Game Talk

Jun. 12th, 2011 11:04 pm
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Today Sam and I did some more working on our game.  Sam's vision hasn't been the greatest over the last handful of days because of her migraines, but it's gotten better a bit at a time.  With that in mind we went ahead and signed ourselves up for some Battlelords.  It's the weekend and Byron's home, so it only made sense.  So after we went shopping we kicked on the PC and started playing.  Since Battlelords is nice and turn-based, we were able to do some more work.  Sam worked on reworking some of the equations for the game while I remade the templates for the character sheets.  We are going to restart the current campaign.  A little reminder from a previous post, this campaign (which is paper and pencil) will serve to test the equations and such while simultaneously creating a back story for what will become our starter town when the game hits the web.  We had talked about it and decided that we wanted to tweak some things.  With that it made sense to go ahead and restart the campaign to implement these changes, especially since we hadn't actually gone that far into it.  

Some of the changes we made were adding in origin modifiers (whether the character came from mountains, woodlands, etc.) as well as size modifiers.  When we decided to add races into the game instead of making everyone be human we also hadn't yet added race modifiers to our characters.  So we are adding that in as well.  Sam did a great job of coming up with the list for those, so now it's down to us implementing those into the characters we have for this campaign to see how it all works out.  That means re-doing the stats and skills we put together for them earlier.  It'll be a little work, but no big deal really; especially since it should end up working more into the favor of the players.  Besides that Sam also developed some formulas using the stats we are using to help spice up the game choices a bit.  That gives extra meaning to the stats besides the conspicuous points that players will see.  

Working on the game made me think a bit about how we're really looking at things all around.  For one thing, we've come a long way from our first few ideas for a game.  I think neither of us would deny that we're gamers, though perhaps of a slightly different variety than is often publicized.  We met through a friend (on a game) and since the beginning have been able to spend hours talking about how we would alter or tweak this game or that game, or what we would do if we were making our own game.  With the structure of role-playing games it makes it easy to "create" a personalized game.  We have the parts of the DNA that we need to create a full creature.  Being able to code it and put it online where it will be more accessible and likely to reach a large audience also makes it work.  There are big steps between talking about other games and actually creating our own though.

It makes me think about how my own point of view has changed throughout the process.  I think it's exceedingly easy to come up with disjointed ideas about how something could be improved.  The games that we played made it even easier because generally they were based on templates (at least the PBBG ones, that's, Persistent Browser Based Games).  The first time I saw the templates really messed around with was with Torn City.  After that it became more personalized with Kingdom of Riches.  Sam on the other hand had a history of pencil and paper role playing.  Besides that she also played web-based games that were more along those lines as well.  Her major involvement was with a client-based role playing game called Materia Magica which is basically an electronic D&D as well as Cantr, which is a text-based character development RPG.  In a lot of ways those games are major inspirations for out own endeavor.  In addition, talking about how these games could improve (except maybe Cantr, it's already pretty spot on) helped us formulate ideas that we would later decide to use in our own game.

The major place where my point of view changed is when we actually got to some of the application of all of these ideas.  We weren't just talking about what would be cool in a game anymore.  Sam was making usable mathematical stat-based formulas.  I was making spreadsheets for how weapons would figure in and starting on making dialogue for the NPCs (Non-Playable Characters).  The way I'm using the word "was" makes it sound like we're so far beyond those steps, and we're not, but things are actually happening.  The game is working right now in the form of pencil and paper.  We're tweaking as we go along and we have a lot more content to add, but the bare bones are taking shape right in front of our eyes.  The excitement has shifted.  Seeing things come together and be utilized has a wholly different high than just talking about ideas (not to take anything away from that).  I'm really excited about all this, and I'm really lucky that Sam has a persistent enough personality to keep us on track.


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