Monday, 27 July 2009

Nobles - Ready to be unveiled

In what's become something of a kata for me, my perennial project Nobles is about to be released. Details on the format will come in time, but it's on its way.

I say that it's become a kata because it's a little project that I maintained in order to understand how games work and how people and games interact. It's never been intended as a complex or rich RPG. Rather, it's the kind of exercise one engages in in order to perfect a single technique. Those techniques can be used at a later stage to produce something more complex and interesting, but that's a larger work which requires the basic technical components to be mastered first.

So, the little kata that I call Nobles will be ready and available soon for your tabletop gaming enjoyment.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Once more unto the breach

After my earlier fiasco at attempting to get to Newcastle, I'll be boarding a plane next weekend to get to the EGG for a day of gaming. Nice!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

That's how they roll

Just finished listening to the latest episode of That's How We Roll in which our intrepid hosts unleash their opinions in a rambling kind of way. Listening to it is like panning for gold. Scoop up a watery sludge from the bottom of the creek and start swirling. If all goes well, the gold nuggets will start gleaming in the sunlight.

And, to be sure, there is gold in this one if you are involved in gaming beyond being a player or a GM. That means any kind of involvement in the production of a game (writing, editing, art, and so on...), or the production of a podcast, or fanzine, or even organising a convention. From where I sat for this one, the nuggets are all about communication with the rest of the gaming diaspora.

At one level, though, the advice was a blend of customer service and ettiquette. Fred has been vocal elsewhere about the need for politeness in the face of negative criticism, and he continues it in this episode. I agree with him that part of the problem is the medium of communication: the distance and anonymity of the internet opens up space for people to behave in ways they wouldn't in a face to face encounter. So in amongst it all is Fred's plea for people to cultivate interest in the reasons for something rather than the reasons against something.

The other good nugget from the show is Chris' process for communicating about the Endgame mini-cons. Having run two mini-cons at a FLGS, I couldn't help but focus on this. Before I run the next one I know I'm going to have to prepare a checklist or something, just to make sure it all happens in the right order and that I don't miss a vital step.

So if you do more with your gaming than play or run games, go engage in the gold panning required for this episode of That's How We Roll.

Hiatus

I had a brief break from blogging. It turned out to be necessary but it's resolved now. On with the show.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Appreciate

For no reason other than appreciation, I wanted to draw your attention to a few people who continue to make indie RPGs interesting and fun. This is not a complete list, but it's a recent list.

Paul Tevis - for his ongoing podcasts and the (finally!) released A Penny For My Thoughts. Knowing that it took a couple of years to bring it from idea to publication is encouraging.

Fred Hicks - for continuing to produce top quality games, despite the taxing world of new parenthood. 7 months ago I became a dad and I put a lot of other things aside for my boy. I've no idea how Fred does it.

Nathan and Marty - for bringing an Australia gaming podcast to the world. If you're not listening to it already, you should.

John Harper - for inspiring me to continue with my low page-count game design ideas, and for gorgeous layout. Gah! My visual artistry couldn't even wrangle the scraps you throw on the floor.

Many many thanks to you all.