current projects: summer 2012

A roundup of my current design projects. Please let me know if any of these are of particular interest, since that will encourage me to get those to completion.

Main Project

I’m the founder of a social games startup, Bold Lantern! I’m so busy with my first prototype that I don’t even have much of a website! This project is taking up a lot of design energy. I will probably talk about my social design work elsewhere, since this is mainly hobbyist design – which is still a great outlet for me.

Secondary Project

Meanwhile, Spacerpunk continues. I had some talks with Laura to pin down some evolving goals. A full-scale rewrite is possible; to be fair, this is because what I’d want out of play has simply changed that much, and I’ve finally taken stock of that.

This is, indeed, my white whale project, and I really want this done by my 30th birthday for a variety of reasons. If I can complete this, I can maybe establish a process of how to get your favorite project unstuck (and help some fellow designers), as opposed to being a cautionary tale.

So: July 24th. I’m 30, and Spacerpunk’s almost-final ashcan will be out there. I’m doing this crazy birthday retreat thing with a bunch of other Leos, and maybe I’ll aim for a 30-minute session there to show it off. I’m raising the banners and calling for aid to finish this one. Or else I’m throwing it out of the airlock.

Backburned and Half-Baked

  • I know that I must write the epic Indian Fantasy RPG. This is an important project, one that I’d hope to play with my kids. I’ve gotta do some reading and prep to make this real. I should probably commit to writing several of these in the long run (so that I don’t get overperfectionist on finishing the first one).
  • Dunn Deagro is my imagining of a basic D&D-like game from a timeline, except based upon a different “base four” standard classes, and drawing from faux-renaissance inspirations and heist movies, rather than faux-medieval dungeon crawls. If I use Dungeon World as the basis, I could see this being the Dark Sun of that game. I really shouldn’t work on this until I read The Lies of Locke Lamora.
  • A “Mage” heartbreaker/homage built on Robert Scott’s forthcoming Urban Tarot cards.
  • I wrote Walk Through The Forge for the last Game Chef. I want to play it once to see if it has a core worth refining. I didn’t think a narrativist wargame was at my design forefront, but I secretly wonder if this game actually has something brilliant to it.
  • I’m working on the opposite of spacerpunk: Sad Tale Of Space Detectives. If you prefer to your rollicking space opera adventure to primarily consist of staring sadly into the darkness of space with dead eyes and a broken heart, this is your game!
  • I talked about a Limit Break Manifesto on G+, describing my ideal fantasy game that seems starkly different from the direction of D&D 5e. I may wait to see if Pact or 13th Age end up designing this for me.
  • There will be team-ups with Little Octopus Games so that our mutual games see completion!

Many of these will chill out in backburner for a while or forever! I’m either musing about them or else I’m fundamentally certain I’ll make them eventually, so I don’t feel the need the get hardcore on them. What I should do is fervently read source material until ideas/enthusiasm reach a critical mass.