Sunday, August 13, 2023

Work Continues And Evolves

I spent months working on Royal Treasures, then months working on Double Zero. RT was an attempt to make a solo board game campaign book in the mold of Rangers of Shadowdeep, but using my own version of the SAGA game system introduced by TSR in the mid 90's. DZ was an attempt to create an RPG zine that took Mike Pondsmith's very excellent and abandoned RPG system from the early 90's, Dream Park and make it compatible with the vast library of RPG materials currently being produced for the OSR, while also combining it with my own RPG design, Five By Five.

Play testing Royal Treasures has left me a bit disheartened because I just can't get engaged in the experience. The truth is, I'm not a solo gamer. While I like the idea of a good solo dungeon crawl, I wouldn't know one if it hit me in the face, because I don't play them. I think the mechanisms of RT are strong, but I have no way of knowing what kind of results my play tests are producing, because I don't play solo games. I've never gotten into them before. I shouldn't be designing one.

Play testing DZ has me struggling to make the Five By Five game system function within the parameters that I've set for it and finding that the result is not intuitive. Five By Five worked because it was super rules light and free form. Making it into something else makes it not work. DZ is broken, which is a tragedy because I think its chock full of some really good ideas.

I find myself pivoting once again. Both Dream Park and SAGA (specifically the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game) are RPG favorites from my past. The work that I have done on both of these projects shouldn't go to waste. I am going to continue work on DZ, but I am dropping the Five By Five game mechanics and replacing them with my version of the SAGA system. In effect I am combining all my efforts of the last year into a new project.

I don't know if anyone reads this (or the reposts in my Facebook Group), but I think it's important to maintain this blog (just for me.) So, I'll keep sharing progress here, and maybe talking about comics or board games too.