I’m on a study project to improve my understanding of roleplaying games. To this end, I already have two reading projects, A Game Per Year and An Adventure Per Year. This is the third, with the goal of reading or playing 52 games made in the last few years. Originally I considered making this “A New RPG Per Week” and that’s where the number 52 comes from, even though a weekly schedule is probably not within my abilities.
The Lonely Giant is a solo journaling game about the last giant who still remains. They have sworn an oath and no giant has ever abandoned their oath. During the game, the oath will come to an end.
The game works so that you get a series of prompts generated by the mechanics and must respond to each by writing in your journal. This way, you generate a single-player subjective experience.
The mechanic is complicated by the tones, so that a prompt must be answered following one of the three themes related to being a giant: Terrible strength, numinous awareness or weary sorrow.
Although the questions you’ll answer are randomized, the mechanic drives towards a single narrative outcome. As the game progresses, it’s more and more likely to get prompts that are related to the endgame.
One interesting detail of The Lonely Giant is that it features a System Resource Document where the design decisions are explained and spelled out. The purpose is that other people can understand the design and use it, perhaps reskin it, to make their own solo journaling games.