We CRPG fans like to complain about the cookie-cutter nature of many CRPG plots, which almost all involve starting off killing rats and progress to some big bad trying to take over the world. But the truth is, coming up with an original CRPG plot is hard. There are only a few that pull it off very well: Ultima IV, maybe some of the Might & Magic titles, Baldur's Gate II.
This is why I got excited about Bourbon Street Tango, the adventure I decided I would construct using the Adventure Construction Set. I started thinking about it when I saw that ACS offered a "spy/mystery" builder set. There are so few CRPGs set in the modern day, I figured I'd build one using New Orleans, 2010, as my canvas.
I worked out a fairly cool plot line involving terrorism. I don't want to say more, lest I decide to develop it using a different builder, but let's just say that downtown NOLA was going to be cut off from the rest of world and rife with bad guys. Fortunately, ACS provides an option for this:
One of the drawbacks of setting a CRPG in the "real world" is a lack of magic, right? Well, I had that covered. This is New Orleans, after all. My idea was that to solve the main quest, the protagonist was going to have to get into the heart and soul of the city, learning about jazz, Cajun cuisine, and of course voodoo! Why shoot terrorists when you can hex them?
A lot of the work that goes into constructing an adventure in ACS has to do with creating a gameworld and editing the terrain. My idea was to reconstruct the French Quarter, with entrances to the various clubs and shops.
I was about this time that I realized that the interface for Adventure Construction Set, while groundbreaking in its era, was far too much a pain in the neck for the modern gamer; that if I kept working on this, I wouldn't get to my next CRPG for weeks; and that even if I finished it, all I would have to show for my efforts was a module for a mid-1980s CRPG that almost no one would play. There are some things that aren't even worth the historical curiosity value.
So I'm going to keep my notes, and keep working on the idea, but probably save it for a later toolset. I appreciate all of you who said you'd play if I made it, but constructing CRPGs isn't what I'm addicted to, and it's not why you all come and read this blog. Let's move on to Alien Fires: 2199 A.D.