Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Full Slate...

Another semester, and that means new projects to add to my list of 'things to do' on top of the work I'll be doing for Cubicle 7's Doctor Who Line this year (the programme's 50th anniversary). By the time this years is done, I'll have hopefully produced more material than in the previous two years combined.

While this is from last Semester, it has always been intended to be one of the tent pole items for Jabberwocky Media, which means that prototyping and play-testing are continuing apace.  I've moved on from the vertical slice testing, which had only about 1/3rd of the cards, and have made all the corrections to the set, which is now being updated to a full prototype.  

By the end of this month, I should be able to send out a digital version for some of my game designer buddies to playtest and after that, I'll build the final design and send it off for printing and distribution, hopefully sometime in the summer before Gencon.

My business partner Angelo came up with a brilliant little game about Pirates that is much more family friendly and easy to play than For Glory, which is by its nature as a Sword & Sorcery Role-Playing Board Game, somewhat more detailed and less appropriate for kids. It is also likely the first of our games to hit the shelves and then be converted into a fun little App for mobile devices for that reason.

The players in the game take the role of a pirate captain seeking to sink their enemy or capture their ship. Each Turn represents the ships moving towards each other, starting out at a distance, eventually closing to broadsides range and then moving off to a distance and turning around again for another pass. Each Turn a few pirates are assigned to tasks on the ship, from loading and firing cannons, to fighting fires, bailing water, forming boarding parties, etc. You'll manage a dwindling crew, dwindling resources and the results of catastrophic damage as the game moves on, trying to keep your ship afloat while sending the opponent down to Davy Jones Locker! Aaargh!!!

The Game Lab project I am working on for this semester is an arena style combat app for Tablets in which mad scientists create or capture giant monsters and then send them out to fight the monsters of other geniuses in a bid to take over a city, defend it or extort it to provide money for their researches.

The arena, in this case is a city or town populated by terrified citizens, soldiers and the occasional superhero, the latter two helping or hindering the monster (depending on its goals and alignment) and citizens serving as a source of renown for the owners of good monsters, money for the owners of bad monsters or food for ugly monsters.

The monsters themselves are custom built from a ‘body bank’ of parts and powers, and are indirectly controlled by ‘prodding’ them into certain actions, which may or may not be successful if the monster is tired, hurt or being made to do things against its nature.

The full project is some ways away, and we are currently working on a demo  that only includes 2 pre-built monsters, some citizens and a single city map. Hopefully that will be enough to get us Kickstarter funding for the full game.

My second class this semester is Experimental Game Lab, and  I'm finally going to get the Gameslate fully realized (click the tag below for more info on that project) after my programmer on Barbarians of Lemuria got too busy to finish that. Fortunately, all the lessons and code from that project will be very useful for completing this one.

The truly cool thing about it is that I will finally be publishing the long-awaited Barbarians of Heavy Metal, my take on 3025 Battletech if the universe was based on Heavy Metal culture. You can find all my initial musings and design ideas on the game here. More on that in a future post.

So lot's to do, but hopefully a very productive year that will give Jabberwocky Media the attention and income it needs to go full time after I graduate...


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