Game Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: Outsourcing My Death Anxiety - by Simon Carless Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 8:33am
This week's highlights include a great longform piece on game asset outsourcing, the creator of A Mortician's Tale on overcoming her death anxiety, and lots more.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Story Released For Stuffed Fables

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 February 2018 - 8:00am
Well, Stuffed Fables has been released, and it seems the big reaction to it has been, “this is amazing! We want more!” Well, Plaid Hat Games is here to oblige. They’ve created a new, stand-alone story for the game that you can download and add to your storybook now. From the announcement: This lost story […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Indie Pre-Mortem: second year on my side project - by Thomas Gonzalez Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 7:50am
After the recap on the first year of my first indie project, ASTRE, here is the second year's recap!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Arthurian Minis and Accessories Available For Hail Caesar

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 February 2018 - 7:00am
Warlord Games has a whole slew of new releases for Hail Caesar over in their webshop. They’ve got new minis, as well as whole new sets of accessories for you to check out. Also, please feel free to comment with all your favorite Monty Python and the Holy Grail jokes below. We know you want […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Revolutionary Warfare | The AI of Total War (Part 3) - by Tommy Thompson Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:14am
In part 3 of my series on Total War, I look at the campaign AI of 2013's 'Total War: Rome II'.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How we did not attend at Global Game Jam 2018 - by Soma Szarka Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:13am
If you had to choose between finishing a game in time or finishing it with all the features you wanted to accomplish, which one would you choose? Read about how we choose the latter option for Global Game Jam 2018.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Episodic design 2.0 - Gameplay and storytelling at its best (Part 2) - by Pascal Luban Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:12am
In the first part of this feature on episodic design, I summarized why this narrative format can significantly improve game experience. In this second part, I'll describe a game concept that merges intense action gameplay and strong episodic storytelling.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

What Indie Devs Get Wrong About Professional Networking - by Rachel Presser Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:12am
Game developers need to network like anyone else. But you've probably been taught a lot of wrong things about professional networking. For indie devs in particular, it's integral to your survival. Here's what you need to know about getting out there.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Indie Developer's Guide to a Kickass Game Localization, Part I: How to Prepare Your Game for Localization - by Marianna Sacra Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:11am
Do you know how to prepare your game for localization? Some insight's from a localizer's point f view.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Outrealm Post-Mortem, Part 2 - by Nick Thandi Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:10am
Part 2 (final) of my series on Outrealm's Post-mortem. This part focuses on the project itself and the challenges/problems I faced during development. I also talk about how the game concept evolved over time and how certain elements were designed.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Translating City and Character Names in Video Games - by Sandrine Guyennet Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:10am
While translating words that have a direct equivalent in the dictionary is already a pretty complex task, what about neologisms? Games are peppered with original places, items and character names. What should the translator do? There are several options.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to make an awesome trailer (on a budget) - by Jan Serra Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:04am
In this post I’ll talk about: * Background information about our trailer; * Features and spec of our trailer; * General advice to make a good trailer; * Translating * Preparing the video for sharing
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How To Simulate Ten Zombies with UE4: Tools for Rapid Prototyping and Diverse Crowd Animation - by Anna Ploegh Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:04am
A scalable solution for creating a multitude of realistic, interactive agents without keyframe animation.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Perhaps, the most unusual puzzle game on Google Play - by Andrey Sklyarov Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:04am
It may be a bit arrogant but I decided to entitle this with one of the reviews on my game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dune 2000, never forget! - by James Holden Blogs - 12 February 2018 - 6:04am
Dune 2000 was published in 1998 by Westwood Studios, it was my first true online gaming experience an boy I was an addict. Dune 2000 was the successor of Dune, a game inspired by the Dune movies. Westwood studios are long gone and taken over by EA games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Necromunda and Shadespire Releases Available To Order From Games Workshop

Tabletop Gaming News - 12 February 2018 - 6:00am
Apparently, it was Skirmish Game Saturday over at Games Workshop this weekend. They’ve got new releases for both Necromunda and Shadespire, so no matter whether you like futuristic or fantasy gang skirmish warfare, they’ve got you covered. From the website: The rules included with the Necromunda: Underhive boxed game cover battles between Houses Escher and […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mashups & Conceptual Writing In Roleplaying Games Pt. 1

Gnome Stew - 12 February 2018 - 5:00am

Recycling isn’t just for paper & plastics anymore. Turns out you can recycle anything, even art. A popular exercise in many internet music circles is the Mashup, two or more distinct tracks chopped & screwed together to make one new piece of art, that would not have been possible without the presence of the old. I’m a fan of mashups, they allow me a new perspective on both the old and the new and I’m fascinated by the effort that goes into the more complicated ones. Introduce identifiable and distinct elements that together create a new experience rather than altering existing structures to create a new lens on which to experience the art of roleplaying games. 

Mashups turn the experience of enjoying music from a passive one (Artist creates music, I listen to music) into an active one (Artist creates music, I listen to music, I transform music into something new, gaining new appreciation for the original and enjoying a hand in creation, someone down the line enjoys the transformed music). On a basic level all roleplaying games are mashups. At some stage the designer of an RPG has created a piece of art. Game books are fantastic artifacts, the best of them featuring elegantly composed text, evocative artwork, mechanics presented in ways that inspire us upon reading. We as consumers of these products take them and transform them on our own, processing all of the art (visual, mechanical, and textual) and perform this transformation live at the table for people who then (hopefully) enjoy the experience.

We are the medium through which the original art has been processed, and no two GMs will produce the same game.

But I’m always interested in pushing one step farther into analysis, so I’m looking for more ways to mashup RPGs, to transform the art and have a more active role in the production of my experience. A common practice among gamers is to hack their favorite games, to alter and transform the mechanics of games to produce something new. Hacking to me feels more like remixing music, similar to making mashups but not quite what I’m after. Certainly the practices I’ll describe here could be seen as hacking, but the intent here is not to alter or change a game’s structure or execution, but rather to introduce identifiable and distinct elements that together create a new experience rather than altering existing structures to create a new lens on which to experience the art of roleplaying games.

People don't mix and match PbtA playbooks nearly as much as I want.

— James Malloy, Tide Commercial (@AndTheMeltdowns) January 23, 2018

One way to run a mashup game is to utilize character options from compatible systems, for example, running a vibrant Beacon from Magpie Games’ Super-Youths game, Masks in the melodramatically black & white Noir World by John Adamus. Game systems like Cypher, D20, PbtA, all build themselves off of the same engines, which makes it easy to smooth out any wrinkles in combining their different elements. Think of this like taking two music tracks that have the same key and tempo and mixing & matching. If I take this class from this game, the feats from this other one, and the spell list from a third, I’ve created either an unplayable nightmare or an optimization board’s dream. Where the final cog in the equation comes in is justifying the disparate parts and finding the synthesis that makes the whole concoction sing. Mashups need to go beyond “here are two things that are now one”, they need to have a thematic throughline that produces the magic. What does it mean that these elements come together, what do you get out of this new combination? What message is your story telling if The Beacon, a paragon of optimism, finds themselves in the gritty world of film noir? Your job will be to make that story fit, and make the mashup compelling.

Join me in the next article for another way to mashup your RPG experience that redefines how you approach some of your favorite texts.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fuzzy Thinking: Pro Tip #5

RPGNet - 12 February 2018 - 12:00am
Fuzzy GMs like to smile.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Review Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 10 February 2018 - 11:00am
Helloooooooo, Saturday. You know you’re my favorite. I hope the other days of the week get jealous, but you’re just so great. Time to put on some appropriate music and relax… and probably play some games, too. I plan on doing that as well. But, before I go do that, I gotta make sure the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Animal Ailments Party Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 9 February 2018 - 3:00pm
So, I’m told that, occasionally, people will have parties where they play games. I just have to take y’all’s word for it, solitary creature that I am. One such game played at parties like this is Charades. But that can get kinda boring, so why not liven it up some by mimicing your favorite animals […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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