Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Car Wars ?!?

I know that this blog is primarily about indie games, but for a change this one is also going to be about Car Wars. Yes, that quaint little map game about gladiatorial vehicular combat. Sometime in 2007 I bumped into another Brisbane guy who likes to play the game, and now he's working on a kind of Car Wars revival. Cool. I always enjoyed playing that game. There's a lot of suspense and tension in it, and the deaths are usually a spectacle worth enjoying (in true gladiatorial style).

I think Car Wars succeeded in creating a sense of tension when it was played quickly. However, it's all too easy to get bogged down in a lot of extra rules and concepts. For anyone out there wanting to improve their Car Wars experience, play it fast. Plan your moves while the other people are taking theirs. The faster you take the move, the better the experience for everyone involved. This will happen more easily if you design your car with a strategy in mind. Take that strategy to the table and play it to the limit. Don't change your mind, just play the car for all it's worth.

This also applies to something like Spirit of the Century. When you design your character, it will have a small number of key strengths based on aspects and the top three skills in the pyramid. Play them. Play them hard. That's what your character is about, so ham it up and go for it. Is the apex skill Fists? Then punch the villains. Is it Science? Then make declarations about all sorts of things to do with the physics of the strange doomsday machine. A fast-paced game relies on minimalism rather than complexity. It may sound one-dimensional, but it's the sacrifice one makes for action. Even in film this is true. A complex story about complex characters will have a lot of dialogue and monologue. Not much action. However, make the characters simpler and you'll get more action in the film. Take this to your games and have fun.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

American Convention Season

I see that the American Summer convention season has started with GTS. Everything's starting with a bang. IPR is well represented - thankfully - with a booth. Check out Fred Hicks' blog for a great photo of it.

My plan is to make use of Gencon this year to get a sense for others who are interested in my style of gaming. And by "my style" I mean the short-run games with a handful of sessions, based around different kinds of stories and different kinds of mechanics. So Gencon will be about a lot of networking with other GMs and game stores. When I can find a good venue, we'll kick it off.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

More Brisbane Roleplaying - NOW!

I don't make new years resolutions, I make plans.

My new plan is set around finding more people with which to play indie games. I'm not really looking for a campaign, but I'd really like to play different games that do different things. Furthermore, I want to run these games. It's not just playing, but running them that really interests me.

Do you play roleplaying games?

Do you live in the Brisbane area?

Do you want to try some indie games?

The comment space is yours, completely without moderation.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Indie Games at GenCon Oz

I feel quite encouraged by the folks organising GenCon Australia. They seem to be quite responsive to the efforts of a few of us indie games folks and are coming up with ways for us to promote indie games (ours, and others). I can't give out details at this stage, but I can say that I'm keen for it and that if you're looking for indie game events, either as a player or a developer, then there will be plenty of opportunities for you at the con.

Make sure you drop by the tables.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Nobles following Mythender

It seems that Ryan Macklin has found himself in a similar position to me. Unbeknownst to you, faithful reader, I have struck an impasse in my development of Nobles. Should I make it a fully fledged RPG or just a battle game? Ryan is asking himself the same question about Mythender.

As it turns out, I had planned to take the same path. Develop the components and build an RPG on top of them. It's taking its time (in and around some more philosophical commitments) but I still plan to have a small A5 staple version ready for GenCon Oz 2008.