Hello, I’ve gotten my second mini-project done for my application portfolio – an encounter card for a conceptual boardgame. I created this over the span of about twelve days, whilst I was dog-sitting in Te Anau for my parents. It was nice to hang out with three small dogs for a while, but that’s not what this post is about (there is however a weird story I may post about later). Anyway, the card…
A Gryphon encounter card.
The idea for this card stems from an adventure storytelling game idea I’ve mulled around for a long time, & have only now bothered to create something for. Whilst this is meant to serve as an encounter template, I wanted to treat it as an actual card that may appear in the game, so I chose to do a Gryphon (which might have been too ambitious for me).Continue reading
Hello, a blog post I’ve been working on is taking longer then I thought.
I’m onto my fourth draft now as I’ve probably become too obsessed with this personal topic. My thoughts about it keep evolving & my mood keeps shifting on a daily basis, which in turn feeds into what I’m writing. It’s difficult for me to reach a good genuine conclusion (which, given the topic, is very unsettling).
Anyway, I realized I had this 30 minute video saved that I intended on sharing some time after the above post. Since that’s going to take a while, here’s the video.
I love Thief: The Dark Project. It is one of my all time favourite games & this video does a good job of explaining why it deserves praise, even today. There’s a lot of good design advice to take from this game & video. It also makes some good criticisms of AAA video games today.
I may go play Thief 2: The Metal Age or check out The Dark Mod now.
Hello, I thought I’d end up writing about the uncertainty of my job as my contract ended yesterday, but now I have good news. For those who haven’t kept up with my work situation, or forgot, I’d advise reading July & August before reading the next part.
My boss has presented his case about the future & value of my team (& my own role) to his own boss &, from what I can tell, he has no problem with me going part-time. Now we’re just waiting for those above him to approve. This could take a while since apparently there’s a backlog of matters they must see to first.
In the meantime, he has given me a 3 month extension on a part-time basis. I haven’t received any actual paperwork for this yet, but it’s agreed between us that my standard days for the rest of this year starting next week are Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday; with days changing to suit the needs of the team as they arise.
So yep, it’s kinda official now – I’m no longer working full-time. Yeays!!Continue reading
Hello, I actually wrote this out in a single afternoon.
This month I’ve become more weary of working full-time & was looking forward to a change in situation, but this last week has been kinda weird for me in an oddly ironic way.
My contract was set to end this coming week & it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken any leave since April. I’d asked about the leave I’d accumulated & was advised to simply sit on it for now. The policy is I’d be paid out for any annual leave I haven’t taken, but this wasn’t the case for sick leave. I’d been advised to simply use it since I hadn’t actually taken any sick days. My plan was to use it to make this current weekend extra long & go visit my parents + dogs in Te Anau again.
Well, this past week my body decided now was the time of the year to be sick.Continue reading
Hello, I want to talk about a new way of playing (classic) Doom I recently discovered by playing co-op. I doubt this an original discovery but I’ve never heard anyone do this, even though all the ingredients are right there. It’s also interesting to see how it immediately changes how you play & it might make for an interesting sub-genre by itself.
Here’s what you do:
Play on Nightmare difficulty (hardest difficulty where monsters respawn about every 15 seconds & are faster then normal).
Play in co-op mode so you can also respawn (the level doesn’t reset when you die; you can do this singleplayer).
I would typically play Doom in a rather methodical way. As I play a level I would typically deal with situations one at a time, take note of what strategies I need to adopt, & methodically break them down.
With the above settings, the game turns into a mad race for the exit switch through a gauntlet in constant flux. There’s no point killing monsters since they’ll come back very soon (though it does help in clearing a path & getting further into a level) & there’s no fear of death because in a heartbeat you can spawn back at the beginning of the level.Continue reading
Hello, I wasn’t sure what to make my next post about until last night.
I had spent most of this week planning my next D&D practice session with my cousin, which didn’t go the way I thought it would. On top of that I got a gaming laptop yesterday (yes!) so I’ve been busy getting used to Windows 10, deleting bloatware, & hunting down all forms of privacy invasion I can. I guess you would call this a D&D session post mortem though there’s definitely lessons here to learn about game design in general.
The first session was more of a straightforward dungeon crawl, whilst last night’s session was simply about the player visiting a town for the night. With the first session I was using an existing adventure from a tabletop RPG whilst this was far more improvised. I did have a plan of how the session would go, but that was where I failed.
Hello, I have another in-progress system I want to share. This is for the combat aspect of the storytelling RPG idea I mentioned last time.
It is a turn-based system that takes place on a grid battlefield, separate from the world map. I wanted to come up with something where movement & positioning were highly important; something that played like Chess. I also wanted to avoid hit dice rolls but still allow the opportunity to avoid an attack, so I’ve included a reaction aspect to it.Continue reading
Hello, I’ve been playing around with an old idea for a randomly generated storytelling RPG; I probably won’t be able to implement it for a good while but it’s still fun to think about it. One thing I don’t want it to be is a pure hack’n slash game (though I won’t stop the player from choosing to play this way). I want it to be viable to play as a silver tongue pacifist & for conversing with people & monsters to be as engaging as fighting them.
This is something very few games seem to try. The majority of the time you’re dealing with dialogue trees, persuasion checks, &/or picking the right line to get a better outcome. This can be good for dealing with explicit lines of dialogue, but it doesn’t make for a very engaging system & I sometimes find myself just button mashing the skip option on replays (an infamous example is visiting a Pokemon Centre).
The only games I can think of doing something different are The Sims & Undertale. Both of these games don’t feature explicit dialogue choices but rather more generic actions, like “tell a joke”, “compliment”, or “flex your muscles”. I feel this allows the player to better personalize the experience by letting them fill in the empty spaces whilst giving them more agency over their own character; rather than deciding which line best matches their persona.
It’s based on this approach that I’d like to do my conversation system. The system I have so far is incomplete but I feel it’s worth sharing.Continue reading
Hello, thanks to a suggestion from Remelic on the last post I’ve tried prototyping with a smaller board this time (13×13 spaces) & it worked. It was pretty cool finally getting to do this. It was kind of like being a kid again, except I took notes of what I was doing.
The prototype had these aspects:
A player critter
About 20 resources of one type – you need these to lay an egg (I really need to think of some other uses for resources).
About five each of three kinds of critters: a charger, a shooter, & a ‘rail shooter’ that charges up per shot – the odd critter respawns in a area out of sight of the player.
About 20? impassable ‘solid rock’ spaces.
About 10 ‘hazard’ spaces that damage all adjacent spaces when hit (I imagine these to be clumps of sap or gelatinous acid).
‘Earth’ spaces which filled up almost all the rest of the board. These can be dug out.
All of these were randomly scattered on the board except for the player, I don’t want them starting near a critter.Continue reading
Hi, it’s been a while since I did something about a game project. I confess I haven’t really been working on anything in over month; the break/moving made me very lazy :P. But now I have some things I’d like to try out.
Yesterday I wanted to try creating a couple of prototypes but just trying to get one idea setup somehow took all afternoon & I still wasn’t able to play it :(. I did this using components from boardgames I have & anything else that works.
First I should explain what the idea was that took so long. You play as an ‘alien critter’ in a randomized subterranean world inhabited by other critters. Gameplay would comprise of skittering & digging your way through the world, eating resources, & fight various types of critters, each with their abilities you can earn by eating enough of them. Every critter has a single hit point, including you, & you’ll need to lay eggs to respawn when you die. Depending on how well I make this, I may include other features like growing resources in crops & spawning allies via eggs.Continue reading