Thursday Review: War of the Roses

War of the Roses is by no means a new game, but it’s one that I only finally got around to playing after getting it as a gift. It’s a multiplayer-only medieval combat game with a heavy focus on action and which takes place in the English civil war between the Lancastrian and Yorkist factions. It is, to a degree, historically accurate, though the fact that it’s an action-oriented video game means that it’s not exactly going to be winning any prizes for realism. Continue reading “Thursday Review: War of the Roses”

Project Update: So You Want To Play?

One of the things that I noticed when I’ve been writing my recent series for the “Table Reflection” Friday articles here is that I really  wanted to cover a lot more stuff than really could go on the blog, and since I like to keep series pretty short, I wasn’t going to be able to continue it, especially since I said at some point that the blog series was going to be for novices. So I’m officially announcing So You Want To Play? as a Moodle web-course. Continue reading “Project Update: So You Want To Play?”

Game Design: Avoiding Frustration

One of the biggest issues that I see with games’ inherent designs is that many of them are unintentionally annoying, and it really ruins the value of the game. Sometimes these games are trying for a Dark Souls type approach and just fail to pull off the work to make the consequences part of engaging gameplay, but sometimes there’s just poor design to blame. Continue reading “Game Design: Avoiding Frustration”

Table Reflection: So You Want to Play 3 (Building a Character)

One of the greatest issues that I’ve seen when novices start roleplaying is the fact that they don’t understand some of the basics about creating a character. Most frequently, they’re used to video games or stories that either have very powerful protagonists or even if they’re used to video games that utilize characters similar to those in tabletops (games meant for playing in a cooperative group often take this path), they don’t really know how to create one of these characters from the ground-up in a tabletop system. Continue reading “Table Reflection: So You Want to Play 3 (Building a Character)”

Thursday Review: The Game Master

Tobiah Q. Panshin’s The Game Master is an interesting book from front to back, one which is both wonderful and cringe-worthy at the same time. Of all things, perhaps its worst is its inconsistency; verging from academic-styled formal writing to wonderfully light informal prose, it does few things explicitly wrong but doesn’t seem to know where it is. Nonetheless, it’s something that I would recommend, with a caveat. Continue reading “Thursday Review: The Game Master”

Project Update: Scaleability

Orchestra as a game is designed to create an environment in which no character will become unbeatable. One of the core goals is to create scaleability; the idea that you can use multiple characters of the same archetype. For instance, if you had multiple people specializing in Dominance they could still cooperate normally and not rival each other, even were they to use the same exact skills and abilities, and two hackers can still team up to wreak havoc on their opponents’ attempts to boot them out of sensitive computer systems. Continue reading “Project Update: Scaleability”

Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Market)

I saved this part of game design for last, because the truth is that choosing a market is not something that every game must do; and some games are made entirely without a care to marketability or sales. However, there are some things that must be considered when making a game on the designer’s side in order to ensure that the game is constructed in such a way that it is capable of being sold. Continue reading “Game Design: 7 Core Tenets (Market)”

Sunday Extra: Will Kindle Print Replica books really only work on “Kindle Fire Tablets, iPad, Android Tablets, PC, and Mac”?

So the other day I was shopping for some of my textbooks on Amazon and discovered that they had a Kindle edition. Not wanting to lug around a big heavy book, I opted to go digital and tangentially save a tree or two, and get it for my Kindle. Now, there’s just one problem with that; these were “Print Replica” books, and they aren’t actually available for my old-school Kindle (the kind that has a keyboard, from back before there was any other kind). Well, oops. Or was it? Continue reading “Sunday Extra: Will Kindle Print Replica books really only work on “Kindle Fire Tablets, iPad, Android Tablets, PC, and Mac”?”

Table Reflection: So You Want to Play 2 (Finding a Group)

One of the biggest issues with playing tabletop games is finding a group who will enjoy and play the same games, and who won’t try to kill each other when they share a room for about three hours, which is what most sessions run, if not more. As a new player, you should almost always join a group that someone else is starting or has run for a while, but occasionally you’ll find a GM but need other players.

Continue reading “Table Reflection: So You Want to Play 2 (Finding a Group)”

Thursday (Kinda) Review: Tunnels and Trolls

This week I haven’t really had that much time, because of a lot of crazy stuff, but I did do a little looking over of a game that I’d always sort of overlooked: Tunnels and Trolls. In particular, it’s somewhat interesting because of the fact that it’s an older game; and, of additional interest, one that has a relatively low profile among most of the gamers that I know, despite the fact that its age and legacy speak for themselves. Continue reading “Thursday (Kinda) Review: Tunnels and Trolls”