Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I want to make a rpg damn it

I have so many people in my google+ circles that are creative. Men and women that writes stories, or create awesome games. People I respect the hell out of because this is something I still want to do in my life. People that can actually get past the distractions that life throws at them and still create amazing games I want to play, and stories I want to read.

What makes this even more impressive is that these people have full lives. Some of them have spouses and children. Some of them even have forms of ailment and it doesn’t stop them from doing what they love. I find this both inspiring and intimidating. Welcome to the inner workings of my mind. I have none of these distractions and yet I still struggle with creating something. I could give a litany of excuses here, but the bottom line is that if it was as important to me as I say it is, I would overcome those things and just do it.  

I have wanted to make a game ever since I started gaming over 20 years ago. But around 2005, my friends and I were going to a ren faire, and it got rained out. On the way back an idea came up about a screen play that involved people getting killed inside of the tabletop role playing game they were playing. Nothing ever really came of that idea, but the idea that we could make the game itself started and never really let go of me. It did not hurt that this was when I was starting to get burned out of Dungeons and Dragons, and just wanted something different. I was also just about to discover this wacky game called Spirit of the Century that would change how I looked at games in general.

So we started making the game and after a while it dawned on me that we were just making a D&D clone. It felt exactly like it. To be fair we had been playing 2nd ed for a while and I guess this was an example of transference. So, the game kind of got scrapped and we started over.

I had spent a few years trying to come up with unique mechanics for the game and every time I felt like I had something, I found out someone had already used that particular mechanic. This drove me crazy as there are so many people out there making games that coming up with something they have no already done can be something that crush you.

Then I started playing Fate more, and man do I love that system. So I decided I wanted to make a Fate game. At this time there was not really that many Fate games out there, and it felt right. I had a few close friends that were helping me and it was awesome.

But like most things in my life, I struggle with consistency and focus. I always felt like making the game was more important to me than it was for them. That isn’t a shot at them as much as making a game has always been a dream of mine and although they wanted too as well, they had other things going on in their lives. So, the longer it went, the less we worked on it. The last time I worked on this with help was when I first moved to Pittsburgh in December of 2011. That fell apart too as making something just isn’t easy…as anyone that has ever made anything will agree.

So, here I sit in 2014. Feeling like for the first time in a LONG time that I am ready to get back at it. I don’t know what I want to do though. Do I still want to make a Fate game with all of them that are out there now? Or do I ditch that idea and try to come up something new? Do I think I can do this by myself, even though I have never shown the discipline required to do so? Is making a novel based on my world too much? Am I over thinking this?  

I don’t know the answer to these questions. But I am just thankful to be asking them again as I am trying to find the will and determination to actually see this through. Find a way to have motivation but sustainable thing instead of something last for four months or so.

I want to do this, and I guess the bottom line is it is up to me.

Monday, October 6, 2014

My review of Star Wars: Rebels

I saw A New Hope when I was six years old and became a lifelong fan of Star Wars at that moment. That did not change even if the prequel went a long way to test my loyalties. I have also read many, many of the books and love them as well.

Now, I only watched a few episodes of the Clone Wars and could not get into it. It reminded me too much of how much I hated the prequels. Yes, hate is an apt word for how I felt about them.

So, when talk of Rebels came about, I was not sure how I felt about it. I still had thoughts of the Clone Wars in my mind, but I still was excited as new Star Wars!

So, as the episode started I was immediately happy with the direction it went. It was, dare I say? Fun?

Yes, fun.

Isn’t that what Star Wars should be? I mean, yes dark and brooding can work as well as the world is a dangerous place. Blah, blah, blah. But what I remember about the original trilogy was how much fun it was and this show really displays that.

Ezra. Yes, he does kind of look like Aladdin. But I really enjoyed the beginning as he found out that the stolen cargo was in fact food for those less fortunate. The look on his face and the next scene where he sat there overlooking the village was nicely done.

The animation was really good with the exceptions of the Wookies. They looked rather odd for some reason. The rest thought looked great

I liked how Ezra may have been a young kid, but it he wasn’t bratty, or annoying. Yes, risking his life to help others is not really something he understands at this point, but he was likable. As was the rest of the cast of rebels. Hera who is kind of motherly, or at least older sister like. Zeb talking about killing or leaving him, to his crush on Sabine (the spray paint explosive thing  as the symbol of the alliance was AWESOME. Of course Ezra has the Force, you have to have that master

Kanan’s moment of showing he was a jedi, was also very cool. Very Star Wars. Like how at the end showed the presence of the "Inquisitor". Good times ahead for the crew! 

There is a lot of love in this so far and I am really damn excited by the show. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

All of this Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition talk

This will be my one most likely only opinion about Dungeons and Dragons, and yet another version that has come out.

I don’t want it to seem like I am bashing the game, cuz I am not. I don’t want to have anything to do with it, as I lost interest after 2nd Ed. But I also know there are so many people out there that still truly love the game. I can appreciate that as I truly believe everyone should play the games they love.

No, what this is about is people’s initial reactions to a new version of the game.  For the people that don’t play the game, a lot of them just try to ignore all of the new edition talk. It is almost impossible to do, but you do try.

Here is what I find interesting about this. There are types of reactions to this that I find interesting. Oh, there are more than this, but these are the ones that I am talking about today. A lot of people h

The gamers that love it no matter what
It doesn’t matter what changes are made to the game. They just love a new version of it. I never understand this group, since it seems like a blind kind of loyalty. Like that person that loves their favorite band even though they are on their 9th album. There isn’t anything wrong with this, but it comes off at least initially as disingenuous sometimes. But enthusiasm can also be a wonderful thing as well.

The gamers that hate it no matter what
The other end of the spectrum for people that just don’t love change. No matter the change, it is never as good as the previous version. I have a close friend that falls into this and man did they hate 4th Ed soooooo much. These are the ones that are still playing 2nd or 3rd Editions, cuz they like that particular edition and have no need for later ones. I was in this group for a while. But saying that, people should be allowed to not love every new version of something.

The let's wait and see
Yes, there are actually people out there that want to try the new version and see what has happened. An open mind is required for this group, which is why you don’t always see a lot of them. These are the gamers that just want to play a good game and the one’s I respect the most over all, regardless of what game they are playing. They will dissect the hell out of the game, and usually give people a good understanding of the differences between this and previous versions.

The gamers that just don't give a damn
For the most part I am in this group. Now for years I did have a bit of hate for D&D, but eventually realized that it just wasn’t the game or me anymore and that other people could still enjoy it. Now, I am an indie gamer and a new version does not really do much for me either way. Other than seeing my feed get overwhelmed with people’s reactions to it. So, I just sit back and watch and go on playing the games I want to play.

The other interesting part of this is social networking. Now more than ever, you get to see people’s opinions on things. Especially on something like Google+, which I have over 1600 people in my rpg circle. That is A LOT of people, with A LOT of opinions. So, when something huge like a new version of arguably the most popular rpg of all time comes out, people (like me, here) want to say what they think.

The downside is the edition wars. You see people getting really pissed off cuz they added this or left out that from a previous version. Or just those people that will only play 3rd edition (cuz it is their favorite) and anyone playing any other version must be an idiot. Now, this is the downside to social networking as it allows people to troll others without much or any repercussions. This is not just limited to this discussion as people can be assholes on whatever topic they choose.

To be fair, I have seen less of that this time. Oh, it is still there, but less. Most of the people that I have read that are playing 5th Edition, are coming away enjoying it. To me, that is the most important part of this. If you want to make a new version of something, awesome. But I hope you can make something that people enjoy and not just complain about. So, I am glad people seem to be enjoying the new edition and that there has been much less of the version bashing (at least in my threads).

There is enough drama as it is without this nonsense.