State of D101 Games address 2008 pt4: Beyond the summer and other bits..

So finally in the first half of this year you will see D101 Games move out of being a company in development to a company in reality.
Its going to be a big and pleasing leap, to see the stuff I’ve been working on for a good part of a year and more finally available, all nicely presented and illustrated.  Continuum in August is going to be the close of this first phase, and I’m intending to celebrate like a mutha!

Beyond this I’ll be promoting and developing SimpleQuest and Monkey.

SimpleQuest in the short term has the Shattered Lands series of adventures, which I’m going to throw myself into and have fun writing. Herodotus is still on the cards as is possibly some sort of Tang China supplement (a spin off from all that research I’ve been doing for Monkey). Though it is likely these will see the light of day more 2009.  There’s also SQ powered games, such as Blood and Sand , on the horizon. Plus I’m planning on supporting the game by doing some quick free scenarios, in the same way I used to write adventures and publish them via the web for HeroQuest

Monkey is going to be more of a promotional job, since I’m taking great pride in that its a complete standalone game. Perhaps a cheap adventure book may come out of my playtesting campaign, but other than that its going to be a case of getting out there and demoing the game to people.

The website has been a useful promotional tool, and is due a quick refresh soon. Mainly in the form of cleaned up Game pages but also switching on the news feed that comes with the Content Management System (CMS) I use for the site, to start pumping out announcements and release dates 😀  I’m going to keep the ‘purple monster’ look for the time being, but at some point its going to get a complete work over and a fresh template. Also at this stage musing about whether or not to make the site the focus for the games communities that will hopefully spring up around SQ and Monkey, or whether to develop links with communities that already have an interest and merely link to them. 

I’ve got a few ideas for games beyond SQ and Monkey. I’ve got a satirical Sci-fi/Cyberpunk game, that will probably use the Mongoose Traveller SRD if that is in a half decent shape, and a short fun game roughly based around the classic Troma Series Class of Nukem High and DR & Quinch.

I’m also looking at using

‘s upcoming Wordplay as out of the box system for story telling/narrative rules light games.  Again this is more 2009 territory, but one or two ideas might slip out as convention games.

State of D101 Games address 2008 pt3 : Monkey

Monkey has really benefited from me pushing to get the ashcan version done for Furnace 2007 back in October last year. Got lots of positive and useful feedback off people. I also have something that with a bit of work can be polished off to the full game.  Problem is that because I’ve been focusing on SimpleQuest since then, Monkey has been put aside until that gets done.

Things that need to get done in the next month or two.

  • Get my background reading done. Basically between now and April all I can read is Monkey related stuff.  Mainly Asian mythology books and of course the big Antony Yu four volume translation, which is doing a great job of filling in the gaps that the Arthur Whatley translation leaves (this is the commonly available Penguin version) and has tons of flavoursome description.
  • More playtesting. Both one shots, GoPlayManchester is a prime candidate as is a couple of private games I’ve been invited to, and a short campaign (5ish sessions) with my home group.
  • Prod the Mighty Monkey Army for feedback. I pushed out the ashcan back in Oct/Nov of last year and not a peep since then! Saying that doing a playtesting Questionarie for SimpleQuest was really useful for getting feedback, so I’ll be doing the same in the coming weeks.
  • Sort out Art. I’ve got a couple of leads here that as usual I need to chase up.

So far the plan is to seriously get down to writing in March and get finished for May at the latest. Layout June, and off to Lulu in July so I can get copies to take to Continuum in August..

Its going to be tight. In hindsight I should have never started SimpleQuest, but on the positive doing SQ means that I’ll have more experience of putting a book together before I do Monkey, which will be better as a result. Its now not a question of whether or not the book gets done this year, but how much time I can put in to polish it up into the final book.

State of D101 Games address 2008 pt2 : The Shattered Lands

Much better news here.

The Shattered Lands material has benefited immensely from being the setting I’ve used for my SimpleQuest playtesting.

Life and  Death has made a couple of appearances so far. As written its a game in three acts, and the games so far have been from Act 1. So the adventure has a lot of mileage in it! When the time comes it is pretty well good to go, and nicely shaping up to the finished product.

The Shattered Lands
sourcebook itself is shaping up nicely. The intro which is available as the preview on the d101 games website is done and dusted. The adventure Dead Pot Country is nearly a complete first draft and is getting a playtest at Conception, courtesy of that nice man Neil Ford, and at GoPlayManchester in Feb. All I’ve got to do now is lots of fun writing about Aztar, a sample city, Cults and more about the cultures and people who live in the setting.

I’ve got to find  an artist to illustrate the books. I did have one in mind, who I contacted via email but never got a reply 🙁 Ho hum, I’ll try again when I’ve got the text nearer to completion.

So the good news here, is that once SQ is out of the door The Shattered Lands and Life and Death should, artist permitting, follow quickly after in the months that follow.

State of D101 Games address 2008 pt1 : SimpleQuest

Its been a while since I’ve posted, and to be fair things slipped considerably in the run upto XMAS, with home and work taking up much of my time pretty much 100%. It taught me some hard lessions about how much freetime as a working father with young child actually has. This in turn has lead to some hard decisions being made.

So this is the first of four posts detailing where I’m I upto with the games/stuff I’m working on:

– My main focus at the moment. Looking at a March release. Slipped badly, due to SimpleQuest almost becoming ComplexQuest with lots of ‘clever’ rules almost being grafted into the draft. Ironic after spending alot of time stripping out some of the more twiddly parts of the MRQ SRD the game based on. Also I got an over inflated sense of the importance of the game. Suddenly in my head it became an all important project, my legacy to future rpgers…blah, blah , blah. Had a couple of weeks with that bouncing round my head. What a load of crap. Well heads are screwed back on again, back to basics – Take the MRQ SRD, rewrite the bits that don’t work for me, add a bit of user friendliness and approachability for people completely new to rpgs and GET IT DONE AND DUSTED.

Given myself the writing deadline of the end of Feb. Bad news this means Herodotus is not going to be part of the book.   Herodotus was begining to look more sense to do as a seperate supplement, so its likely that it will get picked up with this in mind in the second part of the year. Instead I’ve got a quick workable fantasy setting that I developed for a BRP game many moons ago which is going to make an appearance, along with a nice scenario I worked up this week while I was on holiday.

While I was on holiday I also got to grips with the section that was giving me the most fear and I skipped during the first draft. The Creatures section. First off i picked about fifty of the creatures from the MRQ Monsters SRD, which I believe will give a good start. Good classic Fantasy stuff; Elves, Dwarfs, Giants, Goblins etc. None of the Gloranthan creatures will be in SQ. Wrote up the descriptions of the Humaniod group (Goblins, Hobgoblins, Trolls, Orges) and felt 100% happy with it. So the final bit of development work has been done 🙂

So overall about 60% of the explanation/examples text is done, so its that difficult 40% where I wrap it all up that needs doing. Most of this is the GM advice section where the potential to go off into the deep end of pretentiousness and not resurface is huge. However since I already did this before XMAS, not planning on doing this again 😀

Good news is that my friend Simon Bray has come up with the goods and I’ve got a set of black and white illustrations for the interior 😀  Simon is also doing the cover as well. I’ll post some examples later.

So SimpleQuest is still on the way, despite my best attempts to sabotage it 😀

Next: The Shattered Lands