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E-Mail: ericp[AT]lariennalibrary.com

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Nightshade (Not the official title)

Page: GameIdea.GameIdea201003230757AM - Last Modified : Sun, 26 Jan 20 - 2108 Visits
How much do you like this idea?

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Very Good (10/10) The game is very interesting, make it as soon as possible.
Good (8/10) Great idea but some modifications are required.
Fair (6/10) Interesting but a lot of things are missing.
Bad (4/10) Would need to completely redesign the idea in order to work.
Very Bad (2/10) It will never be interesting, abandon the idea.
Already Exist (0/10) Do not waste time of this game idea.

Status: CLOSED

  • Possible as a single player or a 2 player game: Hero VS bad guy.
  • Know basic mechanics, could work something out. But still require some research.
  • I might see how other games like TMNT turns out before working on this game.

Progress: Prototyped
Priority: High
Number of players: 2 - 9 players
Expected Play time: 120 - 180 minutes


A investigation and crime fighting game that takes place in the 20ies where players play a hero that must compete against the evil mastermind which is also played by a player. The goal is to prevent him from executing the evil master plan of doom.


First, I wanted to make a board game version of the NES "nightshade" video game. Now, I want to make an interesting investigation game. Still, I always like the nightshade hero theme and I think it could be interesting.


The primary source of inspiration is the NES "nightshade" video game for the theme and ambiance. For the mechanics, since it is now a cooperative game VS a player, "fury of dracula" could probably help in the design. "Magic the gathering" will probably be another source of inspiration to determine how the master mind use his resources. "Arkham Horror" could also be a source of ideas for character development and equipment.

Priority Evaluation

Theme vs Mechanics: I have a coupleof neat ideas I have seen in other games I could use but have no clue of they could work.
Video vs Board Game: This game could be released on both platform. But might be better as a board game since there is a game master.
Single vs Multi player: It could be possible to make it a single player game. Would make more sense with the theme, but multiplayer is not odd either.
Rating = 6/12


? Cartography: There will be a map, but only a graph can be enough.
? Scripting: I really don't know if the presence of script is necessary.


It's a bit hard to say since the game has changed a lot and there is many uncertain stuff. At the beginning, it looked pretty closed to arkham horror even if I never played Arkham Horror at that time. I have simplified a lot of stuff ( for example, there is no more money) to make the game easier to build.

One of the interesting unique thing that might be in this game is the time management. You need to plan your time and movement. You can move anywhere in the city, but moving from a corner to another takes time and reduce the number of actions you are going to do in a day. So I might make a system where player need to optimize their movement and their time use to make sure there are the most efficient as possible.

There is also the idea of natural traitor that I want to introduce. Players are going to accumulate dark side cards which could allow them to win by themselves or win if the bad guy wins. I want to have a game where a player could voluntarily become a traitor if it fits better for him.

Problems that prevent development

The biggest problem is that there has been 1 severe change that modified the whole design of the game. At the beginning, players were playing against the game. To add more tension and make investigation more interesting, I decided that the bad guy should be controlled by a player.

This means that the good guys and the bad guy must have something to do. So it doubles everything that needs to be designed: actions, goal, resources, etc. Second, it is more complicated to make sure the game is balances, the evil side must have as much chances to win than the good side. Third, I have little idea on how the bad guy is going to use his resources. I thought of using a system like Magic the gathering, but then again, many things must stay hidden, so it must still be convenient to play.

So there is a lot of uncertain stuff that makes it hard to dig in again into the game.

News, changes and updates

March 21st, 2011: There has been some talk lately with an author name "Calvin Daniels" which is currently writing pulp novels that takes place in a city called "Granton City". He asked me that he would like eventually to have a board game for his world, and I found that this game would fit perfectly for his world since it's exactly the same theme. So it is possible that the games get re-themed and published as Granton City (or "Tales of Granton City" could be better).

I find this very interesting because it will make characters more realistic and less cliche than if I designed them. I might have a source of artwork for the prototype and since it's a partnership I will probably try to publish the game to a real publisher. The fact that there are published novel and that I have already published a game will increase out credibility. For more information about the novels you can visit this website:


I recently bought 2 novels, I will read them and it should give me idea inputs for the game. I hope for the best.

December 10th, 2013: I might borrow the dice mechanics from my Dungeon quest variant for this game. So all my adventure game ideas could share the same dice system. Compared to dracula's castle, here the map design is not much of an issue, it's more the bad guy plot resolution the problem. I'll need to play more adventure games before working on this game, especially those where players fight against the Game Master like "Middle Earth Quest". I think the plot system in that game will be perfect for this game.

January 1st, 2014: I had an idea on how to implement a part of the investigation and plotting system. First there will be various suites that will be used by plots and clues. Suites are categories like: Technological, Mystical, Political, etc. The master mind setup plots face down, but the category is visible to the players. When the master mind fullfill the conditions of the plot, he gains the amount of points indicated on the card in that category. The objective of the master mind is to accumulate a certain number of points in different categories determined by his master plan card which is also hidden to the players. So the players does not know if the master mind is close to victory or not. Some plot might actually only be diversion which are unnecessary to the mastermind. For the plot resolution, I could use a system similar to net runner's agenda completion.

On the other hand, the players try to gather clues. They must make sets of clues of the same category in order to reveal a plot card. Once a card is revealed they know where to go to stop the plot from happening. If they succeed, the plot is countered and the master mind will have to place a new one. Players are allowed to exchange clues with each other by asking for a suite and giving a card back if possible. Both players can do this once.

In order to win the game (still to be determined), they need to find the location of the master mind's hide out. This is achived by getting special clues once plots are countered, or through other methods through the game. It's possible that it becomes a deduction game where each set of clues narrow down the choices. Or that player needs to accumulate a certain number of special clues to uncover the master mind's lair. Then they can attack the lair and if they succeed, the player wins. Another idea is to use the "Cluedo" system where there is a card for each location, and each location received indicated where the lair is not. The only problem with this is that the lair could be found must sooner by luck which could be anti-climatic.

In the end, the system is not that complicated. I don't know why I could came up with a system like this before. I think I want to get more experience about adventure games before working on this game.

Prototype Pictures

The new map, not very beautiful but more functional

The old map

Various obsolete components

Development Log

30-jun-2016IdeaAnother idea is to reuse mechanics similar to the Eldritch Express Dice game. It could have a lot in common with the my TMNT game idea, except that I am not forces to use 4 characters. So this theme might be more convenient to develop first.

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