Thursday, 29 May 2008

Stealing from Grey Ranks

A game mechanic that I've been toying with in the last couple of weeks is a grid that indicates the current status of the character. Since Nobles is a game about duplicity and public image, I decided to pursue this idea so that the duplicitous nature of the characters can be tracked. After all, a smooth-talking leader could be rotten to the core, or could be genuine. Presentation and actuality are not one and the same thing.

I'd heard that Grey Ranks, by Jason Morningstar, made use of a grid arrangement as well. So I've bought a copy of the game, albeit in PDF format, to find out what he's done with it. I already have the basic concepts of my grid, but there's always a chance that his could be better than mine. If so, I would need to figure out whether I should bother making a game, or whether I should simply write a supplement for Grey Ranks rules.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Why make a game?

I've been thinking more about Nobles of late and trying to answer the question, "Why am I making this game?" I could be spending my time making adventures and scenarios instead. I could be spending my time finding more players. So why make a game?

The first thing to say is that I have no intention of making money from this game. I'm toying with the idea of just giving it away as a free PDF, or perhaps as a low-cost PDF through IPR. Nobles is not (at the moment) a game of quality equal to something like Spirit of the Century, or Dogs in the Vineyard. I don't expect that it will ever get to be that good, because that's not why I'm doing it. Also, I quite like my current employment and don't really want to invest the time to promote my game and change careers to Game Designer.

Secondly, I'm designing this game to better understand how games work. I thought about trawling the Forge and reading all the threads on game theory and game design, but I would much rather learn this by doing. I want to try and design a game that includes various features, that does the thing I want it to do. By making a game, I get to learn it the hard way, but I will learn it the complete way. The end result should be better games for my players.

Ultimately, I don't expect to become a game designer (although the story of how Kill Puppies for Satan led to Dogs in the Vineyard plays with my mind a bit), but I want to become a better GM. Making a game is part of my plan. As Judd Karlman would say, this is hitting the heavy bag.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Local press coverage for GenCon

It's a tiny article, so I'm glad that my wife scours the paper every week for things to read. Nevertheless, the local tabloid has an article on Gencon Oz.

So, for as long as you don't mind reading what Uncle Rupert has published, and for as long as that link continues to work... click away. Perhaps a higher number of clicks will encourage them to write more stories about it.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

The Gencon Oz schedule is up!

The Gencon Oz schedule is up and the Indie Games Explosion is there. Get yourselves some tickets now and play the best games you never knew existed.

The other Secret Project (tm) is not yet up. I'll let you know when the cat is allowed to come out of the bag. Until then, the cat stays there.