Games, Design & Game Design

Game Design Portfolio

For more info, downloads and purchasing information, please visit my website.

Currently Working On

  • Play With Your Food: Three Games About Eating (info sheet)

My Full Games

  • Annalise: Stories of Pain, Hunger & Redemption (8/2010)
  • carry. a game about war. (8/2006)
  • Timestream: A Roleplaying Game (9/2005)

Games I Publish

  • The Dance & the Dawn, by Dev Purkayastha (8/2009)

Contest Entries

  • Witness the Murder of Your Father and Be Ashamed, Young Prince (10/2008)
  • Vesna Thaw (8/2006)
  • Children of the Sun, Children of the Moon (8/2006)
  • Countdown (3/2006)
  • She’s (3/2005)

Contests I’ve Run

  • Two Games One Name (2009)
  • BibliOdyssey Design Challenge (2007)

*****

My Full Games

Annalise

Initial Release 7/08 – Final Edition Release 8/10

Annalise is a game about making Vampire stories. The players each take on the role of a character who is hurting and vulnerable, and the game revolves around how they resolve their issues in the face of the Vampire attracted to those vulnerabilities. The game is structured to reflect a very literary kind of play, with re-incorporation of fictional elements and the forming of a continuous narrative being both important and supported by the rules.

I’m very happy with the game, and I think it’s by far the most mature and subtle design work I’ve done. For more information, please visit the website: findannalise.com.

The Mysterious Voyage of the Auspicious is the first of a number of Guided Play Scenarios for Annalise, providing four pre-generated characters in a tension-filled situation, ready to play. There are currently 6 Guided Play Scenarios for Annalise, but this is the only one I wrote. For more information and to download the free PDFs, go here.

carry. a game about war.

Released 8/06

carry is my short-form role-playing game about the psychological struggle of US soldiers in the Vietnam War. It utilizes a tight mechanical structure to create a narrative where the problems, issues and burdens that the characters bring with them into the war end up tearing the squad apart. It’s a serious game, and an intense one. You can learn more about the game here.

You can also see the original draft, which was submitted to the 2005 Iron Game Chef competition, here.

Timestream: A Role-Playing Game

Released 9/05

Timestream is my game of “cinematic” time travel. It utilizes a relationship map mechanic to create stories about how the characters interact with each other and with the people they care about, set against and through their possession and use of awesome temporal powers. You can learn more about the game here.

Time’s Champions: A Stream For Timestream is the first mini-supplement for Timestream. It details a world where the characters are tapped by the Gods in order to bring the divine struggle for power to the mortal world. You can find more information about this PDF-only product here.

This is very much my first game, and while I have absolutely no regrets about writing and publishing it, I don’t think it very well reflects my current design methods and interests. I may rewrite it some day.

*****

Games I Publish

The Dance and the Dawn

by Dev Purkayastha – Released 8/09

This is a really neat game developed and written by a friend of mine. The players play fairy-tale princesses who, through the course of three Waltzes at the court of the Ice Queen, attempt to find which prince is their true love. It uses a chess board and pieces to track the dancing, which tells you who can talk to who and who can steal who’s partner. It’s a short-playing game that really nails a fairy-tale feeling without being shmaltzy or overly bubbly. You can find out more at my website here or at Dev’s website here.

*****

Contest Entries

Witness the Murder of Your Father and Be Ashamed, Young Prince

8/08, submission for the Murderland Game Design Contest

This is a structured free-form “fiction game” for 3-6 players, where you play the princes of a murdered king. The game revolves around the varying accounts of the kings death;  if the princes can agree on what happened, one of them will ascend the throne and the kingdom will continue. If they can’t agree, the kingdom may fall to the Raven, who is using the death of the king as his opportunity to strike.

It’s my most freeform game attempt, and I think it hangs together pretty well. I hope to get a chance to play it sometime soon. You can read the whole entry here.

Vesna Thaw

8/06, submission for the Reversed Engineer Game Design Challenge

This is a game I wrote for the 2006 Reversed Engineer game design challenge. It’s about post-apocalyptic post-Soviet robots. It’s kind of the opposite of carry, in that it’s an upward trajectory kind of game, where the question is how big is the blaze of glory in which you will be departing. Drawing your robot is part of character creation, which is neat. It’s also the first GMless game I designed. You can check out the PDF here.

Children of the Sun, Children of the Moon

8/06, submission for the Reversed Engineer Game Design Challenge

Children of the Sun, Children of the Moon is the game that Russell Collins wrote based off of my sheet for Reversed Engineer. It’s kind of like Dogs in the Vineyard meets Polaris, but with split identities and on a galactic scale. Again, one of my ambitions is to play this some and see if we can develop it more. You can check out the PDF here.

Countdown

3/06, submission for Iron Game Chef 2006

Countdown is my Iron Game Chef 2006 submission. It’s a play-by-email only game, built specifically for asychronous play. The group creates an eight-hour doomsday scenario, and then the GM keeps track of how much time the players use as they investigate and try to stop the Bad Thing from happening. It is untested, but I received some very positive feedback from the Game Chef process, and I plan to revisit it at some point soon. You can see it here.

She’s

3/05, submission for the Ronnies.

This is a game where four dudes compete for the attention of a female unplayed character. It’s overly structured and probably not really a roleplaying game, but it’s an early early attempt at some things that I’ve started managing to make happen more recently. I think it’s primarily interesting as a historical piece, (I wrote it after finishing but before publishing carry) and if you want to check it out the PDF is here.

*****

Contest’s I’ve Run

Two Games, One Name

I ran this contest in November and December of 2009. The idea was to first generate a list of evocative names for game, and then to assign one name to two designers, who would each design a different game based off of that name. I also put some mechanical constraints in, just to push people in different directions. I think it worked out rather well – I liked a number of the entries, and two of the games were pursued further, playtested and finally published around the same time in the summer of 2010: Hell 4 Leather (by Joe Prince) and Hell For Leather (by Sebastian Hickey). You can check out the contest archive here.

BibliOdyssey RPG Design Challenge

This was a design competition that I ran in early 2007. It was based on the participants selecting images from the fantastic BibliOdyssey site. It generated about 10 entries, and it was a really neat experience. You can check out the contest archive at the BibliOdyssey Design Challenge blog, as well as download the entries. I plan to run more contests in the future.

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