Newsfeeds

Meeple Like Us, June 2017 - by Michael Heron

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 3 July 2017 - 5:58am
Here's what's been happening in the world of Meeple Like Us in June of 2017.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

KPIs – The Indicators of Importance - by Antti Kananen

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 3 July 2017 - 5:58am
Key Performance Indicators ("KPIs") are used as a measurement of how a game is doing in a specific category, market, etc.. There are many KPIs, which you should get to know for measuring your success.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How To Become A Game Translator - by Damien Yoccoz

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 3 July 2017 - 5:57am
Several gamers willing to turn their passion into a living have reached out to us asking for tips on how to become a game translator. In this article, we will detail the skills and tools you need to get into this peculiar job that is game localization.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Spilt Milk on: the secrets of SpatialOS audio design - by Andrew Smith

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 3 July 2017 - 5:55am
We're currently working with Improbable’s SpatialOS to create Lazarus, a top-down massively-multiplayer shooter set in a massive universe. In this dev diary, we talk to Andy Grier and Tom Johnson who are creating the audio for its persistent universe.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Nintendo Switch and the Long Game - by Russ Carroll

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 3 July 2017 - 5:48am
What has Nintendo learned from their 3DS game library about the Switch? Do they recognize the value of Switch as a mobile device, or are they thinking of it as a home console?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How To Host A Rad Tales From The Loop Game

Gnome Stew - 3 July 2017 - 5:18am

 


Frequent guest poster Keith Garrett
has been getting into Tales From The Loop recently, and he’s been writing about it on his blog. He decided to doff a red hat and swing over with some of his articles about this awesome looking game.  Check out the first one below. – Nostalgic John

I’m hooked on a new roleplaying game called Tales from the Loop. It came out just a few months ago, and puts players in the role of kids dealing with strange things in an “80s that never was.” And I like it so much that I’ve been writing blog posts about it every day this month.

A Little Background

The game is inspired by the paintings of Simon Stålenhag, who depicted realistic scenes of an alternate Swedish suburbia in the 1980s. Stålenhag’s art featured robots, dinosaurs, giant floating vehicles, and other weirdness alongside Swedish scenery and curious kids. In 2014, Stålenhag’s art saw print in the Tales From the Loop art book (2015 for the English version). A second art book, Things from the Flood, followed in 2016.

In November 2016, the art books’ Swedish publisher, Fria Ligan (Free League), launched their Kickstarter project for the roleplaying game set in the world Stålenhag created. This is when I first found out about all this coolness, and jumped on board immediately. At the time, I thought it was inspired by Stranger Things, not realizing Tales From the Loop predated that show! But it IS certainly inspired by E.T., and Goonies, and similar 80s-era movies and shows featuring plucky kids.

The game started shipping in April 2017. My copy arrived on April 24th. I was only a few pages in when I fell in love with the book, and realized I needed to tell the world about it, whether they wanted to hear it or not!

 

What’s the Game Like?

 

Remember all that cool stuff I said is in the art books? Robots, technology, dinosaurs, weirdness? The RPG features all that cool stuff too!

In Tales from the Loop, players take the roles of Kids aged 10-15, living in a town that contains a giant underground particle accelerator. The default setting of the game is the Swedish Mälaren Islands, but the book also details an alternate American setting, Boulder City, Nevada.

The game’s rule system is a simple one, based on another Free League game called Mutant: Year Zero. Players roll a number of 6-sided dice equal to the value of an attribute plus a skill that are appropriate to what they’re attempting, and any 6 rolled counts as a success. (Usually only one success is needed.) The game also includes ways to re-roll failures in interesting ways.

When creating your Kid, you’ll start with an archetype (such as Bookworm or Weirdo) and customize it. Some of the ways you’ll make your Kid unique are your Iconic Item (such as a boom box), your Problem (e.g. unrequited love), your Drive (e.g. motivated by thrills), your Pride (e.g. I’m the smartest kid in school), your relationships to other Kids and NPCs, and your Anchor (such as your parents or science teacher).

In addition to the rules and setting info, the book has tips on creating Mysteries (the game’s name for adventures), four complete Mystery Stories, and a Mystery Landscape—a mini-setting useful for sandbox play without a predefined plot. Also, on page 185, you’ll find my name as a backer. (If you meet me at a con or something I’ll autograph that page for you.)

 

Strange Appeal

 

When I first started showing this game to my friends (and extended friends on social media), I was surprised at how quickly it inspired rabid interest. In addition to interest among other gamers, I also saw enthusiasm from people who said that although they weren’t roleplayers, this would be their first roleplaying game. The first time I ran the game, one player (of six) had never played an RPG and another had only played once. I was also happy that 4 out of 6 of the players were women.

The game even has one of my die-hard players saying she prefers Tales from the Loop over my favorite game, Ghostbusters. (Heresy, I know.)

Since I’m certain part of the appeal of this game is the similarity to Stranger Things (and 80s nostalgia in general), I decided to capitalize on this and decorate the play area for our Tales from the Loop game. It went so well, and was so much fun, that I wanted to share our ideas with you. Use them for the premiere of your own Tales from the Loop game, or (with minor modifications) for any game set in the 80s.

 

Get Strange

 

The first thing I knew we needed to evoke Stranger Things was a set of Christmas lights draped across the alphabet. My decorating genius (and former Ghostbusters loyalist, may her fandom rest in peace) Jenny achieved this by writing the letters on the window using a washable window marker and then stringing lights back and forth across the window. (The result is in the image at the top of this article.)

Another way you can evoke Stranger Things at your gaming table is to print signage using a Stranger Things type generator, such as the one at MakeItStranger.com. Use this to print out signs, character tents, or other handouts.

One last Strange Thing you might do is show your connection with the character Eleven by serving frozen waffles before or during the game. I think they make great finger food snacks when paired with fruit, peanut butter, jelly,  chocolate, whipped cream, or hazelnut spread.

 

Celebrate Sweden

 

Since Tales from the Loop’s primary setting (and its publisher) are in Sweden, I also wanted to represent the country in some way. Since I live near an IKEA store (and I’m too cheap to fly to Sweden for a blog post), I raided it for Swedish decorating inspiration.

Mostly in the form of edibles.

Our Swedish food centerpiece was a large bag of mixed candies (or Lördagsgodis). In addition to this we I can recommend Swedish chips, cookies, crackers, and jelly. (The latter went well with the waffles.) If the event hadn’t been at a vegetarian’s house, I’d have brought Swedish meatballs.

 

Hey, Remember the 80s?

 

Now let’s talk about the real star of the show: the 80s. Even non-gamers have 80s-themed parties, so finding decorations—or even costumes—to represent the decade shouldn’t be difficult.

My prize item of 80s nostalgia was a genuine Trapper Keeper that survived its journey through time in excellent condition. Since I didn’t have the official GM’s screen for the game, I improvised! The Trapper Keeper did a great job of keeping those meddling kids’ eyes off my notes.

I also recommend turning your game room into a museum of 80s culture for the game, using whatever items you can find. Display old electronics, such as the Commodore 64, Atari console, or Walkman in your attic. Set out other artifacts from the period like a Rubik’s Cube or Magic 8-Ball. Serve retro snacks like candy cigarettes, Big League Chew, and Pop Rocks. You might even leave a trail of Reese’s Pieces to help lure in any visiting extraterrestrials.

For background entertainment as the players arrive, you might play music videos from YouTube. If you don’t have an actual running computer or console from the period, you could run emulator software on a computer and have a game of Pac-Man or Frogger on display.

 

Make a Bitchin’ Mix Tape

 

Once the game begins, you’ll probably want to switch from music videos and electronic games to a playlist that will serve to complement tabletop play. In my game, I did this in three different ways.

For general background music, I created an instrumental playlist consisting of thematically appropriate 80s movie soundtracks. I like these instrumentals as my default because sometimes songs with lyrics can be distracting during play.

Then I made a playlist containing popular songs from the 80s. (This was pretty easy for me, because that’s pretty much how I describe my music library anyway.) I like having these songs on hand to remind the players of the game’s setting in a non-visual way. It’s a handy playlist for when the PCs are at a dance, or playing out a montage scene, or one of them feels the sudden impulse to breakdance.

One last thing I did was to create a playlist for each player character. One of the entries on the Tales from the Loop character sheet is “Favorite Song.” After everyone at the table finished telling the group about their main character details, I quickly downloaded all the songs they mentioned—the few I didn’t have, anyway—and used them to start a playlist for each Kid. I plan to add to each of these over time and use these playlists when we switch to the occasional solo scenes the game suggests. This will serve as an extra cue to the players as to which Kid is in the spotlight, and perhaps give these scenes a different feel.

That’s it for my ideas. If you enjoy decorating your gaming area to match the theme of your game, I’d love to hear about how you do it in the comments!

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Custom Powered By

New Drupal Modules - 3 July 2017 - 2:53am

Change Drupal 8 system's Powered By block text

Categories: Drupal

Video Game Deep Cuts: Billy Mitchell's Cuphead Thumper

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 2 July 2017 - 5:24pm

This week's longform article/video highlights include the complex history of Cuphead, Billy Mitchell ten years on from King Of Kong, and behind the scenes on the making of Thumper. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Toc js

New Drupal Modules - 2 July 2017 - 2:43pm

This module integrate TOC.js library into Drupal.

TOC.js is a jQuery plugin which automatically generate a table of contents for your page.

Categories: Drupal

Paragraphs Normalizer

New Drupal Modules - 2 July 2017 - 8:51am

This module provides Normalizer for Paragraphs fields. It embeds the normalized content of Paragraphs field into the node for JSON or XML output.

Categories: Drupal

Video Game Deep Cuts: Billy Mitchell's Cuphead Thumper - by Simon Carless

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 July 2017 - 5:21am
This week's longform article/video highlights include the complex history of Cuphead, Billy Mitchell ten years on from King Of Kong, and behind the scenes on the making of Thumper.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Entityqueue Form Widget

New Drupal Modules - 1 July 2017 - 11:13pm

Allows editors to add content to entityqueues from add/edit form.

Dependency: This module is sponsored and developed by Vardot.

Categories: Drupal

Develop the Real Power of IP from the IP Mania - by Mantin Lu

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 1 July 2017 - 11:00pm
IP can help game development in many different ways. Also the arising of IP can help the industry go towards a healthier direction. IP is such a big topic for the game industry, and here I am talking about how to maximize the value of IP in this article.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Move over Minecraft: Monetising new wave of user generated content! - by Om Tandon

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 1 July 2017 - 10:59pm
2017, What does the future and success of UGC games looks like? A deep look at UX of 4 games that leverage the power of user generated content, empowering users to create content for monetisation, disrupting the way millennials consume stories and fiction
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Future of eSports Part III: New Technology - by Andrew Heikkila

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 1 July 2017 - 10:59pm
In part 3, we’ll focus on how emerging tech and trends may shape the eSports in the future, and how these innovations might help steer the industry toward mainstream adoption.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Most Unique Games you Need to Play - by Michael Smith

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 1 July 2017 - 10:59pm
This indie games are some of the most unique that you can play right now, including sports games, puzzle games and so much more.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Game Design Heuristics: Reflection Distance - by Osama Alsalman

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 1 July 2017 - 10:56pm
A discussion about Game Design Heuristics that includes an introduction to a new heuristic: Reflection Distance.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

UI Programming in Unity3D - by Anton Semchenko

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 1 July 2017 - 10:56pm
How to create a simple and manageble UI system in Unity3D
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Cision Notified Pull

New Drupal Modules - 1 July 2017 - 4:28pm

This module create a service endpoint that accepts HTTP POSTSs of a pure XML document. Then Provide this URL to Cision administration to set as service Endpoint.

Service Endpoint URL

/cision-notified-pull

How it work

After that client is getting notified when there is a new or updated release. What is being sent to the client is a link to the detailed view through an XML file that is pushed via HTTP/POST request with the content type text/XML. The client must then fetch the release to be able to publish it on the client website.

Categories: Drupal

Raychat.io Widget

New Drupal Modules - 1 July 2017 - 5:36am

This module adds the necessary script to the header of ones site for prompting users to chat via Raychat.

Most of the code and details for this module is taken from Zopim Live Chat module developed by nicholas.alipaz.

What is Raychat?
Raychat increases engagement between you and your visitors, by allowing them to chat with you! Great for improving interaction with your users and increasing the time they spend on your site.

Categories: Drupal

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