Game Design

Plaid Hat Games Previews Stitch for Stuffed Fables

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 October 2017 - 8:00am
Many of us have had a stuffed animal that got loved to the point of needing some repairs. Hugs and cuddles can lead to requiring some stitching or a new panel sewn on. But such damage might not have been due to hugs, but to the nightly battles that the plushie fought to protect you […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Pandemic Legacy Season 2 Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 October 2017 - 7:00am
Cold and Flu season is coming up. But on the gaming table, it’s already here. Pandemic Legacy Season 2 is now available. And with how people reacted to Season 1, I can only imagine what sort of reaction this new set will garner. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s at least one group out […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Steamforged Previews Burnish for Blacksmith’s Guild

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 October 2017 - 6:30am
It’s getting cold here in Georgia. Well… cold for Georgia, anyway. Lots of my office mates are bundling up in coats and hats. I’m still in shorts and a t-shirt, because I’m from Chicago. But even I consider it to be getting a bit cool out. I’d certainly like to warm up a bit. And […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Guns for Hire Set Now Available For X-Wing

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 October 2017 - 6:00am
Shoom! Shoom! Shoom! Pewpewpew! … Everyone makes space-ship noises when playing X-Wing, right? It’s not just me? Well, whether you make the noises or not (yes, I know that in space there wouldn’t be any noises, but still), there’s some new ships available to bulk up your squadron… if you’re a Scum & Villainy player, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Role of Role Playing

Gnome Stew - 27 October 2017 - 5:00am


Tabletop role playing has been part of my life and a core part of my identity for decades. It fills many roles for me personally including as a creative outlet, a method to meet people, and simply as a fun hobby. Role playing will always be these things for me, but I also see a higher goal for role playing games.

But let me step back for a minute.

I’m in four role playing groups and each group scratches a slightly different itch. One of my weeknight games is a great way to decompress after the work day. We eat snacks, sling some dice, and have a great time killing monsters and saving the world. On alternating Sundays I’m in a campaign that has run for more than five years with primarily the same group. I’m deeply invested in the story and have notebooks full of session notes and intricate machinations. I love each of my groups for different reasons. I also love the diverse game systems and settings wherein I live my other lives.

 Real world growth can come from imaginary situations. As much as I need role playing for the fun and creative outlet, for me the higher calling of role playing is as a method to examine the human condition and build empathy. The game table is one of the places I go to understand different perspectives. I use role playing to challenge my preconceptions, including on fundamental topics such as law and justice. This is a low risk, high reward opportunity that I am very thankful for.

In May 2016 my mother suffered and died after several years of battling cancer. Logically, I know this isn’t my fault. That doesn’t change that I have struggled with guilt for things I could have done or should have said in the preceding months, years, and decades. Since her death each of my RPG characters has taken a role in exploring the themes of redemption, atonement, and ultimately forgiveness. Role playing is the forum I’ve used to prod and process my sense of failure from a safe distance. I have gone through this exploration with relative privacy thanks to the overt storyline.

The other night, I played in a game where exploring the human condition and building empathy was the core experience.

There are no super powers and there is no fixing the past. The characters succeed by mentoring the child about how to move forward. One Child’s Heart is a role playing experience centered on love, trust, and empathy. “One Child’s Heart” from Camdon Wright is an exercise is vulnerability. It is an emotionally intense experience about processing the small but consequential traumas from childhood. The characters are the helpers: a social worker, a therapist, a psychologist, and a police officer working to give the child (played by the GM) the tools needed to deal with past trauma. There are no super powers and there is no fixing the past. The characters succeed by mentoring the child about how to move forward. One Child’s Heart is a role playing experience centered on love, trust, and empathy.

It is not every day that a game makes me -as a player- feel real emotion. After the game, as I lay awake, I finally decided to forgive myself for my shortcomings related to mom’s death. I realized it was up to me to absolve myself of the sense of guilt and to accept my powerlessness over the situation. I have been working towards this for a year and a half and it is thanks to role playing that I came out the other side.

Real world growth can come from imaginary situations. Mountain Dew, dice, and a side of empathy. For me, that is the true power of role playing, and something I hope everyone experiences at least once.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Results from Steam Developer's Survey 2017 - by Lars Doucet

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 October 2017 - 2:58am
Over 220 Steam developers share their thoughts on the platform.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Designing Unique Tactical Combat Mechanics for Summoners Fate - by Ross Przybylski

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 26 October 2017 - 11:58pm
A great way to innovate is by solving a problem for the player. Learn how my collaborations with players inspired 3 unique tactical combat mechanics never before seen in the tactics genre.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

So 52.45% of People Playing my Indie Game Have Pirated it… - by Jakub Kasztalski

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 26 October 2017 - 11:57pm
Three weeks after release, I shared this statistic with a few online dev communities. The response and questions that followed surprised me more than the piracy itself. Here’s full details of how I got the number, and what I make of it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

"Who Killed My Uncle?" Postmortem - The Importance of Historical Research - by Devon Wiersma

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 26 October 2017 - 10:19pm
A postmortem on a historical narrative game and why research is an integral part of the process in order to avoid misinforming your players
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to Create a Successful Indie Mobile Game: Part 2 - by Andrei Klubnikin

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 26 October 2017 - 10:15pm
Here comes the 2nd part of my How to Make a Successful Indie Game article. This time, I will tell you how to choose the right technology stack for your project & market a mobile game on a limited budget.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

U.S. gov't stands by DMCA exemption for museums preserving online games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 26 October 2017 - 3:32pm

What's more, the Office is now seeking public comments on a new set of proposed exemptions to the DMCA, including an expansion to the abandoned game clause. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

AntiMatter Games Previews Green Hag For DeepWars

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 October 2017 - 3:00pm
There’s all sorts of crazy things beneath the waves. The ocean depths hold monsters we’re barely able to even imagine. In DeepWars, those creatures are under your command in their conflicts with one-another. One of these strange creatures is the Sea Hang. AntiMatter Games is showing her off. You can pick up yours next year. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

No Country For Great Old Ones RPG Adventure Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 October 2017 - 2:00pm
Most of the time, when you’re playing through an adventure, you just see it from the one side. You’re the heroes cleaning out the cave full of kobolds. A couple RPGs let you play as the Kobolds looking to defend their home from the heroes. No Country for Great Old Ones lets you do both […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kingship Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 October 2017 - 1:00pm
Amethyst Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Kingship. The game is similar to Crazy Eights, for those that’ve played that. The object is to empty out your hand of cards. However, each card has a special ability when played or paired up with other cards. And you don’t want to jump out ahead too […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Aristeia Now Available For Pre-Order

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 October 2017 - 12:00pm
Aristeia is Corvus Belli’s foray into the sporting miniatures game arena. For those that’ve seen the previews and want to jump in on it, you can place your pre-order now. It’s the best way to make sure you’re the first gamer on your block with this new game when it becomes available. There’s both a […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Star Wars: Legion Expansions Announced

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 October 2017 - 11:27am
Fantasy Flight Game’s announcement of Star Wars: Legion at Gen Con was one of the “big announcements” at the show. Well, now they’re looking to show off some of the extra units you’ll be able to get for the game. Some of these include rather iconic items like the AT-ST and Snowspeeders (technically known as […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Thursday Terrain Corner

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 October 2017 - 11:00am
This week has been going by quickly, at least to me. But I’ve had a huge project I’ve been working on behind-the-scenes here. So having something keeping me very much occupied is certainly a good way to make time go by. But that just means it’s going to be the weekend really soon. Weekend = […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drinkuisition Coming to Kickstarter This December

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 October 2017 - 10:00am
Gamers tend to be drinkers, in my personal experience. And while I, myself, am a teetotaler, I know that people enjoying playing drinking games. A new drinking game will be making its way to Kickstarter this December. It’s called Drinkuisition. I think the goal is to spell it correctly when inebriated (I have a hard […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Zoomaka Back Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 October 2017 - 9:00am
We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo. We’re going to the zoo. Yeah, none of you are probably old enough to remember that one. Hell, technically, I’m not, either. But either way, we’re headed to the zoo… as soon as it opens anyway. Getting your own zoo up and running is the goal in Zoomaka, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

White Dwarf Seeks Staff Writer

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 October 2017 - 8:00am
Do you words good? If you want to words good for White Dwarf (I really shouldn’t have to describe what White Dwarf is at this point, but for those of you just joining the gaming world, it’s Games Workshop’s magazine about all things GW), they are looking to add to their staff. Just send in […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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