Start-up MetaArcade will debut its digital self-publishing platform for adventure roleplaying games with a prototype of Tunnels & Trolls at Gen Con. The first adventure is Naked Doom.

Tunnels & Trolls is set up to be played like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure experience, with art on one page and text on the other.  Like a pen and paper RPG, players will create a character and outcomes will be determined by dice rolls in a turn-based experience.  “It’s like reading with dice,” MetaArcade founder David Reid told ICv2.  The game will be set up to be played by a single player in “snackable 20-30 minute” increments.  

The MetaArcade platform, developed in Unity for iOS and Android, PC and Mac, will allow creators or publishers to create digital versions of their RPGs in the same way that Twitch enables streamers and Wordpress enables bloggers, the company said.  The platform will use a pay-for-content model.  “If you play in Adventure X, you pay for Adventure X,” Reid explained. 

Future development will first add cooperative play and then a PVP arena to game play.  Additional content will be added from Tunnels and Trolls, which has 30 adventures available for publishing on the platform, other publishers, and self-publishers. 

The prototype launch at Gen Con will take place at the booth of Tunnels and Trolls publisher Flying Buffalo, with a printed copy of new T&T solo adventure Grimtina’s Guard, featuring Grimtooth of Grimtooth’s Traps and written by T&T designer Ken St. Andre.    

This will be the 40th Gen Con at which Flying Buffalo has exhibited, making it the longest running exhibitor at the show.  A new print edition of Tunnels & Trolls, the second fantasy roleplaying game ever published, according to Flying Buffalo, was released in hardcover and softcover in 2015, funded by a 2013 Kickstarter.