Tuesday, January 29, 2008

WEGS at Dreamation 2008

Well, the first con of 2008 has come and gone, and it was good. Of the 5 WEGS games we had scheduled, 4 of them ran: Dungeons Or Dragons, Dingbitt's Dunge O' Doom, Reservoir Dwoirves and Sunday session of Dingbitt's. We canceled our "midnite quicky" session of Dusk Til Dead ('cause we were bordering on being undead by that point). We ended up not running our pirate rule set (more details on that later this week).

This was the first con that we had an official WEGS booth at, and although this was a small con, it was a critical step for us to figure out "booth-ing". Up to this point, we've just run games at cons, and haven't had the responsibility of a booth. It will be a very real responsibility at the cons this summer. This con was a baby step in that direction and we learned a lot from this test run. We know that we need a box with booth supplies, and were partially prepared there. What I wasn't prepared for was the in-booth demos that Will and Don began to run. I hadn't thought of game supplies at the table (like Ark Kards and dice and minis). At the next con, we'll have a mini-game set for this.

All in all, we learned a lot and had a blast. It was a balance between business and pleasure. We had two outright amazing game sessions (the first and last) - so, we began and ended the con on a high note. A good con.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Green Notebook

Like four years ago, I bought a green composition notebook. Interior pages were graph paper (perfect for dungeon designing) and the inside back cover was a "Useful Information" page with conversion charts and a multiplication table (that covered up to 12 x 12 = 144). Initially, one of my design concepts for WEGS Copper Players Notebook was to have the cover/back cover look like an old-fashioned school notebook. The back cover would be complete with a multiplication table for Damage Die results, as well as other WEGS-based charts/lingo. I would still love to do this for some future release, but I think the novelty would be short-lived. Plus, when folks saw a multiplication table on the back of the book, it could lead them to think the game mechanics utilized "big math" (the DD multiplication table would need to cover at least 20x20). Only the first three pages of the Green Notebook have actually been used:

Page 1 has random notes from the movie Reservoir Dogs. When I was designing the scenario Rez Dwoirves, I watched the movie to get me inspired. Rez Dwoirves was a game that was going to be heavy on the role-play, so I needed to come up with some mechanics for that element. One concept was a mechanic for props - like guns. In the movie, guns are an extension of a characters personality. They are used to heighten their negotiation skills.

Page 2 has a random hit location chart, which is powered by 2D6. I'm hoping to get this into WEGS Kreators Notebook with a DaVinci-esque feel. I always liked the critical hit locater in Warhammer. This type of play borders on excessive detail, but its a fun add-on. It would be an in-play chart reference, and I tend to stay away from that at all cost.

Page 3 is some random starter notes for WEGS Spopera, the space opera setting. Can't wait to start coming up with lazer beam blast rules!

This notebook is kinda a file folder, too. Aside from those three pages, the notebook is jammed with loose sheets of paper. Any random thought on WEGS that hit me was scrawled on a piece of paper and put into the book. Now, I'm starting to convert all these loose notes into a working document. Just one more thing to fill in what little free time remains these days!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Pirates Arrr Coming!

Arrr! Spent a lot of time this week working on the Pirates of Penzantium skills. I followed the same structure as the WEGS 101 breakdown: 8 skills for Tricksters, Warriors and Rangers; 12 for Mages and Sages. The Skolars are starting with four fewer spells each, so total skill count is 48 new skills. The fun of creating these skills was in coming up with new ways to break the system and do new stuff with the dice. I'm even introducting a new skill type called the "spill". It's a Spante skill. Each Arketype has one of these skills and it is played during the Spante. The gimmick is that only one of these spills can be in play at a time and last only one inning. The expense for using a spill is 8 spoints. That's pretty expensive - the spoint fee is so high that it is beyond all Ark's Spell Point Strength (which sets their spoint spending cap). So, to use a spill other Arks/players have to "buy-in". If they do, they receive spill benefits, too. Up to 8 Arks can buy-in. Spills are going to energize the Spante and encourage all players to take a part. It's a team building mechanic, too. I think the results are top-notch - can't wait to see the new skills and spills in action!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Business Suff-Jan 2008

This year is off to a busy start. Lots o' projects lining up on the runway, in addition to many business-based responsibilities (like taxes, 1099s, distribution, summer con planning). Projects include: the official WEGS 101 Skill Card deck, Pirates of Penzantium deck + game book, Big Bang Mudang game book. And, oh yeah, a little book called WEGS Copper (that's three years late...). I'm hoping to release one new product per month until May (but that will be tough).

For me, the winter months are the best time to be productive. I just wish the weather would start behaving like winter to keep me indoors more. Nothing like having no option but to stay inside and focus on getting things done. January is also my time to plan out the rest of the year for convention-hopping. The summer is a killer with one big con after another - and you have to plan NOW for it. Aside from coming up with the game schedules for each con and hitting those deadlines, there's the logistics of getting there (and getting your product there, too). This is the first year we'll be selling at cons, so there's a whole learning curve with that, not to mention the added expense of the table!

Looking back at last year, I've come to realize the stress of getting a single product to market. There's so much work associated with printing/distributing a single book. Most of the stress hit pre-publication (just getting the book done and off to the printer). Once you're through it once though, you learn. You're not as nervous about the process. I'm looking forward to each of my upcoming projects for this reason. It's not nearly as daunting. I've been through the cycle once. It's stressful, yeah - but a heck of a lot of fun, too.

And yeah... "suff"...

As in "suffering"...

The game part is fun. The business side I could do without...

Monday, January 7, 2008

To The Land Of Tolkien and Gilbert and Sullivan...

A great start to 2008: GameWick has its first sale to the United Kingdom! In a matter of days, an official copy of WEGS 101 will touch base on foreign shores! This just so happens to sync up with the start of my work on the next WEGS 101 release: Pirates of Penzantium! A title inspired by the Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera... You gotta love the overseas synergy!

Quick trivia question for all twelve or fifteen of you who read this blog: Which WEGS 101 Ark Skill takes it title from a lyric in the aforementioned comic opera? There's a little prize for the first person who gets this correct (no Wegshogs allowed to answer). And, while we're on rules of this contest - only one answer per person...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

I unplugged completely from GameWick the last few days of 2007. When I checked my email this morning, I had a note from a WEGS fan from the great state of Illinois:
Dear Larry,
Thanks for a great Holiday season. We have been getting the most out of WEGS101 and are anxiously awaiting the release of Copper. We had a question arise around the Molten Storm mage spell. What defines a group? We first assumed that the basic ASQR and ESQR rules applied and worked it like an area spell. However, there was a dissenting opinion that a wider area could be affected so long as the SPS+D6 limit on targets was not exceeded. I allowed this, provided that all targets were in adjacent squares. Can I get an official ruling?
Happy to say, the ruling was spot on with how I would have called it! This fan played at GenCon 2006 and had to wait a full year for WEGS 101 to be released. It's great hearing that folks are playing WEGS and having a good time!


Let the good times roll, folks!