Thursday Review: Loadout

Loadout is perhaps the most over-the-top puerile game I’ve ever played. And it’s amazing. It’s not necessarily great, but I truly enjoyed it from the very get-go, and its crude charm wins a lot of points when combined with a surprisingly good community and solid objective-based gameplay. Continue reading “Thursday Review: Loadout”

Project Update: XMICYOA Progress

I actually find myself in an awkward position because I’ve forgotten some of the progress I made on XMICYOA last week, and rather than going back to dig through to find it I’ll just touch on the highlights. Most importantly, the first requirements for objects are in, which represents a key point in the XMI parser. We also now have token, state, and “stoken” (easily wiped tokens) databases to complement all the other features. Continue reading “Project Update: XMICYOA Progress”

Table Reflection: Better Game Mastering Through Questioning

One of the most useful items in the human intellectual toolkit is the ability to question; as a fundamental tool of analysis asking questions is a core function of being an effective Game Master. When running a game for others, it is important to ask questions about the rules, yourself, and the players at your table to craft the most meaningful experiences for you and your players. Continue reading “Table Reflection: Better Game Mastering Through Questioning”

Thursday Review: Shadowrun Digital Tools Box

Digital Tools Box contains what would be two physical boxes. Each contains a lot of interesting content, though Alphaware is far more fleshed out and approaches the size and complexity of the 5th Edition core rulebook, while the Beginner Box is a quick start guide with an attached setting guide and novel excerpt. Continue reading “Thursday Review: Shadowrun Digital Tools Box”

Project Update: XMICYOA Progress and Blog Patchiness

I’ve gotten a lot of work done on XMICYOA, but I’ve also missed a couple blog posts in the past couple weeks. Long story short, I’m planning on downshifting the blog a little; I may drop either a Monday, Thursday, or Friday post on any given week, and I may or may not make them up at my leisure. Continue reading “Project Update: XMICYOA Progress and Blog Patchiness”

Table Reflection: Creating A Welcoming Table

As a long-term GM, one of the greatest challenges I’ve faced is dealing with novice players who are more than a little intimidated by joining a gaming group. In addition, many veteran roleplayers I’ve played with prefer to play in groups where they know they are welcomed and valued, and while I don’t think many GM’s host games just to belittle and exclude their players, it’s still crucial to consider presentation and readiness. Continue reading “Table Reflection: Creating A Welcoming Table”

Thursday Review: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

I’m perhaps not the most impartial judge of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. I’ve always enjoyed Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy games, but there’s always been something about each of them that just drives me up a wall. Fortunately, Future Soldier did its best to make me question my long standing love of Tom Clancy video games, and convinced me that sticking with the classics is really the way to go after all. Continue reading “Thursday Review: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier”

XMICYOA Progress: Bug-fixes and Dice Emulator

XMICYOA is built on the ABACUS core, but I want to provide a robust number of features for people to use in their own work, as well as allow myself a certain degree of flexibility as far as game mechanics go. As such, I’ve been hard at work creating a working dice emulator that provides meaningful and robust results without a whole lot of difficulty. I also fixed a couple bugs this week. Continue reading “XMICYOA Progress: Bug-fixes and Dice Emulator”

Game Design: Applying Animation Principles to Game Environments

Video games seem to often suffer from a lack of awareness of other fields; it’s not so much that video game designers and developers don’t know what they’re doing but rather that they seem to not communicate with other complementary fields. One of the things I’ve noticed as a game reviewer is that many games do not fully take advantage of known animation principles to provide a greater sense of immersion and activity to their environments. Continue reading “Game Design: Applying Animation Principles to Game Environments”

Table Reflection: Snatching Defeat from the Brink of Success

As a GM who runs a lot of darker themed campaigns, be they cyberpunk or gothic fantasy, I’ve encountered situations where the players should not be allowed to win, but they shouldn’t be totally crushed and leave unfulfilled. The challenge then comes down to providing a satisfying play experience without giving the players a victory that unbalances and complicates the narrative. Continue reading “Table Reflection: Snatching Defeat from the Brink of Success”