Monday, December 28, 2009

Pet Peeves

This normally isn't a space that I use to soap box too often on. Maybe that's a lie. It might be more accurate to say that I haven't used it as a soap box lately. I figure I've earned enough credit with actual content to be able to take a minute and vent about something, something that bothers me in RPGs. That's when guys think it would be just awesome to play, "The Hot Chick."

You know what I mean. They decide that they want to play a female character, which is problematic but I do think doable as long as with anything else that could be appropriative you march forward with a respect and understanding, but don't really want to play a female character. What they want to do is "be cute," or "sexy," or "get what they want by being female." You know, all that crap that the media puts out as the "benefits" to being a woman?

Now that's not to say that playing a female character in an RPG is impossible if you're a guy. You just have to understand that it's the same as if you write about any oppressed group, you have to do so with a spirit of understanding and respect. You have to understand that playing all the stereotypes, and playing them badly, doesn't make the game better. It makes it a toxic environment for an actual woman to enter and try to play. I'm sure that there are enough horror stories out there to fill a book or two.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Faery Curses - Draft 2 - 2k words

Hey folks,

Thought I would share this with you. This is one of the many things I've been working on and I like this draft so much that I'm going to share the first 2k with everyone who wants to read it. I'll probably post something about the mechanics later but here are the first 2k words of a draft of Faery Curses.

1. Introduction
A. Fluff

The forest had a lot of animals living in it. There were animals that lived in the trees, and animals that lived in the ground, and animals that walked about the forest. There was no love lost between any of those groups. One of the animals that lived in the trees was Crow. Crow was clever, especially when it came to humans. That's how he stole a lot of his food and today was no exception, he had grabbed a piece of cheese from a local farmer who was busy chasing the pigs that the crow had harassed earlier. Crow was so pleased with himself and flew back into the forest with the piece of cheese in his mouth. He perched on a branch and settled down to eat this piece of cheese.

What happened is that in the same space of forest there lived Fox. Fox had seen Crow fly in with a piece of cheese and Fox believed that she should have it and not Crow. Besides, the animals that lived on the ground didn't really like the animals that lived in the trees. Crow wasn't going to enjoy that piece of cheese. It wasn't going to do Crow any good. So when Crow landed on a branch, Fox walked out from the undergrowth and said, "Good say Master Crow." Crow looked down and Fox added, "How clever you are today."

Crow smiled to himself, with the piece of cheese still in his mouth and puffed out his chest. If someone like Fox, who had to walk everywhere thought he was clever then it was high praise indeed. He leaned forward a bit, encouraging Fox to continue her praise. Fox did not disappoint. She said, "Not only are you clever, but you are certainly the most handsome of birds. Your feathers are glossy, your eyes are bright. I am quite impressed with you." Each word hit Crow with a shiver of delight. He was so pleased with himself that he began to dance back and forth on the branch he was perched on.

Smiling Fox continued, "Now, Master Crow, if you could sing me a song so that my ears can share in the joy that my eyes have seen."

Willing to oblige this most discerning of animals, Crow opened his beak wide and let the cheese fall down, down, down to the ground. Crow looked at the falling food in dismay as Fox smiled and picked it up with her mouth.

Crow angrily called out, "That's mine! Give it back!"

Fox smiled again and said, "Come down and get it."

Crow did that. After a few minutes of struggling, Fox walked out of the woods with a piece of cheese in her belly and a dead Crow between her teeth.

If there is a lesson to be learned by all of this it is never underestimate the willingness of fools to make mistakes.

B. What is Faery Curse

Faery Curse is a storytelling game. It's a game filled with goals, desires, needs, wants fears and then prays on all those things. It uses these elements to drive characters to their own ruin and leaves them broken and used by those who can't care enough for the human condition. You see, Faeries are real and they're all around us. They're in the house when you can't find your keys that you're certain you put down on the counter. They're in that person making out with your loved one and causing the final fight of your relationship with a wink and a slicing laugh. They're in the changeling in the bedroom. They cause your dog to run and hide and the cat to hiss menacingly at nothing.

Faeries find us interesting. We move funny, we think funny, we talk funny and we come up with the most interesting things. We live, laugh, love, fight, kill, steal and betray all in the name of selfish good masquerading as selflessness. We come up with stories to convince ourselves that we're doing the right thing no matter how wrong we are. Faeries find that fascinating and useful because the Fae have their own goals and we make the perfect tools for them to achieve what they want. If we're good tools, they'll be more than happy to reward us, but if we step out of line we'll get fixed in a hurry. Sometimes they lend out tools for other Fae to use. Sometimes they hit their tool, just because they're frustrated. Sometimes they love their tool and put it on a pillow. No matter what that tool does, they never forget what it is.

We are the ones that think we move beyond this stage.

This is a collaborative story even where you play two characters a once. You play people with drive and goals. Like life, no everyone can be happy all the time so these goals will conflict, and you'll use every advantage to achieve what your character wants even at the expense of others. You play Fae who have given these people a chance to use your magic to fulfill their desires. In reality you've done it so that you can have a toy to help you achieve your faery goals even at the expense of the mortal you made a deal with.

This game doesn't have much in the way of happy endings.

2. How do we play this game

A. Fluff

I loved cheese when I was young. There was something compelling about the flavour that I adored. Any cheese at all. Brie, Camembert, Mozzarella, Cheddar even most Blue cheese that people couldn't stand. I would eat them and enjoy watching the faces of people around me who would wince. My mom used to complain about how much cheese I ate. She'd say that I'd put us out of house and home, but she never stopped giving it to me.

One day, I was at the park when I was about seven years old and I was really kind of hungry. My food of choice was a grilled cheese sandwich. The grilled cheese is really a perfect food. It's pleasing to watch, you can see the bread browning and the cheese melting. The way it would crunch when you bit into it, and then ooze in your mouth. It was the one time you could mix cheese and ketchup without it being the most disgusting thing on the planet. Perfect sandwich. My stomach rumbled while I was going down the slide and that was the first thought in my head. I want a grilled cheese sandwich. I must have been thinking really hard about it because as soon as I reached the bottom someone who looked like a kid, but really wasn't gave me a look and said, "You really want a grill cheese sandwich, don't you?"

I said, "Ya!" He looked enough like me that I didn't think much of him knowing that I wanted a grilled cheese. Didn't everybody want one?

The kid said, "I can get one for you. We just need to make a trade."

This is when I got suspicious, I had my favourite transforming toy in my backpack, the kind that every kid wanted. If he wanted this he was going to be disappointed. "What do you want?" I asked, hoping that it wasn't that action figure.

"Nothing much. Just maybe you'll do something for me in the future."

The future was something I didn't really understand at the time so I said, "That's it? Deal."

The kid smiled at me and pulled two grilled cheese sandwiches out of his shoulder bag. Each one was wrapped up in wax paper and piping hot. The cheese was perfect and on the most wonderful bread I had ever tasted. I devoured the first one and then started on the second one when the kid patted me on the head and said, "Remember this little Crow. Everything is going to be wonderful."

B. Character Creation

In this game you will make two characters. The first one is going to be your person, and they're going to be far more fleshed out because this is the character you will be spending more time with. The other character is going to be your faery that you will then start connecting to other people.

It starts in a round, that way each player gets to see what the previous player did and then build on top of their ideas. Also, it will give each player a chance to build conflict between the people on the table. The goal here is to create as many links as possible between people because the more the interact, the more fun it is for everyone. There are no hard and fast rules in this game that will force this type of interaction, we just recommend it in the understanding that players want the best game that they can have. There will be discussion, who and what you person is like, and if other people give good suggestions don't be afraid to steal them.

B.1 Step One - The first

The first step is to find a first player. The first player doesn't get anything special, in fact the first player might have the hardest time out of everyone. They have to figure out who their character is, or at least a part of who their character is. There is nothing to play off of. If you can't come to a consensus you can always make the person who suggested this game the first person. Even then if no one seems to have an idea of what they want to do, or really want something to play off of they can check out the back of the book and roll a couple of d6. There will be a chart that has a bunch of random settings. Once the first player is started, and any suggested ideas have been rolled you can go onto the next step.

B.2. Step Two - Tell me a story

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the bible is filled, it would seem more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.
Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)

When it is your turn, you will tell a story about your person. You don't have to write a novel, give a brief couple line description of what they're doing and their situation in life. The more you put down here, the more other people have to work with. Don't worry about this being the final story, if someone comes up with an idea that you think will work wonderfully with your person then talk about it. Make any changes to your story that you feel fit. The more the stories intersect, the more chances people will be intimately involved in each others stories. It's impossible to repeat this enough because the greater the interaction, the greater the fun that is had by all.

As a reminder, the more the stories intersect, the more chances there are to be immediately involved in each other stories, the better the game is and the more fun people have.

Once each player has had a chance to come up with their character background, and some tweaking was done to accommodate new ideas, then you can move on to the step three.

Example: Jonathan, Saul and Desiree decide that they want to play a game of Faery Curses. Jonathan is elected the first player and he comes up with his person's story. Guy was an executive at a software company. He's feeling old, his marriage is falling apart and he's bored with his life and he wants more. Desiree grabbed that and told us a quick story about her person, Shane who worked in the mailroom at the company. She lives with her two cats and hast had a date in two years. Saul came back wiht Bob who was a software developer who just got let go by Guy's company. He was disgruntled, and his life was at rock bottom where he's now currently dodging eviction notices.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why I haven't been posting here

It's because I've been working on a new cyberpunk game. It's going to be cool, at least I think it's cool.

That's what matters, right?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

DCG - Abilities - G

Because I don't really have a lot of other things to talk about. I'm going to continue to write about the DCG so that it keeps a little bit fresh in people's minds.

Now I'm going to go over the abilities in the game.

The first one we call G. G is first of all not Gatorade and I have no idea why they felt the need to rebrand that. G is really the Generic Resource Production Skill. It's going to probably be the most common Skill in the game since part of our design model deals with the fact that a vast majority of the base set is going to be generic characters. The foundation of most decks should be generic characters and I decided that to help with resource production any open space is going to have a G in it. That'll allow for a lot of variability in who you can play.

I'll get back on the DCG writing with all these ability things now. Just because it'll keep it all fresh in my mind.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DCG - Factions - The Anti-Imperialists

Not everyone is happy with the way things have been going over the past few hundred years. Every so often someone would get slighted, a house would fall and those that survived would blame it on the empire for letting a proud and noble house crumble. These people have built up their own power base on the Capital planet. They keep things quiet, but they do have supporters almost everywhere each one willing to put their lives on the line to end what they see as the wrongful imperial dominion.

What makes this group different is that they don't have one leader with one goal. They've got several leaders each with their own agenda, and methodology. They will often fight each other over clashing ideology. There are three groups lead by mysterious figures (because I haven't designed the cards and therefore don't really want to come up with their names just yet). One group feels that the only way to drive the Imperialist out is by sheer and utter destruction of what they hold dear. They will attack anything and anyone at a moment's notice, usually under the cover of another group's efforts. Sometimes they succeed, more often they fail but it puts the Imperial Guard on double alert when anything goes on in the city.

Another group believes that by taking out any sort of spaceflight ability, that they can wait out and starve out the Imperialists. They spend most of their time attacking the Starport and the ships that are docked there. They also attack communication towers because they believe that this is part of cutting off the head of the snake rather than going after the body.

The third group belives that if they incite the populace enough, they will rise up against their enslavers and throw off the chains of oppression. They do engage in clandestine activities, but a lot less than the two other main groups. They're also more often going to have agents embedded deeply within the various houses, both great and small.

The Imperial Guard takes these groups very seriously, and has orders to kill any known members on site. This has caused them to go underground, but they're still very active. Their hatred of the Imperialists goes beyond the threat of death.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hammercon 2009 - Oh What a Day.

If you didn't hear, there was a convention in Hamilton this past weekend. It was called Hammercon and if there is any justice in the world, then it will be going again next year. It was the standard for any new con that would like to start up.

I got there around 8:45 in the morning and your experience with the front desk is usually a good indicator of how the convention is going to go. If they're all running around stressing out, and putting that stress on their guests, then you know that there's a good chance that things are going to go poorly. If they're all calm, and collected and everything is where it should be then it's probably going to go well. Everyone was calm, and everything was where it should be.

The first game I ran went well. There were only 2 people in the game, but it was a lot of fun. They managed to try to think their way out of every single situation, and they had a good time doing it. That was always worth the effort.

The next game I ran was a kind of ongoing game of Suitors. Like what normally happens with the game, when I run a demo for it there's a good chance that people buy it. Sold five copies there, which was refreshing because I only bought five of them. It always refreshes my ideas on the game when I run it at cons. People buy it and that makes me feel a little better.

The rest of the time I spent hanging out with the guests, and con goers and organizers. We did a couple of panels, one of them on pitching and the other on house rules. To be fair, I'm not caring much about house rules so I didn't talk much on that one. My philosophy is that you bought the book, do with it as you will. It's why I don't give much in the way of support on the stuff that's in the book because as Robin said, "When you ask a designer they're usually working on something else and so will more than likely just make something up on the spot rather than look at what was there and tell you."

My one suggestion for the con would be to stagger the blocks of time. That way there might be a little bit more in the way of circulation and a little bit more happening in the board game area. This is a slight recommendation, I think everything was wonderful the way it was.

Hopefully they'll be doing it again next year. I recommend that everyone go next year for a good time.

Check it out at for all the stuff that you missed out on.

Monday, October 12, 2009

DCG - Factions - The Faithful

Humanity has never really been able to shake religion. It has been viewed as the succor that keeps people honest and has ruled like a bloodthirsty tyrant. It has been done through the worship of nature and through some old dude with a beard somewhere.

The major faith that has evolved in the empire is a group called The Faithful. What the Faithful preach is not a destination but an appreciation of the journey, or The Way. Historically it's a mishmash of various different older religions into a single unified belief. It focuses on service to others, aiming others in the direction that suits them best, as well as a deep seated need for peace and harmony. Most people respect The Faithful, even if they don't hold a similar belief structure.

The Faithful are lead by the Ersthoff, a spiritual leader who doesn't seem to have any outward goal beyond helping others. On the surface it seems as if the Ersthoff has no plans beyond that, but there are a couple of things that seem odd. The first is that he doesn't seem to support any faction over another. The Ersthoff has given orders that all groups who seek aid from the Faithful should get it to the best of their ability. The second is that there isn't much asked for in return. A favour here, or a favour there down the road. A donation to a local chapter is also appreciated but never asked for.

Everyone is certain that The Faithful have some sort of long term goal, but no one has been able to determine it, but it seems as if the Faithful are quietly making believers out of people in all walks of life, and in every house. This has caused the rumour mongers and the conspiracy theorist to call foul, as if The Faithful are setting up for a massive coup, but those who follow the path just smile and continue to help those they see in need.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Playtest Night

So I had a play test night. I was able to get a good look at how the Faery Game works.

I love it. This is just going to prove my point that if I can't figure out the rules in a 30 minute street car ride then it isn't worth doing really. I didn't get to try out Succession again, but that's okay because it's always there and I don't really have the means to produce it anyway. I could sell it, but ultimately I want to do stuff that I can put out and this Faery Game has really lots of potential.

Good things about the Faery Game

1. Character Gen didn't blow people out of the water which was good. It wasn't too complicated or difficult, it did require thought in a couple of places but that's fine too.

2. They loved the character interaction. The communal aspect hit it spot on and it actually encouraged you to get involved in other people's scenes. Sure you're NPCing it, it's nowhere near as elegant as Ganakagok, but it's really good.

3. They loved the interactions with the faery. We had one trickster, one vengeful and one flower faery. It was great fun because the different ideas they all had. The Dryad I had was bend on vengeance and used her power like a whip. Saul had a fae whose description was, "I am the punchline of every joke" who was random and Desiree's Flower faery was happy that everyone was happy. I'll need to try it with other people but so far so good.

Things I need to work on.

1. Explaining the rules a little bit better and the importance of the dice
2. Cut what elements the Faeries can affect. They affect everything.
3. Make sure that I mention that the Faeries can break in at anytime instead of just on "their turn."
4. Write that it goes one round and then one round of the faeries. I thought they would get something at the end of the scene, but making them more prominent is better for the game.

All in all it was a good time. I'm going to start filling out the text, because the big things this showed me was that this was something worth putting out.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Review from Robot Viking - September 8th!

Look what I missed!

It's perhaps the best review we've gotten ever. I'm actually tickled pink and all the frustration of the past several years have suddenly melted away. I don't know if they'll come back at all but for right now I'm currently full of bliss.

Thanks Ed!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What am I up to?

Writing, lots of writing.

That's why there's nothing here. It's been busy trying to get the other stuff done.

Friday, October 2, 2009

DCG - Faction 5 - House Ndebele

House Ndebele, out of all the houses, has its power centre based mostly around manufacturing and the military might that goes around manufacturing. Most ships that are used by other houses bear Ndebele's mark. Most weapons used by those fighting are manufacturered on Ndebele worlds. The House has made its money by selling to everyone, they don't discriminate when people come calling to buy things. However, they do reserve the latest and greatest 'toys' for their own troops ensuring their own military supremacy over all those that buy their wares because that's what Ndebele does best, intimidate people into doing what they want.

When they were included with House Aan to be added to the list of Great Houses a lot of others felt that this was Ndebele forcing their way onto the counsil. This isn't true. What happens is that House Zhang felt that be including them it would be a better way to keep them in check, if they were busy looking at the Imperial House as a prize then they might be less inclined to take from their neighbors. It worked and House Ndebele spent the next several decades playing nice while vying for the Imperial seat like the rest of the Houses did at the time, by peddling influence and playing politics.

This was capped with the shortest time as the Emperor. Katina Ndebele was killed by an assassin during the Hernden incident where the Hernden house and the Contreras house were fighting over a trade route. Hernden had said that they had made a treaty with Contreras to have exclusive rights to the route while Contreras said that there was no such exclusive deal in place and that any and all who wished to use the route could as long as they paid the tolls. Emperor Katina was leaning towards siding with the Contreras when the Herndens attacked. To enforce her power, Katina led her forces with Contreras in a concerted effort to end the conflict quickly. Unfortunately, the ship that the Emperor was on was sabotaged by unknown people and exploded during the battle. There were no survivors and the Imperial throne passed to another house.

Currently the house is split along two lines. There are those who wish to play the political game to get back to the Imperial throne and there are those that feel that they need to flex their military muscle to show the others that they should take the throne from the Aans. They feel that this would also get them some extra territory from the Zhangs.

With the House in flux there are many ways this could go. The hope of those in the house is no matter what, it will be a benefit to them all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ganakagok - A Not Review

Let me start out by saying that I love Ganakagok. I do. I love the fact that the storytelling is awesome. I love the fact that everything you do is always there in character, either by helping people through your character's past and present actions or by being in the scene at that moment. I love how you can tell a disjointed story and that it's okay to do that. I love how the cards give you something to work off of, it plays perfectly into the style of GMing that I love which is just go off the cuff and see how you can make it work.

However, I do have a small little problem with it. This problem went away long enough for me to buy it after talking to some people but now it's back. You see, Bill is pretty awesome. I've talked to him at Dreamation and I've read some of his critical work and it's really good. My problem is still a little bit on the apropriation end.

When I first heard of the game my appropriation hackles went up. Why? Well, it's a very Inuit flavoured game and Bill isn't an Inuit. Whenever you do something like that it's pretty damned tricky. The key thing to doing anything like this is to make sure that you did your research and that you treat the material with respect. And it's there, but not as much in the book. Out of the references there are only two references that are from original sources. By original sources I mean from actual Inuit people. The Inuit Myths page is run by the Nunavut Artic College and Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner is a movie by Zacharias Kunuk, an Inuit film maker. However, that's it. The rest are from white authors who have written about Inuit culture. Not that this is bad, but it's kind of a lacking list.

I'm personally going to feel better, for the three people who actually read this thing, if I provide a list of additional material for reference when looking at Ganakagok.

There's another film by Zacharisa Kunuk, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (2006). A portrayal of the lives of the last great Inuit shaman, Avva, and his beautiful and headstrong daughter, Apak. It's based of off the works of a Danish ethnographer.

Here's a list of a group of books you can look up for a non-exhaustive bibliography here. There are suggestions on the site to get a greater list of books but this is a good place to start.

A couple other books you might want to check out are Thomas King's Green Grass Running Water which takes several creation stories and mixes them with real life of many people on an Alberta reserve. The second is Drew Hayden Taylor's Me Funny which is a colleciton of essays on Native Humour.

These two are big suggestions because they deal with the one thing I've run into the couple times I've played Ganakagok (well run it because I'm the only one with a book) we've run into the situation that it plays a bit more like a Skald than a myth. There were little chances for humour, few moments that turned into something that could be funny. It doesn't need to be full of belly laughs but once you read a couple stories you get that there's a sense of humour that's missing. Maybe it's the way we played it, maybe it's the way that it's written, maybe it's a combination of both.

There's a quote that gets used in the "Running the Game" section that I think should be pointed out. It's from Songs of the Dream People and it sounds:

I want to laugh, I, because my sledge it is broken.
Becuse its ribs are broken I want to laugh.
Here at Talaviuyaq I encountered hummocky ice, I met with an upset.
I want to laugh.
It is not a thing to rejoice over.

When I read that in the book it felt more like it was a fatalistic view of what was happening. I feel that what it is that it could be more of a sense of laughing against the world. What I want to try the next time I play is to infuse a sense of humour to the game, just to see what happens.

NOTE: Mistakes addendums: The first is that I gave a non Inuit source in Thomas King's Green Grass Running Water. Still a good book, go read it, but it doesn't really apply as well as when I thought. I just like telling people to go read that book.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ableism in RPGs

What is Ableism you wonder?

That's fine I can give you a quick run down on it. Basically, much like the -isms it follows, ableism is the act of discriminating against someone because of a disability. This disability may be physical, it may be mental but it is not what is treated as "normal."

Why do a post on this you ask?

Well, it just hit me when I was reading the description of a free RPG on the free rpg blog. It was titled "Glorious Multiple Personality Disorder with Joe in Ten Persons." Now, the game itself has nothing to do with DID (the actual correct way to say what was called in the 80s MPD but is still alive and kicking thanks to television and movies) and it looks pretty cool. However, the tag line got me thinking of all the crap that's been put into roleplaying games when dealing with mental disability it's not even funny.

Much like sexism and racism and all those -isms that try to shock us out of our privilege, able-ism is right up there. We have to understand that when making a game that there are people who are going to be playing in it. People who may, just may, have the disorders that are listed as "character flaws" in a game. If we want to be inclusive then maybe taking that crap out is worth looking at, even when we review things.

This isn't really a huge in depth post in regards to something. Just something that set me off on a late night working on other projects.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Faery Game

I have decided that the best games are the ones that come to me on the streetcar. They just seem to come out and then they're good ideas, much like any ideas they're things that are rooted pretty deep in you.

I want to do a Faery Game. Not something like Changeling, or anything thing else out there. I want it to be mean. Really mean. Almost disturbingly mean. I don't know where this is coming from but it was just something that dropped on my shoulder.

Here is the basic premise.

You all play people who have willingly, or unwittingly, made a deal with a Fae to try to achieve your goals. You play your character and a Fae who is busy trying to own as many people as they possibly can. So you want to make sure that you keep the other players at your beck and call, and at your beck and call not the other faeries.

I'm going to try to get more of it down later, but that's the first idea I've got in my head.

Monday, September 14, 2009

DCG - Faction 4 - House Aan

House Aan was one of the two houses promoted to Great House status during the year 170. House Aan was considered because they were the largest shipping House in the Galaxy. If you wanted to get goods somewhere, it was often safer to send it with House Aan than any other organization. Space is a rather large place, so there are those who feel that piracy is still the better way to survive rather than deal with the Houses and their Rules.

This led House Aan not only to control most of the routes but to be able to defend them from the various bands of pirates who would make their livlyhoods by attacking any ship that looked plump and poorly defended. Some of these Pirates were even backed by various Houses who would, almost with a mark of writ, would gladly allow the pirates to sell any goods that belonged to another House at any planet the controlled. House Aan has fought this kind of privateering in space for ages and still continue to fight it to this day.

Currently House Aan is led by Her Imperial Magesty Angelica Aan who is in a tough spot. Her grandfather Casey Aan was considered one of the best Emperors to grace the throne. He negotiated the peace between the LaJoies and the Ndebeles over loans given and repayed or not. He negotiated the end of the expansion wars between many of the smaller houses that tried to expand quickly, often at the expense of each other which then blossomed into armed conflict and wars that threatened the fabric of the empire. Casey didn't just make peace, often times he understood when and where the hammer needed to fall in order to ensure that what was best for the Empire was done.

Angelica's father, Byron Aan, took all the good work that his father did and nearly destroyed it. He was linked romantically with several people, who in turn used him to get what they wanted from the Imperial Throne. He put out edict after contradicting edict all while wasting away the Aan fortune on food, sexual adventure, exotic objects and anything else that tickled his fancy. Thankfully he died soon after Angelica turned twenty, there were some mysterious circumstances surrounding his death but the Aan family took the "natural causes" death as a sign that the lifestyle had finally caught up with the former Emperor.

Now Angelica is left with a difficult task. She must rebuild the Aan reputation of Imperial quality all while the sharks are beginning to circle the throne. The mysterious Campbells have returned from their self imposed exile. The Zhangs and the Ndebeles are starting to fight again and her allies are few and far between. She needs to show that she can lead the empire with a strong and steady hand before someone takes the reigns of power away from her through House edict or by force.

Boardgame Geek - Or why I make games for me

I make games that I like to play.

That sounds like a simple statement but in reality it's not. With a lot of focus on marketability and the next big thing sometimes the fact that you can make games that you like to play. With a lot of people yelling at you about what they think makes a good game, you can forget to make games that you like to play.

I make games that I like to play.

I felt the need to say that because I was over at board game geek and I was reading the comments that people have left for games. Not for any of my games, Suitors has had ten comments about it for the past two years and it might seem like whining. This isn't whining, this is more getting at the point that I make games that I like to play and I don't see Suitors getting any more comments any time soon.

However, there are a lot of people on board game geek who seem to feel the need to comment on games that they patently won't like. As if this is some kind of badge of honour or something.

"I hated this type of game, but I played it anyway and now I'm going to complain about it."
"I hated this game so much that I'm going to play the sequel and then complain about it."
"I hated this game so much that if they come out with another expansion I'm going to give it a 1 without actually having played it."

I read this and all I do is shake my head. I don't really get that mentality. It's like saying you played a game that you hate just so you can complain about it to your friends, and that you're completely right that the game is horrible even if a lot of other people think that the game is great. Is life so horrible that you feel that you have to increase your misery so that you can complain about more things?

A review tells you what's both bad and good about a game. Usually this is also the case after you've played the game a variety of ways. Not just one way and then having given up on it. If I don't like a game, I'm willing to at least give it another shot. I'm also willing to look at the positives of a game because there's no game that is completely bad (even Munchkin, which I hate with the passion of a thousand suns but I can admit that is sells an experience that a lot of people are interested in and that's why it's popular).

Example. Flying Frog Productions has a Zombie game called "Last Night On Earth" which we played as a six player game and my experience with the game wasn't great. The production value is amazing, the pieces are great and the actual design is pretty good. Where it fell flat for me is that we always got stuck in the school, and each turn for the players consisted of the following steps.

1. I search
2. I grimace that the card I got sucked
3. I passed

And we did this, all of us, while the zombies got to do cool things and killed us dead. This happened twice.

Now this game might be better played if I wasn't exhausted and if it had less people involved. I bet this would be spectacular at 2 or even 4, but at 6 it didn't float my boat. What does that mean? I'd probably end up giving it a try with 4 or 2 people. That also means I'm not going to pass judgement on the game as a whole because I had one bad experience with it. Certainly I grumbled about it to friends, but I didn't post my "OMG BAD TIME HAD" on the internet and try to bring the game down for it. There's a difference between a conversation and something in type.

I know that felt like a digression into how to criticise things but I will bring it back to my point. The point is that the world is full of these people, who only seem to be happy when they're complaining about something. You can never make these people happy, so ultimately you should make things that you're happy with.

Make games that you like to play.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

DCG - The Galaxy -

As per request from David I'm gonna go over how the Universe is set up.

The Galaxy is pretty big. Each House has their own territory within that galaxy. They have their solar systems, they have their planets and they have their own absolute sovereign rights within that territory. No one else can come in and tell them what to do on their land, as it were. That means that what's legal in one isn't necessarily legal in all. In some, like the Zhang and the LaJoie territories slavery is outlawed while the Campbells still practice it.

One of the reasons why the Imperial House was set up was that while each House can pretty much do what it wants to do in its own turf, things get murky when they try to trade between these places. That's what the Emperor is supposed to do. They are supposed to define the relationship between the Houses. So what can be traded, what the tarifs are, what the relationships happen. The Emperor is the judge and ombudsman that helps the houses settle their differences and can enforce any edicts as are deemed necessary.

There is a capitol planet where the Empire rests. Each House sends representatives there to push their interests to the emperor and keep an eye on each other. Factions takes place on that planet.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DCG - Faction 3 - LaJoie House

The third of the three original Great Houses is House LaJoie. House LaJoie may not have had the largest army, or the most influence but what they had was the most money. They had found various deposits of precious metals on the various worlds that they controlled which allowed them to gain wealth faster than the other houses. Then, instead of sitting on it, the LaJoie family used it to help others with interest. They started forming banking organizations, and they are the only family that has territory all over other Houses territory. All banks are considered to be LaJoie property.

The LaJoies are quite happy to stay in the background and fund those who they want to see succeed, or those who might bring in the most profit to them. Sometimes these goals were at odds, but ultimately it was the LaJoie's who ended up being the deciding factor in many conflicts as they simply stopped funding the people who they didn't want to win. This behaviour is what caused the Campbells and the Zhangs to include House LaJoie in their discussions and it was House LaJoie that caused the Zhangs to come into power first.

When the civil war between the Zhangs and the Campbells happened the LaJoie's were split. There were those that saw increasing the number of Great Houses as a good thing, it gave them more people to trade with who could work on a grander scale, and there were those who thought that more Houses would mean that there were more people to watch out for in the future. Ultimately the first faction won out and they helped the Zhangs defeat the Campbells and then because there really was no other choice the leader of the inclusive faction of the LaJoies, Henriette, become the next Emperor. Her first edict was to welcome the newer houses into the fold. There were only two that had survived which were House Aan and House Ndebele.

The reign of Henriette LaJoie was very short. While the Emperor is able to get a lot of gifts and bribes from the various houses who are looking to influence the arbiter one way or another, there is also a large head ache that comes with this type of power. The LaJoie's had to raise an army, and pay them, for the length of the Lajoie tenure, which was only three generations at 75 years. Then and there the Lajoie's decided that the last thing they wanted was the Imperial Stewardship. Let the others play with games of power, they would control the purse strings behind the throne.

Over the years House LaJoie has been known as the hedonistic House. They have the money to afford what they want and the money to cover up any indiscretions that might come to light later. Love Affairs, Dueling, High Romance or Secret Passions usually have their root with the LaJoies. Some within dislike this reputation that the House has and do their best to live in austerity, but there are enough young LaJoie's running around the place who like to fulfill what they view as their role in society that there is a great tension developing between the generations.

Forum is back up!

My forums are back up!

yay! Ugly as sin but up and usable. I'll take that!

Friday, September 4, 2009

DCG - Faction 2 - Campbell House

The Campbell House was one of the original three Great Houses that founded the empire. They believed that it was their right, as in the right of the great houses, with all the resources available to them to lead the lesser houses. In part it was the rule, but the other idea was that they wanted a certain level of control to prevent any other players from moving up the ladder. There was a wish that they could do it on their own, but the Zhang and the LaJoies were too big to be handled without a large war that would devastate everyone.

Then things didn't go as well as they had hoped. While making the arrangements necessary to build the Empire the Campbells did their best to instill a sense of ownership to the process. They desired to lead the Empire for many years and Asa Campbell believed that he could deal with all the rules that were put in place to try to check the dynasties and made sure that when one fell the whole Empire didn't tumble with it. However, when it came time to choose the emperor Zhang Hui was chosen instead of Asa Campbell. This pricked Asa's personal sense of honor, but to complain now would undermine the entire enterprise and when the time came to take the Power from the Zhangs it would be a house of cards and it would crumble at the first sign of wind.

The Campbell House spent the next 130 years living out Asa's personal insult. They were abrupt with the rest of the other Houses and kept up their desire to be the next in line of the three for the throne. They did it through their influence as the largest of the Great Houses, they did it through blackmail and backroom deals and through peddling their influence through out the other Houses. Buying a person there with cash, with threats in another place when needed. It was all set for when the Zhangs would fall, and the Campbells would see that they did. Then Zhang Hui did the unthinkable, he wanted to add some of the up and coming smaller houses to the ranks of the Great, to allow them to be considered for the Imperial Throne. That was too much for Adrienne Campbell. This must have been an attempt by the other Greats to push the Campbells out of their rightful place. This started the first "civil" conflict between the Zhangs and the Campbells, with the Lajoies witnessing on the sidelines.

It was a brief conflict with the Zhangs coming out on top more often than not when the LaJoie's did something to end it quickly. They sided with the Zhangs which caused the Campbells to backdown rather quickly. Fighting a losing war on two fronts wasn't their ideal situation. However, they did call for the Zhangs to be replaced and that's what the Lajoies were made the Imperial house by general decree for "saving the Empire."

The Campbells, affronted by the fact that they were not made the next Imperial House mixed with the new Great Houses (since the LaJoie's upheld the decision to add new houses) caused them to retreat into their own territory. They have been absent for the past 500 years. Their estates being cared for by staff, but the whole family stayed within a self imposed exile in their own little section of space. Some thought that they had vanished, and tried to grow at House Campbell's expense only to meet a strong and dedicated military force destroying any attempt to encroach on their space.

Now, in the year 650 IHE there is activity in the old Campbell dwellings. It seems that a diplomatic ship is coming to the Capitol to take command of the Campbell holdings. What it brings nobody knows but who ever comes will be cloaked in absense and legend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

DCG - Faction 1 - House Zhang

Joe, who is desiging the look of the cards (interestingly enough he's got his own company and he does this design stuff too) wanted a run down on all the houses so he could get a feel for them. I figure why not just let everyone know what's going on with them so that there's a little bit of material already there.

The Zhang house was one of the first three founding houses. They are the only house to have been the Emperor twice in the past four hundred years with their last pass as emperor being only just 75 years ago. They are known far and wide as people who propose peace and stability instead of open conflict. It's why they were drawn to the idea of the Imperial Ruling House accord that started the current timeline. They were drafted in -8 IHE and were signed on 0IHE which marked the start of the Imperial House. The Zhang house was chosen to lead the Empire during that time and led for 150 years.

That dynasty fell when Zhang Hui introduced new great houses to the original three. War broke out between the Zhang House and the Campbell House. Ultimately this led to the ascention of the LaJoie House which upheld the Zhang decision. In part this was done because the LaJoies felt that if they ignored the Zhang Hui edicts then other emperors would ignore that which they didn't see fit their reign. It created the precedent that anything a previous emperor had done couldn't be rescinded, modified certainly but nothing ever left the books of law.

The last Zhang Dynasty was much shorter than the first Dynasty. It only lasted two generations as Zhang Yi died childless, she had decided that she didn't want to have children, and so the Imperial House fell to the current Nasra House. In keeping with being first they were the first House to lose their Dynasty through a lack of successors. Yi felt that dynasties that were in power for too long frequently feel to corruption and the loss of the house through a peaceful process would be less damaging financially to the family than if they lost it through war.

The Zhang House, being one of the founding houses, is not known for anything in particular. They do a little bit of everything, from running trading ships to making weapons to manufacturing products to arts and culture. In fact, if there is one thing to be said, the Zhang House has more artists in their space than any other. That doesn't make them weak, far from it. The Zhangs have the most skilled military minds in all the galaxy. They're known for being able to take victory away from the hungry jaws of defeat using unorthodox and sometimes insane tactics.

This skill will be put to the test as the Ndebele House feels that they need to expand their territory a little bit and their first target is the Zhang House. There is a solar system with a couple of high resource planets that have yet to be fully explored by the Zhangs and the Ndebele want, almost need these resources to keep their militarism and their expansion going.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fan Expo 2009

Fan Expo used to be the con that we did because it was in downtown Toronto. It wasn't really a con you did because it offered anything in particular that was useful. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit. The first year I went it was great and then for the next 3 it was progressively worse and worse. It wasn't a case of if something would go horribly wrong but when it would go horribly wrong.

This year was different. This year there was stuff that went wrong but it wasn't that big a deal actually. It allowed me to relax and have a good time and this year it was possible to have a good time with games at Fan Expo. I've written about last year here and that wasn't pretty, but that was last year. Let me tell you about this year.

First of all there was a lot more organization when it came to the games that were being played. There were actual slots and actual events that were being run on time and full of people. That was a first, usually you just sat down because no one had an idea of what the hell was going. It wasn't a good thing no matter what anyone told you. You couldn't plan anything because you had to keep checking the room to see if something was being played. If you're in Toronto, I most heartily suggest joining TAG because they're an awesome group of people who can get things organized and done. They've got lots of people playing games with lots of meet ups so that you can get to know people and hang out. Seriously good times.

Secondly the big SNAFU that happened this year was that only the LARP I submitted got listed. Really I thought that was a good thing becaues I had made the conscious choice taht I wasn't going to do much at the con. This just reinforced it. I didn't get angry, I just saw it as a chance to unwind and it was an opportunity I couldn't afford to squander. It meant that I got to hang out more with Jess, Malcolm and Pieter. I did some panels, which I'll get into later, and I actually got to play some Battletech. This never, ever happens to me and it was fun. Infantry for the win.

Third, the panels were pretty fun. The first one on Friday had too many people, it was me, Jess, Malcolm, Pieter, Jason and ... and ... one of the guys from Polymancer. I'd like to remember their names but I tend to lump them all together for some reason in my head. I think it was Andrew, but I'm not 100% sure of that. Anyway, it was an okay panel but there certainly were too many people. Especially for a writing panel because writing is just one of those things that we all can talk about and have talked about at length. Since all of us could talk about it at length we did and it ended up being a lot of talking over each other.

The second panel I ended up doing was the "How to publish your own RPG" panel. It was supposed to be Malcolm, Polymancer and I doing the panel but there was a schedule bug which said that the panel was at 12:00 but also at 4:00. We did it at 4:00 because that's when the room was available. Malcolm was expecting it to be at 12:00 so he checked in with his family to make sure that he could go, and if he couldn't he just wouldn't show. He said goodbye and didn't show. Which was fine because there was at least me and someone else. Then there was the fact that Polymancer packed up and left by 3:00 pm. That meant the panel was just me.


It was though, strangely enough. We started out on the right foot where I was pretty sure no one had a clue who I was and that was fine and I think we had a good time. There were no videogame questions. I got to throw in a couple of references to gender and race issues which was nice. Someone recorded it and asked if it was okay to throw it up on Youtube. I didn't see why not so we'll see if and when that gets up there.

Anyway, good con all around. Small things could have been better but those are little things that are going to be in any show.

Good con, good times and now let's get back to work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mile High Dragon is a go!

Hey everyone!

Mile High Dragon is good to go! It's currently available at and!

It's only 10.00$, it's fully searchable, has an index and has enough bookmarks to let you hop freely between sections. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thoughts on Gen Con

I think I need to re-evalutate my opinion of Gen Con. I used to hate it with a passion because it seemed that they would do some pretty stupid stuff. One year they were so paranoid that there were people who were inside the convention centre, not the hall or a game, that in order to walk around they were checking badges at chokepoints every like 15 metres. I got so annoyed because you had to line up every so often as a security guard who give you a dirty look and then squint at your badge.

Bad customer experience right there.

Then there's the time when everything was somewhere else. I don't know why, but apparently there was a push to expand things into more hotels and so unless you had your own room nothing was where it said it was in the guide. Seriously, nothing. I missed so many games because I was at one place, the HQ was closed and my game was at another place. They needed to make up for it by having longer hours to make up for the fact that if you didn't have the mysterious piece of papers that told you where things were or an HQ open when you went to the Hotel chances are you were in the wrong spot. What was frustrating was that it wasn't as if the rooms they moved you from were being used. I was moved from an empty room once, completely empty.

Bad volunteer experience right there.

This year was different. Surprisingly different. First of all the GM badge getting was phenominally awesome. It was smooth, well organized and quick. Seriously, there was a line up and the line up was continuously moving because they had planned for people being part of groups picking up their badges and moved those to a special line to get them out of the way of us stand alone folk. Serious hats off to them all for that.

As per normal my stuff went off on Thursday and then the rest of the con people were busy playing actual games. That doesn't really bother me that much anymore. It used it, it used to hurt a lot actually because I always wondered why people wouldn't show up. I'm a little older, a little wiser and I get why they don't show up.

That's getting a head though. Wednesday was when I helped out at the Red Dragon Inn. That's right, there was a whole restaurant inside the Mariott that had turned into the Red Dragon Inn. It was pretty sweet and there are lots of pictures of the place. It was lots of fun hanging out there.

Friday there was more helping out at the Smirk and Dagger booth, because I can only get by with a little help from my friends, and much of the same thing on Saturday.

The good news from the con is that I got a project almost accepted. Not that it didn't make it, it's just not finalized so I'm not going to talk about it just yet. I'm excited about it and can't wait to actually get to work on it.

I know I'm not going into as much detail as other people, but you know what it's been a while and I'm pretty boring at Gen Con. I didn't do crazy things but there was a lot of personal stuff that went on and a lot of good times were had but isn't really that what a convention is all about?

CyberGeneration Webcomic

Hey everyone, there's a group of awesome people who have waded through the hazards of the RPG industry and have gotten the rights to do a CyberGeneration Webcomic.

I though I'd help them out with some editing and they've got the first page up and going.

Go check it out now! Now! I command it!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


There are two things that I think need to post here because they need to be widely disseminated.

The first is the Back Up - The Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Project and of course, the Gentlemen's Auxiliary. Basically, it can be boiled down into the following pledge:

f your situation looks dangerous enough I can't help on my own, I will call over friends or, if it's a situation in which I think the cops would be on your side, I will call the cops. If you're being harassed by a guy, you can say so to me, even if you don't know me. I pledge I will distract him so you can get away, or I will tell him that he needs to leave, or whatever I can do to the best of my ability. I pledge that yes, actually, because you are a woman I will give you the benefit of the doubt. If you tell me that a guy just did something shitty to you I will not refuse to look at any evidence and tell you that I know him and he's a great guy and you must have been imagining things. I have great loyalty to my male friends but I will not allow that to blind me to the fact that none of us are saints and even my best friends can screw up and may need to be called on it. I pledge that I will walk you to your car if you don't feel safe walking alone at night, and then you can drive me to mine. Yes, even at Wiscon. I pledge that even if I don't know you, if there is a creepy guy following you around, you can say so, and I will not say to you go hide in your room; I will say to him go find another party, or if necessary, go home. I will come with you if you need to talk to the con organizers. I will not make you feel like your right to control over your own body is not a big deal.

The second one is the Con Anti-Harassment Project which I have yet to follow up on but probably will tonight during the wilds of my work. Conventions should be fun for everyone, not just the creep dude getting off on trying to "get with the ladies."

So keep this stuff in mind when you head out for Gen Con soon. I know I'm going to try my best to do what I can for the auxillary!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Voting for the ENnies

Hey there folks.

A friend of mine has something up for an ENnie again, she's particularly awesome. So go vote for it! Even if you haven't checked it out, I have an it's awesome and we all know whatever I say goes, right? Right?

It's called the Rose-Bride's Plight and it's up for Best Adventure.

The URL for voting is here. Go vote for other stuff too, but make sure you give that nod to the Rose-Bride's Plight! Hurry up, voting closes August 1st!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dex Con

DexCon. What can I say about DexCon other than I love this place. It's where I get to see a lot of people I only get to see twice a year and hang out with them for several hours at a time.

The biggest thing I'm going to talk about here though is the CyberGen LARP that I run. Seriously, it's amazing amounts of fun. I don't know how this managed to get as big as it has over the past little bit but apparently people like it. We had 30 people doing stuff and the most I can remember about what happened was that things happened. I think there was a hospital break out. I think possibly a bus got tipped or something but ultimately it was awesome because the players made it so.

I might go into more detail later about Dex Con and the LARP but I just wanted to get that out there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

DCG - Alpha 3 - Project Updates

The good thing about this Alpha is that we haven't found a whole series of problems that requires me to print up a whole bunch of different cards. This is feeling to be closer and closer to an actual Beta set which means that I might just release it as Beta and then start working on making it better through general public Beta and then release it as a full game in a year or so of Beta testing, or a couple of months of solid beta testing.

That way we can make some extra cards and then start releasing the services that I think will make some money for us and the artists.

Changes made after Dex Con:

1. Combat rules have changed. I didn't like the whole "army" thing and made it like "magic" attacking. Except that instead of the player, you attack cards. Kind of like how they're doing it with planeswalkers.

2. Splitting up the Deck. I think I may go with a two deck format where you have 35 cards in each deck. That number is arbitrary, but it's what I'm going with right now. One deck is Effect Deck (placeholder name) which has nothing but fast effects. One deck is the Resource deck which is filled with everything else. When you want to draw a card you may draw a card from either deck. I may change the number of cards drawn, but right now that's what we've got.

3. Command skill. Changed what it does because there were no longer any teams. Now it allows you to draw look at X cards in the fast effect deck and use them for the combat.

4. Turns. I may have it so that turns are at the same time. More in an Allegiance style because the my turn, your turn didn't work out so well. First player again got way too much of an advantage. The other thing is that this will help with multiplayer games.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


It's been a little behind but this is basically my run down of Origins.

First of all I love Origins. If given the choice between Origins and Gen Con I'll take Origins everytime. The people are friendlier, the gamers are a little bit more fun and you're able to get to see what people are developing because they have those games. Heck, that's what they're tryign to do. They're trying to sit down and come up with really interesting ways to get people to come to Origins.

The other one is the day pass. You can pay 3 bucks and show up and walk around the dealer's room for the whole day. This is great, if I lived in Columbus I would so show up every single day and play games. That's like 12 bucks for a full day of gaming for four days because you can hop from table to table and just play games all weekend. Best idea ever.

What's happening though is that for some reason Origins was a lot smaller this year. I can understand some reasons. The economy sucks, it's still too close to Gen Con in both location and time frame (though the time frame is getting better), no one has anything new to sell at Origins, etc. At the same time, I don't get it because to me Origins is a much better playing experience. I've had a great time at Origins and I have yet to have a great time running at Gen Con.

We still run at Gen Con. You need to be where all the people go, I just think we'd all be better served if more people went to Origins instead.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Multiple Projects

Doing a lot of things at once is both a blessing and a curse. When you get bored with one thing then you can move onto the next thing and so on and so forth. The problem happens when you've got too many projects on the go. You end up hoping from one to another with no end in sight.

Then what's worse, more and more get closer to getting finished and then they're all at the finish line.

Nothing is scarier then actually completing a project.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Alpha Version 3

The nice thing about Alphas is that you will find what's wrong with them pretty quickly and then need to fix them.

The bad news is that for a DCG/CCG that means you're either modifying a lot of cards, or making up new ones. I tend to go for the new ones, which is bad on me but I think makes it easier to test. I'm not above modifications, but wholesale changes need to be made ... well, wholesale.

Things are shaping up a bit more. I still need to make the game deadlier, right now it's really hard to attack anything or anyone which means that I think I need to give people attack abilities more often. That way you're not stuck with a bunch of people who sit there looking "pretty." I am toying with making attack a permanent stat, but then I think the game loses some of the strategy.

Decisions, decision, decisions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reasons to Perform

Great. Now that I know someone's reading this I'm going to feel the need to post more.

There's something to be said for having a reason to perform.

I will still be rambling and/or not re-reading most of what I write, mainly because I don't see the point of that. This isn't being submitted in places. ^_^

More on Alpha Testing later.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

DCG Alpha 2.0


So, as notes to myself and anyone else who might pass along for some strange reason here are what I got from 2 games.

1. Steal and Sap are bad ideas. They need to be rarer and always way more expensive then they are now. They're too "lock downy"
2. No where near damaging enough. Basically I had a character that was like "Oops, totally shield walling it"
3. Rebalance, Rebalance, Rebalance.

That's just what I want to keep track of now. Ugh, now I want to scrap the whole thing and try again.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Banality on the Internets? For shame!

There is something in general that really bothers me about games on facebook. For the most part, they aren't games. There is nothing inherently challenging or strategic about them at all, it's just collect as much stuff as you can afford and then click a lot. I should also state that this involves games that are built for facebook, not games that were adapted to facebook.

Okay, that's a little unfair. There are games there that involve some degree of strategy, but not a lot. It's more like modification and then you spend a lot of time clicking. The clicking is an automatic success. It will always work, there is 0% change of failure. Again, this is not a game. A game is a series of risks and rewards that you try to navigate better than everyone else. Most of these things are time sinks that are really good at marketing themselves.

Now CFC has a little bit more of a navigational challenge. For those who aren't up to date (ha! I make myself laugh, people reading this) we wanted to make a Facebook game that was a bit more of a challenge than the standard game. I believe we succeeded. We've got a game where your move, style and stance selection makes a big part of how well you do in the game. Our problem is that we're not that good at doing the marketing bit. That's what the next incarnation of CFC is going to focus on. We're looking at creating circuits so you can just click buttons, but you had better hope that you manage to set yourself up right otherwise you're going to lose. Integrate the facebook mindless clicking with a bit of actual game play.

But that's just me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Alpha set mocked up

Finally, after how many months ... the Alpha set is mocked up.

Now I just gotta play it and watch as every single flaw is magnified.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dreamation 2009

So, I do two cons in the same area. This breaks a rule of conventioning, unless you live in the area doing cons in the same spot is usually a bad idea. This is why Origins is dying and Gen Con is flourishing. They are too close to each other in both location and time which means that the game companies are using Origins as the party place and Gen Con as the work place. It's not going to go well for Origins if they stay in the same spot and/or time, which is sad because I prefer Origins to Gen Con. Without question, but that's just me, your milage may vary.

I do Dreamation and DexCon, which are run by the same people in the same place, because I love these conventions. Seriously, I'd do them and Origins and the Toronto ones and be happy because they are just a fun time all around. From beginning to end, the people at Double Exposure do everything they can to make you feel welcome.

Anyway, the main reason why we're there is to run CyberGen. I bring Suitors, but the key thing is that everyone there has played Suitors three times over. They like it, but most of the people who bought it have already bought it. That's fine, I'm here to run some CyberGen. The cool thing is that the NAGA folk are here in force and we're starting to try to get more stuff to them in printed format, rather than the "this is all in my head" format that I usually do. We need to get others on this so that we can get other people to help us promote the game.

The second thing I'm there for is the LARP. Oh my god that LARP. It was awesome. We had a total of 23 people show up and three storylines going and I didn't really push a single thing. It was a case of everyone just running and doing their own thing. It was phenominal. I hope to keep this momentum going so that we can give everyone an update on the LARP.

The game ended with two people evolving, and a Rad starting a riot to give them cover to escape. It just reinforced this lesson that I've learned by doing all of five LARP events. This is a story for the players, not a story for me. I want them to run with their stories, and I may put down some elements that will try to rope the players into something, but if it doesn't then it's not the end of the world because if you give them sufficient motivation then they'll do it themselves.

We also got two interviews done at the con.

The first one is from Elizabeth Amber and can be found here.
The second is from the Bacon Ice Cream Crew and can be found here.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Page XX Article

We've got an article posted over at Page XX by Pelgrane Press.

It's an article on making your own CCG. It's the first one, there should be more but go check it out!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Them Resolutions

So, I think it's time to come up with some New Years Resolutions for myself. I've completely stolen this from Save Vs DM but I'm sure he'll forgive me on this.

1. Run more:

I need to find the time to run more, and take the time I need to make sure that the games that I run are a lot better.

2. Run more CyberGen:

I'm not running any CyberGen games. That's a lie, I've got a PBEM game of CyberGen going on, I should really be trying to run it more often than I do.

3. Finish projects:

I have been known to sit down and start something and then get distracted by a shiny new object. I need to buckle down and finish stuff by the end of this first three months. One of them is a new CyberGen book, which hopefully will do well.

That's it for now. I think this year is going to be the year of resolutions. The year where I sit back and every time there's another chance for a resolution I will make it on the spot

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