Google+ and how it has already changed my life.

Social networking is a tricky thing.  One of things that always pulled me into gaming is that it a social event.  Yes, people have made fun of gamers for years, but the bottom line is you had to leave you house and go see other people to play.   Sure, there are still a few people out there that fit the stereotype of being socially awkward and all that, but social networking has probably helped those people communicate better with the rest of us. 

Just about everyone is on Facebook, and has been for a while.  I know I have been on it for a good time and there are people out there that the only time I hear from them is when we communicate with each other that way.  Saying that I have never been a fan of it and its views on security.  I am not going to go into that since everyone else already has at some point.  Let’s just say that given the opportunity, I would probably use another site if possible.

What a great segue way to Google+

I haven’t been on G+ for that long.  At first you hear about people and how they are so happy about getting their invitees to try it out.  It kind of makes you feel like you are the only one that hasn’t been picked to be in the baseball game that you played so often as a kid.  You really want to play, but you can’t because no one will choose you. 

Then I got my invite, to try it out and all was right in the universe.  I know that is silly, but if we are honest with each other…we like being chosen to be a part of something.  That can be good and bad depending on how much your life depends on this, but it is a fact of life none the less.

I had not read that much about it as of yet, so, I went into this not really expecting much.  I was immediately blown away by the simplicity of the circles.  Not exactly a mind blowing idea, but one that handled well allows you to get information to people that actually want to hear it.  Instead of everyone.  You know what I mean.  Say you are a movie buff, but you have friends that just don’t care to hear it.  You create a circle called movie buffs and ask people if they want to be involved in it.  Or for me, I am a gamer, so I have a group called rpg people, which is just growing by the day.  But when I want to talk about gaming, I only send it to them. 

Facebook never really handled this well, if you ask me.  Which is why I don’t have different groups on there, but all of my stuff gets sent to everyone.  Even those that don’t give a damn about my writing, gaming, or geekery I am into. 

I now have circles for.  My friends, newbies, acquaintances, rpg people, indie games, Dresden Files rpg, readers, people I follow, authors, and game design. 

I have already met, and had conversations with some very awesome people.  G+ is a networker’s wet dream.  Especially as a gamer and a designer.  I want to meet people and hear their own gaming and designing stories.  You can learn so much from other people’s experiences if you are just willing to shut up and listen.   G+ is so easy to do, and when you have people that are actually willing to talk about things you both love…it is an amazing thing.  A bit addictive, but amazing none the less. 

Then you have the free hangout feature that allows people to chat via webcam.  Kind of cool, especially since so many people are already using it to game.  I have not done that yet, but I get the feeling I will at some point.  Especially with good friends of ours that live in Pittsburgh. 

But it goes beyond that, into something I not sure I can explain well.  A sense of community is already starting there.  Do I know most of these people very well?  No.  But I want to, and that to me is an amazing thing to behold.  It isn’t that I am an a anti-social person, but it is amazing how just a last week I was content (reluctantly) with Facebook, and now I have been introduced to over 75 new people.  That has been without even trying.  I am sure that number is going to go up as I continue reading all of the posts from other people that are in their circles. 

For some reason, this blows my mind…but in a good way.  

Now I do hope they pull their heads out of the asses about the pseudonym thing.  I get why a lot of people don’t want to give their first and last names. Those people should not be punished for wanting the anonymity.  From what I hear, they are backing off a bit, but actions speak louder than words.

But overall, it has been a rousing success.  I have enjoyed meeting people that share my interests.  I have enjoyed having conversations that were not possible two weeks ago.  This has been pure win thus far, and I can only hope they will continue making changes to it…to make it better.  Will it kill Facebook?  Probably not, but I would not mind to see fb go down the way myspace did.  :)

Oh, and I created a poll that I would like people that game to answer.  :)


What is our game about?

Well, I have already spoken about why I want to make a game.  why I am making a game And the dilemma behind making a game.  game designing dilemna   

So, now we move on to the next thing I want to talk about…what is our game about. 

The name of our game (for now at least) is Perdition.  It is a fantasy setting that deals with a culture based on elements and how it affects every part of their lives.   Yeah, part of this comes from my love of the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher.  

The world was normal once, and then came what is now known to be The Fury.  The world was ravaged by the elements and after a time, it changed the world and the people living in it.  It started slowly at first, people being able to manipulate the elements.  People were terrified of this and rarely used it.  Then over time people began to see how much power it gave them, and they embraced it.  Shocking I know.  The world is also a very dangerous place since the Fury still comes from time to time to ravage the world even further.

The elements are your typical ones.  Air, earth, fire, and water.  Although I am still considering whether to add more to that such as spirit, light, and darkness.   Every single person in the world is born with an affinity of an element.  A rune  is marked on their body, like a tattoo.  There is status involved (both positive and negative) and there are a very small percentage that are born with either the ability to have all of the elements, or none.  Every character in the world has some access to the elements...even if it is just something small.  For instance if you are born with an affinity of fire, you may be able to bring up a small flame to help see in the dark.  Or if you have earth, you may always know which direction you are going.  Someone with air can use it to levitate a small distance.  Oh and if you have the water affinity, you can breathe under water.  Simple things like that, regardless of what kind of character you want to play. 

But of course there are people in the world that think they need to rule.   The Devout simply want everyone else to recognize their authority.  Is that so much to ask?  They are willing to crush anyone that doesn’t agree with them.  Then you have Perdition.  The rebellion as you will.  Though, they are not always nice about it.  This is a true rebellion, where black and white get murky and people live in the gray.  They do what they have to do to survive.  We also may have two other groups (not sure yet), one that is just trying to hide, and one that just wants to stir the pot and cause chaos.  This will probably be redone. 
We want the world to a focal part of the game.  Since it is an elemental game, we want the elements to play a big part in it.  Weather will be a huge factor in the game.    The world is a dangerous place.  Constantly there are floods, volcanoes, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes… you get the point.  You have to fight

Amongst all of this, you have the Orders.  Each person is approached at a certain age by one of the Orders of the world.  Only a small percentage of the world (maybe 5-10%) are chosen for this.  You do NOT have to join them, but again there is a prestige factor involved, not to mention a safe haven from the world.    I plan on redoing this since they seem a bit too confined and remind me way too much of class system games, which I don’t want to do anymore.  More on this later. 

Yeah, without knowing it we had created a game that seemed too much like Dungeons and Dragons.  Five years ago, this did not bother me, since that is what we played.  But times have changed, and I am not really into the old school games anymore.  I haven’t played D&D in a while and am all about the indie gaming scene now. 

So, I am in the process of reading all the notes and everything we actually did in the game.  I already know I that the game I see, is not the game I want to make.  I still want to keep the setting, and the elemental aspect of it.  I still want to have Orders in the world, but restructured and not as rigid.  I want to be more flexible in everything else.  I love the Fate system, and I think I want to play around with the game being at least kind of like it. 

Oh, the other thing I want to change (and forgot to mention up to this point).  The world was populated by five different races…humans, elves, orcs, sylphs, and saurials.  Just another indication as to how “D&D” the game felt.  I would like the world to be nothing but human (with maybe one other).  Different lands with different races of humans. 

At some point I have to talk to my co-author Henry…and see if he agrees with any of this.  J  But for now, I am just getting my thoughts in order, so I can have a plan of attack.

Everything is subject to change since my views on games have changed in the last 5 years.  Please be patient and if you can, try to keep the comments positive.  J  They can still be constructive, but I am all about the positive here.  


Damn you, Jim Butcher!

Damn you, Jim Butcher.  I blame you for how addicted I am to your stupid books.  I am such a fan-boy (fan-man…wow that just sounds wrong) and this Tuesday, Ghost Story comes out, and my addiction to this series continues ever stronger. 

It is a little sad just how excited I am to read this book.  Now, I have always been a bit of a nerd, but I like to think I have always handled myself with appropriate aplomb. 

Ok, maybe not…but it sounds good in my head when I say that. 

It started when I was six and I saw Star Wars: A New Hope.  Part of me thinks that my nerd fate was sealed at that point.  Hell, up until about 10 years ago, I still had the ticket stub for that movie.  Somehow it got lost, but those things happen. 

Then I hurt my ankle one summer and could run around like a maniac (cuz that is what nine year old kids do), and I went into the library.  Do you ever just have a moment of clarity and realize that something in your life just clicked.  I had no idea what it meant, but that day changed my life.  I asked the library what would be fun to read and she gave me the Hobbit…which I devoured in about ten minutes.  From there I read the Lord of the Rings. 

Now keep in mind I was nine.  I did not really understand what was going on in the story sometimes.  But damn it, there were elves, and dwarves, and a ring! 

As I got older, my love for the fantasy genre got stronger.  I discovered authors that I still cherish.  David Eddings, Terry Brooks, and C.S. Lewis to name a few. 

 But now I am 40 years old and in my life, four things have taken my nerd and sent it into a frenzy.  Star Wars (obviously), The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (which is an entire different discussion), and the Dresden Files.

I remember when Chris and Amy (not sure if it was both of them…or just one) said I should read them.  There was not a lot of urban fantasy written at that time, and I laughed at the idea behind the story.  The television show was about to start.  So, I did not read the books at first because of that.  Eventually they convinced me to try them. 

I was hooked.  I would like to say cuz they were superbly written, but that would be a lie. The first two books in the series are not written that well.  Which is funny, cuz I have read them so many times now that I love them regardless of that.  To me the story starts getting better at the end of the third book (grave peril), and the story really takes off in book seven (dead beat).  That could be the necromantic dinosaur talking, but who knows.

Now I am full on addicted.  I got to playtest the rpg that Evil Hat made about the game.  That experience was awesome, and the game is great. 

Let’s see all of the ways that Jim Butcher has affected my life.  The books, graphic novels, the TV show, t-shirts, the rpg, most of my online profile pics are Dresden Files related, and random quotes I love.

Look, I know this series isn’t for everyone.  I get that.  I listen to people all the time say how awful they are.  That is fine, everyone has the right to their opinion….just as I do.  But for some reason the wise cracking wizard, with an oversized view of self-righteousness….just hits home for me.  I feel like this character and I have a lot in common (minus the ability to smite people that annoy me with magic).  Although it has been said that it is a good thing I cannot do that, cuz I may not be the best person to have that kind of power. 

So yeah, I love the books.  I get all excited when they come out.  I get all teary-eyed and emotional when things happen to characters I love.  That is what literature is about, right?  Having something pull us in and care about?  That is what makes novels and movie so powerful. 

So, damn you Jim Butcher.  Damn you and your books that have taken such a foot hold of my life.

Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Why am I making a game?

How it came to be.
There are a lot of reasons why people choose to create their own game, so I don’t imagine my reason is going to really blow anyone’s mind with my answer. 

You know the scene.  You are sitting around with your friends and talking about gaming.  Your frustration in how things may be done in the game.  For me it was Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of fond memories playing this game.  It was the game that got me hooked into gaming 20 years ago. 

So around five years ago we were playing a bunch of 2nd Edition, and it started to wear on me.  My problem with D&D has always been that it was a bit too rules extensive, and trying to teach new people how to play the game?  Good luck.  By the time you got to Thac0, it was a mess.  So this is how this started.  We started to wonder if we could make a game that was not as confusing, and easier for new people to learn.  Most of our newer players came from our book club and had no experience in gaming at all. 

So on a trip back from a Renaissance Faire that was rained out, we started talking a script for a movie.  Or Chris did, since he was the one thinking about it.  In the story, people were getting killed by monsters from a rpg they were playing.   After talking about it, we decided to make a game for the movie.  A very simple game.

Or so we thought.

Then all those thoughts  of thinking we could make a game we actually wanted to play started coming out.  The three of us (Chris, Henry, and myself) started wondering if we could design something more.  So, it turned into something much, much, more.  We call it Perdition.

Why it is important?
I miss creating.  I have always felt better when I was creating something.  I am written most of my life, and remember how often my life seemed better while I was actually doing it.  Then came a new type of creation with the RPG. 

It was awesome.

It was a new kind of euphoria.  Because we were creating an entire world.  I will talk more about the game on a later date, but it is a world that the elements are a major force, and the creation aspect of that was something I loved so much. 

But even more than that, there is a sense of accomplishment (even on a game that is nowhere near done) that comes with the creation of it.  Even small parts that you finish can make you feel great about what you are trying to do. 

What does the future bring?
The one thing I have to do is get consistent with all of it.  It has been a little over a year since we have actually done anything, and I am in the process of moving back towards starting designing the game again.  I just have to re-read everything and see where we are. 

The funny thing is when we started we had created a D&D clone without even realizing it.  Then I started playing indie games and fell in love with them.   How simple the games can be, and how they are more about roleplaying, instead of it being all about rules.

But beyond that I am really excited about getting back into the game

Faces of our DFPRG Game

So, next on our look at the NYC DFPRG game we are going to play is Faces.  Faces are very important in this game because of how locations work in the game.  Each location has at least one face attached to it.  Yes, face is another way of saying NPC, but it makes sense.  It is cool to have a list of pre-made faces to work with at any point in time during the game.  Some of them are just minor players in the game, while others will take center state and become allies/enemies for the game. 


Locations for Our NYC Dresden Files Game

So, here is a list of the locations for our Dresden Files RPG.  I am still trying to fine tune this, since the last we played this was a year ago.  But it gives me time to make changes if I needed too.  The one thing I noticed is that too much of the game takes place in Manhattan.  If you don't know NYC, there are four other boroughs:
  • The Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Staten Island
To put this in perspective, I have lived in Queens for the eight years I have lived here.  But my point is that maybe I need to either get rid of a few locations, or add a couple in the other boroughs.  Well, except Staten Island, I don’t even want to go there even in a game.  This is still being worked on.  I plan on changing some of the mortal faces (NPC’s) a bit, since they all seem to do the same things.  

Harry Potter and the end of an era

First thing you need to know about me is that I am a huge fan of the Fantasy genre.  I have seen since I read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings when I was nine.  This is why I started a sci-fi/fantasy book club seven years ago (and it is still going today).   What I love about fantasy is that the premise is usually about people banding together to fight for the greater good.  The actual greater good and not just one person’s definition of the greater good…which can get a bit confusing as it were. 

I remember when the Harry Potter books first came out and I was reluctant to read them at all because they were children’s novels.   I am not someone that does things because everyone else does.  But then I went and saw the saw the first movie and I was enchanted.    Now ten years later, seven books, and eight movies later…it may finally be over. 

I love the books.  I truly do.  Like everyone else, we grew up with these kids.  First in the books, and  later in the movies.  Yeah, not all of the movies were as good as they could be (especially Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire), but overall I still enjoyed them.  Last night we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2.  I really enjoyed Part 1, regardless of the fact that It was a bit slow from time to time.  But I am also a huge fan of the book…so those things do not bother me as much.  But with something you love, you really want them to end it on a high note.  Whether you are reading a book or watching a movie. 

So, my thoughts on the movie?  I really enjoyed it.  To be fair, I am a bit of an emotional guy, and the movie got me pretty good on that regard.  So, there were a lot of moments in the movies that really hit me.  I think the first one last night was when they got back to Hogwarts and see all of their classmates and then a bit later when the Order of the Phoenix arrived (Go prof. McGonagall). 

From the time they got to The Room of Requirement to The last battle with Voldemort, it was done about as well as I could have hoped.  A few stand out moment?

·         After they left the Room of Requirement, there is a scene where the three of them get caught up in the battle.  I loved this because the music was amazing and had a sense of almost hopelessness to it. Just proving again how vital music can be in helping a scene.
·         How they handled Snape’s memories and what actually meant to Harry.   This was amazing and powerful scene.   
·         I know it was silly, but it was great to Ron and Hermione kiss.
·         The CGI for different things.  The room of requirement and the killing of the horcruxes.
·         Neville!  Yeah that changed how he came to do it, but damn it was awesome to see him get his moment. 
·         Mrs. Weasley getting to get her moment in the sun as well.  I even did a bit of a fist pump.  J
·         The Dragon was sweet!

I  loved this movie, but there a few nitpicks. 

·         How they handled the last fight between Harry and Voldemort.  I am someone that likes CGI, but only to add to a scene.  I feel like they used CGI to make it a completely different scene totally, and it just felt that way.  It wasn’t horrible, but I would have rather seen something more like the end of the book. 
·         Also, it would have been nice for the fight between Mrs. Weasley and Bellatrix to be a bit longer. 
·         The amount of wizard that attacked Hogwarts was a bit too much like helm’s deep.

So my final thoughts are that they did a great job with finishing the series.  Yeah, a few things here or there could have been tweaked, but overall I loved it. 


Gaming and horror, and Cthulhu, oh my!

One of my favorite game of all time is Call of Cthulhu.  Back when I first started gaming I started out with 2nd edition Dungeons and Dragons.  That game will always have a special place in my heart, but after playing it for a year or so…I needed to play something different.  Then a friend of mine introduced me to two things that changed my life a bit. 

The first was Call of Cthulhu.  What a great game, where you get crazier the more you play it.  Not to mention it was set in the 1920’s, which made the setting that much more dark and gloomy.  That was always driven home by the artwork you have seen associated with the game (and others like it) since.  The second thing I was introduced to was H.P. Lovecraft.  Not every one of his stories were what you would consider “good”, but the imagination it took to write them was crazy to me. 

I have loved horror since I was a kid.  I remember being really young and I was at a drive-in to see the Exorcist.  I was a terrified child, and it scared me so much I could not even watch it.  Which is funny, because I am still too afraid to watch that movie.  But my love of horror took off after that.  Do you remember just how creepy the first Nightmare on Elm Street was?  It is easy to laugh at now, but it came out when I was around 14.  That movie gave me nightmares for weeks. 

Then you have horror novels, which I tend to not get into as much anymore.  I feel like everything has been so commercialized that it is hard to be afraid of them anymore.  I remember when vampires and zombies used to be scary.  Now you have Twilight and all those ridiculous mash up books with zombies.  The most recent I read for my book club was about The Beatles, whom were zombies.  This book made me so mad I wanted to find the author and smite him somewhat. 

So that brings us back to gaming.  I started playing CoC when I was around 22 or so.  I remember sessions of that game that were terrifying.  I kind of miss that.  Now I am 40 years old, and sadly I realize the older we get, the harder it is to be afraid.  Imagination gets replaced with pragmatism and logic.  Don’t get me wrong, my inner child is still running the show, but it much harder to be afraid now.  Maybe that is because life is scary and I have looked down the barrel of a gun before.  We have things like 9/11 to remind us of how frail we actually are. 

That is not to say that other people have any problem with this.  Roleplaying as rule means you have to step outside of yourself and buy into whatever setting the game you are playing uses.

I have not really played many new games that deal with fear.  I still plan on playing Don’t Rest Your Head with my gaming group at some point.  That game has the capability of being creepy if the right person runs it.  I also really like Trail of Cthulhu.  It just brings me back to when I was a 22 year kid learning how to game.  Not to mention, I am a big fan of the Gumshoe system Pelgrane Press came up with.  I have played that game 5 or 6 times and I love, love, love it.  I also still want to play Mutant City Blues, but that is a whole different type of game. 

Which brings me to the game they made last year that I REALLY want to play.  Fear Itself. http://www.pelgranepress.com/site/?page_id=420

I only found out about this recently, and boy does it look promising.  I want to have that feeling of walking down in to a basement and wondering if something is going to try to eat my face.  (Smile).  I miss the adrenaline rush of that type of feeling.

So, I guess the questions I am asking myself, is can I still be afraid of things in the dark?  I hope so.  I would love to find a game that can bring all of that feeling back.  That tension of knowing something dark and dangerous is around the corner. 

What are your thoughts on this?  What games out there has the kind of feeling I am looking for?  Suggestions? 


What is an Aspect

Before I go any farther on my DFPRG game I am running, two people sent me emails asking what Aspects are.  So, I wrote up a post about them. 

The main character attributes in DFRPG are called aspects. This is something that the Fate games do to create characters, such as Spirit of the Century.   Instead of having a strength, dexterity, or any other type of typical game attribute, you will have aspects.  Aspects basically help the player define everything that is important to your character and what makes them unique to each player.  Aspects can be anything from catchphrases, beliefs, items, descriptions, relationships, or anything else you can think of that helps describe the type of character you want to play.   

Examples.  I tried to use some from my game or previous SOTC games.

  • Beliefs: Good shall overcome, United we stand
  • Phrases: “I see magic”, “We can build it we have the technology”
  • Descriptors: Thirst for knowledge, Eerily beautiful, Stubborn to a fault, Sometimes a little drunk
  • Items: Sword of the Cross, my favorite gun Vera, Yoke of the tyrant
  • Relationships:  Necromancer’s apprentice, Tyranthraxus' bitch, Unrequited love
  • Others: Calling in a favor, Alone in the World, Strange world, Incompetent ally, Nick of time, Wrong place right time, Shoot first ask questions later, In over my head,
  • Scene aspects. Crowded, Shadows abound, Compact, On fire
How this works in the games is that you use Aspects to gain or spend fate points for your character.  Fate points are used to give your character a bonus, and you earn them when the aspects make your life a living hell and cause complications for your character.  Here is how they are used:

Invocation. You can spend a fate point and then describe how one of your aspects is relevant to this situation, and either get to re-roll the dice, or get a +2 bones.  Example.  Your character was attacked by a Red Court Vampire and you are fighting for your life.  You make a defense roll, which you fail miserably.  You could then invoke your “In over my head” aspect and re-roll the dice.  It is relevant since you are fighting a freaking vampire.  

Invoking for effect.  You can spend a fate point to describe how one of your character’s aspects allow you to make a declaration.  Example.  Your character is in his office, and he can hear something monstrous breaking through the front door.  Alas, you are not armed.  You could spend a fate point and use the aspect “My favorite fun Vera”, to say that you always hid the gun in the closet in that room.  Since you spent the point, this is now true.  Now you at least have a gun and you turn to fight whatever is coming through the door.

Compel.  This is my favorite.  The Gm’s job is…well to make your characters life miserable, right?  The GM can (and should) use your aspects to put you at a disadvantage.  Well, when this happens in DFRPG, you can either receive a fate point (for accepting the complication), or you have to spend a fate point (to avoid the complication). Example.  Your group is searching Central Park for signs of a raging Lycanthrope that was spotted attacking mortals.  The GM then offers your character a compel on “Alone in the world” aspect, saying that you found the Lycanthrope, but you are all by yourself.  Oh and it is attacking you.  You accept the complication and you gain a fate point.  Or you could have said no, stating that you did not want to leave the group.  But if you do that, YOU lose one of your fate points.  

Another thing that is great about compels?  It allows the character to compel themselves.  I know this sounds funny at first, but let me tell you something…when players learn how to do this, it is golden.  It allows the characters to take the game in a direction they want it to go.  Example.  Your character just got back home after fighting an ogre.  You decide it is time for you to move the story to something you want.  You compel your “Slow-burn of vengeance” aspect and state that when you got home, there was an envelope taped to your door.  Inside the envelope was a picture of your sister and a tape piece of her hair.  Now, you have to rescue your sister and man does this complicate your life.  You get a fate point (in my own game, I may even give you two for something like this).  

Tag.  On any aspect you create or discover in a scene, you (or another player) get the first invocation for free (without spending any fate points). After that, it costs one fate point for every time you tag that particular aspect.  Example.  Your character is trying to break into a warehouse because your contacts told you there is a shipment of Third Eye located there.  You decide to make an assessment roll to see if you can find a weakness in the warehouse you can exploit.  You make the roll (using your burglary skill), and you find out there are “lazy security guards” on the premises.  This immediately becomes a scene aspect.  Then as your character attempts to break into the warehouse, you can tag the “lazy security guards” aspect once for free.  But every time after that, you have to pay the normal price of one fate point per tag.  As I said, the nice thing about this is anyone in the party can tag that aspect the first time for free.  This really gets helpful in combat.  

In DFPRG the two most important aspects are High Concept and Trouble.  High Concept is basically what your character is.  Example.  Taoist wizard of the Sun Family, Werewolf Curator of the American Museum of Natural History, and Dedicated Zengo  

Trouble is what will always be standing in your characters way.  It is always there and it will always bring your character conflict. Example.  Slow-burn of vengeance, Troubled vision, or Chosen Child.  

At the start of the game, each character has five aspects.  It is best to try to get as many different types of aspect as you can, especially those that you can both invoke and compel.


Some game designers are truly jackoff's....

I have been thinking about the game Chris, Henry and myself were making a lot lately.  Psyching myself up, in an attempt to get going again.  :)  I am not where I want to be in my life to do this all the time, but I am definitely thinking about it again.  I have already started the beginning stages of this, by going on my google docs page and started reading what we had created thus far. 

So, I got into a conversation today with someone (won't mention who) has actually created a few games and we have talked game design on off for a few years.  But for whatever reason today, they just did nothing but talk about how hard it is to be a game designer.  How no one can make money that way.  How it had been a few years since i did this, and if were really important to me, I would have already done it.  Plus other tidbits of negativity that I just ignored. 

I was stunned. 

I have talked to quite a few game designers over the last few years, and for the most part...they have been really cool people.  Always willing to shoot you an email, or give you a suggestions.  I remember Eloy Lasanta (as his company Third Eye Games was just starting out) going back and forth with me in email about mechanics and other things about my game.  That was an awesome thing.  I live in NYC, and have even got to sit across the table with some people to talk about designs (some awesome people from nerdnyc).  These kind of moments are golden and I truly appreciate them. 

I struggle enough with these type of projects as it is.  It is not as easy thing to do to write a novel.  Or create a game.  If it were, everyone would do it.  But I do believe it can and will be done, and for someone to come at with all that negativity.  Well, it just flat out pissed me off. 

I try to be an optimistic person (not always, but i do try), but when people start saying things to bring you down...it is hard.  Now this isn't going to keep me from anything, but it did stop me for a few minutes.  A few minutes of wondering if he was right.  Then I shook that nonsense off, told him I did not appreciate his negative viewpoint and went back to what I was doing. 

It is what it is.  I realize that.  Not everyone is going to tell you how amazing you are and that you will accomplish all of your goals in life.  That is fine, I can live with that. 

The only person I need to convince that I can finish what I started is me.

Games I want to play...

It has been a while.  Almost exactly a year since I ran a game, and a little over since I have actually played anything.  That is way too damn long and it is something that is going to change in the next month.

So, with that being said...what do I want to play?

The first group are games we are going to play soon.
  • Dresden Files Rpg.  I am playing it, but I am running it. Although I am going to ask one of the other players if they could run it at some ponit (so I can play too).
  • Don't Rest Your Head.  I have wanted to play this game for a few years now.  I love the thought behind it and how madness can really affect gameplay.
  • The Dragon Age rpg.  I loved Dragon Age the video game so much, it was a little frightening.  I think I fiinished that game four times. 
  • Misspent Youth.  I have played this, but a few of my players are bit sci-fi fans, so I think this would be a great game to play.
This group is one that I may have to go outside of my group to play.
  • Trail of Cthulhu.  Call of Cthulhu is still my favorite game of all time, and I like what Gumshoe brought to this system.  This game is fun.
  • Dogs in the Vineyard.  Played it once at a Nerdnyc event, and it was so much fun. 
  • Spirit of the Century.  One of my favorite games of all time and yet I have only played it once.  I alwasy get suckered into running it.


Game designing: the delemna

I am not a game designer, but I want to be one.  It isn’t about making money, mostly due to the fact that a lot of people say you cannot make money in the industry as it is.  Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, that isn’t really the point.  The point is to do something that allows me to be creative.  I try to write, but I have the same problems with that, and it just isn’t as much fun. 

Me and a few  friends decided we were going to make our own game.  This actually came about around four years ago or so on the way back a Ren faire.  A lot of goofy things can happen on a two hour drive in the rain, and this one came from the idea of a script for a horror movie where people were killed playing a rpg.  J  I know.  But decided we wanted to make a game for the movie and sat down and started coming up with ideas.  The funny part of this was that we had been playing 2nd edition Dungeons and Dragons for a while and began to burn out of it (mostly I was).  So we thought, hey let’s make a game we would want to play!  The result?  Our game Perdition (a work on progress)

This probably isn’t that original of a story (except the horror movie/ren faire part), but everything has to start somewhere, right? 

There have been a few problems.

Problem 1.  Lack of discipline.  It is something I am working on, but overall we aren’t great at it.  Too much time between us actually working on the game. 
Problem 2.  Trying to come up with something original.  There are so many people out there making games right now.   It is both great (from a gaming point of view), and annoying (from a designing point of view). 
Problem 3.  Being on the same page.  When you are making a game with someone else, you have to try to find a way to come to a common voice for the game.  Not always easy.

We have actually put a lot of work into it, but not so much in the last few years.  I have had life issues for a while (and still do), so gaming in general has taken a back seat.  Yeah there are all kinds of excuses, and I know I have made my own share.  So, here I am trying to get my mind set in doing this again. 
I miss the feeling of creation that came with making our game.  I miss feeling that it was important at one time and that we could not wait to get back to talking about it.  Also the camaraderie that came with it all.

I am still trying to figure other things out, but I definitely want to get back into the game.  I want to see this through, and that is something I have always struggled with.  But it will require me (well, us) to have to do the work to get this finished.  I know I am excited at the prospect of getting back to it.

So, I am trying to pump myself up for this.  I see so many people that are successful at making their own games and I cannot deny, I love the idea of seeing my name on a gaming book at some point.  J