to from the design list to build, and go at that for the next two weeks until our next game session. These things are called sprints.

So Cybertek is a Fate game and our first sprint had us building Character Generation, Game Creation, Skills, Resource/Currency, and Cyberware, cause it’s a Cyberpunk game. I had a good time building out the resource system which has Credit and Favors.

Credit is a point based resource which you can use to buy things like cyberware, information, enjoyment, or anything else you might be looking for in the sprawl. The primary way to get more of it is by doing jobs. I believe The Job is going to end up being one of the primary frameworks for play like the Dungeon for a lot of fantasy games, or the Mystery for Gumshoe games. Sorry, bit of a tangent there.

Favors are the other side of the resource system and they are consequences you can take to gain a boost of Credit so you can buy that thing you need or pay off that person who did the thing for you so they don’t try and kill you.

So why not just use the resource system already in Fate? I always felt weird rolling to try and buy something. It just never sat right with me even when I tried to wrap my head around haggling and searching for the best deals, or liquidating assets, but a decreasing pool of points made sense to me. Also doing jobs to increase that pool of points made a lot of sense too. Then I got to thinking about favors and how the street will give you things if you ask, but they’ll chew you up and spit you out if you don’t make good when those people come to you asking for a favor in return. That idea of you scratch my back I scratch yours seemed like a great place for stories to happen. Now I’m trying to push the game to a place where Credit is a little more scarce so looking for a favor seems like a good option.

So there’s a bit about what I’m working on and why I’m trying out the things I’m trying out. Hope you enjoyed this and I’ll be back next time to talk a little about game creation for cybertek. Also if you want to hear about Part-Time Gods of Fate we chatted about the game over on episode #158 of the Misdirected Mark Podcast

Cyberarm art and more can be found by anderton here.

Christopher Sniezak

Christopher Sniezak

Since 2011, Chris has written and designed for games like Fate, Gumshoe (Dracula Dossier), Numenera (Tales from the Mechanical Bard), and D&D (Living Forgotten Realms scenarios). As a podcaster, he’s been the host, producer, and audio engineer of The Misdirected Mark Podcast, Down with D&D, and Geekin Out. In his spare time he loves listening to audiobooks and podcasts, playing board games, and watching or reading anything superhero related.

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