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Thread: Howdy doody

  1. #1
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    Howdy doody

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    Hello all

    Just stumbled on this site. I'm already on a number of other forums but, you know, you can never be on too many forums! Especially if you're a game designer... Don't worry, I won't subject the forum to relentless shilling. I'll post about my games in the relevant forum in a bit, but first, who am I? No, really, who am I? I've forgotten. Hang on, [pulls up shirt collar] Er, says here "Leo Marshall, form 3B". Ah, so that's who I am. Hang on, it's coming back to me now... I'm a 47yo gamer (both RPG and boardgames) and I live in London, England. In fact I've only been roleplaying for two years (two years next month in fact): I rocked up at a big games con on the 'sunny' South Coast here in the good ole' U of K, thinking it was a boardgames con. I realised my error on tbe first day, but then ended up playing a couple of cool games- Dogs in the Vineyard and Fiasco- and I was hook, line and sinkered! Been enthusiastically roleplaying ever since. And, as I have a creative bent, it wasn't long before I started to have ideas for games; however, as I say, no shilling in this thread.

    So, what games do I like to play. Well, I must admit to being a pretty hard-core narativist, and a 'dirty hippy' one at that- I'm big on small press one-shot games such as Witch, Microscope, Dead of Night etc. So, do I never play any 'trad' games then? Oh yes, I do. Matter of fact the guy I'm co-writing one of my games with is pretty trad so thanks to him I've played HEX, nWod (V:tM and Changeling: the Lost), Victoriana and most recently a beta playtest of a fairly combat-heavy game called Crimson Exodus. That proved a wee bit crunchy for me but it's still a good game. What else? Er, well I'm a HUGE fan of CoC, and I also like The Laundry (I'm also very into SF and am a budding SF writer), so all in all I cover a broad range, and will very rarely flatly refuse to play something because it's too trad, or too combat heavy or whatever.

    Ok, looking for'ard to chatting wit' y'all!

    Chizz
    Leo

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    Hello, fellow aspiring game-content creator Talk about your happier accidents

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    Hi Astro!

    First one: watching an ep of Futurama around this time last year entitled Mars University, where Bender goes back to his old frat house, I suddenly thought 'Robot House? Alien House!' And so began the crafting of my game Sci-Fi Beta Kappa. Second one: I was on a commuter train a few weeks ago , coming back from a small mini-con about an hour outside London, and looking round I noticed quite a wide variety of family units, which however still fell within the traditional ma and pa and 2.4 kids stereotype. Or did they? I found myself musing on what kinds of unusual family models might have been represented on this train journey, did I but know it. From that followed Where The Heart Is, a game about atypical family units.

    So, will I always come up with game ideas by accident? Or should I at some point sit down and design some games about specific topics? And, widening it out, in general do designers produce most of their games off the back of a chance encounter, an advertising hoarding or overheard conversation etc., or do they mostly write to theme or subject matter?

    Anyway, that's me for the time being, what about your projects?
    Last edited by catty_big; 11-01-2012 at 06:00 PM.

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    A game about unusual family units? I'm having trouble mentally extrapolating on that theme as a gateway to adventure.

    For me, random life events tend to influence flavor and characters, more than whole game concepts. I thoroughly embrace that reality is stranger than fiction, which has the side effect of making fantasy a bit difficult for me. Who needs wimpy swords, fireballs and wish spells when you can be gaming with cybernetics, nebulae and starships?

    (Since you had asked, here's slightly different detail about my projects.) Projects one and two are a Star Trek d20 rulebook written from the ground up without reference to outside rulebooks; that one is going to be public domain once I'm happy with its core (read: after playtesting) - the other is a D&D campaign setting done my way - mixing mostly classic influences (meaning more than 20 years old) e.g. old-old basic D&D flavored adventures, classic Final Fantasy style world construction ... really going for maximum romance in that setting. Tears or GTFO. Projects three and four are a D&D setting that I'll probably render somewhat like a hybrid between a board game and a mini-campaign (board game only in that it's meant to be replayed) rather severely inspired by Minecraft of all things, and a demi-cyberpunk setting which has fallen very much to the back burner, ever since realizing that a self-contained secessionist-nation-in-a-box is too much detail for a first-phase project.

    Sci-Fi Beta Kappa sounds like it could be both Toon-funny and chock full of horror elements.

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    welcome to the boards. for your beta kappa game, also check out the baron munchausen rpg. worth your time, especially as a narrativist.

    speaking of spells versus tech, ever check out dragonstar? dragons finally get fed up and conquer the whole planet. and then the galaxy. high draconic galactic emperor? check. drow secret police? check. holographic spellbooks? check. teleportation based jump drive? check. computers casting spells? well, they are working on that....
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  6. #6
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroMacGuffin View Post
    Agame about unusual family units? I'm having trouble mentally extrapolating on that theme as a gateway to adventure.

    No, sure, itís not an adventure game, and as such it probably doesnít warrant mentioning on a forum like this one. I only mentioned it as part of my intro, to show what kind of gamer/game designer I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroMacGuffin View Post
    I thoroughly embrace that reality is stranger than fiction, which has the side effect of making fantasy a bit difficult for me.Who needs wimpy swords, fireballs and wish spells when you can be gaming withcybernetics, nebulae and starships?
    .

    True. Thatís an interesting point.

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroMacGuffin View Post
    (Since you had asked, here's slightly different detail about my projects.) Projects one and two are a Star Trek d20 rulebookwritten from the ground up without reference to outside rulebooks; that one is going to be public domain once I'm happy with its core (read: afterplaytesting) - the other is a D&D campaign setting done my way - mixing mostly classic influences (meaning more than 20 years old) e.g. old-old basicD&D flavored adventures, classic Final Fantasy style world construction ...really going for maximum romance in that setting. Tears or GTFO. Projects threeand four are a D&D setting that I'll probably render somewhat like a hybridbetween a board game and a mini-campaign (board game only in that it's meant to be replayed) rather severely inspired by Minecraft of all things, and ademi-cyberpunk setting which has fallen very much to the back burner, eversince realizing that a self-contained secessionist-nation-in-a-box is too muchdetail for a first-phase project.

    Good luck with all of that. It does seem ambitious, but why not? Nothing ventured nothing gained I say. I find it helpful with large projects to break them down and just to do a bit at a time, maybe allocate a few hours a week to it, and donít be downhearted if it sticks a little now and then- youíll get there in the end. Incidentally, re: d20 Star Trek: I found out recently thereís both a d20 and a d6 Star Wars; mySFBK co-writer viscerally hates d20 (havenít been able to get from him precisely why), so maybe having games with d20 and another system for those whosteadfastly refuse to play d20 is one way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroMacGuffin View Post
    Sci-Fi Beta Kappa sounds like it could be bothToon-funny and chock full of horror elements.

    Someone on another forum described it as like Teenagers From Outer Space but with highereducation. Itís been called a beer and pretzels game (beer and crisps here inthe UK) but it kind of isnít. For one thing the system is very tightly woundand carefully calibrated to produce a game which, while being full of anarchichilarity, is actually very far from silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    welcometo the boards. for your beta kappa game, also check out the baron munchausenrpg. worth your time, especially as a narrativist.

    Thanks! Ah yes,the Baron. The game has been one of the ice-breaker activities on the first day of Indiecon for the last few years now. Sadly I havenít been able to join in as yet due to always leaving something on the bus when I go to catch my train, thus ending up arriving a day or so late. I hope this year Iíll be able to finally make it...

    Although I almost always describe myself as a narrativist if asked- itís a useful label sometimes- Iím not all that keen on labelling in general. Itís true that I cleave to games like Fiasco and Dogs in The Vineyard rather than to D&D and WoD etc. but, having said that, Iím happy to play almost anything if the setting looks interesting and I respect the GM. I havenít got to play D&D as yet but thereís a guy at my club whoís sort of made it his mission to get me to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    speaking of spells versus tech, ever check out Dragonstar? dragons finally get fed up and conquer the whole planet. and then the galaxy. high draconic galactic emperor? check. drow secret police? check. holographic spellbooks? check. teleportation based jump drive? check. computers casting spells? well, they are working on that....

    Ooh, sounds right up my cobbled alleyway! Will check it out.

    Ok, a good few days on the forum so far. You seem like a bunch of cool guys, look forward to chatting with youse more, about games, gaming, life, the universe and everything. However, as Iím on quite a few forums, and canít type very fast, and sort of have to run my business occasionally, I probably wonít be able to reply as swiftly to comments and queries as Iíd like. Apologies if it seems like youíre just firing comments into the ether. I am here, and I will reply eventually .
    Last edited by catty_big; 11-05-2012 at 09:30 AM.

  7. #7
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    hope you enjoy it. it is a d20 system setting, which is technically d&d, which might either cool your jets, or pacify your friend. two birds, with one cat, perhaps?
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    two birds, with one cat, perhaps?
    Now I'm sold! Actually, I've never been a huge lover or hater of systems. I rarely find they're so clunky/ill-defined as to utterly kill the game. I agree with Ron Edwards (sort of) that "System Matters", e.g. if you know you're targeting a narrativist audience you try to ensure that the mechanics don't hold up the story, and if you're targeting gamists you need to have clear win conditions etc., although of course most gamers aren't 100% G, N or S. That said, I was playing The Laundry earlier this year (great books by Charles Stross btw), which uses BRP. I thought that in that case BRP made the game a bit under-powered, and yearned for a few d100-style specialisms.

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    ^^ glad to help. you'll have to scrounge for the dragonstar books, as the ffg site seems to no longer display them.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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