Monthly Archives: July 2013

Project Update: Health in Orchestra

Long story short, I’m kind of through with the interesting things of Orchestra for right now. Of course, that’s not to say I’m done working on it, but there’s only so much stuff I can do until I reach the end of stuff that’s really worth discussing what I did and why, compared to things like skills and such that I’ll probably handle more in explaining what I did and some basic reasoning, rather than the reason why I think Orchestra is special for doing it. Continue reading

Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Setting)

A game’s setting has come to mean a number of things to gamers; in tabletop roleplaying it’s usually used to describe the surrounding world and the cast, and it means similar things in video games. However, when working on a game you must work two-fold on your setting; creating both an implied and explicit setting, in order to reach the best mixture of freedom of choice and engaging experiences that create emotionally and psychologically appealing games. Continue reading

Table Reflection: Building Wonder

Wonder is hard to come by-we’ve explored most of our land mass, been to space, and answered more questions than most people ask in their lives. One of the challenges of running a tabletop game in the modern day is the need to compete with the extreme stimulation of mass media; it is crucial from an entertainment perspective to build upon the storytelling and setting of other media and bring them together into a conglomeration of all the elements that will go into your setting and descriptions.

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Thursday Review: Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns is one of the games that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and I’ve got some mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it’s given me a dreadful amount of thrills, and on the other I’ve wanted to slam my head into the desk several times out of frustration. Part of this may come from my personal attachment to the franchise, which makes me a little more critical than I would otherwise be, but some of it is just the fact that at times the developers just seemed to forget what they were doing-they proved themselves capable of doing some pretty cool things, and then every once in a while a typo, glitch, or gameplay balance issue slipped in. Continue reading

Project Update: Combat and Initiative in Orchestra

Orchestra is really at heart an experimental game; I’m working with a system that has a fair deal of intentional quirks to see how it works; such as the probability curve-based system 2d20 core roll system, which means that there’s a number of things that I can take into account as a difference between Orchestra’s unique mechanics and some more mainstream mechanics such as linear dice or multiple dice. Continue reading

Extra: Mercenary Kings (Early Access)

So yesterday I got an e-mail announcing the early access to Mercenary Kings, which I Kickstarted, and my Steam key. Needless to say, I was more than a little excited (I did, after all, think it was going to be good, and I did give them money). For those not in the know, Mercenary Kings is a Metal Slug-esque arcade shooter; imagine something that falls between a Castlevania game and the original arcade games in terms of pace; lots of bullets, lots of speed, character customization, and more. Continue reading

Table Reflection: Teaching New Players

One of the best things to do with any friend is to introduce them to a hobby they’ll enjoy-I’ve personally introduced several people to tabletop gaming, and a few more to specific games such as Shadowrun or the like. However, there are a few things that really help before you start to get people involved in the hobby; most people my age play video games and know the basics of what goes on in a tabletop game from references or video games heavily based on a tabletop system, like Neverwinter Nights, but don’t really have a real clue about how things work-they know about rolling dice and comparing numbers, but they’ve been doing the equivalent trying to learn a language by listening to it, rather than being engaged in the core of what they are doing they are merely gleaning an occasional number or the number of sides on a die (this isn’t always the case; but games that both explain and fully implement tabletop systems are rare). Continue reading

Thursday Review: Shadowrun: Sprawl Wilds

Shadowrun: Sprawl Wilds is a collection of adventures that are intriguing and provide a good starting point for prospective Shadowrun GM’s. They focus more on a complex mission rather than a simple one; they’ll take a fair deal of getting familiar with to run, and they involve fewer felonies than the average shadowrun, but not only do they show off SR5’s new things well and serve as a decent starting-off point for Shadowrun players. Unfortunately, they are not quite perfect, but they’re pretty good in general. Continue reading

Project Update: Rebooting Orchestra

Yeah, I’m not writing about Defender of Azekal today, because I’m still working on some system design stuff (namely how to handle loading of enemy data) that isn’t terribly interesting. For those interested, I’m working on arrays through a number of separate files that determine the enemies’ statistics and the animation they use for the battle. As I mentioned, trying to figure that out is probably not that interesting, unless you want to learn more about loading up lists in Stencyl, which I kind of doubt. Continue reading