Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A promo for my 3:16 campaign

Christmas is the time for sharing with your family, the giving and receiving of gifts... or if your me, the time to set up all the family computers as a render-farm for your animated promotion video!

Here's a new little promo video for a campaign book I wrote a couple of years back.

Planning a new gamebook

Having recently completed and published my gamebook "Dwarven Vengeance" I started thinking about a starting another. Despite it being a lot of work, I have really enjoyed the end result, so I wanted to start another one.

This time I thought I'd do a little market research about the subject matter. I went onto Role Playing Game Geek ( and posted a poll asking which genre would they be more likely to part with thier hard earned money for.  the poll ran for 15 or so days and got 49 responses.

The options on the poll were:
  • Sci fi trading and exploration: 18 votes
  • Pulpy noir detective (with tentacles): 9 votes
  • Marines vs Bugs: 4 votes
  • Dungeon crawl/landscape crawl: 4 votes
  • WWII, pilot escaping occupied territory: 10 votes
  • Other: 4 votes
I was hoping for Marines vs Bugs, but the omens have dictated otherwise.

This is a new genre for me, especially in gamebook form. It's set me a challenge. A gamebook needs a "system" of rules, those rules should match the expected game play. For instance it's no use having game rules for trading if there is no trading in the game.  So now I'm going to have to spend some time debating with myself what the focus of this new gamebook will be and once I've done that, how to implement a complimentary set of rules that fit the genre without over complicating something that needs to be really simple to fit the book format.

So now I'm collecting ideas and making notes about possible scenarios that could appear in the book. At the same time trying to avoid going too far down one line of thought without considering mechanisms at the same time.

At this point I know there are some limits on story. I polled a bunch of role players and "sci fi trading and exploration" means the RPG "Traveller" to them. The Traveller game has a number of tropes and associated expectations that goes along with the name, so those will be my focus to start with...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Target! Bearing 093 degrees!

I designed and released a card game called "Target! Bearing 093 degrees!" back in 2011 and its been on sale at since then. Its only in the last week that I noticed that the people at WargameVault have stated that products with an associated video sell better than those without. So with that in mind, I've thrown together the following video promotion for the game.
Enjoy ... consume ... buy ....

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Golo - a review of a Golf-dice-game

I saw this for 1.99 in my local corner store I would have passed it by as another piece of junk-ware-shelf-filler but caught sight of a D12 in the bottom. I checked it out and low and behold it had nine D12 in there. My first thought was that 1.99 was great for 9D12, so if nothing else it was worth picking up for that. Actually it turns out the D12s are not normal D12s, so it might not be worth it.

When I got home I pulled it open expecting the worst of Christmas junk-gaming. Not so. inside the plastic tube was a nice golfing score page and a dinky little pencil, quality stuff! The rules appear on the score pad so I was good to go...but wait!

There is also a little cardboard rule book, that repeats the rules and adds in a few pointless optional rules. Pointless to a gamer that is, but I expect a few after-christmas-dinner players will like to try them out.

I was blown away by the quality of the dice cup. Thick plasic, mug-sized and lined inside. I'd be happy with the price just for the cup!

Then onto the dice. Nine engraved dice in three colours. Two red for Par 3 holes, five white for par 4 holes and two red for par 5's. These are not numbered like ordinary dice. For instance a white dice has three number 4's and ranges from 3-8. It's a similar story for the other dice too.

The "par" numbers on each die are surrounded by a square and the 1-under by a circle.

Game play is Yahtzee style. Roll all the dice, lock one or more, roll the rest and keep going until you've rolled and locked them all. Then allocate the dice to the appropriate holes on your score pad.

You do this once for the first nine holes, and then again for the way back to the club house. Add up your final score.

That's it. Simple. Multi player solitaire if you have friends over, or a quick diversion if you're on your own.

Considering the price, I'm really happy with it. A quick round of golf on your table and an excellent dice cup!

Found in "It's a Gift" a corner store that sells toys, cards, small tools, stationary, sweets and garden ornaments.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A cautionary tale for gamebook authors

I write a gamebook a few years ago, and it didn't end well. Here's why.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Creating a character in Diaspora

"Diaspora" is a hard science-fiction role playing game based on the FATE system.  THe video below shows you how to create a character.