Thursday, May 24, 2012

[Open Design: Mercenaries #5] Designing Mercenary Cards

Monday I posted a working model for this game. Using this model, we’ll be able to begin playtesting once we have the necessary components in place. The first set of components we’ll need is the 60 card deck of mercenary cards. I could really use your help in designing these cards. I’ll explain the format below, and then give a few examples to get us started.

Monday, May 21, 2012

[Open Design: Mercenaries #4] Getting a Working Design in Place

So far, in the Open Design articles, we’ve talked about possibilities for the game’s bidding system for hiring mercenaries, the battle system for putting those mercenaries to use, and how your success could be measured by conquering territories. I’ve had some very good feedback from my co-designers – people have brought up good ideas that I genuinely would not have thought of on my own – and I’ve really enjoyed the process so far. Now it is time to collect all of these ideas and mold them into a working design model. These are a basic set of rules for the game that we can use for our first playtest.

Monday, May 14, 2012

[Design Journal: Terra Machina] Androids Do Battle in the Distant Future

It is the year 25XX, and the Earth has been abandoned by humans. Nuclear and biological warfare, coupled with rampant industrial exploitation and waste, made the planet uninhabitable for humans. As homo sapiens went into decline, the last leaders of science began developing a race of artificial humanoids to replace them – a more hardy species that could survive the rigors of the barren Earth. These mechanical men and women, dubbed the Progeny, now walk Terra Machina, a land of machines, in place of their ancient forebears. Will they be doomed to repeat the same joys and tragedies of their creators?

For a short while, I’ve been developing this new board game with the working title of Terra Machina, Latin for “Machine Earth” or “Land of Machines”. Thematically, the game takes inspiration from the Mega Man Zero video game series. Mechanically, the game mixes concepts of tabletop miniatures games and card games.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Creating an Experience: Why I Design Games

A major subject of this blog is designing games, so I figured it was time to ask myself the question (and answer it): Why do I design games?

It is a good question. lists over 50,000 published board and card games, and lists over 3000 published tabletop roleplaying games. With that kind of selection, you would think it would be easy enough to keep yourself entertained with games by other people, without having to create any of your own.

Monday, May 7, 2012

[Open Design: Mercenaries #3] Conquering Territory

In the last Open Design article, we talked about the game's battle system - specifically, how complex or abstract it should be. The general consensus seems to be that it should be more on the complex side. Humandisaster brought up the subject of having some kind of system for fighting over territories. So, I've thought up two general designs for how the battle system could incorporate the concept of conquering territory. I'll layout the two designs below and see what anyone thinks of them.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

“Yes” and “No”: A Game Master’s Guide

As a Game Master in a table-top or pen-and-paper RPG, it is important to know when to say “Yes” and when to say “No” to your players. As referee, it is your responsibility to enforce the rules of whatever game you are playing. Sometimes the rules aren’t very specific on how to resolve a particular scenario. Then, it’s your job to make a call. As the GM, you are likely going to have the greatest impact on how much or how little the other players at the table are going to be able to enjoy the game. So it’s important that you do your best to make the right call as often as possible.