Saturday, July 02, 2011

Post World Games : It's Official

I have started a new website.


Post World Games is an ongoing project of mine involving all manner of games. It is a for profit series of projects, but the focus is on the stuff I'm making.

It'll be slow to start, but I expect it to pick up steam by the end of the year.

postworldgames.com

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Metagaming 101


Rob Donaghue over at Some Space to Think, wrote an interesting article about Metagaming. I responded to his blog and then I also posted that response (with a little more meat on it), here. [Link]

Let me start by saying Metagaming is good. If someone accuses you of metagaming, I'd be curious to know what they mean and why that's a bad thing. My assumption is this.

Player one sits down to "be in character." Player two sits down to "kill things." Player three sits down to "hang out with friends." GM sits down to immerse players in his gaming world experience. They get together once a week, have snacks, talk about work, and kill 20 orcs before the night is over. That is not a far-fetched scenario by any means.

Player four is invited to join the group and he comes from a different background of gaming. He acts on information his character wouldn't have, he adds details to the world the GM didn't approve, and he jumps back and forth between 1st and 3rd person to suit his needs, sometimes narrating some of the background action.

All of this may get under the GM and player's skin.

For those raised on D&D, this is not how you do things.

But I'm getting away from the author's point.



I think the difference here is inherent in the difference between design and play. A designer designs the game he likes. A developer makes sure that game is fun for as many people as possible. And then the player does whatever he wants with it. Take GTA for example. You can do all the missions or you can run around kill pimps and hookers. It's up to you.

That said, a fundamental flaw in the design of MMOs and non-tabletop RPGs is the lack of team coherency and unity. If everyone is vying for control of "top dog" then the game becomes a pissing contest of who is better at min-maxing their character and so on.

And that's no fun.

A good game designer designs numerous paths to victory. And that's usually some sort of "meta" design. Take D&D1 for example. Not a well-designed game by any means, but if a wizard is really powerful at 10th level, but not very powerful at 1st level, is it meta to wait it out and hope for a powerful character later? Sure. In the purest sense of the word, yes. But that's not a bad thing. People use META like a pejorative. But it's not.

As a player, I get to be Actor, Author, and Audience all at once. And that's where META is far better than some of these simulationist or immersive players can understand.

Why limit myself to a single point of view and only enjoy one aspect of play? It makes no sense to me.

In all fairness, I gave up DM Authority games a long time ago. The INDIE movement got one thing right. Everyone at the table has the brain capacity to make decisions about how the world works and what constitutes success.

I hope that if the MEEK have taught us anything, it's that playing at the table with the right group of people is more important than worrying about which die probability curve is best for this situation, when the real question is... will the story be enriched by me failing right now?

If more games gave out points for failure, you'd see more people flub things early on in order to get those juicy "drama points" that pay off at the end. Which brings us all the way back to our quintet of gamers.

Player four may be breaking a lot of rules of this group's social contract. But he isn't really breaking any good rules. What he's done is take people out of their comfort zones. The fact is, the metagamer may be just as selfish in his endeavors as any other player, but he's looking at the complete picture. And a gamer who believes there is only one path to fun isn't missing out on a lot.

Sermon over.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Hunting Party by Gorilla Games

Press Release

Gorilla Games is proud to announce the release of the "Hunting Party" stand alone card game in August of 2011. Hunting Party is designed by Jeff Siadek with Art by jim pinto, Andrew Hepworth, Janine Johnston, and Vaughn Reynolds.

In Hunting Party, players take on the roles of hunters on safari in Victorian Africa. Each hunter has a unique talent and scores points for bringing back trophies and accomplishing their secret goal.

You choose your action each turn and collectively choose the fate card that will apply. If you Shoot an attacking animal, you bag a trophy but if you Camp when an animal attacks, you discard cards. Hunters die when they run out of cards so be careful!

You'll brave the dangers of Vine Bridges, Ambushes, Quicksand and much more.

Adventure Awaits!

Hunting Party comes with 108 cards and one rules sheet in a tuck box.

Product code ooc1102
MSRP $14.95 U.S.
Playing Time 1 hour

Friday, May 27, 2011

1-Hour Game Challenge

I just wrote up some prototype rules for a Logan's Run style RPG. It's 4am and I started around 3am. Guaranteed to be amazing.

Anyway. I'll be testing them this weekend (I hope) and if anyone wants to read them after the convention, I'll be glad to e-mail a PDF out.

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Travis Heermann Releases Heart of the Ronin

My writing partner in crime, Travis Heermann has published a novel set in feudal Japan.

I am just now starting to read it myself, so I can't give you any more information than, it looks awesome and I know Travis doesn't suck as a writer.

Below is both the cover and link to the book.

Link

Strategicon May 2011

Game convention weekend at the LAX. I'll see you there… if you're local, that is.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pirate Ship Bedroom

There's no question this kid has the coolest dad.

Link

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Looking for Proofreader

Hey. Find me if you're interested in reading some PDF material for me in exchange for thanks, and maybe some free stuff from my personal library.

Or maybe just a shout out on here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nerd with Katana makes the News (not in a funny way)

Link

For those who don't know, Hemet is small white-trash town here in southern California. Each year, it produces a small supply of Nobel Prize winners in both Crystal Meth and Walmart Shopping.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eric Lofgren Art

After many years in the rpg and ccg freelance market, Eric Lofgren has ventured into the limited license field with a large storehouse of art built up from years of illustration commissions and personal artworks in color, grayscale and black and white. This will be an ongoing venture that will be added to over time and it's his hope that the work will come into contact with people in the industry in need of low priced, but high-quality professional work already successfully tested in the market. As well as new works created just for this venture. Follow the link to for more information and contact info.

Link

Friday, March 04, 2011

Looking for Web Person

Looking for Web Person to work on project(s) together. Includes gaming and non-gaming related projects.

Contact me if you're interested.

Work in Progress

For those of you unaware, I am presently free of the constraints of servitude. In other words, I am no longer at AEG and haven't been for sometime. I made no public announcement this time upon leaving. The industry is different now and my feelings about the matter are different than they were in 2005 when I left the first time.

All that said, I'm working on a number of personal gaming projects related to my interests, rather than committee interests. Below is one of several games I'll be releasing in some capacity this year.


This is more of a teaser than anything else. The font isn't finalized and the interior is still being hobbled together. When I am ready to give details about the game, I will. I have other RPG concepts in the works as well as a GM advice sheet that I'm developing.

I also have some board games and cards games that I'll be pitching to a few people in the industry I trust. If they don't go over, maybe I'll do them as POD games through places like gamecrafter.com.

Sorry for the morose tone, this morning. I've been up since 2am. Probably need to get some sleep.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Looking for Playtesters (RPG)

It's been a while since I posted. I'm sure no one's cheating this site anymore.

But.

If you are, I am developing a number of short, indie-style RPGs and I'm looking for people to play them.

If you're interested, please contact me through the comments below.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Agricola

If you've ever read the rules to this game, at the very end you can find solo play suggestions, which require you to play SEVEN times in a row.

And of course...

I did just that tonight.

The rules include a system of growing occupations that can be very interesting, but also overpowering. For instance, my last THREE actions on the last turn of the last game netted me ZERO victory points.

Still. I'd probably do it again.