A DivNull Lark (#03): Indie gaming gift, late 2010

A year ago, the first DivNull lark helped bring Blowback to market. It’s October, so let’s do it again…

The next DivNull lark will match the first: a gift of $1000 to help bring an independently published story game to release within a year. That is, pitch me your idea for how you would use $1000 to either make a new game or improve an existing one that hasn’t been released, and I’ll donate $1000 to the idea I like best to help make it happen.

Conditions:

  • Only pitches made as responses to this post, publicly, will be considered.
  • No pitch made after 15 October 2010 will be considered.
  • The donation will be made on or before 31 October 2010.
  • If your pitch is selected, you have until the last minute of 31 October 2011 to make good on the idea. At that point, the world will know if you are person of your word, or a failure.
  • This donation in no way affects any rights you have to your work. Nor does the donation create any liabilities from your work for the donator. Succeed or fail, you’re on your own.
  • Payment will be made via PayPal, in United States currency. No exceptions.

The winner will be decided solely based on my learned deliberation capricious whim; however, I do take advice. If you see an entry you really like, feel free to lobby for it in a response below.

All responses to this blog are vetted manually before appearing. Historically, I am a bit slow at doing this. I will try to be more prompt for the next few weeks, but if your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t panic.

Update: This contest is now closed to new submissions. I will, however, leave the comments open for people to give advice on the entries they like.

76 thoughts to “A DivNull Lark (#03): Indie gaming gift, late 2010”

  1. Hah – I seem to remember saying this the last time around, but I’ll say it again: this is an insanely cool way for a well-paid modern urbanite to spend their excess money. Were I on the other side of the equation (a well-paid urbanite instead of starving artist, that is), I’d do this sort of thing as well.

    Anyway, a pitch for the kicks: I’ve been mulling over a police procedural game for a couple of years now. Basically whenever I read murder mystery novels or watch cop shows or whatever, half of my brain is figuring out the investigation-type game I’d like to see. I’m not quite happy with anything on the market at the moment in the field of investigative roleplaying games – either the game is haphazard trad design that does nothing to ensure that failure is accounted for, or it’s a story game that does not actually require the players to investigate and resolve a mystery. I want more structure than the former and more skill-based play than the latter; it should be possible to create an investigative game that revolves around playing skill.

    My detective game would be predicated on the following precepts:

    Player characters are detectives in the large police force of a major city. Character generation focuses on positioning the characters within a realistic force structure so as to find out the nature of each player’s individual tasks in the game. For example, playing a sergeant might mean that you’re primarily responsible for triaging cases and allotting resources instead of going around solving crimes. Initially players would have only one character each, but success in the game would allow them to take on more responsibility for running the force in the form of higher positions and new characters to play.
    Investigation games are technically problematic as we know. This particular game would attempt to resolve the issues of players getting stuck and not getting the clues and so on not by guaranteeing success, but by controlling, qualifying and using failure: police detectives have limited resources and time, and any cases that are not solved within determined limits will have to be dropped. The game system would determine interesting fictional consequences for failure, ranging from urban decay to career problems to new, more dramatic crimes in the case of habitual criminals.
    The game would use a mechanical framework to clean up and resolve fiddly details of detective work (observation of details, lab work, etc.) and to provide the players with tactical and strategic options in building their characters; for example, various skill checks would be used to determine the amount of information the player characters manage to provide to the players for consideration. The actual case-solving work would depend entirely on the players; the entire point of the game would be to establish and define a situation and facts upon which the players can build their case. Success or failure would be theirs alone, and there would be no more right answers than there is in the real world; sometimes you can solve a case for sure, other times the solution is only likely (but good enough for the attorneys), and still other times you never find out what happened that night.
    The GM’s task in this game would be to simply pitch challenges to the players in the form of various cases and then play the world, letting the events unfold as they may. A given character might end up working several investigations simultaneously at crunch time, or be stuck on a slow but important investigation for a long time – all sorts of possible combinations, as the game would be built to enable meaningful participation from all players whether their characters are working the same case or not. The game provides not only a large number of ready-made crimes for the GM to pitch, but also clear instructions on how to build more by stealing from the television.
    All of the above needs to be brought together by mechanical methodology: the GM uses special crime sheets to track the timelines, events and locations of specific crimes so as to be able to determine what sort of clues are available; the players use time sheets for their characters to plan how they spend their working hours (a primary resource in detective work) and to determine who is where if and when shit hits the fan; everybody uses a map of the city to track known perps, crime scene locations and other urban geography they need. All this sort of thing needs to be built easy and fun to use: this is very much an immersive gamist campaign-form game that tries to provide the exhilarating challenge of matching your wits against the GM’s crimes, just the sort of game that historically fails for the lack of focus and tedious attention to extraneous detail.

    So that’s the game. Give me the grant and I’ll work out the fine details next spring and get out a playtest version of the game for summer. For the project deadline I’ll commit to either a commercial release or a free manuscript, all depending on how much substance the game proves to have.

  2. Imagine a superheroes game that runs so fast and tight, that it makes the rest look like unimaginative cludge.

    Imagine a superheroes game that takes the best elements of Indie games and combines them with a solid backing of the history of traditional Superhero games.

    Imagine a superheroes game that is intuitive, organic, and appeals to the detective and superheroes of an earlier age, as apposed to the grimgrimgritgritsnicksnickbubbub of 90’s comics.

    The Features of my Game:

    Super Fast Character Creation (Currently Ranking in under 2 mins).

    Super Fast Task Resolution

    Super Broad hero representation (From Detective to superheroes to gods! From ordinary men to Martians to spectral figures!)

    Features the GODDAMN BATMAN as GM or more appropriately GB (for Goddamn Batman).

    From Camp to Golden Age, from From Silver Age to Character Driven narratives. Only my Detective Heroes Gods Role Playing Game (DHGRPG) can deliver!

    How would I use the 1000 dollars? By combining my own private funds with your donated money I would aim for commercial release within 1 year.

    Thank you for your time and consideration, I look forward to your interest soon.

  3. GLASS
    Generic Live Action Simulation System

    Executive Summary
    HERO-style character and power creation for live action games with emphasis on hard skills. Integrate super power, magic, high tech, or mutant powers with Airsoft, boffers, real armor and shields, packets, and other live combat techniques. Fast resolution for task-based, situational abilities that must be simulated with soft skills (due to real-world risk of actually doing the task or expense to build an appropriate prop or set).

    Project Progress
    The the web site link below leads to the System Test Document Gold Candidate. I am at the point where I need a large-population LARP group to stress test the system, looking for unbalancing synergies of abilities or corner cases that the rules don’t, but should, cover.

    Once I can fully stress test over several session, I will be prepared to complete the rules authoring to include several examples of each ability, designer’s notes to help folks learn how to best use the system elements, game planning and running advice based on several years experience with a variety of LARP styles, and at least six original settings with ready-to-run ability templates and packages, so that a group can try out particular GLASS game configurations without having to roll their own.

    What Would $1000 Do?
    Primarily, it would allow me to pay the state for access to a local State Park campsite, at which other LARPs run fantasy boffer games. Some would also immediately go to acquiring a basic waiver of liability, from a local LARP consortium that has retained lawyers collectively (INCLAVE). Those two key elements secured, I could then host several free, open-to-all LARP games, in a variety of genres and game types (to fully test GLASS’s game toggles and options).

    In short: a proper playtest for a complex modular system, which means free LARP games that will hopefully expose both the system and live role playing in general to more people.

    Thank you for the opportunity to apply;
    David Artman

  4. Longshot is a science fiction western game. (Inspired by Firefly and Cowboy Bebop and the like.) I wrote it initially for the 2010 Game Chef annual RPG design contest. (You can view the current draft of the rules online if you are at all interested. If granted the money, I’d work to substantially improve the game from its current state.)

    You’re a settler on humanity’s first colony outside the solar system. The planet has been terraformed to be livable, but it’s still only barely habitable by humanity. Your colony manages to squeak by with the help of a constant stream of supply ships from Earth. The most recent one is a month overdue, and the town is starting to get worried about when it’s coming.

    Then someone finds the sheriff murdered. And while investigating, they find that the sheriff had been lying to the rest of town: he hadn’t been in contact with Earth for the last several years. It’s unclear if Earth stopped responding because they abandoned you or if some disaster wiped them out. But what it does mean is that no more help is coming. The most recent supply ship is the last one. Now the colony has to figure out how to survive with an ever dwindling pool of resources.

    What will you do to survive on a desert planet four light years from home?

    Longshot is a GMless game, that subdivides traditional GM duties across the various players. Each player will assemble their own character by combining two pregenerated halves of a character to make something uniquely their own. Each part of a character includes character information and relationships, so choosing characters creates a web of relationships ready to spur people into action. Inevitably, the forces at work in the game will force players into making difficult choices about their own survival and the survival of the rest of the colony.

    The game is designed to give a satisfying story in a single evening, but the character customization options mean that the game can be replayed repeatedly and still offer new experiences each time.

    If granted the money, I’d use it for:

    A) commissioning art and possibly a real layout artist,
    B) printer costs if our chosen production model includes traditional printing
    C) costs to purchase a domain, website hosting, etc.

    But most of all the money would be a motivator to myself, to get the project off the ground rather than letting the game fade away. A solid deadline would give me greater reason to work to improve and finish this game rather than getting distracted by new game ideas.

  5. Hi.

    The Final Girl is a game that is pretty much done with development. The rules are done, the playtesting is done, the writing is done. It’s ready for editing and art. Your $1000 would help to pay for that editing (from Smallville designer Joshua Bishop-Roby) along with cover art from notable horror/game/BPAL artist Jennifer Rodgers and my interior artist Carly Knight. In addition, I could also pay for my initial print run.

    The game’s really all set apart from production. I can send it to you if you want. This money would speed it on its way to an ASAP release instead of a “when Bret manages to save up his money” release.

    As for the game itself, it’s a game about horror movies that I feel condenses the qualities of well done horror movies into a game, and then lets you simultaneously play and be the audience to that movie with your friends.

    Thanks,
    Bret

  6. Seed RPG is an attempt to address why I myself & other people dont roleplay more often. The game requires no prep and is structured to inspire players to tell their own story. Each session is a complete episode that lasts around 2 hours.

    My first set 0(zero) Hunters is about bounty hunters in space, because that is awesome! The next set will be about smugglers, hopefully both would be published by this time next year. sets are self contained highly directed experiences, but are designed to work together helping people expand their world and find the perfect mix for their group.

    Here is an article describing the game demo
    http://seedrpg.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/the-pax-demo-putting-theory-to-practice/

    The game uses a components presentation that not only keeps all the rules on the table but helps redefine the kinds of choices player’s make to build stories and characters.

    $1000 would be spent on professional editing, a promotional POD run of games to be sent to podcasts & blogs. It would also be used to help fill the gaps for con expenses. The 1000 would go far to ensure seed RPG happens sooner rather then later, and with far far less pain and loss of bodily fluids. while i try for a slick presentation understand i am a one man, art, writing, design, operation funded by janitorial work and miniature painting. $1000 would be incredibly great I would also make sure you got some original art.

    If you like reading game theory check out http://www.seedrpg.com the hardcore post category has the better stuff. Also check out the guest article I wrote here http://www.livingdice.com/5165/all-games-are-story-games-practical-abstraction-gameplay-and-storytelling/

  7. PENG LAI
    A cinematic story game of Mythic Chinese Adventuring.

    There is a story in Peng Lai that is passed down through the years about those born into this world with the favor of heaven written upon them. It is said that these chosen will bring about a great change into the world; for better or for worse. That they will appear a score of years after the stars that mark them have aligned in the heavens and they will bare these stars as a sign of their favor. This alignment happens once in a 1000 years, and it has been 20 years since the last great celestial alignment past. The all of Peng Lai now waits with unabated breath for what is to happen next.

    The chosen ones lead the world into the next age. Your first question is, how are they supposed to do this? Since the dawn of this world, when the Pangu created everything and divided the land up between the first Kings, there existed “The Keys of Fuxi”, These are 8 keys or items that correspond to the Eight Diagrams; Sky, Earth, Thunder, Water, Wind, Fire, Mountain, and Lake . The Chosen need to collect these items before the 21st year after the celestial alignment has past. This means that the characters have one year to complete this task. Whether they will follow their destiny or become wayward by their own wants and needs or those of other persons is up to them. The choice is their, but if they fail in this task the world will change for the worse.

    The game is only suppose to play out for a number of game sessions; somewhere between 13-20. This is to give the game more of a cinematic feel by setting down how long the players have to get everything done before th e counter runs down. The system is simple relaying on pools of D6 rolled against a threshold. The most important aspect of the game is how relationships are handled. Relationship are status is kept tracked of and has real in game effects. So its important to manage how you treat your friends. On top of this every character has what is called a Relationship Trigger that creates Dramatic tension within the story. These triggers are set off by the acts or reaction of other characters in the game and have emotional reactions that the players work through during the scene(s) when they are activated.

    If granted the money I would be able to do the following:

    *Pay others to assist me in the creation of the art for the game book. Art work for a game should establish the feel of the game for the players and cause them to understand what the game is about by just looking at the art.Currently, I am the only artist on this project.
    *Pay for printing the first run and show casing at a few of the top Gaming conventions. Maybe even gaining assistances to help demo the game at said conventions.
    * The cost for a domain name and web hosting.

  8. Geasa is a game where you play people trying to live their lives and the Faeries that get in their way. A setting-less game, Geasa provides you the opportunity to build your setting as you build your characters. Want a wild west setting, start by describing how your character is a gunslinger who is looking for the man who shot his family. Want a steam punk setting, play the little orphan girl who is one of the many street urchins who cleans the pipes. The setting is what your characters make of it.

    Once you’re done with your character, you then create your Fae which can be any sort of other being. You can be a traditional Dryad who has lost her tree and is looking for revenge, to Ozymandias King of Kings. There is no limit on what you could conceive as a Fae. The only problem the Fae have is that they must get a character to act on their behalf and so a deal is struck between your Fae and another player’s character where you will grant them magic and they in turn will do what you ask them to, sometimes.

    A great storytelling game that creates both co-operation and conflict, Geasa will gives you a complete film in the space of four hours with three to four good friends.

    Also, the rules for Geasa will be available under a creative commons attribution, share alike license. That means if you like the rules you can use them, hack them, modify them to your hearts content. Not only that, but you can use them to print your own game!

    Pull quotes:

    “I’d play that.” – Darrin Watts, Hero Games

    [EDIT: Moved here from a separate reply.]

    To expand because half of the request was what you would do with the 1k.

    – Spend it on the Layout Designer
    – Spend it on Printing the Book
    – Spend it on Advertising
    – Spend it on a Professional Photographer to get the shots I think would help make the book.

  9. I’m in the middle stage of development (rules done, working on text and presentation) for Hot Guys Making Out, a game of hot, forbidden, homosexual love based on yaoi manga and slashfic.

    This project started, many years ago, when I said “I’m tired about people who want girls to role-play framing everything as gender-neutral. Gender-neutrality isn’t the same as something for girls. If people were serious about wanting girls to role-play, they’d write a game called ‘hot guys making out.'”

    At this point, it’s basically done in terms of design: it is fast to start playing, takes under an hour, can be strung together into a series of episodes or played in a single session, and is smoking hot. But the challenge of the game has always been more in the presentation than in the design.

    I’d like to be able to present the game as a series of comics that both display the characters and setting and give an easy entrance into the game play. However, hiring a good cartoonist with the right style, and paying them a fair wage, is pretty expensive. I’d use the $1000 to produce the game as a fully-illustrated comic book, which would allow it access to the target audience (female anime fans and slashfic writers) that much easier.

    yrs–
    –Ben

  10. My project is Final Hour of a Storied Age: A Roleplaying Game of Epic Fantasy.
    http://www.danmaruschak.com/blog/final-hour-of-a-storied-age/

    Storied Age applies innovative no-prep GM-less story game design to the Epic Fantasy genre, a genre that isn’t well served by existing multiple-protagonist-character-drama story games or by adventuring-party-based mainstream games. I have the current playtest drafts available on my website, and have been chronicling the playtesting process on my blog and on my AP podcast Designer vs. Reality.
    http://www.danmaruschak.com/podcast/

    What would $1000 do?: My immediate blocking issue is a lack of willing playtesters, so I may offer incentives for playtesting. For commercial release, I will need art for the cover and possibly for the interior. I might also hire professional layout or editing services. Once I am ready for commercial release I may do a short print run if that seems to make more business sense than a zero-risk POD option. If I receive the grant and am unable to get the project to level of quality I consider necessary for a commercial release by next October then I will release the game for free as a pure patronage project.

  11. I’ll pitch Rakehell, a game I’ve been poking at for a few years and have finally started working on in earnest.

    The characters are highwaymen on the roads of 18th century England. The country has fallen under the sway of infernal powers, and the characters have, for one reason or another, lost their souls. Can they steal their souls back from Hell?

    Some preliminary notes are here and I’m running a playtest at Gaelcon later in the month.

    The $1000 would go on sourcing period-appropriate maps and art, and print costs.

  12. Shelter In Place – A Game of Zombie Horror

    Shelter In Place is a live action game that captures the frenetic and cinematic character of zombie movies. Players take on the roles of humans and zombies in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. To survive, human players need to work together, leveraging their abilities against the encroaching zombie horde – but, as we know from zombie movies, working together in the face of the undead can be a challenge. A panic filled, run-for-your-life, leave the weak behind, challenge. The game works on a time based system, as time passes in game, human players lose their statistical advantage and the zombies gain power. The game is played in two rounds, allowing the players to change their roles in the second round, for humans to play zombies, and zombies to play humans. The second round of the game is always a wild ride, as players know the vulnerabilities and strengths of the opposing team.

    The beauty of this game is it blends all the fun of a good old-fashioned game of tag, with the camp and action of a zombie horror film. Fans of live-action roleplaying games love the built-in tension system, but this game can also work as a teambuilding exercise for a particularly hip workplace or at a children’s summer camp. This game allows people to answer the old question – what would you do if zombies attacked?

    I’m J.R. Blackwell. I’m a writer and photographer. I’ve written for the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Escape Pod. Recently I’ve been photographing the covers for Mortal Coil supplements (http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/product.php?productid=17237&cat=0&page=1). But mostly, I’m a gamer who loves to play. Shelter In Place is the first game I’ve ever written. Though the writing and play testing of the game is finished it needs great art and a professional layout. Luckily, I already have the artists for these parts lined up, I just need your funds in order to pay them fairly for their work.

    Natalie Rose is an artist who lives in Florida and has drawn some fantastic examples of Fred, our zombie mascot–you can view some of her art for the game here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jrblackwell/sets/72157621225920440/with/3694472649/ – but I can’t afford to pay her fairly. Your funds would allow me to give her what she deserves for creating art for the game. Daniel Solis is an extraordinary graphic designer with a flair for putting together amazing games. Your funds would allow me to ask him to create character sheets for the game, that would help players to easily understand their stats with the beautiful designs that Daniel is well known for.

    Your funds would allow me to take these final steps with my game – to take it from a word document to a polished book. If you awarded me these funds, you would be to hold this finished game in your hands by this summer.

    At one of the test plays of the game, a player approached me and told me that during the game she screamed “for real”, which, for the writer of a zombie game, is about the best compliment I could get. The only thing better would be an investor.

    If you want to know more about me you can read about me here: http://www.jrblackwell.com

  13. Hello,

    Before anything else, let me first express my thanks to you for developing this grant. It’s a great boon to the community and a huge assist to the designer that earns it. This kind of benevolence is far too rare in the world.

    ~~~~

    Proposal:

    1. What the game will be about:
    Coyote Traffic (a working title) will be a game that creates an exciting adventure-based play experience. Inspired by the 1970’s era American tough-guys, post-western film genre (movies like “Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia,” “Vanishing Point,” and “Dirty Harry”) the game will tell the story of Reuben Carlos Ruiz, a smuggler driving the highways of the western US in a white Corvette L88. As he travels from town to town, stop to stop, a singular story will develop as Reuben’s personal code of ethics demands he right a wrong, exact revenge, prevent some terrible happening, or simply to get a trunk full of contraband deep into Montana by daybreak (despite having only a quarter tank of gas and every state police officer on the western seaboard hot on his trail). The plot is open ended, and the scenarios are un-planned. The only structure is that of a journey, with stops along the way, one of the most basic and easily understood plot structures imaginable.

    Action, machismo, guns, drugs, fast cars, and the dusty backroads and byways of the out-of-time west. This is going to be a FUN game. Sure it can tackle serious issues, or go dark and serious, but the game’s root form is an exciting romp through a setting that isn’t often addressed by RPGs.

    2. The foreseen difficulties:
    A. Role playing games are notoriously bad at telling the story of a singular loner hero. Where in a film or novel the story of a single character can be a focused and exciting portrait, in a collaborative storytelling game the act of keeping one player in the spotlight the whole time risks burning them out and alienating (or boring) the other players.

    B. RPGs have a sucky learning curve. They often assume you already know how to play and are coming to the table with a lot of tribal knowledge. This is stupid.

    C. There’s a lot of work to do before you start playing. Getting the game ready to be played shouldn’t feel like making an investment.

    D. Books are a terrible way to present something that is active, social, and participatory. The medium should better match the message.

    3. Some solutions (or proposals for solutions):

    The solutions I have devised to overcome this difficult obstacle are the central mechanical conceits of the game: the use of turns, alternating roles, and variable resource economies.

    A. The game will feature a number of pre-defined roles. These roles aren’t necessarily analogous to the traditional character/gm duties seen in most roleplaying games, but -to oversimplify the explanation- that relationship could be drawn. Throughout the game players will shift in and out of these roles, potentially playing many or all of them in the course of a session. The most obvious role is that of Rueben himself, a character in the strictest sense of the word. Every turn someone at the table will be playing the smuggler himself, making decisions for him, and being essentially the center of attention. Other roles include antagonists both specific and abstract, the setting, innocent bystanders, the American Zeitgeist itself, and several others. The function of roles is to divide up all the duties of storytelling around the table, and draw everyone into the action. By letting people play in different capacities, everyone shares the fun, and is actively engaged in it, allowing the story to focus on a single group-owned character.

    B. & C. The game will require no preparation, and only minimal familiarity with the rules. Teaching rules as you play is important to me, as it builds engagement and reduces the upfront investment a potential player must make. The work of the “authorial GM” will be done by the game designer and packaged into the story. You build as you play, you learn as you play. You don’t have to do work before you can have fun. I seek to build a game that is comfortably fast while also being a rich story-building experience.

    D. I’m still considering a lot of form factors for final presentation. Rich media PDFs, web video, audio? This still bears a lot of examination, and will ultimately be determined by the rest of the game mechanics.

    4. Where the money will go:
    $1000 can go a lot of ways, as has been pointed out above by my many fellow applicants. It could certainly buy art, or pay for printing, web hosting, etc. It’s very fair to expect that I’ll spend some of the money on that. Hell, I might use the cash to fly out west (I’m in the NYC metro area) and shoot photos for a weekend. Really, though, I think it’s silly to say where that money would be spent at this stage in the production. I’ve worked for years as an independent graphic designer, and I know that costs are never what you expect they will be. Things come up. Could I make a game for less than 1k? Definitely. Will i? Probably not, I’ll probably spend more than that and go out of pocket. That’s the nature of the hobby, and I’m fine with it.

    I will say this though, I will work transparently. Any costs I incur I’ll be happy to share. I don’t gain anything by keeping that stuff secret.

    Oh, and I won’t be spending any money on advertising. Advertising sucks.

    ~~~

    Again, let me thank you for both creating this fund, and taking the time to review my submission. There are a number of very interesting games proposed in this comments section. Games that I personally would love to see made, and would enjoy playing. I don’t envy your decision but I admire your gumption.

    Respectfully,
    Kevin Allen Jr.

  14. Hey, this is a cool project. I’ll pitch a quick idea that is still in development and I’d like to wrap up quick. As in, before Oct 31st, so your contest parameters are quite attractive. Here’s the pitch…

    RULERS is inspired by Lost, Deathnote, Inception, Highlander and any other stories about characters exploring the boundaries of a mysterious set of “rules.”

    RULERS is a game about modern-day monarchs, rebels and the rules that bind them all. You’re a member of a royal monarchy in an alternate universe with all the trappings of modern civilization. Two exceptions: All nations are monarchies and an elite social caste has a special ability: “ruling.”

    A ruler creates rules that change how the universe works. “Men must bow in my presence.” “No one may enter this room without my permission.” “Duke Ambala cannot come within 10 feet of me without crawling.” These are rules. Those who follow rules will do well in royal society, rising up the social ladder until they, too, are able to impose their own rules.

    But all rules have loopholes. With enough strength of will, and the help of strong-willed allies, you might bend or even break a rule. Simply knock down the social ladder so that you’re the only one left standing. Be sure you have allies on your side when you decide to stage your little rebellion.

    The game itself will be posted for free on my blog during the beta testing process, followed by a PDF+Print option after development is complete. I’ll mostly use the $1000 for stock photography. I envision Rulers as multi-cultural group of characters, like a cast photo from a high-concept primetime drama.

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4034/5077612341_28a1545a08_o.png
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4111/5077612305_eb4274c475_o.png
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4103/5077612255_740ee8df8a_o.png

    My game layout work includes Reign, Houses of the Blooded, and Lacuna, so I know how to make this a slick-looking package.

    My game design experience includes Happy Birthday, Robot!, Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, and a variety of board games. I design elegant games with emergent strategy to challenge minds and hook hearts.

    Hope you dig the idea! Good luck with your decision-making!

  15. I think Longshot and Rakehell are particularly interesting. Longshot if you want to help a new designer get off the ground; Rakehell if you want an indie game by a very experienced designer.

  16. Cthulhu Apocalypse is my postapocalyptic Cthulhu game. In 1935, the creatures of the Mythos rise and the human race is decimated. The game is about what happens to the survivors.

    I’ve worked on Cthulhu Apocalypse as a campaign. For your $1000, this is what I’d do.

    Firstly, I’d write a story-oriented system for it. Lovecraft is deep, dark, mind-bending stuff. It’s about people who destroy themselves investigating something they can never understand.

    But, up until now, the only systems have been traditional. (OK, apart from Unspeakable, that was great, but that was very specific). I want to do something that digs into the madness. Essentially, I want to do the indie Cthulhu game.

    Secondly, the very, very specific thing I’d do with your $1000 is buy a flight to Savannah. I’ve always wanted to drive the route that the campaign follows: Savannah, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Arizona, San Francisco. I’d write on the way and I’d happily play with anyone en route. Your $1000 won’t let me do all that, but it’ll get me to Savannah.

  17. Hi! Nice thing, this grant! I would like to get it.

    To get it, I would make this game:

    LOVE & LUCKY
    This is a game for two. One of you will play a warm and sensitive person. The other one will play a lucky sod.

    You will meet in a series of scenes, being challenged by the conflict at hand, and how the two of you relate to it. During these scenes, played out during several years of your life, you come to know each other, and may expect certain things to happen.

    And then something changes, and you find that your idea of the other person is quite wrong. There is deep surprises buried in the most banal of souls.

    DESIGN GOAL
    The game is modern, set in the hometown of the players (by an easy plot-and-play method), card- and character-driven, and aimed at giving the players some touching moments, a mix of laughs and sadness, and a genuine surprise.

    USE OF 1000$
    I would use it to give this small game a couple of illustrations, make a nice lay-out for the scene-cards, and pay for a bottle of wine to each pair of play-testers (seriously, I would).

    And of course; I would feel obliged to really make the game, and publish it.

  18. Probably a more traditional route than some; but MicroLite20# is my thing.

    Goal:

    M20# is a mashup of MicroLite20 and some good Lady Blackbird elements. I am Keep classes as they are in normal m20 but gut the skills right out. In their place traits are entered in to give a more character centric element to the “skill” area while also keeping the bonus amounts in check. To give some more of a story flair I am also implementing keys which will actually become a key component to character advancement.

    Ah the money stuff:

    So my goal to promote my uniquely awesome 18 page pocket mod sized rule books is the “Play it Forward!” initiative. My goal will be to create little care packages of M20# booklet sets to mail all around. The money will fund both printing shipping and promotion of the booklets to random folks. These people will then be encouraged, if they liked the game, to hop online and purchase a play it forward pass and fund 2 more sets to be sent out. Once I have the player base to support it I will be creating some form of micro box set. The set will also be sold without the booklets so people who got play it forward packages can just get the missing things.

    So there it is the money is really to try and test a hopefully original and awesome way to get the game played more which is the only thing more awesome than it existing.

  19. This is such an awesome idea, if nothing else I’ve been introduced to a lot of designs I now want to hear more about. You also timed it perfectly to line up with something new I’ve been working on:

    Tentatively called Powers for Good, my game is based on world-saving team superhero comics. A while ago I started to get frustrated with the current state of superhero gaming, so I’ve been taking a long look at comics I love and the games that don’t quite work for them. Powers for Good is my attempt to do something about it.

    Unlike most other supers games, I’m designing for a particular type of story. Generic games lead to generic stories, Powers for Good is about a specific genre typified by comics like Captain Britain and MI-13, Agents of Atlas, Grant Morrison’s runs on JLA and New X-Men, and Mark Waid’s run on JLA. Badass superheroes taking on titanic threats.

    Rules are based around quick, generic action resolution, somewhere along the lines of Dogs in the Vineyard or Mouse Guard. Powers are flexible, no endless lists of exact mechanical effects. The team as a whole is an important element of play, not just the individual characters.

    The GM’s role is structured to help tell these types of stories, like the GM role in Blowback or Apocalypse World. No more being left with stats for a bunch of villains and no clue what to do next.

    The money would mostly go to art, since I want to use art as a kind of advertising. Since Powers for Good is based on comics, getting good art is key to making the game look like it fits the genre. I want to commission new art from artists who are already known for superhero-related web comics, like Chris Haley (of Let’s Be Friends Again), Rusty Shackles, and Matt Digges. Their art is good, their prices should be reasonable, and best of all by using their pieces Powers for Good has a chance of getting people who are fans of the art to look at the book, maybe draw in more comics fans to roleplaying.

    I’d also like to use some of the money towards making the game available as an iOS app. I don’t just want a tie-in app, or a PDF that works on iPads (though those are both things I’d like to do), I’d like to make the game text itself purchasable as a standalone app, with interactive features like those being used for iPad magazines like Wired. Some ideas I’m already looking at are commentary overlays, play-ready summaries linked to the main text, and maybe even some random threat generation built in. I’m intrigued by the idea of an app that is a hybrid of the rules text, a session planning/logging tool, and a play reference.

    Just like my collaboration-in-progress, Dungeon World, Powers for Good will be designed in public, with the raw text available for free during development. The finished product will be available in print and PDF, with the print format hopefully resembling a trade paperback comic collection in size so it can fit in well on comic shop shelves.

    I think Powers for Good is a perfect fit for this, I’m incredibly excited about the rules and the funding would really make a difference in how many people the game reaches. With a book/app hybrid and art from artists with online followings, the added funding would help get cool new games in front of people who might not otherwise think about gaming.

    I don’t envy you having to choose one idea out of this great list. If I had to choose one that wasn’t my own, Daniel Solis’ Rulers is looking really good to me.

  20. Lester,
    I really like the ideas behind DHGRPG. The name is not that good, but that can change in a year.
    I have not seen a Supers game that plays fast, is comprehensible to me and is flexible.
    If this game delivers, it will be HOT!
    Dave M

  21. Sure, I’ll drop in a concept:

    Digital (Working Title)

    This is a sci-fi game that you might describe as Tolkien meets Tron. The players take on the roles of Functions, the various pieces of code that make up the programs on your computer, battling against the myriad problems that may besiege their fair city. There’s the bugs for example, weird insectoid creatures that break in now and then to cause havoc, corrupt data and drain power from the grid. Then there’s the Malware, vicious functions sent from other computers over the mighty sprawling vastness of the Internet to murder and steal. And what about viruses, those deadly diseases that can corrupt a function, make it do irrational things, even attack the hand that feeds them?

    The players must track down these threats both obvious and subtle and eradicate them, using the tools granted to them by their god-empress the Prime, or else by the misunderstood and mysterious power of Hex, which alters the very fabric of the computerverse around them, or perhaps with only their wits.

    Where the Money Goes:
    Most of the $1000 would likely go on print costs. I hope to produce much of the internal art myself using 3D rendering, though some of the funds may also go on hiring concept artists to expedite the process, and some of it might go to keeping me alive while I finish the game off. Oh, and I’d probably want to save a bit for advertising too.

    -Ash

  22. WARRIORS FROM THE MYSTIC MOUNTAIN- This is the game I became a game designer to write- a crunchy game of flying invincible sword princesses, evil emperors and eunuch sorcerers, and wise sages that shoot laser beams, with player driven adventure design.

    I originally began to write Warriors in 2007, and conversed with Joshua “Ace” Newman, Luke Crane, and Jared Sorensen about my design ideas. I eventually abandoned the game for three reasons- I felt that my game design skills were not yet up to par, the release of D&D 4th edition took the wind out of my sails for gamist game design, and I wanted to do a big shiny glossy hardcover book, which wasn’t in my budget.

    Now is the perfect time to get back to work. I have 3 years and 2 releases under my belt, D&D4 is no longer ‘fresh’ so, emotionally, I’m no longer competing with it, and I have some success from my own projects- but $1000 would take this from dream to reality, by providing a real art budget for high quality art, and going towards a sizeable (by indie standards) advance print run.

  23. Fuck it, a brother has to get paid.

    I’ll submit my fantasy game as an entry into this contest. No, I’m not saying what the name is but it does have one (it might change, it might not).

    You know me. I’m making a bog-standard fantasy RPG with elves and dwarves and minotaurs and stuff. It will be totally metal and awesome. Don’t you want to see what it’s going to be like?

    The cash will go to 75% of my monthly rent (yeah NYC baby). If things go well I’ll release the game well within a year. The game itself will be a digest-sized book and components, maybe in a small box ala Lamentations of the Flame Princess. It will be low fi and old school, except it won’t be.

    – J

  24. GUNNER REX

    THE PITCH:
    Gunner Rex is the hybrid love-child of a board game and a role-playing game. It’s a single session, pick-up-and-play, GMless game.

    THE PREMISE:

    A bunch of people from our time get stuck in the prehistoric past, where they discover the ruins of an ancient alien civilization. From these ruins they’re able to salvage and repair strange dinosaur-like robot suits.
    We play a team of scavengers and explorers, sent out from the stronghold to explore and map the surrounding lands, drive off dangerous dinosaurs, find resources, and look for portals back to the future.

    THE BASICS:

    In Gunner Rex, we each choose a character (no duplicates):
    Warrior
    Nurse
    Scout
    Diplomat
    Archeologist
    Paleontologist
    Mechanic
    Trapper
    Craftsman

    The game will use its own custom deck of cards, which will function simultaneously as the map we explore and lay out in front of us as play progresses, the board (of sorts), and the enemies. When we choose to go in a certain direction (three cards laid out in front of us), we flip over the corresponding card, which will show us an enemy. Then we have a fight scene, which is fast, punchy, and boardgamey: we roll dice and then allocate them to certain zones on our character sheets to do different things in the battle: attack, defend a teammate, trap the dino, run, etc.
    Then, dependent upon how the battle played out, one player chooses what type of scene to have next: a camping, exploration, or salvage scene, each of which have fictional constraints and seeds. The player who chose the type of scene then becomes the facilitator/GM of the scene. In a scene, the active players will end up either doing something with PASSION, which will let them roll to increase their dice in the next fight, or they’ll work towards their GOAL, and their roll will affect the immediate fiction as well as the character’s endgame.

    Goals, chosen at character creation:
    -survive in the past
    -return to the future
    -kill all dinosaurs
    -awaken the alien tech

    THE MONEY:

    The game, consisting mainly of custom-made cards and character sheets (will a small rulebook in comic format), will come in a box set. As such, all or most of the money will go toward funding such an expensive venture
    While Gunner Rex will require heavy use of art (character cards, enemy cards, rulebook), my co-designer will be doing the art himself and thus art won’t need to be bought. However, it’s possible that a small amount of the $1000 will be used to subsidize his contribution in order to get the game finished on time.

  25. I would like one thousand dollars to finish and publish Perfect. It’s a game about criminals in a steampunk dystopia. It pushes people to focus in on what matters, and to really fight for the ideals they embrace.

    The game has seen over 100 playtests, and over 100 playtesters. It’s been a labour of love for four years. And now it’s ready.

    With the $1000, I would: pay my editor, buy two fonts that I want to lay the game out with, and then keep the rest. And then, content that I had already made my profit off the game, I would release the PDF for free/donationware, suggesting people can donate if they play the game and it rocks. I would put the game up on Lulu as well, and set the price so that I make $3 off each copy sold – enough to buy a coffee per copy.

    Alleviating my remaining costs is important because I’m an unemployed artist and the editing fees will be the equivalent of a month rent. Adding profit to my pocket is important because money makes this endeavor feel more sustainable for me, and at the same time, I really want to release a free PDF.

    To conclude, two quotes:

    What I like about Perfect most is that it really knows what it’s about. […] Rebellion against the Dystopia is rarely done so clearly.
    -Fred Hicks

    “Listen, Perfect is one of my 3 or 4 favorite games of all time. At a time when I was pretty much giving up gaming Perfect reminded me what good gaming and good game design was. It’s awesome, and totally worth your time. Whatever your favorite game is, I’m pretty sure Perfect is better.”
    -Jake Richmond

  26. My pitch is Life of a Falling Star. LoaFS is a science fiction game about a future where humanity has spread out beyond the solar system. It focuses on created beings which I have (for reasons I’m not sure of) named Sparrows. Sparrows are invincible in combat, have lasers in their eyes, can survive in the vacuum of space and have a lifespan of a single year. They are sent on extreme missions which require guaranteed success. Along the way they become unique, they feel and acquire emotions and memories, while their lifespan ticks down with each day. It will be a combination of ferocious action and introspective discovery. I’m still in the early stages of development but it’s an idea I’m very fond of. It’s inspired largely by Blade Runner and Dollhouse.

    The money would be used for printing as well as getting some suitable and compelling art, as well as layout and design. It would let me build it to the high standard I’d like this game to have.

  27. My game pitch is Redemption.

    The premise behind Redemption is what happens when the most vile, evil monsters seek redemption for their past deeds. Imagine vampires, werewolves, witches/warlocks, and other supernatural beings atoning for their sins by hunting down others of their kind for the Catholic Church. There would be external struggle of investigating and hunting the monsters like themselves as well as the internal conflict of their past sins and their natural instincts coming back to haunt them.

    I see it a game of personal development where the player characters question their faith in themselves and others.

    The money would help with art, layout and printing.
    My goal is to have the game finished before Origins 2011.

  28. dang, just remembered another game. The deadline will probably be passed before I can get an answer to this one, but is it strictly one pitch per person or can I (assuming I have chance) pitch a second?

  29. Shelter In Place – A Game of Zombie Horror

    Shelter In Place is a game that captures the frenetic and cinematic character of zombie movies. Players take on the roles of humans and zombies in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. To survive, human players need to work together, leveraging their abilities against the encroaching zombie horde – but, as we know from zombie movies, working together in the face of the undead can be a challenge. A panic filled, run-for-your-life, leave the weak behind, challenge. The game works on a time based system, as time passes in game, human players lose their statistical advantage and the zombies gain power. The game is played in two rounds, allowing the players to change their roles in the second round, for humans to play zombies, and zombies to play humans. The second round of the game is always a wild ride, as players know the vulnerabilities and strengths of the opposing team.

    The beauty of this game is it blends all the fun of a good old-fashioned game of tag, with the camp and action of a zombie horror film. Fans of live-action roleplaying games love the built-in tension system, but this game can also work as a teambuilding exercise for a particularly hip workplace or at a children’s summer camp. This game allows people to answer the old question – what would you do if zombies attacked?

    I’m J.R. Blackwell. I’m a writer and photographer. I’ve written for the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Escape Pod. Recently I’ve been photographing the covers for Mortal Coil supplements (http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/product.php?productid=17237&cat=0&page=1). But mostly, I’m a gamer who loves to play. Shelter In Place is the first game I’ve ever written. Though the writing and play testing of the game is finished it needs great art and a professional layout. Luckily, I already have the artists for these parts lined up, I just need your funds in order to pay them fairly for their work.

    Natalie Kelly is an artist who lives in Florida and has drawn some fantastic examples of Fred, our zombie mascot–you can view some of her art for the game here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jrblackwell/sets/72157621225920440/with/3694472649/ – but I can’t afford to pay her fairly. Your funds would allow me to give her what she deserves for creating art for the game. The rest of the funds would be used to hire a excellent graphic designer to complete the layout.

    Your funds would allow me to take these final steps with my game – to take it from a word document to a polished book. If you awarded me these funds, you would be to hold this finished game in your hands by this summer.

    At one of the test plays of the game, a player approached me and told me that during the game she screamed “for real”, which, for the writer of a zombie game, is about the best compliment I could get. The only thing better would be an investor.

    If you want to know more about me you can read about me here: http://www.jrblackwell.com

  30. My game is called Criminal Element. It’s been in development for at least a few years now and has bubbled up here and there in the gaming scene, as it were. The game is about a group of criminals all trying to work a job together while also dealing with their own fucked-up brains. I’ve filtered my love for Donald Westlake (or Richard Stark), David Mamet, American crime cinema of the sixties and seventies, and the movies of director Johnnie To down into this game.

    In Criminal Element, players create criminals that are defined by the things that they are great at, and the ways in which they are messed up in the head. You then play these characters through a Job, a particular crime that the players themselves create as a group, including details like what they’re stealing and the problems that they’ll face along the way. These choices then become a mapped out number of scenes, assembled in the game space like a board game, which the players then play through, attempting to succeed at their scenes without creating complications (which are mechanical effects), and introducing their own scenes on the fly using a resource mechanic. A complete game of Criminal Element can be played in under four hours easily, including character creation and game setup.

    I’ve worked on this game for quite a while and have created what I feel is a complete and well-constructed game. I’ve playtested the game extensively and within the last year have finally gotten the game designed and chiseled in such a way that it receives exactly the kind of response from playtesters that I’ve been looking for. Yet, the game has remained unfinished and unpublished simply for a lack of money. I need an editor to help me crack the text that I’ve assembled and show me where I need to be putting my efforts. The $1000 prize would go toward hiring that editor and getting the game on track for completion and publication within a year.

    Thank you for your time, and good luck in your deliberations. There’s a hell of a lot of great ideas here to sift through.

  31. Mortar of Utopia: A game of Civilizations and the blood they’re built on.

    MoU is a game about the human cost of progress throughout history. Players create fictional cultures (beginning in a Bronze Age sort of milieu) and then each play a key person in their respective Culture whose driving Ambition is a catalyst for history-making change. They have peaceful means available to accomplish their goals, but also the Sword–violent, oppressive or coercive methods. The outcomes of the conflicts they face affect not only their progress toward their Ambition, but also the bloodshed and misery inflicted in the Sword’s wake, and the greater effects on the Culture at large.

    Each character will either fail or succeed in their Ambition, and the societal results of their actions will ripple forward into a new Epoch–where they’ll play yet another character at the crux of great change. Throughout this series of short character arcs, the Cultures will develop and grow along different lines, while the hope and fear throughout the world both climb every higher, ultimately resulting in Armageddon, Utopia, or something in between!

    MoU is a GMless game in the tradition of Contenders and Shock: Social Science Fiction. Players take turns playing protagonists, providing adversity, and playing supporting cast, using light procedures that model multiple trends of world development with a minimum of fuss.

    Mortar of Utopia began life as Spectre of the Beast, a 2008 Game Chef entry. I was inspired by Sid Meier’s Civilization and intrigued with the possibilities inherent in playing out the drama of human progress with a focus on the toll it takes in real human lives. The game’s gone through an ashcan phase and a round of playtesting that consistently produced fun and engaging play. Now I’m ready to take Mortar into the final stage of production and design. I need to design rules that are a joy to play, write rules that are a joy to read, and design a physical book that’s a joy to look at. I’d already decided that this was the year, and the Lark gives me a promising opportunity to make it happen!

    I’d use the $1000 primarily for art direction and bookcraft: some combination of commissioned art, layout, and printing and crafting processes to make Mortar both beautiful and unique. I’m thinking of a bold and distinctive direction–maybe making the book resemble an ancient document with papyrus-style pages, or else making it sleek, colorful and modern like a PC game manual, to trade on its Civ connection. Speaking of, it’d be great to give MoU some kind of online support as well–not just maintaining a website, but creating interactive, perhaps episodic, Flash content that both promotes the game and provides material and aid for playing it.

    Thanks for this wonderful enterprise! I hope my entry doesn’t come too late; I don’t know what time zone you’re in!

    peace,
    -Joel

  32. My entry is called Syzygy.

    So, you dimly remember a dream.
    In this dream you spoke at length with some dark thing too large to see, made some kind of bargain and now you’re awake and can’t remember half of it. You have a terrible sinking feeling, like you’re going down with a ship you didn’t know you were on.

    You’re seeing the world differently now. The details are popping out. Coincidences? It’s all too strange. Are you actually crazy? There’s something eating at you from that dream conversation: maybe it’s even true. Something unknowable is trying to destroy the world. Or maybe it’s just you that it’s coming for; that’s a pretty important difference. It’s coming, though. There’s a pressure in your head like sand slowly filling a glass. If only you could remember what you agreed to. If only… if only there was some way to fight this thing.

    Intense 1-on-1 role-playing.
    A horror game of pattern recognition.
    A lone protagonist facing a gigantic threat from outside this world.

    One of the two players plays as the nemesis.

    The nemesis player has access to a bunch of different “powers”, which are ways to affect the fiction, or ways to modify the mechanics. The nemesis player toggles each of their powers by working specific, previously-written-down details into the scene. As the game continues, they gain access to more of their powers.

    The other player portrays the protagonist.

    The protagonist, while not aware that she is a character in a story or a game, still has a broader awareness than the people around her. She knows that this thing will damage those she loves in preference to her, that she can protect herself by showing how much she cares about her loved ones; obviously this puts them in grave danger. This option of showing affection is central to the mechanics.

    The protagonist, as well as the player portraying her, knows that the keys to this being’s abilities are hidden in the landscape around her. The protagonist has a way to discover what the being’s different powers are, and has a way to guess what described detail matches a particular power – and does so from within the fiction. If she guesses correctly, she is one step closer to some kind of victory. If she guesses incorrectly… well. That would make things worse.

    There, my brief synopsis of Syzygy. I’ve been throwing these ideas around for a couple of years, every now and again pulling out the notes, revising it. A lot has changed, it’s becoming more true to what I see it ending up as. I haven’t worked on in in earnest, though, because I haven’t had friends I could play 1-on-1 games with here in town until very, very recently: this is incredibly exciting. I feel like I have the local gamer support network that I need to make this game, that’s huge.

    Two interesting facts about my design history: I’ve never planned out a year in advance for any project, and I’ve never finished writing a story-game. Barring three (three? I think.) contest entries that I don’t care to revise, everything I’ve yet done is incomplete. I’d like to have a really, really good reason to finish something, to have an absolute line in the sand that says, here. Done by this point. So that’s exciting to me. And a year… sounds about right.

    The money? Well, I’m thinking mostly design and printing costs. I don’t have an idea of what form the art will take. With access to funds, I could make it hella, hella pretty… which would be wonderful. I do some book arts stuff. This would open up a lot of possibilities.

    Thanks for your consideration, Lester. This is really exciting.

  33. Whoa! 11:58 by my clock! Hey now! I don’t want commas where there oughta be semi-colons! Ah, rats.

    -jackson

  34. David:
    “It focuses on created beings which I have (for reasons I’m not sure of) named Sparrows.”

    Group Operational Datasphere knows when every Sparrow falls.

  35. I want to drop some appreciation for Hot Guys Making Out.

    I first played Hot Guys Making Out last November. It was already a really slick game, and one of my favourite game experiences of 2009. The mechanics are simple and intuitive, but drive play at every moment. HGMO creates awesome slashfic. It turns you into a gay erotica superstar. And Ben is an awesome writer, meaning that the text will be killer as well.

  36. Kevin Allen, Jr.’s Coyote Traffic sounds fantastic. I’m throwing my lobbying shoulder behind it: Kevin’s proven he can make beautiful, artful, ground-breaking stuff (Sweet Agatha), and I’d love to see what he does with this idea.

  37. Hehe, thanks Jared, I agree with the ‘especially yours’ part 😉

    Seriously though, there is quite a bit of ‘High Concept’ stuff here, some of which makes me wonder if it would genuinely make a good game, or if its main worth is novelty value. The one that interests me most is Geasa, I think, though the title I’m not so fond of because it’s one of those Gaelic words that I’m never quite sure I’m pronouncing properly. Gaelic’s like that. Goes nicely on bread though.

    I also quite like Syzygy, but noticed that its submission date fell after the 15th. Bummer.

    -Ash

  38. Heh, mistyped that. Meant ‘I agree, EXCEPT especially yours’ 😉
    (Disclaimer: I hate vanilla fantasy)

  39. I think Jared’s ability to write completely metal games is top notch. I still reread oCtane whenever I want to get a metal vibe on, so despite his mysterious airs and bog-standard fantasy promises, I want to read his game.

  40. @jonathan: Come on! It’s a fantasy game! Why would anyone want that? The answer: because my name is on it. I came up with the idea and pitched it when someone (jenskot?) asked whether or not “Plastic” was my entry (that’s the name of my Lady Gaga RPG). So I figured, what the hell? HitG is already about 5k in length (and girth) and I played it with three people on Saturday. It could have sucked less but I know I’m on the right track.

    @ashok: Do you you really think I’d deliver vanilla fantasy? It’s more like habanero-chocolate fantasy with gold leaf on it. Or perhaps, a donut.

  41. I’ve gotta vote for Jared Sorenson’s fantasy game; he always brings the habanero-chocolate goodness for all my gaming needs.

  42. If anyone deserves the bucks, it’s Jared. Whatever he’s got planned, it’s sure to be fucked up and fun to play.

    Sorry to the other entries, but do we need more earnest fanboy superhero/steampunk crap?

    Let’s get weird.

  43. Sorry, I can’t get excited about a game because it’s ‘designed by someone who’s bound to do something crazy’ when it’s being pitched just like every fantasy heartbreaker I ever saw since year dot. I need more than teasers to take an interest. If it came down to that, DivNull might just as well have said ‘Everybody post your pen-name on the blog, and the one whose previous games I like the most gets the money’.

    If the description had been weird, I might have agreed with you DerryG.

    (NB, just my opinion. Others are welcome and entitled to theirs.)

  44. I’d like to give some love for Perfect. I’ve been so fortunate as to be involved in playtesting and found it a big slice of Victorian Dystopian goodness, with a an engaging setting, slick rules and emotional resonance. It lverages great stuff from 1984, V for Vendetta, and so on. And it’s just the kind of game that would benefit from some nice production values to bring its aesthetic to life.

    I gotta say I’m seeing some toxicity in the comment thread and it’s making me feel unwelcome, not to mention sad that such a wonderful venture of goodwill is being tainted. Id personally like to ask that we keep this on a positive footing.

    Peace,
    -Joel

    PS. Lester, what’s the word o entries in different time zones? Looks like a couple of us posted after midnight your time, but before midnight our time. In bounds?

  45. @ashok — those are just sock puppet accounts of mine, so take them with a grain of salt.

    But seriously, it’s not a heartbreaker at all. It’s not trying to do anything D&D does but better/faster/diff’rent and… HEY! I call foul play! You have a horse in this race too! It actually sounds ok… I like TRON well enough.

  46. Regarding time zones and such, I figure as long as you posted before I altered the post to say “no more entries” (which everyone above did), it’s in for consideration. This isn’t a game of Stalingrad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.