Monday, April 30, 2012

A Tale of Obsession: How I Started Roleplaying

So, this will probably be a rather long-winded story, but I know that it will be fun for me to write. Hopefully it will be fun for you to read. I got the idea to write this from a couple of blog articles I read recently that were discussing how a couple of independent game designers were trying to sell their horror-themed RPGs at a horror genre convention. Their efforts met mostly with failure. The subsequent discussion on their blog went on to talk about how hard it is to get an RPG into the hands of a non-gamer, or a non-roleplayer. One of the points of their discussion was basically this: If you saw a book in your local bookstore that said on the cover “Star Wars Roleplaying Game” – or “[anything] Roleplaying Game” – and you had never played an RPG, or seen one played, what are the chances that you would buy that book and play the game? Probably zero. You might even wonder, ‘How is this book a game?’ This got me to thinking: ‘How did I ever get into RPGs myself?’

Thursday, April 26, 2012

[Open Design: Mercenaries #2] Battle System

This article continues my Open Design project to build a new game from the ground up with the help of my friends here on my blog. The game we’re working on has the working title Mercenaries, and game play consists of two important phases – bidding and battling. Last week we discussed ideas for the game’s bidding system. I’m going to let some time pass for those thoughts to percolate before we settle on a specific model. In the meantime, let’s talk a little bit about the games battle system.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Games Library in Flux

I’ve been buying games – board games, card games and roleplaying games – for a while now. At present I own about 70 games in total. At one point I had an extensive wish list of games I wanted to add to my library, but the more games I’ve come to own, I’ve gradually become less interested in owning more.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

[Open Design: Mercenaries #1] Bidding System

Last week I announced this new Open Design project with the purpose of designing a new game on this blog with my friends. I also polled to see which of three ideas people would like to develop. The votes resulted in a unanimous decision to develop the idea for Mercenaries (check out the original game idea article to refresh your memory on the premise and concept of the game). So, now we begin designing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

[Design Review] No Thanks!

This is a “design review”. These are basically reviews of games, but with a focus on what can be gleaned from the game in terms of game design.

What is No Thanks!?

No Thanks! is a simple card game with a bidding mechanic as its central element. The game consists of 33 cards with numbers from 3 to 35, and 55 playing chips. One card lies in the center of the table, face-up. On his turn, each player must decide: Either he takes the card and puts it in front of himself, giving him points equal to the value printed on the card, or he declines the card by putting one of his chips next to it. The turn to play passes clockwise, and the next player faces the same decision, except subsequent players gain all chips next to a card if they accept it. Once a card has been taken, the next card is revealed from the deck, and the next round begins. The game goes on this way until all cards have found someone willing to accept them.

The player with the fewest points wins.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

[Open Design] Would You Like to Help Me Create a Game?

Tuesday I made a brief post about a new project I would be undertaking on this blog. So, this is it. I want to design a new board game or card game with your help. I'm calling this project Open Design because every aspect of designing the game will be open for your input.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A New Project on the Horizon

Hey everyone, Catalyst Games has been going strong for a little over a month now. I've been posting about twice a week, and I think I have enough material to keep that schedule going for a while yet. I'm excited about working on this blog, and how well the ideas have been flowing. I've been very happy to read all of your comments, too. I really appreciate your input and participation here.

So, I'm excited to tell you that I'll be starting a new project on this blog that will really benefit from your involvement. The first actual post pertaining to this project will be going up Thursday morning (4/12/2012). Your timely participation is key to making this project thrive, so please check back in to make your voice heard and have a role in moving this project forward. Thank you again for your participation thus far, and I look forward to having your help with this new project.

[Design Review] Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition

This will hopefully be my first of several “design reviews”. These will basically be reviews of games, but with a focus on what can be gleaned from the game in terms of game design. I would be very interested in reading other people’s thoughts on these games and their designs.

What is the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition?

This is a roleplaying game based in the Star Wars universe. Rules-wise, it is based off of the “d20” game engine developed for the 3ed edition of Dungeons & Dragons. This makes it more on the denser end of the spectrum of rules complexity. This game is called the “Saga Edition” to make it distinct from the previous original and “Revised” editions of the Star Wars RPG by Wizards of the Coast.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

[Game Idea] Mercenaries

From time to time I have a spark of an idea for a game, but it doesn't grow into a full-fledged concept. I'm going to post some of these ideas here just to share these ideas that may never be developed into a finished game. If I get a lot of positive feedback on these ideas I may do some further development on them. For the most part, though, I'm just curious to hear your thoughts on these.

 Working Title: Mercenaries
Modern Art, various tactical board/card games
Premise: In the distant future, it is illegal for any government to have a standing army. So, when conflicts arise, various factions turn to mercenaries to fight their battles. These mercenaries lend a variety of specialized skills and weaponry to the highest bidder.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Complexity Barrier

I’ve noticed that some people really enjoy simple games, while others like a lot more complexity. Let’s look at some levels of complexity in games.