Showing posts from October, 2011

Writer's Dice Update #2

As of Saturday night, we have 833 dice pre-ordered and we still have a week left in the campaign. Incredible. I just posted this little video above to show how the dice roll. Nothing fancy, just a product demo. :)

Superhero Audition Card Game

You're voting for your city's new official superhero! You'll test each candidate in a series of elimination rounds until only one hero is left! Vote wisely! » Development Status: Beta » Design Notes Stuff You Need 1-6 Players 10-20 Minutes A pencil and paper to keep score A token to mark the First Player A deck of Superhero Audition Cards Setup Each player gets their own set of three cards. One card has a star, the second card an X, the third has a robber. Keep your cards hidden so no one can see what's in your hand. Shuffle the hero cards and lay out a row of seven cards with the hero-side facing up. Place the remaining deck at one end of the row with the crisis-side facing up. The First Player token goes to the oldest player. How To Play Step 1: The Debate There is a crisis afoot in the city! Consider the question on the crisis card and debate who you think the other players should vote for or against. You have no real information about the heroes

#TweetTreasure [Twitter]

And then there was the time a bunch of people on Twitter came up with a bunch of treasures and magic items under the hashtag #TweetTreasure. Sadly, I neglected to save them all, but a few are commemorated in this Dragon Age Oracle post: @wordwill: Rod of Misrule: This simple wooden branch, wrapped in twine at one end, compels its bearer to tell lies. #TweetTreasure @sodmikail: Witch-hunter Ring: Hold the ring to your eye. Peering through it will reveal any glamour or illusion. #tweettreasure @highmoon: The wearer of the Polyglot’s Earring understands any spoken sentient language except their native one(s). #TweetTreasure More are saved in this FriendFeed history: » Photo: CC-NC-SA-BY Ben Beard

Crisis in Superhero Audition [In the Lab]

You last heard me talk about Superhero Audition in this post , and its numerous extra edits. I've settled on a much more streamlined concept for the game: You and the other players are city council members voting on the city's new official superhero. Voting occurs in a series of elimination rounds, like American Idol. In each round, you have a new hypothetical crisis to base your vote. A kitten is stuck in a tree! Who would be rescue it most gently? Aliens steal Earth's moon! Who can bring it back? An earthquake strikes California! Who can help the entire Pacific coast at once? Orpheo the Necromancer summons a a ghost army! Who can defeat his magic? The children's hospital hosts a charity event! Who's most popular with kids? I asked the crowd on Google+ for some of their own ideas on crises. Nothing is too absurd! You know how silly the Silver Age was after all. I want a wide variety of situations, from small street-level stuff to giant global threats. Her

Writer's Dice Update #1

What an epic first weekend! We reached 100% funding in the first 14 hours. Over 200% funded in the first weekend. As of now, we'll produce at least 430 dice! The next highest quantity we estimated with our vendor was 1000, which would be awesome. Our pace is slowing down now, so I don't know if we'll get that many orders. Who knows? 430 in three days seemed unlikely, too. We'll see! Survey Question: Which games would you like to see in the PDF guide? I've got Happy Birthday, Robot! , Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple , and Adventures of Baron Munchausen .

Writer's Dice Kickstarter is Live!

The Kickstarter for Writer's Dice is now live! For a limited time only, you can pre-order your own set of Writer's Dice. If you order two dice or more, you'll get a PDF guide for using Writer's Dice in writing and gaming. The whole creation process for these dice is documented on this blog. See the initial idea for these dice here . The design for the prototype here . A photo gallery of the finished prototypes here . Budgeting for the campaign here . Making of the video here . Click the link on the right and pledge your support for Writer's Dice. Thanks!

Prepping for the Writer's Dice Kickstarter: Part 2 - The Video

So you've heard my usual advice for making a Kickstarter video . All that still applies. Here was my strategy for this video in particular. I was greatly inspired by Trey Parker and Matt Stone's lesson to NYU writing students in which they shared their technique for outlining a plot. In their lesson, they break out each beat so there's always a "therefore" or a "but" in between. That makes a naturally flowing sequence of events. It's a great lesson and one that fits seamlessly into the main appeal of Writer's Dice, to select the most meaningful words to connect each beat. Normally, I'd start off a Kickstarter video as if it were a short 30sec commercial for the project. This time, I decided to neatly present that writing lesson into a cute tutorial, something like Common Craft or One-Minute Science . Megan and I brainstormed all the ways we could present this lesson: Stop-motion props? Stock art with silly voices? A sketch with actors i

Prepping for the Writer's Dice Kickstarter: Part 1: Pricing

In the spirit of transparency, here's the cost breakdown for the Writer's Dice. This is the kind of budgeting and planning you have to do before you launch any Kickstarter campaign. Production Estimate Quantity: 100 19mm, .4 oz, Opaque Square-edged Blank Dice, Red Custom etching on each face Each die costs $1.75, a total of $175. Shipping (according to USPS Price List Effective June 6, 2011) Domestic package shipping up to 3oz (~4 dice + padded envelope) costs $1.71 To Canada, it costs up to $2.24 To Mexico, it costs up to $2.86 Everywhere else, up to $3.46 Pricing Strategy I want to charge a flat rate of $5 per die, just like the Mathematician's Dice kickstarter. That means the single-die orders are going to be the most costly for us. We'll only have about $1.50 cushion for a single-die domestic order. We'll take At least a 17¢ hit on each single-die international order. So, we have a couple options here. First, we can just hope we'll have mo

Writer's Dice Prototype Photo Gallery

Well, that was fast! Gamestation comes through yet again with super-prompt turnaround I've come to expect. These dice are a little larger than your average dice, with a satisfying heft to their roll. I am very impressed with the detail they managed to pull out of the lettering. Those thin inner strokes are incredibly fine. See more pics on the Flickr stream . Now, I can begin prepping the Kickstarter campaign in earnest!

A Reductive Variant of ZOMBIES!!! [In the Lab]

[UPDATE: This post eventually became PARTICLE PANIC . ] This idea came out of a brief discussion about ZOMBIES!!! and how it can sometimes drag out too long if the map gets too big. I got to thinking about how you can make a somewhat similar game using no map at all. A circular, claustrophobic, co-operative scenario like a high-tech lab overrun by its undead creations. Hm! Here are some very, very loose notes. DECON Torus Lab contains the deadliest viruses known to science. Well, contain ed . Now, infected staff run rampant through the ring-shaped facility, madly trying to escape. Only the last surviving scientists can find a cure for the four strains of the plague and save the world. 1-6 players A pawn for each player A blue die and a red die Two decks of playing cards shuffled together Lots of zombie miniatures Shuffle the deck and deal three cards to each player. Cut the remaining deck into six roughly equal stacks. Arrange those stacks in a circle. Reveal the top card

"A lot to love." Wired GeekDad Reviews Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple

Hot dog! Michael Harrison of Wired GeekDad previously covered the buzz surrounding Do's Kickstarter campaign early this year. Now GeekDad MJ Harnish offers up this in-depth review of the game itself: "...lives up to, if not exceeds, the hype that preceded it and the final product (now available for purchase) is nothing short of beautiful." » More at Wired: An In-Depth Review of Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple

Writer's Dice Prototype Ordered

You've heard me talk about Writer's Dice before, but I decided this week I'd bite the bullet and launch a Kickstarter in November, hopefully with enough time to ship out the dice in time for the holidays. Above is the design for the prototype. As you can see, these dice are still usable as standard d6s. The prototype should be in around the 27th at the latest. If you have some feedback on this design before then, please leave a comment! Be on the lookout for more updates. This will be a very short campaign, maybe only three weeks. $5 a die. Nice and simple stocking stuffer for the writer/gamer in your life. Get excited!

Bajjutsu Master - Now in Creative Commons

You can now download a zip file containing the Bajjutsu Master icons and background in a variety of formats. All released under the following terms: Bajjutsu Master Icons and Background by Daniel Solis (http://www.danielsolis) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. ( Furthermore, the rules text for Bajjutsu Master is also released under the following terms: Bajjutsu Master by Josh Mannon and Daniel Solis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Both licenses allow you to share and remix either the work, as long as you attribute the original work to its author(s). You are not allowed to sell either work (without the authors' permission, anyway). Otherwise, happy downloading! » Bajjutsu Master Icons and Background » Bajjutsu Master Rules Text

[In the Lab] Superhero Audition Card Game

Woke up this morning with a weird little idea that I am not sure works mechanically. The premise is taken straight out of the old superhero audition gag. A panel of elite superheroes judges a parade of absurd potential recruits. Your goal is to pick the most and least likely candidates to join the team. Setup and Components There is a tableau of superhero cards (two per player, but at least six) arranged in a single row in alphabetical order. The superhero cards in the tableau show only the hero's picture and their name, nothing else. Each player has two superhero cards kept hidden in their hand. Each card depicts one of the superheroes out in the tableau. The cards in players' hands are the same, but distinguished by a different border and orientation so you don't get them mixed up with the cards in the tableau. (Think of these like city cards from Pandemic .) Next to the tableau is a deck of crisis cards. The crisis cards each describe a different kind of test

Les Grouillots - The Leftovers translated in French

Bonjour! Out of the kindness of his heart, Cédric Ferrand translated the slapstick fantasy storytelling game The Leftovers into French! You can find the whole package on his blog. Merci pour la traduction, Cédric! » Les Grouillots

Classroom Activity Guide for Happy Birthday, Robot!

Here's a resource for all teachers, parents, librarians, bookstore staff and who want to incorporate Happy Birthday, Robot! into kids' learning. Teacher and education consultant Cassie Krause offers gameplay tips, extension learning advice, and experience guiding a whole class in a single story. Best of all, it's totally free, licensed under Creative Commons from Smart Play Games . » Download Classroom Activity Guide for Happy Birthday, Robot!

Designing the Bajjutsu Badge and Desktop Wallpaper

Above is the time-lapse making-of video for the Bajjutsu badge. This was when it was a simple bi-fold last week, but I stopped recording during the small revisions that came up over the following days. At the end, you can see a quick pan of the current tri-fold version. Also, here's the opening screen as a Bajjutsu desktop wallpaper if you're so inclined. » Music: CC-BY-NC-SA Fun Electronics

Bajjutsu Master

With this badge , you are a Bajjutsu Master . Compete against other bajjutsu masters in a contest of arcane powers! Ally yourself with a Bajjutsu clan or seek glory on your own! This game is perfect for when you and your friends are at conventions, concerts or other large gatherings. » Download the print-and-play PDF . Once trimmed and folded, it fits into a standard clear convention badge holder. Bring it to your next game convention! » Co-created with Josh Mannon » Japanese translation by Andy Kitkowski » Development Stage: Open Beta » Development History » Opening call and response by Ryan Macklin SETUP When badge-wearing Bajjutsu Masters wish to battle, they begin with the time-honored call: “Only one Bajjutsu Master shall stand!” Those who accept respond “And it shall be me!” If you have more than two players, you'll play either a melee or a clan battle. In melee, all players act alone. In clan battle, players split into two opposing teams. On your badge, attach

Time and Money: My visit to DragonVale

I'm going to sound a little naive in this post. I'll make observations that might be obvious to anyone who's played Pokemon or FarmVille. I've avoided the genre until now. I had some experience playing an old SNES game called Harvest Moon , which could be considered a great grandparent of the new crop. Right, I started playing DragonVale as research for Dung & Dragons. They seemed to have very similar themes, but totally different formats, so any insights I could glean from the app might be usable for a board game with some adaptation. So here's how DragonVale works: Time and Money. You start with an untamed island, a small plot of cleared land, a nursery, and a portal through which visitors arrive on your island to tour. You're guided to buy your first egg, wait a few minutes for it to hatch or spend a gem to hatch it immediately. Once it hatches, you build it a habitat. Your first two dragons are a plant dragon and an earth dragon. I named mine Cele

"Astounding... Elegant" MTV Geek reviews Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple

Slap me in the face for not linking to this sooner. During GenCon, George Holochwost of MTV Geek reviewed Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple : "I failed to report to the press room at GenCon as early as I would have liked. The reason? I was obsessively reading Evil Hat's new storytelling game Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple... Fans of Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender will feel right at home with what Do has to offer." » Read more at MTV Geek

Designing the Cover of the Third Year of Our Reign

Above is the first pass at the cover for Third Year of Our Reign, the new supplement for Greg Stolze's REIGN. Each cover in the franchise has shown a different stage in an ongoing imperial dynasty. This time, I got to thinking about one of the young heirs to the throne getting impatient. With a conspiratorial smirk and a ready spear, this young Imperial has deadly ambitions. In the video above, you can see all the fits and starts that go into my process. At one point, I consider doing another montage composition like the last two supplement covers, but I end up focusing on this one character. Ideally, those back-and-forths would mostly happen in the pencil-and-paper phase of design, but this is a peculiar situation. I've designed four covers for this franchise already, so I have a large library of strokes and visual elements already made. I'm on a tight timeline for the rest of the year and I've already overcommited. Also, I've had all summer to think about wh

Designing the Title of The Third Year of Our Reign

Starting a long-delayed assignment from Greg Stolze, the cover of the Third Year of Our Reign , the next supplement for his high political fantasy role-playing game REIGN. The quick video above shows how I've made the titles for each installment of the franchise. Later, I'll show how I create the actual illustrations. Music: CC-BY-SA PhReyMusic