Belle Isle

Honorable Mention Entelechy Award 2008 for Digital Game

Sample Level Doc v1.0 - Chitimacha Village, Ch. 1 | pdf | 600Kb |

Demo Level 1 - Chitimacha Village, Ch. 1 | zip | 10.4 mb | - may require
installation of Adventure Game Studio - 2 possible solutions and 1 side quest included.

This is a serious RPG with adventure game interface flavoring, complete with text parser for dialogue sequences, I am currently working on. The player takes on the character of Rene Chauvet, a displaced Acadian who was separated from his family during the Grand Derangement of 1755. The player and Rene embarks upon a journey across colonial America, attempting to gather clues as to the whereabouts of his son, while attempting to forgive himself for the death of his wife.

In his journeys, the player will meet other struggling characters be sold into slavery, hunted down like a wild animal, and arrested on sight for the language he speaks, all the more unpleasant things which happened to the real Acadians. The player will have to find ways out of predicaments, usually with at least three options open to him, and befriend a multitude of characters along his path in order to reach his final destination and reach his son.

The player/Rene will also relive key moments of the Acadian transplant in dream like sequences, thanks to some voodoo magic he gains in New Orleans. The players choices here will directly affect how Rene fairs mentally and how his wife will appear to him during her frequent hauntings.

Chitimacha Village level

Tarette: Mini Card Gambling Game found in Belle Isle

This is loosely based on a Medieval card game I vaguely remembered hearing about once, changed up and made suitable for a video game collectable card mini game.

Rules to the game are simple, and the player can increase his ability to win by clever execution of the Fool card and by attaining better cards to build a better deck. The game is similar to other trick games where players try to win hands and cards, utilizing ‘trumps' to win over other cards. This game usually involves 2 characters, the player and one NPC. However, in some city taverns, the player may find a table of up to 5 other NPCs to play concurrently.


The cards players use to build their decks are fashioned after modern day Tarot decks, which were themselves decks of playing cards originally. The pipped cards and face cards (Ace – 10, Page(Jack) – King) are the more common cards available, and are used to flesh out most players' decks. Their value hierarchy follows modern convention.

Special Trump cards exist however which can tip a player's deck in his favor. The 21 trump cards are ordered as well, and depict pictures of emperors, chariots, and other familiar scenes from the modern Major Arcana part of the Tarot deck. These trump cards are rare and the player will not begin with them, having to find, buy, or win them from other players.

In deck construction, at least half of the deck must be common pip or face cards, with no more than 1 card value of the same suit, e.g., the player can't build a deck of repeating 10 of hearts, but he could have a copy of a 10 from each of the 4 suits. The other half (or less) may be trump cards, of which the player may not duplicate. It is up to the player however how they wish to balance the normal pipped suits, there is no rule saying he must play all 4 suits in his deck.

Rules of Play:

-Each player has 1 deck from which they draw cards to populate their hand, consisting of no fewer than 12 cards and no more than 100.

-Each player must ante something at the beginning of the game, usually a set amount of gold which is matched by all players. Some NPC players will also ante for items or rare cards.

-Each player draws 4 cards for their starting hand, drawing one card at the beginning of each subsequent turn. The eldest person plays first, leading the first suit for the first trick.

-Play occurs over 12 tricks. you must follow suit if possible, and if not, you must play a trump if possible. If no trumps, then play any card. The card with the highest pip value of the leading suit wins if no trump is played. Otherwise, the person who has played the highest ranking trump card wins. The player who wins leads the next trick and takes all the cards and puts them in his pot. In the case of a tie, the eldest player wins.

- The Fool card is known as "The Reflect”, and serves a very different function. You may play the Fool at any time, regardless of suit led. The Fool can not win the trick; however, at the end of the trick, the player who played it takes it back, and lays it down as if he had won that card into his pot. He gives any other card from his pot that he has won to the player who actually won the trick, as a sort of IOU. If he has no cards currently in his pot, he may hold onto the Fool, and later pay the IOU out to the player who would have won the Fool at the end of the game. Only if he wins no tricks at all must he surrender the Fool to the player who would have won it.

If the Fool is led, it is essentially invisible; the next player can play whatever card he feels like, and subsequent players should consider that card to be the lead suit for the trick.


After the 12 tricks have been played, and the Fool cards shuffled around if necessary, the cards in each player's pot are scored and the results tallied. If a player has won fewer than 12 cards, they lose one point for each card fewer. If they have won more, they add one point for each card over. To this, add the following values for individual cards they may have won:

  • The Fool: 5 points
  • The World : 4 points
  • The Mountebanke(Magician in modern tarot): 4 points
  • each King: 4 points
  • each Queen: 3 points
  • each Knight or Cavalier: 2 points
  • each Page or Knave: 1 point

The player with the highest points wins the collected ante. If there is a tie, the ante is returned to the respective players. Some NPCs may wish to play to a certain point value which may take more than 1 game to reach. The player will be notified of this and given the chance to decline. Many NPC players will also only play up to a certain loss amount at one time, losing ‘n' amount worth of gold or items before retiring from the game. The player would have to wait a predetermined amount of time before attempting to play this character again.