a series of interesting choices thoughts on game design from paul sottosanti

d&d: tiny adventures

Dungeons and Dragons: Tiny Adventures was a Facebook app that I led the design of at Wizards of the Coast. It was highly successful and received a lot of praise within the industry, but unfortunately had to be taken down for legal reasons due to WotC having sold the digital D&D rights to Atari. I've been writing a series of posts about the design of Tiny Adventures on this blog:

  1. the social mechanics of d&d: tiny adventures
  2. tiny adventures: the end game
  3. tiny adventures: female character choices
  4. tiny adventures: the adventure system
  5. tiny adventures: accessibility
  6. tiny adventures: depth

Also, here's a list of the Tiny Adventures credits from the game's FAQ since the app is no longer available for viewing. I believe that it's important to have accurate credits out there, and it's unfortunate that many Facebook games don't display them.

Producer: Nik Davidson
Associate Producer: Brandon Bozzi
Designers: Gregory Marques & Paul Sottosanti (lead)
Programmers: Shawn Fiske, Graeme Hopkins (lead) and Paul Sottosanti
Art Director: Jon Schindehette
Editor: Michael Mikaelian
Loot Master: Mike Donais
Writers: Brandon Bozzi, Nik Davidson, Gregory Marques, Dylan 'ExoByte' Mayo, Matthew Sernett, Andrea Jennifer Shubert, Mat Smith, Paul Sottosanti, and Ken Troop
Playtesters: Charles Arnett, Kevin Boris, Shawn Fiske, Mark Globus, Arron Goolsbey, Robert Gutchera, Zephreum Humphreys, Mark Jindra, Luke Johnson, Trevor Kidd, Chris Kiritz, Tom LaPille, Tom Olsen, Vincent Price, Eric Sorenson, and Mike Turian
Live Team - Producer: Robert Gutschera
Live Team - Programmer: Graeme Hopkins
Live Team - Server Shepherds: Graeme Hopkins, Collin Jackson, and Mike Luedke
Live Team - Editor: Gregory Marques
Live Team - Community Manager: Jennifer Paige

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  1. I am sad to see that there will never be another D&D Tiny Adventures. This was my favorite Facebook game, bar none, and was especially handy for play during long work hours: due to the nature of my job, I had periods of ten minutes or so every hour or two during which I’d have nothing to do; D&D Tiny Adventures were practically designed for me to play!

    I always hoped you guys would make a downloadable version of this game, so I could play at home; the evocative text and quick play made it seem like a nice option to use while watching TV or something.

    Also, the stripped-down system would work really well for adventure gamebooks and the like.

  2. I have a few things to say about this game —
    1 – I played it a lot & had some fun with it.
    2 – I was stunned at WOTC’s lack of tact in pulling it down. It was like a smack in the face, and it was very rude & disrespectful to players — whether or not Atari had the D&D digital game rights.
    3 – I had some issues with the gameplay, namely that it was mostly an ‘inventory management’ game (many friends disputed whether it actually qualified as a game).
    4 – It seems to me there is a HUGE NICHE for a FaceBook text-based roleplaying game with multiplayer aspects and less ‘hack & slash’ gameplay aspects.

    I would love to see you repurpose your game design and make it less “D&D” specific (or secure minimal rights from Atari) but keep the adventurous fantasy angle? Any chance of that?

    Thanks for the info on the game & congrats on one of the best FB games so far.


  3. I want Zynga to make a Dungeons and Dragons game identical to Mafia Wars on facebook ! Let’s all vote and share this ! Please help

    • Hello ! Hell No ! D&D Tiny adventures was great. It could not be replaced, is there any interest in Atari taking over the development of the game at a later date?

  4. D&D TA was a fantastic game for me to play at work since I could step away from my desk and not die. I love fantasy games and miss this one. Is there any reason you can’t simply rebrand it? It wouldn’t be much more work to re-write the scenarios as generic fantasy, science fiction or horror.

  5. D&D Tiny Adventures is the best facebook game I ever played. I miss it.

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