What're you working on right now?

edited August 2009 in Game Design Help
Started this thread out of curiosity. I'm just wondering who's working on what right now? What's your game called, and what's it about? How's it going so far? What've you done and what do you need to do? If you've a thread running about it, drop us a link too!

To kick things off, I'm still working on my entry for Jake's Fantasy Competition, 'Giant Slayer', a highly tactical game of primitive tribes battling immense, deadly creatures. It's going pretty well, although I may not have it all done in time due to the fact it's swollen out of all proportion which is what usually happens in my games. Mostly I need to smooth off a few corners, write up the GM's sections, expand a few parts here and there and somehow manage to squeeze it all into two 48 page chunks.



  • Fiasco is being laid out.

    I'm working on:

    Carolina Death Crawl, which is a competitive, narrative card-based game set during actual events in eastern North Carolina in 1863. You learn a bunch about the Civil War in play. Playtested a few times but it still needs a lot of refinement to make it playable without me in the box. Still has the potential to die half-finished.

    Cowboys With Big Hearts, a straight-up, focused roleplaying game about cowboys ravaged by various terminal diseases trying to keep a final promise. The entire game is a huge, deliberate death spiral. You learn fun facts about patent medicines and the history of Arizona in play. Needs a lot of work. Also has the potential to die half-finished.

    Medical Hospital, the Medical game of Medical Drama. I've been letting this percolate for a long while and I'm starting to get back into it. You learn about human anatomy as you suture, staple, excise, and resect it. Needs a lot of work.
  • I am writing and re-writing swaths of Swords Against Fate, my game of action and adventure, usually with swords. Long, long ago, when I wrote the first draft of The Shadow of Yesterday, that text went in two separate directions. Swords Against Fate is the path I didn't take. Hopefully, I'll submit a draft to Jake's Fantasy Competition.
  • I'm working on my yet-to-be-named story game/card game fusion based on the Western Serials of the late 1930s and early 1940s. I'm writing it as a gift for my non-gaming father inspired by the heroes of his youth.

    The basic mechanics are laid out and I need to prototype the card decks for testing.
  • I'm really focused on keeping my Toronto Gaming blog, trying to help nurture the Toronto gaming scene. To that end I'm designing an open/league style 4e game.
  • I'm working on Utpost, a game about an isolated outpost in space, where the cramped space and lack of privacy (and soap opera-esque situation creation mechanics) drive people to fight with each other. At the same time, the outpost is threatened by external dangers, which can only be conquered by working together. This game is just about ready for layout.

    I'm also writing an as of yet unnamed gangster game. It's about morality and what you're prepared to do for the familia and your reputation and status. This consists at the moment of a totally awesome set of advancement mechanics and a non-existant resolution mechanic.
  • Today, I will write the next version of the Fifth World rules, in the form of a poem that you read as part of play, with points where you stop and follow the instructions. Last night, I posted a rather rambling post about my inspirations and ideas, though I can see that it had gotten later than I'd thought by then.
  • I'm working on Hulk, my deep space terror game. It's at a very early, conceptual stage of development. There're no threads or anything, but if you want to know about it you can always hit me up in chat.
  • The Final Girl: my horror movie RPG. The game is fun, the rules work. I'm just playtesting it for some final tweaks before putting a beta playtest document together.
  • Still working on Ensemble System Trying to decide how to cover multible genre's, gm's and all that good stuff.

    Also working on being printed in Protodimension Xine

    In Real Life I'm dealing Texas Hold'em Poker furiously

  • edited August 2009
    I'm laying out A Taste For Murder, which is rather beautiful.

    I am presently most excited about Bleakworlds, my sci-fi game about amnesiac fugitives.

  • I am still working on my game called 'the Waste', where you play survivors of an apocalyptic event, struggling to get what they want. I did some playtesting this weekend, and am struggling with my conflict resolution mechanics, which I have re-written more times than I can count.
  • Been kinda quiet about it the past few weeks, but I'm still working on Do. Laying out the actual play chapter and game boards.

    "Happy Birthday, Robot!" is a surprise hit, so I'm trying to get that worked up into something more tangible than a google doc.
  • Geiger Counter, gamma draft, is coming together and the layout is mostly done. I've talked a bit with local printers, to eyeball prices and such, so after the final PDF gets leaked and played a bit, this might be the first of my games to see commercial release. Not entirely clear yet. Oh yeah, and it's a game about movies/novels in which most everyone dies, from Vertical Limit to Aliens to Jurassic Park to The Terror to Black Hawk Down to Scream. It's the PTA of action and horror movies, basically.

    My game for Jake's contest hasn't seen much progress, but that's okay. It's something I want to make sure and do right.

    I'm also putting Game Chef 2009 together, which should launch in a couple weeks. It's going to be sweet sweetness. Mark your calendars for Sept.
  • I'm trying to come up with a dice mechanic that really reflects the betrayal aspect of "The Flowers of Evil," and working out how to integrate fictional events to movement of pieces on the game board.

    I'm slowly working on whatarestorygames.com and the printable pdf brochure.
  • I'm re-writing 44: A Game of Automatic Fear for a free, web-based (PDF, too) version. I keep saying "soon" and life keeps intervening. Soon.

    Meanwhile, I'm sketching notes for a game I'm tentatively calling Exodus Squadron. Think Battlestar Gallactica, the Homeworld computer game, etc. Humanity escapes bondage on an alien system and flees across the starts to find home again. You play fighter pilots and blow shit up a lot. Ok, a little drama back on the mothership.
  • James and I are going to start a local gaming in public initiative soon. Step 1, weekly play and evaluate a different public space.
  • I'm working on my Burn Notice-inspired game, which needs a better title and some more elegant integration of relationship mechanics, but already has the best cover:

    Once people (hopefully) start playing the playtest doc for Homecoming: one soldier's story and I know what needs expanding and tweaking there, I'll get to work on refining that too.
  • Showdown: got a couple more playtests to hear back from, then I'll begin writing final text. Soon. You know, like Matt Snyder's "soon". ;-)

    I also have design notebooks open for the following projects:

    First Responders: a game about patrol cops. My current thinking is a game for two or three players with an actual GM! (He'll be called Dispatch, of course).
    Major Crimes: the game that will let me play The Wire. Indeed, I'm pretty sure that I'll be watching The Wire again in the near future so I can take notes.
    The Waiting Room: Jeep-style LARP in the tradition of my previous work A Flower for Mara. You play the family and friends of a critically-ill patient sitting in the waiting room of the hospital. Based on actual events!
    Til Death Do Us Part: Jeep-style LARP about a happy marriage.

    and an as-yet untitled Dirty Secrets supplement to do cybernoir (like Blade Runner, Altered Carbon, the board game Android and the like)

    The design notebook idea seems to be working out for me, too. Basically, I am keeping a design diary on each idea in a composition notebook. That way, as I have ideas, I just scribble them down, like a journal. Eventually, I'll be able to turn those into actual prototypes and manuscripts. It's doing a good job at capturing the info I want.

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf
  • I am wrapping up "While the world perishes", where you tell a story about a future community where the citizens are subjected to a significant change in living conditions.

    Also I have opened up the files for "The cadet game", where you follow some youths as they learn what makes an Officer and a Gentleman through six years of hard life on a boarding school. There are some issues with the unpublished first edition of the rules that I am trying to fix.
  • Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I'm 2/3rds of the way through the last book.

    Once I'm done with that, I'll actually be able to work on Mage Blade further. I've managed to get past my major mental blockages over on the Forge, so now it's mostly a matter of committing the system as it stands to print. I'm sure as I write it I'll find things I missed and I'll have to fill those in. A big part of the fun is going to be sitting down and actually statting out each individual lifepath.
  • Presently, all my time is funneling into getting Rooksbridge: Fantastic Serial Fiction off the ground, which is proving to need more kicks and bootstrap-pulling than expected. (Go check it out and help me not shoot myself. ;)

    That means Agora has shifted to the backburner, although it's picked up an awesome byline: Memetic War at the End of Civilization. Hopefully this will serve as the "leave manuscript in a drawer for a couple months" phase of development, and the game will end up stronger for it. Playtesting suggests that the design is sound, but the text needs to be almost completely rewritten.

    My design-brain, which does not have an off button, is puzzling with Sekrit Project: Bloodfire, which is so nascent that I can't meaningfully talk about it except to name-drop its title. ;)
  • I continue to work on Verge, my Dickian cyberpunk game with the crazy relationship map. It's pretty playable if you feel like pulling it off the website and testing it. The currency is a little broken and I'm poking those rules a bit. (Right now, contrary to the rules as written, every player should earn 1 token on every player's turn, including their own.)

    I have a new Towerlands draft hiding somewhere. It's a fantasy RPG with a really fun and fiddly skill and resolution system. If I finish it in time, it's an entry into Jake's contest.

    Shifting Gears is a game about street racing. It's a competitive game where other players throw "life" problems at you between races so that you'll spend your resources to fix them rather than to improve your car and racing skills. Can you be the fastest driver on the street and not also be a complete fucking asshole?

    Metrocalypse is a meta-setting for D&D 4E. I've talked about it elsewhere on Story Games and my LJ. Briefly, it's rules for yanking a city out of some time and place on Earth and dropping it and its people into an extremely hostile D&D setting. Most of people get eaten by monsters. A few transform into elves, tieflings, clerics, druids, and so on, gaining strange new magical powers and wondering WTF is going on. Eventually will be a PDF product.

    Torchbearer is a supplement for D&D 4E. It's a detailed work-up of a deity I created for One Bad Egg's "Gods of the Shroud." Someday it'll be a PDF product that you can use in any D&D setting.
  • My "Nasocorn" is a short, absurd storytelling game about majestic two-horned herbivores, foraging ground monkeys, and standardized business practice strategies. Or strategic business standards practices, maybe. "Nasocorn" draws on Ionesco's "Rhinocéros", Office Space, Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty, and Cheapass Game standout "The Big Idea".

    I'm incorporating feedback from a couple of playtests into a new version that I hope to get played on Wednesday. Thanks again to Jackson's BC group for being the first group ever to take a shot at one of my games but not include me!
  • edited August 2009

    Xenon: Alien Science Fiction is writhing under its skin. It's getting better and better at what it does, but it's sure not there yet.

    The World Player's rules for the horizon are OK, but don't flow easily enough yet. I'm pretty sure that's a pacing problem.

    The action rules are starting to shake out, but I need to really design like crazy before next Tuesday.

  • I'm finishing my post-playtest revisions to Other Worlds. Then I'm going to be trying to find an editor.

    Other Worlds is a game of worldbuilding, storytelling, and exploration - exploration of setting, and exploration of characters. The group creates the world by means of a structured brainstorm, and each player has specific areas of narrative authority with which to develop the world further during play itself. The characters are direct manifestations of different elements of this world - their cultural and professional archetypes - and yet they also stand apart from it - their individuality and trademarks. A lot of the game is about the tension between these two factors and how it affects the decisions the characters make in a crisis - of which there will be plenty!
  • Hi! Seems like there is a lot of good stuff going on here!


    Working hard on my classic fantasy game Fabula (published 1999), with the aim of republishing it, this time with a lot more oomph!

    Dabbling a bit with Sagajamming, a new card-rpg set to a mythic Viking-era.
  • I'm trying to rework my 2007 Game Chef game into a more playable condition so I can run it at a con in November. It's a fun GMless game about trying to fight your fate, in the form of an absurd, ancient bureaucracy. At the moment it's fun and works, but needs quicker setup and a better conflict resolution system.

    Coincidentally, I'm also writing a LARP based on someone else's 2007 Game Chef game, in which courtiers scheme to make sure the Emperor lives long enough to declare them heir, then dies before naming someone else.
  • I'm currently working on my psychological horror game named Paralysis. I am planning on releasing it at GenCon 2010.
  • Thinking about how to build a game from some drunken notes. Thinking about laying it out (too early) and wondering how you get those old-school cloth-bound embossed hardcovers these days. Thinking about lead type and the artisan printer up the coast. Thinking about a print run of a couple dozen at a hundred bucks a pop.
  • I am completely rethinking my supernatural highschool game after a blinding flash of insite. That game may or may not see the light of day this year. My focus has now switched back to The Gods Must be Crazy, a game where you can only do things in relation to the fickle gods. I am rewriting it from the beguining to add more explanitory text and make what the players need to do more obvious. I am also adding in flavor text to illustrate the feel of the world the game takes place in. I was not planning to have it printed but I am now rethinking that.
  • All of my personal design projects have been kicked to the curb, because I'm too interested in things that are coming out from Japan. When I'm not cranking on other works or playing Yakuza 3 on the PS3 (3rd Cabaret Girl turned into a star, yay!), I'm loosely diddling around with a game or two. Previously: Sword World 2.0. Currently: Double Cross 3rd Edition.
    Been kinda quiet about it the past few weeks, but I'm still working on Do
    Been kinda quiet about it the past few weeks, but I'm still working on Tenra Bansho Zero. Yep.

    Also, in the works playwise:

    Tenra Bansho Zero: Finishing up the Mecha Team Girl Squad! campaign.

    HELLAS: ...then beginning a HELLAS Final-Fantasy-Esque game this fall.

  • Also...

    Working on a re-crafting of Scion to support playing a game inspired by Mur Lafferty's Heaven series. Hopefully this will be our next regular face-to-face game.
  • Now that GenCon is over, I'm going to start working on Black Sky again - my Firefly inspired space opera game.
  • I finally started working on Slime Story again, having been inspired by a combination of Meikyuu Kingdom, Agon, and some of the tricks we've devised in my group's D&D4e campaign, to overhaul the conflict rules, which will hopefully whip things into shape enough to make playtesting feasible. The game takes place in the present day, in a world like ours, except that 10 years ago portals opened up all over the world and started dumping cute monsters like something out of a Korean MMORPG. Bits of the monsters have turned out to be useful and valuable. In some parts of the world this has caused all kinds of strife, but in American suburbia, teenagers hunt them for spending money. Make friends, save up to buy a new sword or a car, get into arguments, try to get the girl, etc., all while bashing cute monsters.

    I've also started translating a free Japanese RPG called Witch Quest, where you play as witches and their cat familiars, very much in the vein of Kiki's Delivery Service.
  • MADCorp, the game of corporate dungeoncrawling horror. I need to get off my ass and finish the character classes so I can start playtesting it. Then I have to figure out how to explain old-school negotiation-based play, and how it intersects with the numbers play, so that other people can playtest it.

    I'm also trying to talk myself into starting illustrations for The Rustbelt.
  • edited August 2009
    Posted By: DestriarchI'm still working on my entry for Jake's Fantasy Competition, 'Giant Slayer', a highly tactical game of primitive tribes battling immense, deadly creatures.
    Cool! I'm actually working on a card game with a similar theme (and name - Giant Killers), where four players are completely unlikely hero-wannabes working together to bring down a beast that's terrorizing the countryside, and working against each other to be the one who gets credit for it. I discovered another eerily similar card-based game at GenCon this year (Cutthroat Caverns), but I'm very much in love with the idea, so work continues apace. I'm also a few paragraphs of example text and some layout from releasing another card game, RocketYard, which will free up much-needed mental resources for other projects.

    On the RPG front, I've abandoned a few old projects, and am thinking of taking a couple of pages of old notes and mechanics and trying to bring my 70s cop show game back to life. I've learned so much in the last year or so since the initial scrawlings (on the back of one of Jason's Medical Hospital sheets from last year, no less), it'll probably be built up again from scratch, but it should be a blast. More noise as progress happens.
  • Sweet stuff you all are doing!

    In keeping with tradition, I had a brainstorm coming home from Gen Con. I'm now working heads down on a Galaxy Simulator: a Traveller-esque game in the vein of How to Host a Dungeon, though slightly more ambitious.
  • I am working on Steampunk Crescendo.
    PCs are Humans with a vampire curse. Every time they succumb to temptation, they can manifest a vampire power (and weakness). It is going to be Steampunk with Dystopia, Industrial Revolution, Victoriana, Vampires, Magic and Super Science.

    I am modifying Otherkind so that the players have to balance what they want against hurting their enemies and protecting themselves.

    The setting bit that I am sort of most proud of is this:
    The Vampire curse comes from the fallout after a group of people used magic to save the world from the plague. So, every descendant of the original people who saved us, are cursed to turn into vampires if they succumb to temptation. The twist is, there is a rumor that once vampires kill a number of people equal to those saved from the plague, the curse will be lifted...

    The mechanics are ready for playtest, the art is coming slowly and the writing is about half done.
    Dave M
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