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The Basics - The Wilds devlog #5

The Wilds is a fun project I write when I need a break and let my mind wander to more casual things, often tag-teaming ideas with my wife. A few folks have asked for some basics about the Wilds, so I thought I'd recap some of those here.


You start all alone, thrust against your will into a strange landscape. You find a new friend, a companion that you adventure with in these wilds. You explore, at first to attempt to find your way back to civilization, but then you become entangled in a larger plot with only your companion to aid you.


The world of the Wilds is known as A-Spes. A-Spes is a fantastical place, filled with amazing creatures, chaotic magic, and vengeful spirits. Ancient ruins dot the landscape begging to be explored. Shadow organizations manipulate politics to gain power in support of their dark causes.


Play is solo, arranged into the following phases, both of which are randomized and managed with a deck of cards laid out in a certain way.

Journey phase

This might include things like:

  • Traveling to and from a small settlement
    • Doing some shopping
    • Accepting a quest
    • Meeting new characters
  • Completing smaller quests
  • Exploring nearby places
  • Foraging, scavenging, and collecting materials

This phase is tackled by laying our cards in a branching path format, with players having to choose where to spend their time. The journey phase culminates in finding out a large detail about the next big challenge ahead and giving players one last chance to prepare.

Challenge phase

When players reach the challenge phase they arrange the cards in a new way, literally giving their characters multiple ways to approach it. They will be able to see some dangers ahead but not others. Removing some danger ahead of tackling the ultimate problem at the core of the challenge may reap more rewards. On the other hand, it may be much more dangerous.

Depending on a player's own skills and their companion's, they may want to make careful decisions about where they expend effort and place risk for the best reward.