So… what is The Valley about?
Well, it’s a game that is set in a possible near-future, and it’s about a group of people who are part of an experiment – players, that’s you. Your challenge is to learn to survive in this environment, foraging and crafting to make yourself an income.
The experiment is top-secret, so none of the participants know any more than they need to about the context. At this point, it’s good to mention that the Valley is the first chapter in a planned series, where more details are revealed as the story proceeds. Why might people be running a secret trial to grow “wild” food in a controlled environment? Why indeed…
What we, the participants, know about the Valley project at this stage in the story is that this is an engineered wilderness – the climate is controlled to ensure optimal growing conditions for a wide range of edible plants from all over the world, and the environment is limited and enclosed to prevent experimental non-native plants from becoming yet another invasive species threatening the flora and fauna of New Zealand.
The Valley is a hybrid set-collection/economic game, played over 2 phases, which cover 6 “days”. Each day is divided into 6 “hours”. The first 5 days make up the foraging and craft phase, and the second phase is played at the market.
Well, that’s a lot of words and numbers, what does it mean?
Put very simply, for the first phase, you repeat a similar set of actions and decisions, gradually building momentum as your skills and abilities increase.
In the second phase, you get to profit from the good foundation that you built for yourself during the week, by making the best sales at the market – hopefully!
We are still fine-tuning the rules, so the details will follow in future blog posts. Meanwhile, please join us as we take you through the process of complete noobs, designing a board game!