Bookwright, game designer, gamer, collector of too much stuff. Want to discuss a project, idea or send hate mail just email me!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween and Donate to Red Cross!

Sandy has ruined a lot of people's Halloween, so instead of buying more candy treat others by donating to the Red Cross!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Search Words-And How People Found Me

I found this interesting and funny, these are some of the recent search words used when people clicked on my blog, most come direct for the Hal goodness but lets look and laugh:

game of thrones actors

games of thrones 2013

gary gygax memorial plans

shadowrun corporation

dog text

female chimney sweep

jeff dee art


rpg one shots

shadowrun noble elf


Monday, October 29, 2012

Bluffside C&C is in the Next Stage!

Bluffside is off to the playtesters and TLG 3 whole days before it was due--woot!
Any designer/freelancer knows how exciting that is!

Few months of feedback for tweaks and we are good to go, we are doing a bonus item for TLG so we will see how they want to use it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Great Weekend, Lots Completed

The Awakened is off to the publisher...I liked all the submissions so now it is in the hands of the publisher and editor.

Bluffside for C&C is 99% done, cleaning up some NPC's and we are ready for playtest and it being sent to Troll Lord Games to start getting it ready for print.  We added some web enhancement items that were not included in the original as well as some new places of interest just to say thanks to the Castle and Crusade fans.

Necronomicon was fun, got reacquanted with some great people and met some new ones along the way, panels went well and heard some varied and intelligent thoughts.

Now back to reality, groceries, laundry....maybe try a Dungeon game with the kids if they can finish their chores in time.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Awakened Anthology is off to the Publisher!

It took longer than I wanted but we had some hiccups on the way, they are all taken care of and all of the shorts are sent we wait!
Thanks to all who contributed and as soon as I know you will know!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What the Pro's Feel About my First Necro Panel!

One of my panels at Necronomicon Convention is MMO vs PnP RPG, since 99.9% of you will not be attending here is what some people I know who have been in both industries said:

Jim Butler (Trion-Rift and WotC and more) Each of the genres have their strength. PnP tends to be much more sociable, and you can do anything and reshape the world through cooperative storytelling. MMO is instant, visual and provides a level playing field for everyone. There's room for both. :-)

Jeff Grubb (ArenaNet GW2 and WotC) MMOs have a lot more restrictions. Everything you see on the screen, and all of your options as a player, have already been pre-determined before you even sat down at the table. Good MMO design provides a wide variety of options, but they are still from a menu. PnP on the other hand, has the ability to respond instantly to the situation of play itself.
I use a bunny as an example. For an MMO, you see a bunny on the screen. That represents someone concepting the bunny, drawing the bunny, animating the bunny, determining bunny behavior, determining bunny skills, determining bunny reactions (does it have a death animation? Will it run away if it is within aggro of a fox?). Oh, and someone to determine if all of this work is worth it just to see a bunny on the screen.
In a PnP, you have the following:
PLAYER: Do I see any wildlife?
DM: (MAYBE flips a couple pages in a book). Yeah, you see a bunny.

Darrin Drader (38 Studios and WotC and more) Well, I agree with everything Jim and Jeff just said, and thanks for including me in this, by the way. One of the things I realized once I moved to work on an MMO is that things tend to be much more meta in MMOs, and I think this point is really just an elaboration on what Jeff just said. For example, when you play through an encounter in PnP, the goal is whatever is laid out for you by the scenario (assuming that the GM isn't just winging it). In an MMO, there might be an encounter, but it serves a specific purpose. It might be designed for single player game play, in which case it's not entirely unlike an encounter you'd find in a regular single player RPG, or it might be designed for multiple players.
If it's a multiplayer encounter, there are a number of design decisions that might go into it, but the ones I've worked with had the following requirements: it had to be challenging for 3 to 5 players, it had to involve multiple stages that progressed in a logical manner, and bonus stages for when the group was too efficient dealing with the regular stages. It also had to have a story reason for it to reset to its base state. Likewise, there's PVP encounters which are usually had to have a little more going on than just an empty map where players from opposing factions can kill each other.
I also think that aside from these meta considerations, there's also something to be said for the fact that PVP really doesn't exist as a supported model in any PnP that I'm aware of (though there are many, many board games where it is).

Another thing is mob naming. In most PnP games, you have the monster name that comes from the monster book, for example, 'orc'. You might also have a specialized type of monster, such as 'orc archer'. You might even have a uniquely named and statted monster, like "Grunhaar the Orc, commander of the Deathaxe Brigade". That's really about all the complexity you need to worry about with tabletop. And in truth, some video games don't go too far beyond that either. However, in order for quests to work properly, you have to be able to tell the player that you need to go to do something (collect something, kill something, deliver something, etc.), and while you're there, you're going to run into trouble. What trouble? Well, they might be orcs. However, in order to help the player know that they're barking up the right tree, it helps to give the orcs unique mob names. For example, you might have the red orcs in Bloodhollow, and the Grizzlefang orcs in the Bear's Hollow, and the Skyrager Orcs at Silverhorn Peak. Further, you might get rid of the name 'orc" entirely, and call them Grizzlefang berzerkers, or Skyrager Grimaxes, and so on. Of course this gets complicated pretty quickly, so it falls on someone to put together an expansive spreadsheet on which groups exist where in the world, that way you don't accidentally repeat a mob name half the world away, which of course would be nonsensical. Item naming in an MMO tends to run into similar issues as well.

Ryan Scott Dancey (CCP-Eve/ Pathfinder MMO and WotC) The MMO is to the TRPG what the automobile is to the horse.
Its not just about getting from place to place or carrying a load. It is a fundamental restructuring of the way the world functions and what human capabilities are.
We are raising a generation that is as comfortable in a digital world as they are in the physical. I've even stopped using the word "real" to refer to the physical world because it is actually no more "real" or "unreal" than some digital worlds.

This generation will have a relationship with digital worlds the way we and our parents had a relationship with television. Their experiences in digital worlds will drive a lot of the way they understand human events and society. These digital worlds will provide entertainment and education. They will provide a space in which work is performed and wages are earned.

But unlike the TV epoch which was a one to many broadcast system, the digital world epoch is a many to many social networking system. This is a new level of human organization and it will be fascinating to watch how it changes and evolves the arc of history.

The tabletop world laid the foundation for the digital worlds of the future. And there will always be people who are interested in the limitless potential of the tabletop environment, where the "rendering engine" and the "client/server architecture" is the human imagination.

As a benchmark for what could be, the tabletop will remain a crucial way to measure progress in the technology of digital worlds. But in terms of sheer impact, the tens of millions of people who engage with each other in digital worlds, which will soon be hundreds of millions, and then billions, will have a much more lasting and deeper impact than anything we did achieve, or might achieve, on the tabletop.
Jim Butler I pretty much agree with what everyone has said here. The biggest problem that PnP faces now is that it hasn't aged well, and it's inability to merge technology with the social experience is killing it for this generation. If it doesn't figure out a way to level the playing field, it won't make it.

Kevin Kulp (Disruptor Beam-FB Game of Thrones/Marvel MMO-various PnP projects)  I think the difference that always resonates with me is that MMOs are generally incapable of agile adjustments in pacing. There are some exceptions in games - Left 4 Dead is one, with its zombie rushing system that takes into account how you're doing - but in a PnP rpg I can change and adjust an encounter on the fly to make it as fun as possible for my players. You don't find that in a MMO.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Almost Done With The Two Big Projects-NEXT?

It is almost 11/1 and my two big projects, my anthology and Bluffside for C&C are almost done and will be done by the end of this month as far as my part goes.

I have one project that we are working on, another new venture (like the book) and will take some of my free time but not much.

So I look towards the new year with little on my plate....we have ideas, we have some people inquiring about freelancing but nothing set in stone.

What I would love to be doing next year:
Project above does well and moves ahead.
Bluffside for Pathfinder-expanded and enlarged.
Another anthology for The Awakened.
A comic adaptation of The Awakened-no luck finding a comic artist/publisher who is willing to work with this with me (lol).
A few freelance jobs of projects that excite me.

Since I have a full time job in addition to "the cool stuff", I tend to have more freedom and less pressure to get jobs, while the freedom is nice it sure would be great to do something you love and be financially secure.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Necronomicon Schedule- It is next weekend!

Florida's Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror ConventionOctober 26-28, 2012 
- Hilton Bayfront St Petersburg

My schedule:
DAY          TIME                ROOM                  EVENT NAME
Friday        4:00:00 PM      HTC 3                    RPG vs. MMORPG
Saturday    9:00:00 AM      DEMENS              Getting Started: Writing Game Modules
Saturday    11:00:00 AM    DEMENS              What's New in Gaming?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cover Artist for The Awakened Breaks Bad!

Greg is starting a new paintin of one of the best characters on TV, Walter White from breaking bad, see the sketch HERE!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bluffside for C&C Status

I am very excited to say we have one more small section to convert and then it is just rechecking and putting together the work we have done.

The people we have working on this want to make this feel like it was not converted but made for C&C, we have new classes, races, spells, items and magic items then add a HUGE city with enough detail to use it forever but with enough openness that you can add what you need and not feel like the city is breaking. 

I can not wait to turn this over to playtesters and Troll Lord Games!  The cover art will be all new and improved as well.

Do not forget Necronomicon in about 2 weeks, hope to see ya there Tampa!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cover Art Released!

Anthology Update and Necronomicon

Waiting on one short and a rework on another.
Cover is done and a friend is making a screen saver for it so people can enjoy the cover, that will be on The Awakened FB page.
Publisher liked the cover and we will be moving ahead slowly but steadily.

Do not forget about the Necronomicon Convention later this month.  I will be on 3 panels, come out and join us.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend Update 10/07/12--Great Week!

Great week here.....
Daughter turned 13, on our way to a nice resteraunt.
Almost level 45 in GW2.
I finished up my part of Bluffside for C&C, it is 85% completed right now!
Publisher loved the anthology cover, I will sneak it on the internet soon.
Waiting on a few stories before I send the anthology into the publisher.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Anthology Update

Cover is here!
I have 12 final stories in my folder with the rest coming in by 10/10.
Publisher saw the final cover and really liked it.
We are close to handing the project off to the publisher, very close!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Necronomicon-3 Weeks Away!

 Florida's Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Convention
October 26-28, 2012 - Hilton Bayfront St Petersburg

4:00:00 PM
9:00:00 AM
Getting Started: Writing Game Modules
11:00:00 AM
What's New in Gaming?