24 July, 2008

Candycreeps (TAKE 2)

The first time I wrote this, it didn't take. The computer crashed during post upload.

Between finishing work on the Eighth Sea, deciding on follow up projects and real work, I've being doing some layout work for Nick and Elizabeth Licata on their new game "Candycreeps". It looks like a fun setting with a simple and fast game mechanic. I don;t know how much more I can write about this without getting their permission first, but I'd recommend people have a look at it if their into the cute gothic aesthetic of "Emily the Strange" and the tokyo Gothic Lolita look.

22 July, 2008

Five Cards

I've been trawling the web for information about generating a random hand of five cards. The aim here is the create an automated random character generator for the Eighth Sea (first generate a random occupation template, then fill the remainder of the character's attributes and skills with randomised values using the random character generation method described in the rulebook).

This quest led me to a fascinating game called Five Card Nancy which demands further exploration (there's a random online version also). It also led me to the Livejournal of Scott McCloud, and suddenly feel less guilty about not updating this blog as often as I could.

Not that I put myself in the same realm as Scott, but it did make me feel a bit better.


Over the past couple of months I've been to Supanova and I've been to GenCon Oz.

I had intended to go to both of these conventions with some kind of product that I could use sell. Or at least attend the conventions with a product that would showcase my thoughts and ideas.

In this regard, GenCon Oz was far more successful. But on the other hand, I did meet someone at Supanova who thought my artwork showed talent. So I'm going to start working on a few new ideas that could be used in a comic.

In this regard I've had a few ideas that might have a bit of potential. The problem I'm having now is that some of the ideas are much better suited to a roleplaying game where the players can interactively explore the ideas within their own group of friends. Other ideas seem better suited to a more linear storytelling format, and hence would work better as a comic. Most of the ideas fit between these two options, and quite a few ideas seem to vary between the options depending on my latest series of thought patterns.

I'm considering the notion of a comic that supports an RPG, or vice versa.

The other problem I'm finding is that a lot of my ideas are getting too esoteric. Such concepts wouldn't work in a comic because it would take two or three issues to really set the tone for a new reader, and it's those first issues that really make or break a comic. Other ideas are very focused and don't allow the depth of exploration that either medum demands. So there's lots of small ideas that could be combined into something special, but not a lot of ideas that can really stand on their own two feet as a good introductory element.

Some of my recent ideas have included:

  • Imagine a group of corporations who defend the world against global menaces. Each of these corporations has a public figure who is basically their sponsored superhero. The characters at the heart of these stories aren't the publically adored heroes, but the behind-the-scenes types who don't get the glory. Most of the members of these companies have some kind of powers, such as the mail clerk with limited telekinesis who sits in his chair putting things into mailboxes and pigeonholes with his power, the public relations girl who can subtly adjust her appearance to look more attractive to the company's clients, the technical genius who runs the IT department. Each of these characters is just as powerful as the company's hero (perhaps moreso), but the public hero had the right parents, or knows how to spin-doctor their own deeds to look better. The stories of this setting are a pretty jaded look at corporate life. The characters of the stories are connected to similar people in other companies; some may have transferred between departments or between companies trying to get their moment of recognition, others may be working behind the scene to sabotage the company's hero in the hope that their own powers will be recognised (there could even be an old guy who used to be a great hero, but lost that position due to former treachery). This story's looking like a winner at this stage.

  • Imagine a huge post-apocalypic world where technological creatures roam the night. These creatures are drawn to radio-waves and feed off electricity. As a result, the technology of the world has reverted to a Steampunk aesthetic. The stories are about a girl and her steam-powered buggy as she roams the world trying to rebuild a more advanced society. The obstacles she faces in this quest tend to revolve around the distrust of humanity, the greed of individuals who have carved their own niche in this new world, and the glimmers of hope that occasionally give her the impetus to keep going. The biggest problem I'm having with this concept is a good way to start it off.

  • I'd also love to revisit Ukiyo Zoshi again. There are still a few fragments of it around the web, and far more on my hard drive. It's getting to the point where the world is so vast and complex that the starting point is getting confused.

Not sure where to go, or how to do it...it's going to take a bit more work.

Time to get in contact with Local Act.

18 July, 2008

The forum is gone!!

As I've just posted my last entry, I decided to look at the forum I've set up for Vulpinoid Game Design. It's gone...probably due to a lack of activity.

Let's hope that can be amended sometime soon. Maybe I'll have to ask for a subforum on the Forge...

...anyway, back to work.

Where does time go?

Two months have passed since I last posted and I'm feeling really slack.

Maybe not, but now that I look back at this blog page I realise that I've had so much stuff that I could have been posting about.

In that time I've been putting the final touches on the Eighth Sea, finished off a semester of study, had a haircut, travelled to GenCon and participated in some panel discussions, come back home to revise the Eighth Sea based on what I learnt at the con, I've done layout work for a game called Candycreeps, got my hair coloured and a few other things.

Life just gets the better of us sometimes, and instead of sitting back to reflect on the issues at hand, it's sometimes better to just take things as they come and live life in the moment.

I'll see what I can do over the next few days to put some of these things into perspective.

No guarantees, but I'll see what I can do.