Games Update and MAGFest 2020
Going forward, I want to consolidate the online presence of the games I make, so I'm going to use this blog and website as the center of all information regarding my games Alter Arms, BLOCKBUSTER!: A Movie-Making RPG and the new Skrap Packs, my deck-building RPG.
I ran demos of my games at MAGFest 2020 this past weekend to a very positive response from players. I was asked multiple times when these games could be purchased, which has made it clear to me that I have to focus on publication going forward.
A role playing game based on tokusatsu (Japanese transforming super hero) shows: players acquire and use new forms and powers to face challenging enemies and grow even stronger.
A major mechanic of Alter Arms is using a character's player-created gimmick to creatively solve problems. Some players don't always approve of their usage though.
The game with the most demos from this past weekend is tied between Alter Arms and Skrap Packs. I believe I've improved on the demo scenario that players are given at these events and want to put it in the finished version to help the game master (GM) and players ease into the system.
The demo has players start as their human selves before they get access to their transformations and powers, easing them into the basic mechanics of the game. As they play, they earn their transformations and are slowly introduced to more complex mechanics.
At this point, Alter Arms has been reviewed by some of my fellow game developers and I want to work on getting a version out I can send to players not familiar with the system so I can get feedback.
A role playing game inspired by deck-building games: cards represent different items in the world, and players face challenges by finding creative uses for the tools they have, or creating new ones all together.
Players examine a demo story card for Skrap Packs.
I ran demos of Skrap Packs pretty much all day on Saturday. By far it is the easiest game to explain to players and run.
This time I tried out a new set of mechanics for character creation and story progression based on three different types of cards:
To create their characters, players are given 1 personal item card representing something of sentimental value (an old journal, a locket, an autographed photo of their childhood hero, etc.) along with 5 other random item cards (a swiss-army knife, a ballpoint pen, some duct tape) and must determine who their character is given the context of the situation they're put in. For this scenario: players are high school students at a graduation party in a cabin in the woods where the night takes a dangerous turn!
Players chose a name and a title; the title being the most important part because it helped determine what their character was capable of. For example: the "engineer nerd" was proficient with electronics, and was able to turn their MP3 player and a battery into a functional tazer!
The third kind of card is story cards, which represent unique items in the world that have significance to the plot. I used these to help generate the story. I knew the beginning of the story would have the players have to deal with a mysterious assailant, but didn't know who they were or what their motivations were. The assailant would drop a story card item that helped fill in this blank.
In one session, they dropped an energy weapon, which I used to craft a story about this being an attempted alien abduction. In another, the assailant dropped a mysterious wand covered in runes. One story even had them drop a security access card, turning this story into a delve into a secret lab under the cabin.
There was a tremendous response to this game, and I hope to publish it upon publication of Alter Arms.
BLOCKBUSTER!: A Movie-Making RPG
A game-masterless system where players take the role of actors fighting for creative control of a movie they're making up as they go.
The initial setup and the finale for a single-act film made by players during a demo of BLOCKBUSTER!
I learned recently that BLOCKBUSTER! is the game that requires the most buy-in from players; they must be willing to invest more time and effort into it than my other games due to its central mechanic being based on player interaction and improvisation.
Out of what I demoed of the game, players were very excited and were adamant about wanting to purchase it.
My biggest takeaway from this past weekend is that I really need to buckle down and complete my games. I realize that this won't allow me to demo as often, but I owe it to myself and the people who believe in me to get these out.