Indie strategy designer Vic Davis just announced his next game, The Occult Chronicles . Openly inspired by board game adventures like Mansions of Madness and Betrayal at House on the Hill, Occult Chronicles is about a paranormal investigator trying to unearth the secrets of an ancient estate.
Mansions of Madness , if you haven't played it, is a dungeon crawl board where the map is revealed by drawing tiles randomly, and assembling them into a floor plan. Along the way you encounter monsters, puzzles, useful items, and other adventure paraphernalia.
In his announcement, Davis explained how the game would work. "You play an agent of the O.D.D (Occult Defense Directorate) who has been assigned to check out some bumps in the night at an ancient estate out in the country. Before each game you choose a mission (or ask for a random one). This will determine who the final boss is and what clues you need to collect to find it and take care of it."
I got in touch with Davis to ask him about what he's planning for this game, which he describes as a bit like a "rogue-like lite."
"Betrayal at House on the Hill has been a long time favorite of mine because of the excitement you have as the room tiles are laid out and you never know what odd combinations of items or omens you are going to power up with," he says. "I took a room tile approach with this game but I've tried to build a map engine that lays out an intelligent floor plan.. so you have a servants' area, kitchen and dinning areas, living rooms and a pattern of corridors that make more sense than your random tile draws do."
Unfortunately, as cooperative as the board games are, Davis doesn't see Occult Chronicles as being a good place for co-op multiplayer. "The biggest shortcoming that I can see this game rectifying is the lack of good solitaire playing with these types of board games. As far as multiplayer goes, I'm not sure this would really be a good fit. This game is a thinking man's rogue like. You just don't go around bashing things with a sword. In my experience cooperative games have to be more about action than planning and thinking."
The Occult Chronicles is tentatively slated for a spring release.