When I started programming The Christmas Trail, it was a very fluid process. I thought about some cool game mechanics and implemented them, not thinking too much about how everything would work together in the end. I’ve found this to be a great approach when prototyping or exploring new mechanics. However, I got to a point where every time I went to implement a new feature or mechanic I was forced to do a lot of refactoring and bug fixing. I also came up with some better ideas to implement core functionality that I has sloppily implemented in the beginning. It was at this point that I should have put my hands up, stopped coding, and started planning. I didn’t do that.
The Christmas Trail is a game based off the 1974 hit educational video game The Oregon Trail. I’m not entirely sure where this game idea actually came from. I’m a big fan of Christmas time, and I tend to theme my crazy game ideas as such. There was a time I was very keen a dwarf fortress-like game based at the North Pole, where the elves were the dwarves and the goal was to please a rather eccentric Santa Claus and his over-the-top demands… but let me stay on topic.
So here we are with The Christmas Trail. You’ll get to manage your crew of elves and reindeer through the long journey from continent to continent, delivering presents to all the good boys and girls in the world. The RNG gods will be active, determining if any of your crew comes down with an assortment of sicknesses. You’ll stop at major cities along the way, giving you time to evaluate your situation. Stock up on more cookies or carrots to feed the lot. Call in for a delivery of presents from the North Pole if you’re running low. Make sure this next leg of the journey won’t be your last!