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Showing posts from September, 2013

A fun project for a game journal

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I don't know if you'll be able to see the full gallery for this book, so I've included a couple of sample shots below.

I think it would make an awesome prop for any game and it has certainly inspired me to do something similar. Now I just need to work out how to print on long sheets of paper rather than being constricted to A4 pages.





If you want to see more of this project, here's a link to the image gallery for the Accordion Book

A lot of work went into this...

The Long Journey

I'm sure I've seen a couple of other pieces by this artist in the past. Incredibly detailed and rich worlds that lead you ever onward towards...

...just keep scrolling down.


NaGaDeMon on its way again

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NaGaDeMon 2013 is coming...
Just thought I'd remind everyone.
Something awesome is coming (I'm just not sure who is going to write it)

An honest question

I could have submitted this as a simple post on Facebook, G+, or on a forum somewhere. But I'll post it here because I get the most views on the blog and I'd actually like to hear people's responses.

Was I too harsh? How do I come off in my comments? How does my adversary in this discussion present himself?

Tap Gallery Sydney:
HEY ALL YOU ARTISTS OUT THERE, YOU ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SOMEWHERE OR AN EXCUSE TO HANG YOUR WORK... WELL I'M GIVING YOU ONE AND I'M MAKING IT CHEAP AND EASY TO HANG YOUR WORK , TO SHOWCASE YOUR CREATION!
I HAVE NO FANCY FLYER FOR YOU, I JUST HAVE YOU TO READ THIS AND SAY YES I AM AN ARTIST AND I WANT TO GET MY WORK OUT THERE!!
YOU HAVE 9 DAYS TO GET SOMETHING READY -NO POOR EXCUSES PLEASE EVERY ARTIST HAS SOMETHING READY OTHERWISE YOU JUST ... WELL I DON'T WANNA SAY IT!
SO I AM CURATING A FLASH SHOW CALLED
"KNOWN - UNKNOWN"
YOU GET THE PICTURE, SO BRING YOUR ARTWORK IN ANY FORM TO TAP GALLERY 278 PALMER ST DARLINGHURST 2010 BY OR BEF…

Horological Inspiration

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I like fragments of stories, elements that can be pulled into another story to fill a void or add depth, plot hooks that can lead people into the deeper mysteries.

That's where the House of Clocks has brought new inspiration today.


I'm not sure who is behind it, but it's filled with the kind of artefacts that might make a modern supernatural game just that little bit creepier...and that's always a good thing isn't it.

The Guys I LARP with...

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Some of the team I LARP with have been working on a web series for a while...I had heard about it a couple of years ago. As far as I'm aware, the actual series is due for release some time soon (but I've been hearing this for a while).

Still, they're fun guys.

That reminds me, I need to get back to work on some foam swords.

100,000 views

I've woken up this morning to see that the blog has reached 100,000 views (specifically 100,032 when I looked). So my prediction about it occurring his month was right.

Thankyou everyone.

Types of story

Lumping all of western storytelling into a single monolith known as "Western Canon" is a common thing in academia, I've been working my way through two university subjects that analyse the western mode of storytelling, and in these subjects it doesn't seem odd to see ancient Greek texts analysed beside Shakespearean plays and more recent literary greats like Tolstoy or even living writers like Umberto Eco.

Scholars like Joseph Campbell trace the form of the story, particularly the "Heroes Journey" through western canon, other scholars and schools of thought bring parallels between other themes in the texts.

The whole mass of texts numbers in the thousands, those works deemed important benchmarks in western thought number in the hundreds (mostly written by middle aged white men, but that's another topic completely). The works are quite different but we have no problem stating that these works fit the paradigm of western thought. Once you have the overall…

Sometimes you lose passion

There are projects that you pour your energy into, they may be small things, and once they're done you move on to new ideas. They may be collaborative efforts where you do your bit and then see the project move to someone else before seeing a final unveiling...maybe big events with a deadline where the energy has to reach a culmination otherwise you lose face.

But this post is not about those...

This post is about the big personal projects, some might call them heartbreakers, others might call them a "magnum opus". It's about the projects that have the creative vision of a single person behind them, and that single person pours their heart-and-soul into every aspect of it. The visionary looks at similar projects that other people have laboured on for years at a time, sometimes viewing their work as rubbish, occasionally wondering if people reciprocate this view.

The visionary looks at projects that are good, things that are certainly better than the crap which sell p…

If I were going to push Walkabout in a new direction...

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I'm fascinated by the native cultures of the world. This has been enhanced by my recent encounter with an anthropologist who has recently spent quite a bit of time in the Amazon, someone who claimed my calling might be as a shaman (and that I had touched his soul with my words).



Naturally when I saw this modern re-imagining of African Orisha spirits I thought of the ways that Walkabout could easily be applied to a new context. I've done a bit of research into the Orisha, but certainly not enough to really draw on their myths without heavily applying stereotypes and generally looking like a white-guy trying too hard.

It would still be awesome to see Walkabout translated through the lens of the Orisha by someone who knew a lot more about African spirituality than I.

Revisions and Rewrites

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I'm revising and rewriting chunks of the core Walkabout book after not looking at it for a couple of weeks. I've noticed a few things that just feel a bit awkward and don't really describe the way the game has played out in the various sessions I've run. It's a long and tedious process, but something that needs to be done if a polished product is going to emerge at the end.

I'm trying to cull some of the superfluous details, refine some of the parts that don't read clearly, and generally reshuffle some of the parts that feel out of order.

I'm getting pretty close to what I want from the core book, and it will be time to start compiling the "manga-style" player's guide with all the play examples soon. A few more pictures to do in that regard.

It's also been good to hear of a few people inspired by what I'm doing in this project. Over the past week I've had two people contact me privately about different parts of the system for c…

Thoughts on theme

After revealing "Bug Hunt" yesterday, I've been thinking more about notions of theme and the surface gloss applied to games.
Up until the last decade-and-a-half, the twin concepts of theme and game mechanism were pretty exclusive of one another. If you wanted to play Call of Cthulhu with the D&D rules, most people wouldn't really care (but the D&D grognards might tell you to play "Ravenloft")...in the same way, TSR was producing numerous variant skins for D&D, each using the same basic mechanical structure but simply overlaying a new gloss. The same thing happens outside roleplaying with variant boardgame versions...Monopoly, Star Wars Monopoly, Dr Who Monopoly, Toy Story Monopoly...the same game, just with different gloss in the hope it will sell a few more units.
In the world of RPGs, places like the Forge highlighted the disconnect between theme and mechanism. Suddenly it looked like we were doing it wrong. New waves of game design have come th…

Bug Hunt Revealed

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My recent work on a board game has seen fruition today.

It was great to see the response to the game, it was great to see a public response to a few of the game products I've designed recently.
It was a great experience especially when you consider that I was the only male in the room, and there were over a dozen girls upset that they wouldn't have time to play the games I had designed. These included cultural groups I hadn't really associated with the notions of gaming...sure there were Caucasian "gamer girls" and some of Asian ethnicity, but I was drawing interest from Muslim girls (wearing their full headscarves)...it was awesome to see the concept of gaming across cultural boundaries in an academic format. Maybe it is just preconceived notions that I'm being confronted with; there is certainly no reason why these communities wouldn't engage in the playing of games.
We had a guest marker for our assignment, and that was probably even more interesting. He …

Prototype development

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Bug hunt is getting further...hopefully it will be ready for Tuesday.

It's a pretty simple game. Everyone plays a bug hunter, tromping through a wilderness to find exotic creatures. Each tile has a colour corresponding to a die.
More details soon.

Tooth and Claw Review

It's always awesome to release a game into the aether and have something come back.
Thanks to Kristoffer Holmen, I now have a review for the little game 'Tooth and Claw' that I produced at the beginning of the year. 
If you're interested, take a look.
http://ludi-ictis.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/a-game-of-tooth-and-claw-review.html

Keeping busy

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I haven't had a lot of time for blogging over the last few days, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy with game work.
I'm currently in the middle of a university assignment about using games as a method for teaching concepts to kids. This is a really visceral and hands on subject, so I'm putting a lot of work into producing a prototype kid friendly interactive boardgame with heaps of replay value.
Here are some of the "work in progress" shots.


Walkabout Preview Video

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Here it is, the long awaited preview video for Walkabout.

The first draft of the video, anyway...it still needs some more work. I had found  few more pieces of video footage that I wanted to include in it, and I had a much more suitable atmospheric background track.

I'll be fixing this up over the next couple of days/weeks, and adding a few more videos to explain how the game actually works soon.

Hell on 8 Wheels back on the Agenda

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Regular readers of the blog (and those who are willing to dig through the archives) might be aware of the boardgame I developed based around the awesome sport of roller derby. The game is called Hell on 8 Wheels and plays a bit like a cross between Bloodbowl and Formula D.

Good news. We've found a few producers of miniatures who are ready to help us sculpt up some teams for the game, as long as we find the money. So that means we'll be doing some more playtesting before the year is out, and we'll launch a crowdfunding campaign next year (hopefully...along with the Walkabout one). The basic version of the game will consist of two card decks, a board and a series of counters. The advanced versions and stretch goals will include one or more variant teams of skaters for the track.

I hope this works out, because there has been a lot of interest in the game.

Video Editing

I'm putting together a preview package for Walkabout. I did some video editing a few years ago, and now it's a case of trying to rebuild my knowledge using the tools I've currently got access to.

Hopefully soon...enough blogging, back to work.

A milestone

At the current rate, I'll have received 100,000 views on this blog by the end of the month. I don't know how well other blogs do, and it's a pretty arbitrary figure, but it feels good to know that there are people out there who are interested in my view on gaming and game design. This is true whether it's 100,000 people each looking at it once, 100 people looking at it 1000 times each, or some other combination.

Hopefully, I'll have something special for everyone on the next post...something that helps to accelerate the views, and reach that goal a bit faster.

It's not me, it's you.

Just thought I'd share this blog post from Stacy Dellorfano...

I've had a lot of the same issues with the World of Darkness over the years.

Reading through it is givng me hope that I'm on the right track with a minimalist rules set for Walkabout.

Improvised Theatre 101

Continuing with the Greendale "Community" posts...

This idea seems to have a bit of traction. I've played in a Red Dwarf freeform, where multiple versions of Lister, Cat, Rimmer and Kryten were running around in a reality bubble on the edge of a black hole. This game had all of the alternate versions of the characters encountered during the show...the ultra-good, the ultra-bad, the gender swapped versions, and then a few characters who are integral to the plot but who don't make up a big part of the show "Kuchanski", "Peterson", etc.

It was a great game in the Aussie freeform style. Everyone has a half dozen agendas to fulfil during the course of a three hour session, each of those agendas may be working with members of their team, working with alternate versions of themselves, or working against people. Often tasks require careful planning to orchestrate and may only be viable at certain times within the session (eg. Only when the ship's fuel…

Greendale

I had a dozen titles to this post..."The imaginarium of Dr Abed", "Troy Barnes: Reality Cop", "The Jeff Winger Blues", "Annie's Armageddon", "The Wrath of Chang"...if you don't watch the TV show Community, you wouldn't get any of them.

The idea is a game to be run at a convention, or more accurately a series of interconnected games to be run at a convention. First a series a table top sessions, each running for 5-6 players, then the players from each of these sessions gather for a LARP-style session where cliffhanger moments at the end are resolved.

It's all loosely based on a specific Community episode where a die is rolled and six (or seven) different timelines deviate. Characters undergo changes due to the deviant events in each timeline, and the whole notion becomes a running joke through scattered episodes in the remainder of the series.

Each tabletop session would tell the story of events in one reality for the co…