Absorb Santa's Power!
With sleigh power comes sleigh responsibility.
Today’s Quest: Decide whether to save Christmas or score big on Christmas. Then we’ll discuss your holiday plans in Table Talk ,and I’ll share a great new interview I did for a terrific newsletter you should read. Tally ho!
First time here? Adventure Snack is a game series I email to subscribers. Play quests for free, twice a month, and turn your inbox into an adventure!
This Christmas Eve is the humbuggiest. You’re at a crummy hotel bar during a freak snowstorm, worried you won’t get home to your family tomorrow. All flights are cancelled. There's a lonely, portly Santa impersonator drinking a beer alone at the bar. You tell the bartender you're picking up the tab for "Santa" this evening, because the greatest gift of all is waking up with no additional room charges.
There's a TV at the bar playing The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. You get so absorbed with Martin Short doing his best Jim Carrey that you neglect to notice Santa is out cold. When you look over at him, you watch his body disappear, but his suit gets left behind! What the hell-idays?
You run to the bathroom. Your hands are shaking like jingle bells. A long white beard grows on your face. Your waistline puddings. Did you inadvertently kill Santa and therefore become the new Santa, a la the rules of the beloved Santa Clause movie franchise and new Disney+ series? There’s only one way to find out.
What would you like to do?
When your quest is complete, it’s time to debrief. Join your fellow adventurers at the virtual D&D table we call the comments section. After commenting, go ahead and mark “Friendly” as a trait on your character sheet.
Discuss one (or all) of today’s topics in the comments:
🎅 How did you use Santa’s powers – for yourself or for others?
🎁 What’s a fun or unique gift you’re giving someone this year?
🎄 Which are better: real Christmas trees or fake ones?
📺 What’s your favorite Christmas TV special or episode? I love hunting down strange and forgotten Christmas television. There’s this whole sub-genre of entertainment we only watch once per year, so it feels special. Even though we watch more horror in October, there are horror movies all year round, but I only have a short window to watch the following gem, which I’ll discuss in the comments…
WELCOME, NEW PLAYERS!
I was originally planning to release the annual player survey today, but we got an influx of new players since our howlingly action-packed werewolf subway ride last month. So I wanted to welcome all the new folks with today’s holiday quest, which I’m certain will become a “perennial favorite.” (Move over, Miracle on 34th Street! Absorb Santa’s Powers! is a’comin’ to town.)
If you’re new to Adventure Snack, welcome to the party!
Where are the new players coming from? I’m guessing one of these three places…
I was interviewed by Alex Dobrenko for his very funny, very personal newsletter Both Are True. It’s definitely worth subscribing. The interview starts with an overview of Adventure Snack, then gets deeper and more conversational as it goes on. At the very end, I share photos of a special and wonderful Muppet jacket I bought on eBay. I’m working on a quest with Alex, which should launch early next year!
Games industry newsletter Naavik recommended Adventure Snack in an article about the AI tool ChatGPT and its potential uses for narrative designers like myself. ChatGPT is a pretty remarkable bot for generating text, including rhyming poetry and prose in famous authors’ styles. Did I ask ChatGPT to write this very paragraph? Maybe! (I didn’t, but I could have?! I have it as a tab in my browser and haven’t messed around with it yet.)
Professor Game is a podcast where game dev guests (and folks in surrounding industries) are interviewed about their work. On my episode, the host asked me about a memorable failure and what I learned from it, and I chose the implementation of a tonally unusual two-part Adventure Snack quest from years ago, Flashing Red. TLDL: I didn’t have a great vision for how to serialize Adventure Snacks across multiple emails, though it’s something I’ve been thinking about more lately. (Spoiler: It might come up in the upcoming player survey…)