Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dreamation 2008

Ok, well I had a bunch of schedule conflicts this weekend so I was only able to make it to Dreamation 2008 on Sunday. :(

But it was well worth it to drive to New Jersey, and as a bonus I got to sit in on the Game Design Panel for a second time. That was very interesting and much larger than the one in the summer. A number of people shot the shit about their games and got tons of hard-knuckle feedback, myself included. Overall, I think the reaction to my game was positive, and one item at least was identified as unique to my approach, which was gratifying. I got to hang out with the designers for a while before heading home. Again, I found Luke Crane, John Hicks, Rob Donoghue and the rest of the Indie crowd really high energy, enthusiastic, welcoming, funny, hard-hitting, and fun. I give the experience an A+.

I also got a really great play description about A Wicked Age, btw. We discussed various ways that I might be able to adapt the concept and system for my own way of playing my homebrew system, which the guys were rather enthusiastic about. Adaptation and reuse is a key component of the Indie Scene and encouraged rather than discouraged, which makes it all rather cool. The short version is that it would be possible to utilize components of the game in a variety of ways, and the one that struck me as interesting for my own purposes would be something in the way of using it as the basis for a Social Combat system. I'd have to add a few Wicked Age requisites, and apply the rules in certain circumstances, but it can be done.

The downside of the rules, from what I could gather from the discussion and lots of questions and answers from the guys who played it, and the designer who was hanging out, for *me* (ie - this are downsides only because of my own play biases and not because of any inherent defect in the game itself), is that the game tends to lean towards short term games rather than long term, and it does not really focus on the tactical combat element of the traditional RPG, which is something I happen to be a fan of. I'm with Rich at Overstuffed Dicebag (http://overstuffed-dicebag.blogspot.com/) who in a recent post* pointed out that having a balance between tactics and story is not a bad thing. That said, there are tons of great ideas in the A Wicked Age (the Oracle System is another thing that I think has generic usefulness, potentially), and if I can adapt the elements I like for my own use I certainly will. But first I have
to obtain a copy. The frustrating part was that I showed up without cash, and the ATM at the hotel ran out of money, and the gas station with the ATM the hotel recommended was closed. Bleh. So I couldn't buy anything. And I had a devil of a time getting home, too. But it all worked out in the end.

If you are interested in checking out the game you can look for it here:

http://lumpley.com/wicked.html

I also thought this game showed promise:

http://www.chimera.info/nine-worlds/

But like I said, I couldn't make it this time until Sunday, and so I had no chance to play anything, and little time to browse around. Drat! Well, there's always the summer DexCon.

* http://overstuffed-dicebag.blogspot.com/2008/01/defending-gamist-and-simulationist-play.html

And now back to Elthos Development!


The Elthosian Magican Astro-Tarot Card (late stage draft)
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