Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The price of this business

Sometimes I wonder if it is worth the work I put into game design.

It isn't the fact that I desire to get rich, its the shear amount of effort I put into getting things together. I know more than one designer who makes this look effortless. Yet for every hurdle I overcome, a new one is put in place. Yet it isn't the changing hurdles that is the most significant one. It is the problem of layout which continues to plague my games.

Hearts & Souls suffered from the failure of several layout people to do their job. (I cannot fault the assistance I got early on from Clash Bowley of Flyingmice, LLC.) Or the help of Jerry Grayson in the end. They were very willing to help and do their thing. It's a bigger problem that several freelancers flaked in between as I tried to improve the layout from Clash's workmanlike style.

Now High Valor is mired in the same place. Only this time I arranged to pay someone who I know can do incredible things. I just haven't seen them finish it in the time they have it.

I've been exceedingly patient, but I'm getting a bit past the point where I can afford to be patient, I need to get it finished so I can get print books on the way.

I wonder if it would be easier to learn layout myself than suffer through this frustration. It is a skill I lack, and have not managed to teach myself.

I love the design, the writing, even looking for art at times can be full of fun as I search for good styles that fit the imagery in my head. Yet the waiting aspect of those things I can't do myself? Those are a real killer at times.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Miscellaneous Things

High Valor continues to be in layout. It's coming along, but I'm not sure when it will be done. It isn't anyone's fault really, just life getting in the way of the layout mistress. I complete understand those circumstances and they happen to all of us. Patience is my mantra at the moment because of that.

I've decided to do a little redirect on E.O.N, and I'm not sure if it will work. Rereading Mutant Chronicles source books, and more recent horror novels and shorts. I'm wanting to evoke terror and horror in the future, not just a more moral fight against a terrible Empire. The Empire itself will be a bit more inspired by that real world one, and its horrors, and it will only be the tip of the iceberg for the greater evils that prevail. I'm not sure entirely how to do that, as the original game wasn't much about horror, and more about horror monsters in an action setting.

Now I'm aiming to go a more horror driven path, still a bit action heavy, but I want to make everything truly darker. Evoke horror at the things the Empire does. but push some darker things underneath the bed, waiting to reach out. I'm not sure how plausible it will be, and I'm trying to avoid "Cthulhu in space." So we'll see where it goes for a bit.

Derelict Delvers is going in for a rewrite, I've got the ideas down but I'm going to do the full 10 levels of the basic set, and all the powers, special abilities, etc. It needs more robust writing behind it. The cover art from Jeremy McHugh is awesome. Very pulp with a touch of old school, yet its own thing at the same time, it neatly fits what I want for the game.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Great News

I've had a strange and convoluted life. One of struggling to deal with many things, bipolar depression is but one. However, this post is not about the struggles, but one momentous triumph.

At 330Pm CST, I marred a wonderful woman named Amanda. It was a small affair at the justice of the peace's office with two close friends. I shook like a leaf and forgot what hand was which. (I put out the wrong hand for my ring, *facepalm*)

I never thought I'd get to this point. Not for any specific reason but for past broken hearts.

Anyway, thanks for letting me tell you about it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Still Waiting....

I'm still waiting on layout for High Valor, I know it isn't an easy process to make it look write and fit the feel of the rules.

I'm just impatient.

I've otherwise been slowly hammering on Vast Frontiers and Derelict Delvers, I need to focus on the latter more but haven't mostly do to my impending wedding. So I'm slacking and for good reason. I'll just have to make it up in the mean time. I do note that I really dislike the inconsistency of old school approaches, so I'm doing my best to make something feel old school with DD, and still be solidly build and un-shakeable in terms of design. This means I suspect I need to re-invest time in the games Esper system, as well as build a common core for monster building. (It is mostly there, just need to hoen special abilities to keep them reasonable, and still horrific.)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Derelict Delvers

Progress on Derelict Delvers is slower than I'd like. I'm still hammering on the design for the simple fact that I want "old school", yet with decidedly modern forethought going into the game.

Monsters are also a bit more difficult to research. Menacing robots are easy, mutant freaks created by mad scientist or side effects of science, also easy. Yet there are far less unifying constructs in a SF setting than their are in vanilla fantasy. Part of that goes with the kitchen sink approach to mythology that D&D took. Ignoring culture, history, and belief to throw together monsters that were as much fiction as myth. Looking at D&D's gorgon reveals no connection to the classic sisters of which Medusa was but one. D&D even turns the mostly solitary creature into a species of its own, and then divorces it from the term gorgon as well.

Derelict Delvers though has more thought going into it than "What would be a cool thing to fight next.." which is of course my problem. I may be over-thinking my designs.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Long time in coming...

High Valor is done, at least from my end, now I await the final layout magic of the talented person whose hands I've placed it in to do their work.

I'm also trying to get things rolling a bit further on Derelict Delvers. It's coming together quickly but I need more playtesting.