I want my game to be epic, spanning many years, with the potential for characters to grow old; for new generations to come to the fore and take up the mantle; and for nations to rise and fall. Problem: Even with a game/system which is well designed for that kind of long-term view, everything takes … Continue reading Truncating the Calendar Year like in Stardew Valley →
I’ve talked before about children playing Among Us on the schoolyard by making up the rules and trying acting within genre expectations. I recently saw a schoolyard Pokémon battle in the same style. The kids, who were about 11 years old, stood opposite each other a few meters apart, and took it in turns to … Continue reading Schoolyard Pokémon Battles →
Mood music The vast majority of spells in Harry Potter seem to involve Aiming a wand Enunciating words precisely Waving the wand in a precise way Exerting enough energy or power Knowledge of the spell – either through learning or observation This works great for a video game, all the precision can be timing of … Continue reading The three best spells in Harry Potter: an overly comprehensive thought-train →
Mood Music Suppose I want to run a game set in the Warhammer 40k universe (inspired by the Gaunt’s Ghosts series) set around a platoon or company of guardsman. They are sent to all sorts of hell-holes, battlefields and all-too-quiet patrol routes. They fight aliens, mutants, heretics and the bureaucracy of the Adeptus Administratum. It’s … Continue reading Too much/not enough player knowledge and pre-existing settings →
Internal canon is concerned with matters in the fictional world. External canon is concerned with how the fictional world relates to other stories. An example of internal/external canon As a kid I had a toybox with a mix of toys. There were some superheroes, lots of freebies from McDonalds, some wrestling federation action figures and … Continue reading Eradicate external canon →
In part 1 I discussed some things I do and don’t like about character progression in games. In part 2 I wrote a criteria to examine character progression with: Is it appreciable, qualitative and distinctive? Character progression often comes out of the blue. You suddenly know countercharm because you are a 6th level bard. We … Continue reading Character progression in games III: The Flag system of development →
If the idioms and swears are unfamiliar to the players, then they will feel unfamiliar to the characters. Use weird ones when the players are in a new or foreign region to make it feel more like they are elsewhere. Otherwise, use them in sci-fi and fantasy to remind the players of the world and … Continue reading Modify idioms, swears and curses to increase unfamiliarity →
STEAL THE DEATH STAR The Emperor has built a gargantuan onyx ball out of fallen stars, meteorites and caviar. And sorcery. It is rolled along great metallic rails which are constructed by teams of engineers working ahead of it. Great cables and chains are attached to the Orb and and are heaved along by teams … Continue reading STEAL FROM SCI-FI AND STICK IT IN YOUR FANTASY GAMES →
This is a look at overland/campaign maps from my games, not tactical ones. I’ll note a few worldbuilding/prep lessons I’ve learned along the way. Worldbuilding is highly connected to mapmaking. You can do one without the other, but I’ve never made a map without building the world with it. Caerune Caerune was the second rpg … Continue reading Maps from my games: lessons I’ve learned →
In part 1 I discussed some things I do and don’t like about character progression in games. From the observations in part 1, I’ve made a simple criteria to examine character progression, specifically, the mechanical abilities and features that characters get (I’ll be calling them all features because its a reasonably generic term). The DAQ … Continue reading Character progression in games II: Appreciable, Qualitative and Distinctive – the DAQ criteria →
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