Game Design: Creating an Investment Friendly Narrative

One of the things that really makes a game succeed or fail is the quality of its narrative. A game that tells a good story will be entertaining. This is a little difficult, but there are a few things one can do when writing a game’s story and plot that will help players get attached to the characters and events that the game is centered around.

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Table Reflection: Seven Deadly Sins of Campaign Management

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of warning signs that I’ve seen in campaigns I’ve run or campaigns I’ve played in that can be indicators of a dangerous decline. These things, however, are all avoidable, and are hallmarks of a negligent approach to running games. After the break, I’ll explain what they are and how they can be avoided. Continue reading “Table Reflection: Seven Deadly Sins of Campaign Management”

Thursday Review: Wreck Age

Wreck Age is a respectable, though not necessarily innovative, Post-Cataclysm roleplaying and tactical tabletop game. While it has a decent level of quality, looks good, and has enough content to stand out, it suffers a little bit from not committing to one style or the other. Still, it’s well above average, and is in many ways a good example of what such a game should be.

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Project Update: Slow Week

Last week school started up again, so the week’s been pretty short. In place of the usual weekly post with lots of text, I’m just going to give a bullet-point overview of the things that happened this week.

  • Switched from SimpleXML to DOM for XML parsing.
  • Further fleshed out the reference guide/design document for XMICYOA.
  • Settled on the Apache 2.0 license for XMICYOA.

If anyone has further questions, feel free to ask them in comments or by e-mailing me (the e-mail below the ad-box is fine) and I’ll update this post/reply appropriately.

Game Design: Interface and Mood

One of the things that players of games notice intuitively is their user interfaces. Small things make a game’s interface fluid or clunky, and ugly or beautiful. A designer who isn’t careful can introduce unnecessary elements or hide crucial information and functionality, crippling their game while working on a part of it that is often underrated. Furthermore, interfaces set the mood of the game before any of the other art and mechanics come to the forefront.

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Table Reflection: GM Burnout

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. We’ve probably each heard that several thousand times, but it’s especially true in the case of the Game Master. Burnout is a serious obstacle for many campaigns, but it is also a problem that can be alleviated or prevented entirely with a few simple considerations. Continue reading “Table Reflection: GM Burnout”

Thursday Review(s): The Rapture Is Here And You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home and Eldritch

Today I’ll be looking at two approaches to Lovecraftian gaming, the delightful “The Rapture Is Here And You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home” (henceforth abbreviated to the frighteningly long “TRIHAYWBFRFYH” and also Eldritch, which is a “roguelike first-person platform exploration” game that essentially plays like a first-person Spelunky. Continue reading “Thursday Review(s): The Rapture Is Here And You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home and Eldritch”

Project Update: A Digital Ostravia

As February draws closer, I’ve been working with redoubled effort on a CYOA-esque web implementation of Ostravia using the ABACUS Light ruleset. It’s not fully featured, but it’s something that is very much at the core of the project; as a way of learning about and teaching history, I want Ostravia to be accessible both to avid readers and players of roleplaying games and those who prefer their narratives fictional.

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Game Design: Encouraging Social Play Part 1: Scales of Play

It’s generally well accepted that players who have an enjoyable social experience in game have a higher rate of coming back to a game and will generally enjoy it more than players who are alone, especially in a massively multiplayer environment. This requires designers to take a certain approach to the design of their games that is social play oriented, rather than just play oriented. Continue reading “Game Design: Encouraging Social Play Part 1: Scales of Play”

Table Reflection: Play With Purpose Part 2: The Motive

In the last installment of Play With Purpose, we looked at how to create an exciting and deep setting with an intentional “Reveal”, basically an important event that defines an end-goal of a less linear campaign. Today we’re going to look a little more into the players’ side of things, and look at the Motive.

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