Filamena Young set out to write a game she wanted to see, and created Flatpack: Fix the Future! Mixing a post-apocalyptic setting with creative problem solving, Young’s game was written with young gamers in mind. “It’s my first attempt at a YA game. That is, something with a younger audience in mind, but with room (like a good YA novel) for adults and kids as they get more sophisticated. I have a free demo up on DriveThruRPG; it’s an adventure with basic rules in it. It’s a really uber simple system meant to be ‘hacked.’ In fact, character advancement is based on earning Achievements that tweak the rules for your character.”
The World after The End
She says Flatpack is a “Hyperoptimistic Postapocalyptic” game. Players make up the basis of a group of young people who are venturing out of the underground tunnels three generations have spent hiding within. Their goal is to collect ‘Flatpacks’ which “are sort of like ‘instant buildings.’” All the materials to build needed structures critical to infrastructure, like a hospital, are inside. The player group collects and brings Flatpacks back to the tunnels, enabling their communities to move from their underground home into a real city once more. Commenting some on what game play will Young said there are no health levels or physical stats. “Players are encouraged to use their smarts to solve problems.”
The Team Behind the Future
Young commented that while an upcoming Kickstarter campaign for Flatpack will hopefully support a print run, the campaign will go beyond satisfying the goal of publication. “It seems like a Kickstarter does spotlight a release really nicely and gives people a reason to ‘buy in’ to a game. I can also pay my artists and editor faster, which, you know, is awesome.” The development team for Flatpack: Fix the Future! includes artists Juan Santapau, Jeremy Kostiew, and editor Renee Ritchie. Santapau drew WRENCH, the iconic character who shows up throughout the text. Kostiew is the artist behind the 3D buildings that will serve as game pieces, which will be cut out by players and assembled to build maps of various Flatpacks players collect. Flatpack’s editor Renee Ritchie also edited the Machine Age Productions game Amaranthine.
“She’s great at kicking me in the ass and laughing at the jokes in the book. David, being my partner, worked as a sounding board, but the writing and the mechanics are all me. It’s been crazy. “ Flying solo was hard for Young, but she said her confidence was sustainable because of her love of the material and her daughters.”I wrote this because I want it to exist when they’re old enough to play it. And I want more people to write games that aren’t about violence and killing. I want more games that teach values like community and creative problem solving. If I don’t do it, others might, but why wait?”
Her advice to those who want to try their hand at solo game design but feel apprehensive was apt. “The worst that can happen is that it will suck and people will laugh at you. If you start off with ‘well, they may laugh at me’ as your base line, it isn’t so scary.”
You can check out the preview of Flatpacks at DriveThruRPG.com, and follow Machine Age Productions at their website. Have a favorite YA appropriate game? Shoot me an e-mail or leave details in the comments!