Thursday, October 15, 2009

So what've I been up to?

Well, the usual- work and classes mixed with tons of game design ideas/projects, I just haven't been writing any of them up for this blog. Here's what I can name off the top of my head- these are all potential posts, so if there's one you'd like to see? Just say the word.

-Fantasy Craft is out! It is amazing, for a whole host of reasons. There are a number of game designers out there whom I respect, but there is only one case where I go beyond respect to outright dreaming that I can one day reach this level of game design skill.
--As a test of the system's versaility, I came up with "builds" that could make 5 different kinds of swordsmen (experts at fighting with the standard sword, no greatswords or fencing blades allowed) as well as rough character concepts to go with each one.
--I had an interesting brainstorming session on /tg/ for using the system to run a game based on Berserk. Step one was to not tell them it's based on Berserk- that the concept is "Badass Mercenary Quest" or something similar.
--While I'm at it. . .I kinda wrote up the Fantasy Craft statistics for Guts. You know, like last time, except in this case I have versions for him throughout the series.
--Kjallak Havengard is a character I made for a Fantasy Craft game I'm involved in- a sea captain with ambitious dreams, involving the restoration of his exiled clan to greatness. The post would delve into both his build and character concept.
--One element of Kjallak's background that would merit a post of its own is his cultural background, which can basically be described as a cross between the Vikings and the societal structure of Imperial China.
--I've also started to run a game of my own- set in a (probably) non-fantastic medieval setting, no less. I won't be giving too much detail yet (for fear of players reading the blog and encountering spoilers), but one thing that would be worth posting about is the experimental "half-montage" format I used to kick off the game. So far it's worked well.

-While on a family retreat, I had a conversation with a younger cousin of mine (early middle school age)- and all she wanted to talk about was a series of children's fantasy novels she was currently geeking out on. This warmed my heart to no end. So I wound up. . .well, I won't mince words. I grilled her on the content of these novels and in the space of an hour had custom-built a roleplaying from scratch. It turned out pretty nice, too.
--A report how the actual game went merits a post of its own. Since the players were this middle-school cousin, two of here elementary school-age younger siblings, and our grandmother. None of whom (barring this recent appetite for fantasy novels) have ever been particularly geeky. The results were verrry interesting.
--I could also do a post on how exactly I went about the task of building the rpg. Since it was essentially me applying my design principles and seeing them bear fruit in some very satisfying ways.

-Divers: This one's. . .interesting. It's a campaign setting, could fill a number of posts. The concept's hard to describe. One massive oversimplification I came up with was "Matrix+Bleach+Silent Hill- There's something going on behind the modern-day world we know. Those who can perceive this can enter the parallel existence themselves, and in the process gain supernatural powers as they transform into a closer reflection of their true inner nature."

-World Of Darkness' amazing Slasher supplement inspired me to go back and revisit. . .my old idea for setting a campaign in the world of the FF7 series. I know it sounds deranged, but these two concepts are peanut butter and chocolate, seriously.
--And of course, such a concept was enough to merit actually sitting down and writing out the Mutants & Masterminds-based rules that would actually be used to play a game in that setting.
--As a part of this, I came up with some semi-original powers known as Jenova Powers. Doesn't exactly sounds like some grand feat of game design, yet they're easily one of my proudest creations in the past year.

-I've also been tapped by a group of student-level developers who are taking a stab at making a browser-based post-apocalyptic MMO, under the working title of "Cobalt Dawn". They needed a game designer, primarily for the combat system (which I've largely finished, drawing on and refining my work on the never-released combat system for the old Vrilwar game- talk about a nostalgia rush!)
--I've also been having lots of interesting ideas regarding character abilities and development over time, plenty of which can be applied to a tabletop game fairly easily.
--Which reminds me: Just about the most fascinating thing about this experience, for me, has been the similarities and differences between the design priorities of a tabletop RPG and those of an MMO-RPG. Definitely enough material for another post there.

-Plus plenty of other miscellaneous stuff besides. A piece of short fiction narrating an alien civilization's perspective on humanity. A concept for a video game where camera follows NPC's perspectives and the player character is frequently offscreen. A campaign idea where the party members become adventurers after parasitic ghosts (who feed on death) latch onto their life-forces. Another video game concept combining Fallout 3 and Tekken. . .I could go on.

-And I could always do more work on some existing concept; lord knows there are plenty that never got their due, and several others where I've done little to keep people posted on some very interesting ideas I've head (especially Trigger Discipline).
I've thrown up a poll, but if you want something in particular then the comments in this thread are the place to start.

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