Showing posts from August, 2010

[Shirt] "Anyone willing to suck can create."

» Based on a quote by Rob Donoghue on Twitter. » Download: Vector EPS | High-Res Transparent PNG » Rob's Cafepress » Released under Creative Commons Attribution license. There was some discussion about whether this quote was too suggestive, but Rob insisted that a less crude "Anyone willing to fail can create" lacked the same punch.

[In the Lab] An Organic Pente Kind of Thing

Here are the basic rules thus far: SETUP 2 Players Each player has a set of 15 stones. Each player, on their first turn, puts their stones on the table. The first two stones must not touch each other. ON YOUR TURN Put a stone on the table touching another stone. A stone cannot touch more than two other stones, so lines start growing across the table. Your stone will go at the end of one of these lines. CAPTURE If a pair of stones is sandwiched between two stones of another color, that pair is removed from the table and returned to the player. You do NOT keep captured pieces. Any loose stones remaining after a capture can be the beginning of a new line. ENDGAME The game ends when one player runs out of stones. --- I wanted a 2-player abstract playable at a restaurant with the little sugar packets they usually have available. Usually, they'll have your choice of plain sugar and an artificial sweetener. But no board and no other gaming props available, so anything a

[Do] Pilgrims of Justice League and Star Trek

In response to my call for pop culture-inspired pilgrims, Marc Majcher posted his take on the cast of classic Star Trek: Pilgrim Randy Conductor gets in trouble by chasing after girls, and helps people by getting everybody to work together. Pilgrim Stoic Owl gets in trouble by holding back his feelings, and helps people by dispensing wisdom. Pilgrim Grumpy Needle gets in trouble by making sarcastic remarks all the time, and helps people by making them feel better when they're sick. Pilgrim Confident Wrench gets in trouble by overestimating his abilities, and helps people by fixing things for them. Liz Hooper offered her interpretation of Batman and Robin: Pilgrim Lonely Gadget gets in trouble by trying to do everything by himself, he helps people by using his clever inventions. Pilgrim Lonely Gadget's compatriot, Pilgrim Cocky Tumbler gets in trouble by thinking he can handle things he can't, he helps people by using his gymnastic skills as a martial art. And Jonathan

[Happy Birthday, Robot!] One more GenCon story!

There was one HBR game I personally facilitated afterhours at the Embassy Suites. The players were Jay, Maggie, Gregor and Jen. Like many of the other sessions at the Embassy, we kind of pulled people in randomly to get a full group. That always makes for a fun session and plays to HBR's strengths as low-prep icebreaker for a new group. Everyone had fun contributions and made the story you see below. By the way, that Jen is the very same Jen from The Walking Eye podcast. Check it out, it's cool stuff.

[Do] What Remains of Character Creation

Just sent the first three chapters of Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple to editing. If you've followed the development of this game over the years, you'll notice the biggest change is that there is no character creation. Well, at least not in the form that it once was. At first, I was trying to emulate the "tutorial" process in Dogs in the Vineyard . Later, I added the relationships from Spirit of the Century . What followed was a very fun process, but one that was rather different from how the game actually played. Also, because I couldn't find much time to playtest, those precious first hours were occupied with character creation and not the game itself. I came to terms with the fact that the Do I want to design is a storytelling game, not a role-playing game. I hate disappointing people who hoped for an RPG, but that's just not where I have fun designing. So, I am taking all the "tutorial" advice from character creation and putting it else

[Happy Birthday, Robot!] Mega Man vs. Dresden Files

Anders Smith just posted two Happy Birthday Robot stories he created while playing in 2-player mode with his brother. The first is sort of a prequel to Mega Man : “Happy Birthday, Robot!” “How are you feeling?” asks Dr. Light. “A little nervous,” replies Cut-man. “What if the others all laugh at my blades?” Dr. Light shakes his head, smiling in ignorance. “You are a perfect creation - the ones who laugh just don’t understand!” “You’ll show them all!” he concludes, “Just ask Dr. Wiley!” “He has a wonderful present behind this door.” “With his help, and mine, why, you’ll change the world!” So Cut-man stepped through to meet his destiny. And the next story is based on the Dresden Files, using a new opening sentence. “I need help, Harry Dresden!” Harry sighed, “Why did it have to be gnomes?” But Harry was certain they must be stopped. Chicago’s lawns were doomed to wilt otherwise. Bob told Harry gnomes were afraid of flamingos. “Real ones aren’t cheap,” said Harry. “Whe

[Do] TV and Movie Characters as Pilgrims

It's time for some old-fashioned nerdy fun: Statting up your favorite TV and movie characters. First off, here is how you make a character in Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple . Creating a Pilgrim Step 1: Choose your pilgrim's Avatar. Pick an object or thing. For example, "tree," "cat," or "window." Step 2: Choose your pilgrim's Banner. Describe that thing in one word. For example, "green," "sleeping," or "cloudy." Step 3: Fill in the Blanks. Your pilgrim's name is "Pilgrim (Banner) (Avatar)." For example, "Pilgrim Green Tree," "Pilgrim Sleeping Cat," or "Pilgrim Cloudy Window." In play, your pilgrim's Banner describes how she gets into trouble. Her Avatar describes how she solves problems. So, by way of example, here's the cast of Avatar: the Last Airbender . Pilgrim Silly Squirrel gets in trouble by being irreverent and helps people by winding his op

[Happy Birthday, Robot!] Review on Critical-Hits!

I am squeeing over Gerald Cameron's review of Happy Birthday, Robot! Definitely some of the nicest things anyone's ever said about the game. "Simple Rules – Made for Anyone to Learn From" "A Thing of Beauty – An Invitation to Creativity" "All in all, the game would fit into any child’s book collection, and doesn’t seem that out of place in a collection of roleplaying games, either." You can read the rest of Gerald Cameron's review on . Squee. ^_^

Game Ideas

I'll occasionally post random game ideas on my Twitter . This is a collection of some of the most recent ideas over the past several months. Some of these may become full games, some not. This is just a sample of where my brain wanders. Idea: Lowering the coin trigger in HBR and adding a story goals before deadline might encourage more coin-sharing. RPG Idea: Each player says "I'm in love with ___." Then plays a character another player just described. Makes a quick relationship web. Idea: Draw two clauses. Choose one. Unchosen clause gets +1 point. Idea: Index cards, each w/ a clause. Split deck. On yr turn, reveal top card of both decks. Choose one. Unchosen card remains, gets +1 VP. Possible add-on to previous idea: Target Number is whatever you rolled last. Ex: Roll 17 on 3d6? Cool, but that's your TN for your next roll Idea: Dice pool. Target number. Roll over: Gain Resource A. Under: Gain B. Endgame Trigger: A or B over X. Any emergent behav

[Happy Birthday, Robot!] Special Guest: Isaiah Mustafa

Anders Smith just posted this Happy Birthday, Robot! story on Happy Birthday, Robot! Robot sings songs and I like him too, but he smells. He doesn’t wear Robot deodorant and he eats stinky socks. Robot says: “Yummy socks! Mmmm!” and rubs his tummy, but suddenly, in burst Isaiah Mustafah! “Robot, you should smell like me, like a man, but you don’t - look at me!” “I’m on a can, made of gold - where are you? You’re in space!” Robot, now very confused, plays lots of smelly sounding songs. He dreams of being a shiny chrome robot Isaiah Mustafah, but gold-plated... On a can. “I’m a horse!” And then Robot buys Old Spice, but it explodes! Robot flew out into space, except he was already there, but he’s a bird. He’s a magical Robot with chrome and gold wings on fire! Robot streaks across the sky in nothing but his undies with Spiderman on them. Spiderman hangs on for dear life, “My spidey sense is tingling!” Funny how the stories told by grown-ups often mak


Pip•Pip is a strategic board game of conversion and compromise. It is inspired in equal parts by Sudoku and Triple Triad. The game usually comes down to the wire, with the winner achieving victory by the skin of his teeth. I hope you enjoy it! Setup There are two players, both with a handful of six-sided dice. One player has light dice, the other has dark dice. Determine randomly who goes first. Play On your turn, roll a die and place it on a space within a 4×4 grid in the middle of a chessboard, making sure that the result you rolled is still facing up as you put it in place. Also make sure that the die is squared with the grid of the chess board, not diagonal or anything crazy like that. The Store After you roll, if you don’t like the result, you can set that die aside and keep it in your store. Then you roll another die and place it on the board or put that one in your store too. You may only keep up to three dice in your store in this manner. When you have dice in y

Marc's [Happy Birthday, Robot!] session at GenCon

Marc ran Happy Birthday, Robot! for Games On-Demand at GenCon 2010. Games On-Demand is a great space if you're looking for a GM to run an indie game you're thinking about buying (or just playing your favorite game with a new group). Many thanks to Marc for running HBR and to Scott Acker for organizing Games On-Demand.

Kristin's [Happy Birthday, Robot!] session at GenCon

I was very lucky to have two great volunteers running Happy Birthday, Robot! at GenCon 2010. Kristin and Marc actually played HBR shortly after I released the first draft as a Google Doc last year, so they were quite experienced with the game already. Anyhoo, Kristin ran HBR at the Embassy Suites for a trio of players we gathered up from the lobby. This is the story they created together. Thanks, Kristin!

Seth Ben-Ezra reviews [Happy Birthday, Robot!]

Game designer Seth Ben-Ezra reviews Happy Birthday, Robot! after playing it with his kids. It's a pretty in-depth review, covering the basics of play but also a lot of thoughts on the game design itself. I'm glad the instructions and presentation all made Seth feel confident in being able to teach the game to others. At GenCon, I realized the great joy of designing "teachable games," or games that could easily be passed on by literal word-of-mouth or simple example. That's a subject for another post though. Meanwhile, check out Seth's review !

[Happy Birthday, Robot!] Sold out at GenCon!

I'm happy to report (if you haven't already seen from the many tweets) that Happy Birthday, Robot! sold out at GenCon. If you missed your chance to get it at the con, you can order it from Evil Hat or from your friendly local game store. There is some other big news about HBR coming down the pike, but it'll have to wait a few weeks for details. In the meantime, I'll post stories from GenCon throughout the week.

Importing XML into Blogger

Blogger won't import XML files exported from another blog service. Suggestions for how to get around this? (Yes, I'm sticking with Blogger.)

How much for Robot Dice?

Ordered more blank dice and printed up more stickers to make these customized dice for Happy Birthday, Robot! These are well-made plastic dice from Koplow Games with weather-proof vinyl stickers. I'd like to sell these at GenCon, but I don't know how much I ought to charge. When you factor in the cost of materials per die, it comes out to about a dollar and some change. (Kinda scary, now that I do the math.) I'd like to sell these as sets of three, but I doubt even hardcore GenCon buyers would pay $4 or $5 for three hand-made dice. After some discussion, looks like I'll first be offering the dice for about $4 for a set of 3, with the purchase of the book being even $30. If no one bites, I'll lower the price, possibly down to free as a promotional item. I'll also be bringing sheets of stickers for $1 for the DIY crowd.