Approaching the game Forever Summer I wanted to do something different. A short project suitable as an introductory game and one that adults could use to introduce children to role-playing. Hopefully I succeeded by fusing a simple system that even adults have enjoyed (variations of this system appear in Urban Faerie and Invaderz) with a background of adventure and reference to the classic kids movies of my youth, and the series and cartoons of today.
I set out to create a kid-friendly game, in contrast to the more controversial or ‘edgy’ kind of material I generally prefer. A kid friendly game demands a different approach – not that it can’t have a little bite. There are scary and gross moments in all kinds of kids shows, movies and cartoons and many of them do deal with some complicated issues. Simplicity doesn’t have to be patronising.
Forever Summer is designed more for pick-up play than anything else, so characters are based on familiar ‘stereotypes’ from the genre. So you might pick out a character that is the:
And so on.
This is great for pick-up and play because you immediately have a hook and understanding of a character ready to go. With the customisation and the player’s input, they become a bit more individual and if you want to come back to that character again, you can, building up a little ‘mythos’ of child adventurers.
The town in which the default game is set is called Oceanview. It’s a small town near the coast in the Pacific Northwest, in amongst the forest and close to the sea. It’s a town full of weirdness and oddity, to which you can add your own – as much as you like – expanding Oceanview and its people as you do so. For those familiar with role-playing games, you could almost think of it as a child-friendly Al Amarja (Over the Edge). If you grew up in the early nineties and were fortunate enough, you could also compare it to Eerie Indiana.
Overall, I think this would be an excellent game to introduce kids – perhaps as young as seven or eight, all the way up to adult kids – to roleplaying. You can steal plots and ideas from kids shows and films from past, present and future to make things familiar – or even recreate them. For older players there’s nostalgia, for younger players playing out their shows and films can help them understand the game a little easier.
I hope you’ll enjoy it and that it fulfils its design aims. Questions in the comments are welcome!
You can find the game to buy HERE.