Sunday, October 21, 2012

November is National Game Design Month!

Last year I took the NaGaDeMon challenge and smacked that puppy up and and down the street. You start designing a game on November 1, and it's done by November 30 in every respect; design, playtesting, components, etc. If you can't play that sucker after Thanksgiving, you've lost the challenge.

Not sure if I'll be able to step up to the plate this year (but I might), but I did want to remind you all that the event is being held this year as well. It really was a hoot to do last year, and it really focuses your energy when you've got that sort of deadline staring you in the face.

If you've got something inside you waiting to get out, this is your opportunity! Unless you want to try the "Alien Surprise" at Gus's Galaxy Grill, of course...

13 Days of Halloween: Day Three

What really scares you?

I mean, what is your innermost, deepest, if-Freddy-Krueger-were-after-me-this-is-how-he'd-kill-me fear?

Lots of people are scared of heights, or spiders, or snakes, or whatever; many to the point of actual phobia. But deep down inside there's got to be something much more fundamental. Something that fills you with existential dread to the point where it's difficult to even imagine, much less articulate. It's often a theme in our nightmares, although it doesn't have to be literally played out there. Often a hint is enough.

For me, it's immobility.

The thought of being trapped in my own body, watching the world go by around me, completely unable to interact with it, helpless to defend myself... *shudder*

I think I don't play on these possibilities enough while running a game. For instance, to use the above example, when a character is immobilized by some undead creature, rather than just saying "You're frozen for the next 6 rounds", you could get a lot of atmosphere by saying something more evocative like "The ghoul touches you and you feel your muscles freeze, turning to stone. You can still see and hear everything around you, can catch glimpses of your comrades fighting the creatures out of the corner of your eye, but you are just standing there, a completely immobile spectator, waiting for the outcome, unable to affect it."

So, what really scares you?