Reflections of a Game Designer: Velotha’s Flock and Hwaet

I haven’t been writing as much about game design on my personal blog since I started writing daily for Loreshaper Games, but I’ve been thinking on what I’ve been doing with some of the content for my games and in particular how the context of previous experiences is shaping my current work as a designer.

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Goals (April 23-April 29)

Still been keeping up on steemit. Got a Curie upvote last week, which meant a huge boost in reputation and Loreshaper Games is almost to 100 followers over there.

Hammercalled entered playtesting last week, which means two things:

A) There’s no time like the present to finish the GM section.
B) There will be a moment to finish up the velotha’s flock advanced play guide that I’ve been working on for like two months now and continuously procrastinating.

With that said, here’s the list of stuff to do:

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Goals (April 16-April 22)

As with last week, I’ve been keeping up my output over on steemit. I’ve also made some good progress on things, which I’d like to quickly highlight.

First, an early WIP version of the Hammercalled Character Sheet is now available to help facilitate playtesting. There are a couple small issues, but making major changes to the sheet is non-trivial.

I really need to get the velotha’s flock advanced guide done. That’s my main priority this week. I didn’t really do anything significant on it last week because the notion that Hammercalled would be ready for playtesting sort of overwhelmed my creativity and everything I had was devoted that direction.

velotha’s flock advanced guide (Priority 1)

I just need to finish the character examples. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Uuuuuuuuugh. Why do I do this? I’ll probably knock them all out in thirty minutes, come back the next day and say they’re really quite good, then kick myself for not getting over this stupid block.

Hammercalled Settings (Priority 2)

The Rules Reference is out now, and there are still things that need to be tweaked, changed, and expanded. For now, however, my first goals are two-fold.

Segira

So if I say I didn’t get anything done for Segira, I’m understating things, but there’s nothing new in the Segira document. Rather, a lot of the changes I was making in Segira wound up back in Hammercalled.

So we’re closer. The PDF just isn’t rolling along quicker yet.

The Ashen King

I’m going to start using WorldAnvil for The Ashen King sometime this week. I found out that my .odt I was using for it lost a lot of progress during a crash (why), so I’m really on a back foot here. We’re probably on track for an end-of-the month reveal of the setting, though it’s not going to be like Segira.

Goals (April 9-April 15)

I’ve been keeping up my output over on steemit. I’ve also made some good progress on things, which I’d like to quickly highlight.

First, the Hammercalled Rules Reference is out. This is the first public playtesting document for Hammercalled intended for general use, and it’s also a tool intended to allow people to make their own game using the Hammercalled ruleset.

Second, all of the advanced guide for velotha’s flock is done except for the sample characters and a quick editing pass before it’s out for testing (that means a public release, for free!)

Without further ado, here’s what I’m working on:

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Goals (April 2-April 8)

Last week was productive in the form of a series of articles on archetypes over on steemit, but many of my original goals were not met, in part because of that shifted focus. With that said, I feel good about the things I got done.

Here’s the new goals:

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This Week’s Goals (March 19-25)

This is just a quick overview of my  goals for this week. I’ve actually gotten a lot of stuff done already today, so I’ll be putting in some stuff that’s already done too. velotha’s flock v3 was released last week too (and on schedule, though there were a couple more things I am probably going to tweak).

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Title Release Dates for March 2018

I put off writing today and I want to go to bed, so I’m going to just toss out some quick release dates for stuff.

I’m having writer’s block on Oskan’s Prophet/Rediscovery/The Legacy of Eight novel. I’m going to go back to drafting and keep what I can, but I’m putting it on the backburner for now.

The advanced player’s guide for velotha’s flock is due March 20 to DriveThruRPG. I don’t have self-publish privileges yet, but that should make sure that it gets up before March 23.

I’m also working on a combat/gear test for Hammercalled. That will take the form of its own independent mini-setting and game. The name is still in the air, but it’s a post-apocalyptic take on political intrigue. Or, alternatively, a vehicle brawler set out in the desert.

The four core mechanics I want to test here are:

  • combat
  • characters
  • gear
  • vehicles

Plus the very basic frameworks needed for a playable game.

Once those core mechanics are finished, I’m going to move to Street Rats. The setting will be somewhat different from the old Street Rats, but it will maintain a lot of the core feel. That’s to test:

  • super-technology
  • cyberspace (maybe?)
  • non-human characters
  • advanced talents and traits

Then we’re going to have an Othenar release, which will focus on:

  • magic
  • well, pretty much just magic, really, but that’s a heck of a beast

Once that’s done, we’ll bundle up the system and attach it to the Hammercalled system.

Is this a good idea?

I don’t know. It’s never been done. It gives us more time to build word of mouth before our big release, but it’s also going to be an adventure.

I hope you’ll stick with us through it.

velotha’s flock Update!

Updated velotha’s flock today with some narrative poems and minor changes throughout. I’ve been putting in old German printers’ work, all based on Bible stories, to add some visual spice to the narrative. I think it’s pretty obvious that I used a bunch of Bible stories as inspiration.

This is just a tiny little post to let people here know.

Commentary on velotha’s flock Part 2: The Product Line

From fairly early conception of velotha’s flock, when it went from being a four-page novelty to a full-fledged game as it were, I decided to make it into a multi-part affair. I want to talk briefly about the reasons why, especially since as a free game I don’t think anyone’s accusing it of being a money-grubbing move.

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