Friday, 23 December 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I am the Warden!!

Seeing as it's Christmas Eve Eve (yeah, that's right!) and 'tis the season for being with friends and family, I'm going with the assumption this will be the last post of 2011. Odds are I'll be right back online Monday, but let's play it safe, shall we?

2011 was the first full year of development for the Optional System and it's been an amazing experience thus far. But I've rambled on about this before. What I'd like to do now is write down some New Year's resolutions for the Optional System in 2012 in a non-binding yet highly encouraging format.

Publish Killshot: An Assassin's Journal
While my initial plan was to produce Redpill as the initial OS production, the Warden needs money. Plus, this mini-game has really started to take off and just screams for release. Some of the additions/alterations made to produce a smaller, faster version of the Optional System has lead to some dramatic changes to the core rules and I can't wait to click my DriveThruRPG bookmark and find Killshot's cover on the home page.

An Unexpected Bonus

I am the Warden!!

Finding the right playtesters can be a grueling exercise. Some send you excited emails eagerly awaiting the opportunity to test out your game and are never heard from again. Others seem to take the role seriously for the first little while until you start asking for follow-ups and read replies with nothing more than "Meh, it's OK." The remaining 10% take on this responsibility as requested and provide you with detailed accounts of their playtest and recommendations on what they found strong and lacking.

And then there are the few, the proud, the truly dedicated. The ones who treat playtesting like becoming godparents. I'm so proud to say Killshot has a table full of those playtesters.

I received an email last night from Brandon Neff and his wife, Cherie, who happens to run an acrylic printing business in Utah. They have taken the liberty of doing more than just reading, reviewing, and playing Killshot. A lot more.

They're putting together a 12" long Killshot logo. What you see here is the first step and from what I've been told, the completed version has been assembled with all the gory blood splatter and is on it's way to Canada. This is fucking awesome and will become a proud addition to my office - the space has already been set aside. Infinite thanks to Cherie and Brandon for this incredible gesture and I can't wait to hold that sucker in my hands.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Redefining the Pass Option

I am the Warden!!

Received an email last night from a playtester last night regarding the Pass option.
"This is listed as an automatic option. It was mentioned earlier that it cost nothing. Is this correct?"
By this, he wonders if the Pass option automatically costs an option because it is... well, an automatic option. According to my own rules, automatic options always cost a Team one option, yet the purpose of the Pass option is to freely allow Teammates to pass the Edge back and forth to each other at no cost.

This is one of the dangers in designing a truly original game and presenting it for the first time to outside players. In my head, the whole concept makes perfect sense and has nothing but clarity when I read it, but that's never the case when others absorb the same material. Defining this particular option has always been a tricky issue and I think it's now time to address it once and for all. The Pass option is a fundamental component of the Team mechanic. Without it, a Team cannot function as intended.

Grab your screwdrivers, people. It's time to make some adjustments.