7:36 PM +Adam_Collins: Hey everyone! I am 29 years old, husband, and father of one 3 year old. My friend and business partner (Chad) and I started THA Games a few years ago after having spent a few years before that making games for ourselves. We had so many games and ideas that we just felt we had to start putting them out there!
7:38 PM +Adam_Collins: We are both relatively new to the world of RPGs, having really only played a few of them with our gaming group but fell in love with them. Our first and only RPG to date that we have created is ‘The Hike That Binds Us’ which is almost finished up on Kickstarter. We made it because of our love for the outdoors and RPGs.
7:39 PM +Adam_Collins: The Hike That Binds Us (THTBU) is a realistic-style RPG that deals with survival, companionship, and outdoor adventures. The comradery felt when hiking in the outdoors is real, and we attempted to recreate that feeling in this game. We think we’ve achieved it
7:39 PM +Adam_Collins: done
7:40 PM ~Dan: Thanks, Adam_Collins! The floor is open to questions!
7:40 PM +nicholas_kitts: So is this a more narrative style game or like a survival type thing?
7:40 PM +nicholas_kitts: Or a mix of both haha
7:40 PM ~Dan: So first, I’m curious: What has the response been to an RPG about hiking?
7:42 PM ~Dan: (wb, Dalreth!)
7:42 PM +danhunsaker: Gotta get this one out of the way. Any (known) relation to my former XO in the USNR, also named Adam Collins?
7:43 PM +Adam_Collins: Nicholas, it is both really. The game is built to automatically create a narrative for the less enthusiastic GM (called Trail Guides in THTBU) but can be open to building a beautiful story/adventure. And, yes, it is also very much a survival game.
7:44 PM +Adam_Collins: Dan, the response to this RPG has been amazing! We had one of the game testers who (although he loved the game) felt that without a fantasy element, most people would not get interested. Probably 20% of our KS backers have commented that they have been wanting to see a game like this for “…you have no idea how long!” lol
7:44 PM ~Dan: Really? That’s very interesting to me!
7:45 PM +Adam_Collins: Danhunsaker, no known relation
7:45 PM +nicholas_kitts: I mean, on a personal level I’ll say that theme interested me a ton, but I’ve also gone hiking a fair bit haha
7:45 PM +Adam_Collins: Has anyone ever played the PC game “The Long Dark”?
7:45 PM ~Dan: Is the game based on modern-day hiking?
7:46 PM ~Dan: I have not, Adam_Collins.
7:47 PM +Adam_Collins: It has a lot of the same feel of survival…it isn’t based on hiking, more brutal weather and bitter cold survival
7:47 PM +nicholas_kitts: Mm, so less “getting lost on a park trail” and more “stranded in siberian wilderness” kind of thing?
7:48 PM +Adam_Collins: yeah
7:49 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Lee!)
7:49 PM ~Dan: Adam_Collins: Did you catch my earlier question?
7:50 PM +Adam_Collins: THTBU is open to hiking your standard park trails…assuming the TG (trail guide) wouldn’t have ‘authorities’ liking you trying to built your shelter in the middle of central park though 😉
7:51 PM +Adam_Collins: Dan, the game is based on modern-day hiking but open to any era with basic item modifications from the TG
7:51 PM +nicholas_kitts: Interesting! So would you say the game focuses more on the story of the bonds between the characters or the mechanical survival of the elements?
7:53 PM +Adam_Collins: Nicholas, it depends on how the hikers interact with each other and how the TG manages the sessions. With a ‘lazy’ TG, the game would naturally lean more survival, but our play testing went more in the bond between characters (but that was because we have a great group of guys who have a lot of fun and imagination!)
7:53 PM +nicholas_kitts: Haha, that’s fair
7:54 PM ~Dan: Do the hikes take place in the U.S.?
7:54 PM +Adam_Collins: Mechanically, we find it falls somewhere between Fate & DnD
7:54 PM +nicholas_kitts: I’m trying to wrap my head around that lol
7:56 PM +Adam_Collins: Dan, the main map which is called ‘The Westfield Network of Trails’ which is based on Canadian wilderness (fictional location). We met a stretch goal in the KS campaign and made a second map which is inspired by the Grand Canyon, which is called ‘South Canyon Heights’. That being said, the game allows you to hike any map you want as long as it
7:56 PM +Adam_Collins: contains basic information
7:56 PM +nicholas_kitts: Oh, so you can use real world maps for the game? Is so that’s neat!
7:56 PM +Adam_Collins: Nicholas, in should have clarified that I mean complexity wise
7:56 PM ~Dan: Well, to be more specific, do you include a bestiary of local wildlife? Obviously, that would differ in, say, South America.
7:57 PM +Adam_Collins: You can use real world maps!
7:57 PM +Adam_Collins: Here is a tutorial we did to show you how (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YNp0eRfeMg&t=2s)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YNp0eRfeMg&t=2s
7:58 PM +Adam_Collins: This was meant more to show you that it can be done fairly easily, this is not the official video on how to use any map…we will put that together in the coming months
7:59 PM +Adam_Collins: dan, we use a basic set of North American wildlife. We will expand the ‘library’ of animals (and items for that matter) as we release campaigns and expansions based on new locations
7:59 PM * ~Dan nods
8:00 PM ~Dan: How serious an issue is survival on these hikes? Does the game assume well-equipped hikers who are just camping along the way and eating trail rations, or is hunting and fishing required?
8:03 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, archon_ascendant!)
8:03 PM +archon_ascendant: (hi!)
8:04 PM ~Dan: ( archon_ascendant: I’ll copy-paste the intro to you on FB messenger.)
8:05 PM +Adam_Collins: Dan, good question! Let me start by saying that one of the key elements of the character setup is actually picking your items before you meet everyone else (other players). It is pretty funny when everyone assumes “someone else surely brought this…”. Or if everyone over-packs with a 4-man tent each…The game also has ‘Cache’ locations scattered
8:05 PM +Adam_Collins: throughout which have two main mechanics (1. roll for items, or, 2. TG stocked items). The game has natural resource collection (food in the wilderness), hunting, fishing, cooking, candy bars, you name it!in as well
8:06 PM ~Dan: I see… How long are the hikes, generally speaking?
8:06 PM ~Dan: (In game days, I mean.)
8:06 PM +Adam_Collins: As long as you want…we found the sweet spot to be around 2 full (in game) days per ~2 hours session
8:07 PM +Adam_Collins: We went 3 sessions usually and found it worked well but could easily go more
8:07 PM ~Dan: (Another audience member inbound.)
8:07 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Caladors!)
8:08 PM +Caladors: Hey Dan!
8:08 PM ~Dan: Caladors: You had a question for our guest (Adam_Collins)?
8:08 PM +Adam_Collins: The game features a ‘Log Book’ which allows the TG to keep track of distance traveled and time spent (for optional use with the TG) so it can be stopped and picked up anytime easily
8:08 PM +Caladors: I do but if there are people ahead of me, they can go ahead.
8:08 PM ~Dan: Nah, you’re all clear.
8:09 PM ~Dan: (wb, Dalreth!)
8:09 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Acheron!)
8:09 PM +Caladors: Adam_Collins did you have an audience in mind when you made this game or did you just make the game and then see how things went?
8:11 PM +Adam_Collins: I had myself in mind to be honest in that I found I didn’t have the time to research as much as my friends did for games like DnD, etc. I wanted something a little more intuitive and easy to pick up. I wanted the depth to come naturally as you played rather than needing to know a lot all at once like I found a lot of other games,
8:12 PM ~Dan: What kind of feedback (if any) have you received from people who aren’t hikers themselves?
8:13 PM +Adam_Collins: That is why we started with the realistic style…it expanded from there into the idea for introducing fantasy elements if you want but those will not be part of the core game
8:14 PM +Adam_Collins: The feedback has been good but not a lot of people have play tested it yet. Probably 50/50 non-hikers to hikers ratio I would say. Nobody complained about not understanding how to hike if that’s what you mean! 😉
8:14 PM +Adam_Collins: Even in an RPG, people’s survival instincts kick in! lol
8:14 PM +Caladors: So when making a game for yourself, your going to take into consideration things that others may not. However, there has to be a reason to take it to kickstarter if that is the case, what made that jump? We all know people with homebrew worlds but I don’t know any of them who have put them on Kickstarter. Was this always intended to be on
8:14 PM +Caladors: Kickstarter or was it incidental?
8:15 PM ~Dan: Good question!
8:18 PM +Adam_Collins: Caladors, it started with the fact we just love making games, and we always are, but this one seemed to really peak our interest once we play tested it. We found that it was a unique and well balanced idea and was fun to play. We felt it would be an easy way to get it into player’s hands who are looking for this type game
8:19 PM +Adam_Collins: Didn’t think KS as we started to form the idea, but after playing it, we thought we really had something here.
8:19 PM +nicholas_kitts: That must be exciting
8:21 PM +Adam_Collins: We published a game (Christmas Lights) a few years ago that was unsuccessful on KS but was bought by 25th Century Games and has now in it’s second or third large print run. We love making game so much that we always planned on trying to publish the good ones. THTBU, we feel, was one of those good ones!
8:21 PM +archon_ascendant: Adam, is the gameplay narrative or traditional-style simulational? That is, are you telling a story about going on a hike, or simulating what it’s like to go on a hike?
8:22 PM +Caladors: So you have a group where you make games together? What other games did this one beat out and what brought this one forward? Was it a particular mechanic or was it something else? If it was something intangible can you describe what you think that thing is that brought it to the front?
8:22 PM +Adam_Collins: Archon, it is actually a little of both in some ways but mostly simulating what it is like to go on a hike
8:24 PM +Adam_Collins: Some ‘Search and Rescue’ and ‘hiking’ organizations have reached out to us about using the game for training and creating awareness purposes. Also, a few people from Scouts are interested
8:24 PM ~Dan: Adam_Collins: By the way, I see your KS has been wildly successful! Congratulations!
8:25 PM ~Dan: And that’s really cool, re: the organizations’ interest!
8:27 PM +archon_ascendant: Could you give us a brief example of gameplay? Something like “Archon and Dan forget to put their food in sealed packages and now a bear has shown up” or “Archon didn’t pack a warm enough sleeping bag and now it’s 30 below and he needs to steal Dan’s”
8:27 PM +archon_ascendant: (or whatever!)
8:27 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
8:28 PM ~Dan: Actually, before you do that, could you show us a character sheet?
8:28 PM +archon_ascendant: NO ESCAPE DAN I WILL SEIZE YOUR SLEEPING BAG
8:29 PM +Adam_Collins: Caladors, good question! Honestly, this one beat out two other games because it was easier to give us an introduction into game production, and that we found it was the most well rounded game we had play-tested. We have anything from card games, cooperative games, RPG, large boardgames, etc. in mind. We also really got into RPGs in the last few
8:29 PM +Adam_Collins: years and felt good about how this one played in comparison to others.
8:29 PM +Adam_Collins: Dan, yes we are very humbled by the success of the game so far
8:30 PM +Adam_Collins: Character Sheet Preview (let me know if this doesn’t work) (Link: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/531dd6f0e4b018be29db2909/t/5ecfdacc5167fa039bd0bc4c/1590680274534/Character+Sheet+-+Preview.pdf)https://static1.squarespace.com/static/531dd6f0e4b018be29db2909/t/5ecfdacc5167fa039bd0bc4c/1590680274534/Character+Sheet+-+Preview.pdf
8:30 PM +Caladors: So, the obvious question. Why play this game? Why not just go on a hike?
8:31 PM ~Dan: Adam_Collins: That works! Give me just a sec to look that over, then we can address the matter of archon_ascendant stealing my sleeping bag…
8:32 PM ~Dan: Okay, got it. So, now that we can see the character sheet, can you describe the core mechanic?
8:34 PM +Adam_Collins: Archon, here is an example. You see a pillar of smoke up ahead, streaming up in a column. Looks like a campfire maybe…*walk closer* find out it is a make-shift log cabin with a campfire that is still warm.*investigate* You see a hunting rifle leaning on the cabin door, next to a man who has clearly been attacked by something wild…I can keep
8:34 PM +Adam_Collins: going if you want…
8:34 PM ~Dan: Please do!
8:35 PM +Adam_Collins: Caladors, lol. We live in Canada and the winters are cold and we can get lazy…also, board game night (not all of us are hikers)
8:35 PM +archon_ascendant: are “walk closer” and “investigate” defined actions (moves) or more D&D-style talky?
8:37 PM +nicholas_kitts: Have a good night guys! Awesome to hear about your game Adam!
8:37 PM ~Dan: Sleep well, nicholas_kitts!
8:37 PM ~Dan: I’m also curious to hear the answer to archon_ascendant’s question. I don’t see anything on the character sheet that lends itself to “investigation”.
8:38 PM +Adam_Collins: Archon, I just used that as a generic way to say the hikers interacted with the story. There are no defined commands per se, more checks and rolls along the way.
8:38 PM ~Dan: Nice poem. 🙂
8:39 PM +Adam_Collins: I’ll continue the story…
8:39 PM +archon_ascendant: How do the checks and rolls work?
8:39 PM +Caladors: Alright, let me rephrase. This game appeals to people who are outdoors-men the people who at least picture themselves as rugged. That is what the trailer suggests with the “8 man tent for 3 of you, and uhhh a camera for selfies… we’re all gonna die”. I am saying what makes the game more appealing than the activity itself?
8:43 PM ~Dan: (Question pause after Calador’s question, please. 🙂 )
8:43 PM +Adam_Collins: Hiker Dan picks up the rifle and add it to their backpack. Dan has his backpack pretty heavy so he decides to abandon his hatchet for this new rifle. Fred has room so he takes the Hatchet. *next day* A patch of grass is seen up ahead. There us a family of deer at the edge of the woods about 300 yards away. Before Dan can raise his rifle the party
8:43 PM +Adam_Collins: hears something behind them, it is a bear cub. Before they can think about what to do they see the mother on the opposite side of them (they are between the mother and her cub). The mother charges the party. *dan attempts a gunshot, specifies it to be at the last second for dramatic effect*. The gun clicks…misfire…
8:45 PM ~Dan: (Heh. Phat hiking loot!)
8:46 PM +Adam_Collins: Archon, checks and rolls are usually either in consequence to an action (I want to shoot that bear) or out of necessity (you are attempting to sleep without a sleeping bag, and it is raining)…a few examples of checks and rolls are: Slip Checks, Fishing Rolls, Lost Check, Injury Check, Sleep Check, Crafting Rolls, Cooking Rolls, etc.
8:47 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Nick_Zachariasen!)
8:47 PM +Nick_Zachariasen: Evening!
8:47 PM ~Dan: Adam_Collins: What are you rolling, and what are the modifiers?
8:47 PM ~Dan: (i.e., die types, attributes, skills, etc.)
8:50 PM +Adam_Collins: Rolling d6, anywhere from 1 to 3 needed depending…Modifiers are dependent as well but basically you have 4 main abilities, “Stamina, Survival, Strength, and Morale”. Other modifiers might be special skills given to your Character, items carried, injuries incurred, etc.,
8:51 PM +Adam_Collins: We have a preview video on Character Setup as well… (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNhka_E0Wsk&t=2s)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNhka_E0Wsk&t=2s
8:51 PM +Adam_Collins: If I’m missing any questions, let me know!
8:52 PM ~Dan: I notice that you don’t have anything resembling agility or dexterity. What would you use to shoot the rifle?
8:52 PM ~Dan: (brb)
8:55 PM +Adam_Collins: Gunshot is: 2d6 + Skill (Hunter Occupation only) + Survival = Result … depending on the type of gun you are using, the roll determines if it is a miss, wounding shot, kill shot. You can harvest the meat from animals to ensure no animals are harmed without cause!
8:56 PM ~Dan: What happens if it’s a wounding shot (aside from a very pissed-off bear)? How is damage tracked?
9:00 PM +Adam_Collins: dan, it depends on whether you were hunting the animal, or defending against an attacking animal, but in general, the animal usually flees and allows for tracking it. There is no damage tracked on animals, only their status (when attacking). As in the wild, if an animal is attacking you with the intention to kill you, it will take killing it or
9:00 PM +Adam_Collins: severely wounding it to stop the attack. Also, depends on which animal is attacking
9:00 PM ~Dan: How is PC damage tracked?
9:03 PM +Cortana: poorly
9:03 PM +Cortana: :p
9:03 PM +Cortana: (sorry, had to)
9:04 PM +Adam_Collins: dan, If a hiker is hurt in anyway the player makes an Injury check. Injuries vary in severity and consequences. Hiker’s can die from multiple injuries, loss of calories (must eat a certain number per day or their stores drop) or from lack of hydration (also have to drink a certain amount per day or their hydration level drops)
9:04 PM +Adam_Collins: Cortana, lol
9:05 PM ~Dan: How is the injury check made?
9:06 PM +Adam_Collins: Death in the wild is either sudden (animal attack) or while panicking to get food and water in the dark because they were too wrapped up in the story and adventure to remember to pick some fruit or fish at the last stream! 😉
9:07 PM +Adam_Collins: I should clarify, you don’t die from not eating /drinking every day, but if you don’t eat your body’s store of them is depleted.
9:09 PM ~Dan: How would you handle archon_ascendant and I fighting over my sleeping bag. 😀
9:09 PM +Adam_Collins: Dan, injury checks are roll result based. for example, a hiker slips while hiking a particularly difficult section of trail and falls 10′. *roll for injury* A 1 is rolled. TG describes that the hiker fell and when they landed they broke their leg.
9:10 PM +Adam_Collins: Each injury has consequences and things that need to be used to heal that particular injury.
9:14 PM +Adam_Collins: Dan, good question! I would first need to know how serious and desperate you each were. If this is a full on fight for the knapsack, I’d ask for how each would go about fighting (fist fight or wrestling type of thing, not game regulated but for reference). Probably a 2d6 roll with Strength or Morale modifiers. Strength, because you need strength to
9:14 PM +Adam_Collins: fight generally speaking…Morale because how dire your situations each might be
9:14 PM * ~Dan nods
9:14 PM ~Dan: And a fight with an NPC?
9:16 PM +Adam_Collins: TG would probably choose to roll for the NPC. NPC’s don’t generally have character sheets are they are setup for story purposes so the TG would make up their own modifiers depending on backstory, situation, etc.
9:17 PM +Adam_Collins: I should say that TGs could make NPC character sheets and track basic stats if they wish
9:18 PM * ~Dan nods
9:18 PM ~Dan: Oh, danhunsaker? Time for “your” question. 🙂
9:19 PM ~Dan: Okay, he seems to have wandered off, so I will do the honors.
9:19 PM ~Dan: What is your LEAST favorite aspect of this game?
9:20 PM +Adam_Collins: good question…let me think about that…
9:21 PM ~Dan: Take your time. 🙂
9:23 PM +Adam_Collins: I would have to say the simplicity of animal attacks/fighting. They aren’t as long and drawn out as your typical fun-filled DnD 20 orc fight…That being said, it is nice to not have to wait 10 minutes to make it to your turn only to miss (if you know what I mean)…
9:23 PM ~Dan: Certainly, and a fine answer!
9:24 PM ~Dan: Not so much a question as an observation, but when and if you get around to introducing fantastical elements, I can see a whole series of supplements for hiking in various kinds of unusual forests: faerie forests, haunted forests, enchanted forests, even mutant forests.
9:24 PM ~Dan: Or alien forests.
9:24 PM +Adam_Collins: I’d say, the most rolls you will have to make in a sequence of events (apart from some unique custom challenge) would be setting up camp, getting a fire started, pitching your tent, etc. Which is always fun i real-life too!
9:26 PM +Adam_Collins: Dan, there are a lot of ways to go with it when introducing fantasy. We plan a soft approach by introducing little forest creatures that bring elements of a new animal, new magical – and natural – items, etc.
9:27 PM ~Dan: Indeed. Lots of potential there.
9:27 PM +Adam_Collins: magic mushrooms with a rolled effect 😉
9:27 PM ~Dan: 😀
9:27 PM ~Dan: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
9:27 PM ~Dan: Usual reminder: If you’ve enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee or two, you can do so at (Link: https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe . Anything’s appreciated! 🙂
9:28 PM +Adam_Collins: Although, coincidentally, in our current DnD game, my character is hoarding magic mushrooms and using them at inopportune times for the fun of it…yes, I’m one of those players…
9:28 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
9:29 PM +Nick_Zachariasen: In a METAL WORLD game I ran at a con the players defeated the big antagonist by the van-driving shaman hopping on his back and shoving a handful of shrooms in his mouth.
9:30 PM +Adam_Collins: I think we covered a lot given the time we had. I want to say thanks to everyone for their great questions and genuine interest in this game! Appreciate it a lot!
9:30 PM ~Dan: (METAL WORLD being Nick_Zachariasen’s most excellent heavy metal RPG. 🙂 )
9:30 PM ~Dan: Thanks very much for joining us, Adam_Collins!
9:30 PM +Adam_Collins: Nick, that is incredible…lol
9:31 PM ~Dan: I hope you enjoyed your visit and that you’ll feel free to hang out with us in the future! You’re always welcome. 🙂
9:31 PM +Nick_Zachariasen: The “victim” rolled a 1 on his Death stat roll, so he REALLY tripped on those things.
9:31 PM ~Dan: Now, if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!
9:32 PM ~Dan: (And feel free to link him to METAL WORLD, Nick_Zachariasen! 🙂 )
9:32 PM +Adam_Collins: I’m sure I will be back to chat, just got to get this campaign and subsequent busy production prep out of the way!