Friday, November 17, 2023

Thoughts on a tiny story game

 While I looked at some non-solitaire games by momentoes, I also wanted to try one their shorter form games as a solitaire. Tiny Stories, which is a journaling game for one or more people, for that bill. Plus, November is my journaling game month.

There are actually three distinct versions of Tiny Stories, version 1 multiplayer, version 1 solo and version 2. They all provide prompts to let you create a story. Probably a tiny one. But there are some definite differences between them. Enough to make them distinct from each other.

Version 1, in either form, front loads the experience with a bunch of prompts to define the  protagonist and their situation. A lot of the overall structure is going be defined before you actually start to play. In multiplayer, players are randomly determined to narrate elements. In solo, you randomly roll to determine outcomes.

In Version 2, the prompts are more focused on the narrative beats. The second version has more of a focus on the structure of story. It also has a mechanic that isn’t in version one, the luck coin. There’s a good luck and a bad luck side and you flip it over every time stakes escalate or are resolved.

I am of two minds about the Tiny Stories system overall.

On the one hand, it is completely themeless. I personally think that having a theme, particularly in a pick up and play journaling game, goes along way towards helping you focus the story you create. People haven’t created a whole bunch nif hacks for Alone Among the Stars just because they like the mechanics but because it’s easy to apply a variety of themes to it.

On the other hand, I think that Tiny Stories does a really good job, creating a framework for stories. It creates a structure that goes above and beyond telling you to just write something.

For the record, I think the first version is better for solitary play, but I think the second version will lead to better multiplayer play.

Tiny Stories isn’t firing Alone Among the Stars for me but I think it’s a decent option for a quick journaling game.

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