14 February, 2012

New Walkabout Images

I've started drawing the pictures of people who've kindly offered their pictures as post apocalyptic survivors for Walkabout.

There are more on their way.

12 February, 2012

Hell on Eight Wheels: Eleven - Track Markings

I like the idea of markings on the track to reflect interactions between the skater and the ground.

I could have taken the Formula D route (which seems to be the way Impact City Roller Derby is heading), but this makes the turn sequence effect a bit messy. Still, the inside of the track needs to be faster, yet it needs to have more centipetal force pushing the skaters toward the outside of the track.

Holding the centre needs a combination of speed and strategy. But if you can hold it, it should provide a great advantage.

I described a method of applying values to rack segments in the descriptions for part ten of this development journal...but I'm not sure if I'm happy with it.

There are numbers to compare to cards, different coloured numbers that do different things, and generally a few rules that make the game harder for new players to understand (especially those who might not be familiar with the concepts of wargaming).

In the spirit of K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid), I'm thinking of an alternative option for track marking to get the same kind of effects.

Two types of segment marking; both arrows. Red arrows indicate segments where a skater might get flung out to the edge of the track (unless they use up one of their lateral moves to avoid the effect). White arrows indicate a speed boost (every time a skater crosses a white arrow, they gain an additional movement at the end of their action).

I've specifically laid out the placement of the arrows so that a skater needs to keep control if they want to gain the advantage of the inside edge. All boost arrows need a skater to cross at least one directional arrow before the advantage can be gained.

This seems simpler. Less things to learn or remember when playing the game. The effects might not be as "realistic", but they maintain the feel enough for me to be reasonably satisfied.

(For the examples, I've also added a white circle on Annie and Veronica to reflect their status as "Pivots", while giving stars to Ebola and Zsa Zsa to reflect their "Jammer" status).

11 February, 2012

Hell on Eight Wheels: Ten – Play Examples

Using the rules established so far, covering movement and basic blocking, it’s time to have a look at the way game play would work. This should give us some clues about where the gameplay might fall apart.

We’ll go through these examples with two teams: the East Side Eagles and the West Side Warriors. To make things easy, the East Side Eagles have names from the first five letters of the alphabet: Annie Phylactic (A), Belle E. Dancer (B), Candy Caine (C), Dina Might (D), and Ebola Effie (E). The West Side Warriors have names from the last five letters of the alphabet: Veronica Venus (V), White Russian (W), Xena Phobe (X), Yvonne Bett (Y), and Zsa Zsa the Gore (Z).

Annie Phylactic [Soul: 10, Speed: 9, Strategy: 10, Strength: 5]
Belle E. Dancer [Soul: 8, Speed: 6, Strategy: 7, Strength: 7]
Candy Caine [Soul: 6, Speed: 8, Strategy: 6, Strength: 8]
Dina Might [Soul: 6, Speed: 7, Strategy: 6, Strength: 9]
Ebola Effie [Soul: 7, Speed: 10, Strategy: 8, Strength: 7]

Veronica Venus [Soul: 9, Speed: 9, Strategy: 8, Strength: 6] Tactician (+1 Hand Size when Pivot)
White Russian [Soul: 7, Speed: 5, Strategy: 7, Strength: 9]
Xena Phobe [Soul: 6, Speed: 8, Strategy: 7, Strength: 9]
Yvonne Bett [Soul: 7, Speed: 9, Strategy: 5, Strength: 8]
Zsa Zsa the Gore [Soul: 6, Speed: J(11), Strategy: 8, Strength: 6]

The game sequence follows a basic pattern.
The Bout
Two players each gather a team of up to 20 players (minimum 12) and up to 5 supporting crew (minimum 1). They have 50 points to purchase their team in the minor leagues, 75 points for major league games and 100 points for the championships.
A Bout consists of two halves (typically 45 minutes to an hour long). Each half consists of a number of jams. These jams take 2 minutes in the real world, but may take 5 minutes during boardgame play.
Points are scored in each jam. The team with the highest number of points at the end of the bout is deemed the winner.

The Jam
Set Up Teams – From their available rosters, each team allocates 3 blockers a pivot and a jammer. Skaters are revealed simultaneously and are placed on their respective board starting points. Each player is given a hand of cards equal twice their number of skaters on the track (this is typically 10 cards, but in some cases, a team may be fielding less than 5 skaters). Some skaters may grant the ability to give their player extra cards while they are on the track. Players allocate a single face-down card to each skater; these cards will be the movement cards for the skaters.

Jacquie is playing the East City Eagles; she has a hand of 10 cards (2, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 10, J, K). Jacquie plays her starting cards on her five skaters.

A             B             C             D             E
6           7           6          5           8

Leah is playing the West City Warriors; she has a hand of 11 cards (A, 3, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, Q). She plays her starting cards on her five skaters.

V             W            X             Y              Z
4           3           7           8          9

Both players refill their hands from the deck. Jacquie picks up A, 3, 4, 5, 8♠ [Jacquie’s Starting Hand: A, 2, 3, 4, 4♣, 5, 8, 10, J, K♣]; while Leah picks up 2, 5, 6, 7, J♠ [Leah’s Starting Hand: A, 2, 3,5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 10, J, Q♥].

Begin Jam – Play proceeds with the front-most figures on the board. With figures moving counter-clockwise and turn order moving clockwise. All skaters begin the jam stationary, to begin movement, a player must place a thrust token on them. The player also places a second card on their skater (this could come from their hand or from the deck). With a single thrust token, a skater moves a distance equal to their movement card.

At the first activation sequence, Annie Phylactic (A) and Veronica Venus (V) are both at their respective starting points, and thus either could move first. Cards are flipped for both skaters, and since Annie [6] has been allocated a higher card than Veronica [4], she moves first. A single thrust token is placed on her.

Movement consists of two cards, one for speed and one for strategy. Jacquie plays a 5 from her hand. Annie is moved forward six track segments (“1” thrust token x “6” card rank equals 6 segments of movement). With her card rank of “5” allocated to strategy, she moves toward the inside of the track where she potentially gains an advantage of extra movement. The first bonus movement segment she crosses requires a movement card of Q or higher, no benefit there. The next bonus movement segments she crosses requires a 10 then an 8, still no bonus. Jacquie places a new speed card on Annie (2) and refreshes her hand to its full size with an Aand a Q. [Jacquie’s hand after this action: A, A♣, 3, 4, 4♣, 8, 10, J♦, Q, K]

Leah places a thrust token on Veronica Venus then draws a random card for her skater; she draws a 10♦. Too high, and that means Veronica is confused by the options available. Leah has to play a card higher than this for Veronica to remain coherent on the track. Luckily Leah has a Qin her hand, so she plays this to avoid the worst. Veronica is moved forward four track segments (“1” thrust token x “4” card rank equals 4 segments of movement). Despite having a card with a rank of 10 allocated to strategy, is limited to the eight points of her strategy attribute, she moves to the inside edge of the track in the hope that she’ll be able to take advantage of the bonus movement segments in future movement actions. Leah applies a temporary “Confused” card on Veronica, which will lower her Strategy stat by 2 when she’s next activated. Leah places a new speed card on Veronica (6) and refreshes her hand with an A and a 6. [Leah’s hand after this action: A♥, A, 2, 3, 5♦, 6, 7, 9, 10, 10, J♠]

Movement passes to the next skaters.

Belle E. Dancer and White Russian are at equal segments, cards are flipped again. Belle has the higher card [7 vs. 3 ] and Jacquie moves her first.

Jacquie places a thrust token then plays a 3 on Belle, because she doesn’t need to be too strategic at this stage. Belle moves forward seven segments (“1” thrust token x “7” card rank equals 7 segments of movement); she also moves toward the inside of the track to gain a possible speed advantage from the inner bonus movement segments. On her second last move, Belle crosses onto a segment with a yellow “4”, this is higher than her strategy card, so she has to spend a lateral movement to avoid flinging out to the outer edge of the track; she won’t be getting any closer to the centre of the track this turn. Jacquie places a new speed card on Belle (4♦) and refreshes her hand with a 4and a Q. [Jacquie’s hand after this action: A, A♣, 4, 4♣, 8, 10, J♦, Q♣, Q, K]

Leah places a thrust token then plays a 2on White (there isn’t much point placing anything higher on her since she is already close to the centre of the track, and there aren’t any nearby skaters to avoid at this time. White moves forward three segments (“1” thrust token x “3” card rank equals 3 segments of movement). She moves to the inside ring. Leah places a new speed card on White (6) then refreshes her hand with a 7 and a 9. [Leah’s hand after this action: A♥, A, 3, 5♦, 7, 7♣, 9♦, 9, 10, 10, J]

Movement passes to the next skaters.

Candy Caine and Xena Phobe flip their cards. Xena has the higher card and Leah moves her first.

Leah places a thrust token then plays a 5on Xena. Xena moves forward seven segments (“1” thrust token x “7” card rank equals 7 segments of movement), she passes close to White Russian; but since they are team mates there is no conflict here, and since they are both moving blockers, there is little point in a “whip”. She doesn’t move to the inside of the track because it’s getting pretty crowded up there, besides, a fast jammer might come around the outer parts of the track. Leah places a new speed card on Xena (7) then refreshes her hand with a 3and a K. [Leah’s hand after this action: A♥, A, 3, 3, 7, 9♦, 9, 10, 10, J♠, K]

Jacquie places a thrust token then plays a 4on Candy Caine. Candy moves forward six segments (“1” thrust token x “6” card rank equals 6 segments of movement). Since she passed into White’s outer threat zone, Candy could have come into to conflict with her, but Leah decides not to initiate this conflict. Jacquie places a new speed card on Candy (8) then refreshes her hand with a 2and a Q. [Jacquie’s hand after this action: A, A♣, 2♦, 4♣, 10, J♦, Q♣, Q♠, Q, K]

Movement passes to the last pair of blocking skaters.

Dina Might and Yyonne Bett flip their cards. Yvonne has the higher card and Leah moves her first.

Leah places a thrust token then plays a 3 on Yvonne Bett. Yvonne moves forward 8 segments (“1” thrust token x “8” card rank equals 6 segments of movement). She passes within Candy Caine’s outer threat zone, prompting a conflict.

Yvonne has a lower strategy score than Candy and is in the outer threat zone. This means that Jacquie will play one card for Candy (10) and Leah will play two cards for Yvonne (10♥,J♠). Candy played a spade for her block, but since Yvonne has also played a spade for her evasion, it has been successfully dodged.

Yvonne finishes off her remaining movement, and Leah plays a new speed card on her (7) before replenishing her hand with a 2♣, a 5♣, an 8♥, and a J. Since Jacquie used cards in the conflict, she also draws a card to replenish her hand, 6. [Leah’s hand after this action: A♥, A, 2, 3♥, 5♣, 8, 9♦, 9, 10, J♠, K][Jacquie’s hand after this action: A, A♣, 2♦, 4♣, 6♣, J♦, Q♣, Q♠, Q, K]

Jacquie places a thrust token then plays a 2 on Dina Might. Dina moves forward 5 segments (“1” thrust token x “5” card rank equals 5 segments of movement). Dina stays near the centre of the track to make things awkward for any jammers that might want to pass, and since she doesn’t move into anyone’s threat zones she ends her turn. Jacquie plays a new speed card on Dina (6) then replenishes her hand with a 7 and an 8. [Jacquie’s hand after this action: A, A♣, 4♣, 7♥, 8♣, J♦, Q♣, Q♠, Q, K]

Finally the Jammers. 

Ebola Effie and Zsa Zsa the Gore flip their cards. Zsa Zsa is only just ahead, but this is still enough for her to go first.

Leah places a thrust token then plays the 5 she just picked up on Zsa Zsa. She uses her strategic moves to reach the outside of the track where there aren’t many skaters at the moment. After moving forward 9 segments (“1” thrust token x “9” card rank equals 9 segments of movement), Zsa Zsa has already reached the back of the pack. Leah plays a new speed card on Zsa Zsa (10) then draws a 5 and a 6 to replenish her hand. [Leah’s hand after this action: A♥, A, 2, 3♥, 5♠, 6♣, 8, 9♦, 9, J♠, K]

Jacquie places a thrust token then plays her 4on Ebola Effie. Moving forward 8 segments (“1” thrust token x “8” card rank equals 8 segments of movement) and using her 4 strategic moves, she edges just inside her team mate Dina Might. Jacquie plays a new speed card on Ebola (8) then draws a 3 and a 5to replenish her hand. [Jacquie’s hand after this action: A, A♣, 3♦, 5♦, 7♥, J♦, Q♣, Q♠, Q, K]

Everyone has now moved and the activation marker swings all the way around the track until it reaches the front running skaters. The next sequence of movements begins… 

Second Movement.

Annie Phylactic and Belle E. Dancer are evenly in the lead, so they flip cards to see who moves first.
Since Belle has the higher Rank, she moves first.

Jacquie takes the opportunity to add an extra thrust token before flipping Belle’s speed card (4) and applying her strategy card (4). Belle moves forward 8 segments (“2” thrust tokens x “4” card rank), strategically moving in to a bonus movement segment with a “4” on it. Since her speed card is at least as high as this, she moves forward a segment automatically before continuing her remaining four movements. Jacquie replaces Belle’s speed card with a (5), and then draws a 4 and a 9 to replenish her hand. [Jacquie’s hand after this action: A, 3♦, 4♣, 7♥, 9♥, J♦, Q♣, Q♠, Q, K]

Jacquie decides to add an extra thrust token to Annie Phylactic because the speed card she applied was pretty low.  She then flips the speed card (2), applies a strategy card (A) and then moves. Annie moves forward 4 segments (“2” thrust tokens x “2” card rank equals 4 segments of movement). Things are bad for her this turn, because her strategy card is low. The first time she reaches a yellow number, it is higher than her strategy card and she has to spend a lateral movement staying on course near the centre of the track. After two more forward movements, she reaches another yellow numbered segment and is unable to hold her course. She is forced to move outward with her last forward movement. Jacquie plays a new speed card on Annie (7) then draws a 5 and a 3 to replenish her hand. [Jacquie’s hand after this action: A, 3♦, 3♠, 5♥, 9♥, J♦, Q♣, Q♠, Q, K]

Xena Phobe and Yvonne Bett compare speed cards to see who moves next. Both of their card ranks are 7, so speed attributes are compared. Yvonne moves first.

Leah has already revealed the speed card, and plays a strategy card (5).She leaves a single thrust token on Yvonne because the speed of 7 is fast enough at the moment. Yvonne moves forward and uses one of her lateral moves to shift closer to the centre of the track. After another move she has reached a bonus segment with a red number of “7”, since her speed card is at least this high she gains a free forward movement. Upon reaching a yellow 10, Yvonne must spend a lateral movement point to remain on course (she still has a few to spare), then another forward movement brings her to another bonus segment (this time with a red “5” on it), Yvonne gains another bonus forward movement trait, this time she applies one of her strategic lateral movements to the forward burst (to avoid a potential conflict with Annie Phylactic), and continues the rest of her movement. Leah replaces the speed card on Yvonne (6) and draws two cards to replenish her hand (4and 6).  [Leah’s hand after this action: A♥, A, 2, 3♥, 4♠, 6, 8, 9♦, 9, J♠, K]

Xena moves next. Leah plays a strategy card (3) on her, and also decides not to add any further thrust tokens. Within three segments Xena reaches a bonus speed sector that she can take advantage of. With her burst of speed (and a lateral movement), she moves forward and with another movement she has deftly avoided Annie Phylactic’s threat zone. The movement is completed, Leah places a new speed card (9), and draws two new cards to replenish her hand (4 and 10).[Leah’s hand after this action: A♥, A, 2, 4♠, 4♣, 6, 8,9, 10, J♠, K]

To be continued...

But first I'll be looking for a bit of feedback...does it make sense so far? Is there anything that just seems confusing? Does it seem intuitive enough for someone who doesn't play games that often? Does it have a "roller derby" vibe?

My next post will explain some of the issues I've got with it and how I'll be simplifying things a bit.

08 February, 2012

Blatantly ripped off from a ripped off post

I was pointed to this by a facebook post and found it interesting enough that I had to share it.

While it mostly references board games, a lot of the points could easily be applied to RPGs.

A list of some of the best advice for anyone creating a game in any form. This was originally written by your friends over at Board Game Designers Forum (http://www.bgdf.com, all original credit will go to them) and we think people would do very well to follow these few "Best Practice" rules closely. Please add any additions to the thread about your own personal experiences and best practice principles so that we can build an industry wide important resource together for both budding and professional Game Designers.

Game Design Principles

Do not add a rule to take care of an unusual situation. In almost every case, the game can be subtly changed to prevent the situation from occurring. Each added rule, no matter how uncommonly it's required, adds complexity that makes your game harder to learn and, potentially, to play.

Your scoring design is your game design (J. Degann) Although designers tend to emphasize creation of innovative or clever mechanics, the true motivator of player decisions will ultimately be the game's scoring system rewards. The interesting decisions that the mechanics promote will only be interesting to the player if the scoring system encourages them to be.

Avoid false strategy(S. Appelcline) Avoid situations wherein players are required to make decisions that have no significant impact on the outcome of the game. Players will generally assume that games only present choices that are consequential and worth contemplating carefully, so present only decisions that matter. This principle will help shorten a game's playtime while simultaneously helping to keep players more engaged for the duration.

Balance with incentives and costs, not with restrictions It's common during playtesting to find several imbalances in a game. Perhaps when a certain situation comes up, a player is unduly rewarded or punished, or perhaps a player finds one particular strategic path that is considerably more successful than alternatives. It is possible to add rules that prevent unbalanced situations from arising. It is, however, much more satisfying to encourage players to behave in the way you want by modifying the rewards that you dangle in front of them, and by modifying the costs (both resource and opportunity costs) of the things you want to enable or prevent. A classic example is the "hand limit." Many games restrict the number of cards that players are allowed to hold, presumably because having too many cards gives players some overwhelming benefit. But a game's rules can discourage large hands in other ways — by driving up costs to acquire more and more cards, or providing some reward for a small hand. At the level of rules simplicity, stating "you can't have more than X cards" may be simpler and more effective in the long run, but as a principle, more interesting gameplay results from encouraging the "right" behavior organically (through so-called "natural limits" of your incentive and cost structures) rather than forcing that behavior by explicit rule.

Pay attention to the rules people forget Introduce some new people to the game, but don't give them the instructions. Instead, explain the game and start playing. Is there a rule that they frequently forget? Do you find yourself saying "no, you can't do that because of this..." or "don't forget about..." If so, consider either eliminating that rule or re-framing it so that players don't forget it. This is a particularly important principle if you plan on ever giving a demo at a trade show. Nothing will send a buyer walking away like saying "no, you can't do that because of this rule you didn't remember."

Simplify When you want to add rules, refrain from doing so. Even if it's so clever you just can't stand it. Often, a later design will prove to be a happy home for that neat idea you thought you couldn't live without in your current design.

Removal is OK One of the hardest tasks for a game designer (and me particularly) is knowing when to remove parts of a game design. Not because I do not notice the need to remove, but the issue of wanting to keep my rules/mechanics unchanged. BUT REALLY, removing things from a design is OK! You can always add it back later, if needed.

Theme and art are very important All else being equal, a game with an appealing theme and art will sell better and get played more. If the theme and art don't engender interest, your game will have a much harder time finding and retaining an audience. (eg: "I don't like space games") 

Understand how mathematics and probabilities affect game play Spend some time learning and refining how your game reacts to probabilities: linear, bell curves and other probability distributions. You need to know the difference between a mechanism that could come up '1' twenty times in a row (die) and one that cannot (deck). Rolling a d20 is different from 2d10, or 2d8+2, or drawing from a deck of cards numbered from 1 to 20, or players simply "choosing a number". Each method offers different results and therefore different game play.

Try to make your mechanics reflect the theme What are players doing in the game? Driving a herd of cattle? Tending to mayoral duties? Commanding an army? Mechanics should reflect and be associated with the game's theme. There isn't a lot of this out there in the gaming world, but when it happens, it makes designers proud and gamers happy. When you can incorporate a mechanic that reflects something you would actually be doing if you were the actual person/thing you are portraying in a game, by all means do so. As a corollary, use the theme to suggest interesting or novel mechanics; base the mechanic on the kind of decisions a person in that situation might face, and interesting choices may suggest themselves to you.

Design Process Principles

Never assume players will make smart decisions. While you need not ensure that a player who makes poor decisions has a chance to win, you do need to make certain that your game doesn't break down when one or more players is playing badly. It's fair to assume that players will play to try to win (as otherwise, most any game ends up "broken," in a sense), but don't assume they'll be good at it.

Failures are successes too No matter how horrible a game design might be, chance are, you have learned something new! So learn from those bad or horrible designs! Dont kick yourself for it, use it to make the next design better!

Half of building should be breaking Games are unique structures that are subject to unusual stresses when used. Before releasing a game into the wild, try to break the current system by finding a systematic exploitation of the rules that assures either a guaranteed win, or that the victory conditions never arrive. This is game breaking, and a game must be able to be unbreakable by any one player. Playtesting with people who are "rules lawyers" or are expert at exploiting loopholes in the rules can especially help with this process.

Include a "fair" setup Many games feature a player-controlled setup phase (e.g. Settlers of Catan), which can be a good way to introduce variability into each playing as well as to promote strategic development of a player's position, and differentiation of the players' strategies. However, asking players to make setup decisions before the game starts also adds a learning curve to the game. First-time players just want to get a feel for how the different mechanics of the game work; they will not yet have a basis for knowing what a "good" and "bad" initial setup strategy will be. It is a good idea to include a "fair" setup, one that has been tested and that gives each player position equal opportunity to do well in the game.

Graphics are meaningful When working on the graphics for a game (even for the earliest of the prototypes), remember that in addition to adding flavor to the game, and reinforcing the game theme, graphics can really make or break a game. If used intelligently, icons, colors, etc. will help the players understand how the game works, and make it more fun, allowing the players to focus on playing the game. Using graphics just as an adornment will most likely result in a harder to play game.

Know for whom you're designing the game If designing for a family audience, you may want your theme to cater to a "lowest common denominator" within such a group. Gamers tend to have more specified interests and tastes amd ss such, the more unique themes will tend to appeal to more specialised niches of established Gamers.


I've looked at many of these points before, but it's nice to see other people thinking on the same wavelength.

07 February, 2012

Apparently, The Game Crafter is running a contest where entrants need to develop a roleplaying game that will be made available through their site.

One of the rules states that the game need different players to control a single character each...so even tough I'm planning to have characterisation aspects in "Hell on Eight wheels", each player controls a team. So that rules out entering this game for the contest. Even thought I'd love the extra exposure it might provide.

Walkabout might be a decent fit. But I don't want to compromise some of the ideas I've got happening.

It might be time to resurrect an old game project.

Guerrilla Television might be due for a comeback, especially since it hasn't been formally published yet.

The Walkabout Mechaphor

There are a few thing I haven't revealed about the major changes I'll be making to the new version of Walkabout.

For those who've been following the progress on the revised Walkabout, I recommend you having a look at the old version of the game (which can be found at http://www.vulpinoid.com/walkabout.html or at http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=85404). The game as written basically a post-apocalyptic take on my FUBAR rules set, with a few tweaks and twists.

But I've since had some ideas to tie the feeling of game play into the scavenger paradigm of the setting.

This means I'm getting rid of dice, and incorporating a "counter drawing" mechanism. It's not much of a shift from the statistical distributions of die rolling (at first), but the feel of the game takes on more of a ritual storytelling vibe rather than an interactive game vibe. That's what I'm hoping anyway.

In the dice version of the game, you roll a minimum of 3 dice, allocating the results to "Story", "Success" and "Sacrifice". Then you roll dice to determine extra successes or extra sacrifices through the story elements linked to your character.

Now it works exactly the same way, but uses counters drawn from a bag. An allocated white token represents success, an allocated black token represents failure, and an allocated coloured token represents a neutral result.

The act of drawing the tokens links to the feeling that the characters are picking up the unknown pieces of the past to shape their future lives. The act of placing these tokens represents the way they take these elements of the past and push forward into the future. It seems good at this point and there is quite a bit more that we can do with the mechanism (..but for the moment, I've got other things to do, so I'll stop the post here).

04 February, 2012

Further Walkabout Development

In the past, I provided some ideas for a world where the geomagnetic poles shifted of their axis, causing a huge electromagnetic pulse like the spinning of a huge magnet, generating massive electrical energy that simply obliterates the electronics of the world.

The aftermath of this catastrophe was a world where the orbit destabilised and the planet now spun on a new axis, with a new randomised polar point. To illustrate this, I generated a map with a north pole in Madagascar.

This is a project that has sat orphaned for a while, but I've decided in recent months that it would make a good fit with the Walkabout setting.

I'm now going though the various types of catastrophes that might befall different parts of the world when the global tilt-shift occurs...including seismic events, pandemics, nuclear fallout and anything else that might cause  panic on a global level. I'm also researching as much as I can about the continent of Antarctica beneath the ice cap.

There's some interesting stuff happening down there. Even this week (as I write this post in early February 2012), there are Russian scientists drilling into the depths of the ice to reach an unfrozen lake that has been encased in ice for millennia. In the real world, these scientists have gone ominously silent.

I'm becoming very tempted to write an entire world book, perhaps an atlas of a post apocalyptic earth. No stats, no rpg rules at all...just an artifact from a possible post-apocalyptic future. A second book would be the Walkabout game, detailing what you need to do in order to play in this eerily familiar setting.

Any thoughts?


A Zombie Redemption game for Kids

One of the supplement sets I'm working on for FUBAR is called "Dead and FUBAR'd".

It's a game where the characters have been killed with unfinished business...they have to tr to resolve that business before their limbs rot to the point of uselessness and their bestial urges take control once and for all.

I'm running it at the Sydcon RPG convention, later this year.

The catch is that one of the days at Sydcon has been designated a "Kid Friendly" day. You need to run something suitable for kids to play. How do you do this with flesh eating zombies hell-bent on revenge and accomplishing the deeds that will allow them to rest in peace?


You make it a game about stuffed toys.

Zombie teddy-bears who seek to beat the stuffing out of their enemies. So they can eat the stuffing and refill their own torn bodies with it. Revenant piecemeal action figures who reattach the limbs of their opponents when they have taken too much damage...and each of these toys is hoping to defend their child from one last invasion of nightmare creatures who threaten to rip the innocence from their imaginations.

I don't know how well it will work. But the idea seems to have legs at this stage.

Never Fear...work in progress.

It's been a fortnight since I've posted anything about Hell On 8 Wheels.

If you've been following this project, don't worry; I'm still working on this. I'm just trying to work out the best ways to describe some "actual play" examples for the rules.

I've also fallen behind on my intended schedule to get a FUBAR supplement out every month this year. It's February and I've got two supplements in the works, neither of which is ready for purchase.

My time has also been sapped away by my redevelopment on the Walkabout game.

The other problem has come in the form of re-enrolment at college. I'll be studying fine arts this year.

It looks like another year where I've over committed.

01 February, 2012

Australian Game Designers

For those who are interested in the world of Aussie RPG design, there is a Facebook group dedicated to designers down under.

Australian Game Designers (Facebook)

For those who din't have Facebook accounts, I've set up a companion group on Google Plus.

Australian Game Designer (Google+)

If you're not an Aussie, feel free to join anyway. Maybe we can show you some interesting techniques that have been developing down here over the past few decades.