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Weekly Update 10/15/13 Progress along different lines

Following last weeks post about constantly play testing, I of course didn’t get any playtesting done. However I did make headway with the Elderhaven setting additionally I’ve been working on a module for Iron Kingdoms. So nothing to report on the progress of Elementary, but a little to report on the RPG setting.

Previously the Elder haven setting was primarily a nebulous concept that was interesting but very unformed. This week while I was working on an Iron Kingdoms module for and upcoming We ❤ Nerds podcast. I had some time to think about the direction I want to take with the setting.

I’ve settled on a cosmology that I like and feel creates an interesting world for the played. I know I want the world to be “Spell-punk”. A world where magic is treated like a science and it’s development is a driving force in the settings narrative. Additionally I want there to be many different type of magic and applications of magic, something that the cosmology facilitated. During a very early drive it occurred to me that a points of light approach to the world setting would fit really well and add a lot of interesting aspects to the game. I still don’t have mechanics to go along with the game yet, but I feel that getting the setting established is a bigger priority at this point.

Progression based on character actions rather than an experience total is a concept that Bonsai Games and I have talked about a little and one that I like the concept of, but I’m not sure if it’s the best mechanic for the setting.  I’ve also worked on a mechanic that allows the players to pick what they’re rolls do for them, but it’s a little to complicated as is.

I’ll have more info on the setting and Elementary next week. Thanks again for reading.


Weekly Update 10/8/13 Never Stop Playtesting

This weeks play testing went well. I’m very happy with the new buying mechanic for Elementary. The other minor adjustments worked well and the final score was more manageable. The other projects are still being worked on but Elementary has the majority of my attention. When Worlds Collide is a gigantic project and I’m giving my self some space from in order to return with some fresh ideas. Dig Site is in the same spot as When Worlds Collide, even though it’s much more finished than WWC is. the couple of other projects I’ve mentioned are still in their formative steps. These games are the burger builder, and the adventuring guild games.

Playtesting is one of the most important parts of game design. There is definitely a hierarchy of playtesting, with experienced playtesters at the top and family toward the bottom. However regardless of who you have access to for playtesting, no playtesting is far worse than non-ideal playtesting. There have been weeks that I didn’t get playtesting in and I can tell it seriously impacts the development of the games I’m working on. Even if you have to set out places for each player and play each of them your self, do it. I know every game designer has said repeatedly that playtesting is vital and I’m sure anyone reading this has heard what I’m saying before, but I really cannot stress enough how important playtesting is. The games stagnate and it’s very easy to lose track of the tone your trying to set in your game if you spend to much time just working on the development and conceptual side of a game and don’t play it enough. I’ve had several game mechanics that were amazing on paper, but just felt like a horrible fit when i tried them out in a playtest.


As always thanks for reading. The Elementary print and play files have just recently been updated to the latest build, so if you’re interested in playtesting or just want to have a better idea of what I’m talking about in these updates send me an E-mail and I’ll add you to the mailing list.

Weekly Update (8/20/13) Work Continues

This week has been another slow week. Elementary is several more play tests into the development cycle and the changes are working out well. Dig Site is still being rewritten and the iconography is being updated. Other than that not much is going on here so I’m going to go ahead and use this lull in updates to talk about the other projects that are going on.

When Worlds Collide

WWC is still being worked on, but it has been moved to the back burner. The game is going to take a lot more time and effort due to the complexity of the mechanics and I feel that right now my time is best spend working on Elementary. Currently the item decks need to be thought up before there can be any more play testing. Once the items decks are done several round of play testing will determine whether I need to rework any mechanics or if I can continue refining the numbers and general game play of WWC.

RPG Setting

The RPG setting is still receiving some attention. Primarily I’m just taking notes and working on some background for the setting. The dice mechanics are both exciting and intimidating so I’m making notes about how the mechanics will handle situations and whether or not they make sense.

Other projects

There are a few other game concepts I have rattling around in my head and in my note books but nothing yet that is established enough to add to my official project list or to give a name too. The concept that has developed the most is a game where the players are playing deities and struggling to take control of the pantheon while working together to keep ancient evils from destroying the world.

Thanks again for reading. as always if you are interested in helping play test send me an E-mail and I’ll get you the PnP kit for my games.