Skip to content

Herman Scribble, Problem Solver


Herman Scribble. Right now, Herman Scribble is nothing. Herman Scribble was an idea for an iPhone game I had a while back. It is like the old Lucas Arts adventure games, mixed with top-down CRPGs, starring someone like the goofy kid from Up. The idea was that each task would be framed in a merit badge for a Boy Scout-esque organization. Fighting off an alien invasion = Astronomy merit badge.

– From here:

Still no real progress, other than deciding that iOS wouldn’t be the platform I’d choose to use today. I don’t know if this is even a computer game at all.

I actually think this would make a fun cooperative/competitive card game. It would contain a few phases.

Map construction – the town and adjoining areas for the adventure would be represented by cards. The map deck would be seeded with a couple core locations – the clubhouse (starting point for the members of the group, one or more key locations (the haunted house, the clearing in the woods, or the observatory) and the rest would be local color – the school, the mall, magic shop, etc. (which could be the key locations for other adventures) which provide additional places to gather clues.

Certain locations would be tied to specific people or things which can be used to ‘seed’ the location.

Stepping back, this reminds me of the Spaceline setup of the Star Trek:TNG CCG. Each player brought the same number of locations to the game, they were shuffled and then put into a straight line between the players. ‘Dilemmas’ and ‘Artifacts’ were then put underneath the location to provide obstacles for completion.

I was originally thinking that the map building may take place on the fly, as players ‘explore’, but I think I like the idea of it being fully formed at the beginning of the game.

Solving Problems – The core of the game will be solving problems for people, gathering clues, and basically preparing to solve the big problem (oncoming alien invasion, for example).

I’m not sure how the mechanism for this would work. I don’t want the game to feel too much like Arkham Horror, collecting Elder Signs until you have enough, but I’m not sure how else it would work. Perhaps the clues you gather conform to sets or poker hands?

What is holding me back?
I haven’t done much with this idea due to art concerns. I am not an artist, and this sort of game would require a lot of it.