Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blogedy, blogedy, blog blog....

So there has not been allot going on with Manifest Destiny the Game right now, and simply put not to sure if there will be something going on.  Reason is I have placed it on hold and am looking into a similar but different project.  Do I want to finish MD?  Hell yes.  But I do not have the time or financial assets to do it, and things took a slight turn leading to something else.

That something else is an interesting idea I had for a social website for table top games.  I know there are forums and some even have a social bent to them.  But really, this is unique and I have been looking around allot.  I have enlisted the aid of people outside of my typical circles and have been making progress with things.

Will I go into details here about  That is just I want to keep things under wraps for now.  But if all goes well and things get a good head of steam.  I will be comming back to Manifest Destiny because it and many other ideas are my dreams.  And I must pursue those dreams even if I do not succeed at them.  Till I choose to talk again, happy gaming.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Simplicity vs Complexity

As I have been writing the game, I have had to look at how simple or complex to make systems.  Some times this has lead to interesting methods to avoid complexity, like making item creation completely abstract.  While other times I have purposefully added complexity to make the system more robust and useful.

This balancing act is one that comes with the work.  After all if the game is to complicated, people won’t want to play.  But make it to simple and there is no challenge in playing the game.  So how much is to much, or is to little when it comes to complexity?

Well, simply put, there is no real answer, not that I have seen.  I know simplicity for the sake of simplicity is not an answer.  Just as complexity for its own sake is also not an answer.

The trick that I found though is to try and keep things as simple as you can adding complexity when necessary, I did this with magic.  I made magic use the same rules as the normal test system and the combat system.  But after simplifying it, I added some complexity.  This included making spells into skills so they could develop if the player wishes.

So while combining the systems and making them all work the same reduced the over all complexity of magic in the game.  I was able to add in a little complexity with out harming the flow the system.

Another area that I added some complexity to has been with common roles.  In this area I added the environment to the target number.  If say the fight is in an open area on a temperate day and solid ground, then no penalty would apply.  But if your in heavy armor, in the rain, and fighting in knee deep mud.  Then bets are your taking a penalty in comparison to some one wearing light armor.

So those are two ways that I have changed how the game is played.  Reducing systems and making the whole less complex.  While adding simple rules in key areas to add details that tend to go missing.

But in the end there are always paths that I could take.  And even now I have moments where I am reading through what I have done and I think “WTF was I thinking” and have to rewrite things to be that touch simpler.  Ahh the joys of writing a game.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More progress means more things to think about.

Well I have finally gotten back on this to write something.  I know I do not write allot about what I am doing and that is just cause what is there to say.  Why say something when I do not have anything to say.  But this time I do have something to say.

I have been working off and on as time permits.  Expecting a new baby and having my wife home on disability does tend to mess with your thinking time.  Throw in kind and things vanish real fast.  But I have made progress.  The main story has been refined and edited to be clear and interesting.  Even people not into games have told me that...a good thing from my perspective.

I also was able to finish the addiction elements of the "Drinking, Drugs, and Debauchery" section.  It was not that hard but for some reason it just escaped me at the time.  So now it is complete and I am happy...people can now get stoned to their hearts content and pay the price if the GM pleases.

Third thing I did was alter some of the weapon creation elements in the game.  Ranged weapons that use custom ammo, bolts, and darts have had some added refinements to be clearer.  I also cleaned up some ambiguity with the mechanical option allowing a crossbow to fire faster.  It is far more clear now and I am happy.

Finally I have been going through various sections of the game cleaning up my bad wording.  Allot of the sections had not actually had a pass of the clean hammer.  Many of them have an atrocious amount of bluster and nonsense.  So from now on my wonderful wife and mother of my 2.75 kids will be doing some editing for me.  She helped me through college with her English skills so this is a great thing.

Any way that is that, there is the update and I hope you enjoy.  OH one more thing, art, yes art.  I found some one willing and able to do art.  I have to pay, but hey free never seems to work any way so I can not complain.  Any way I will try to get another update soon and may be some story stuff to.  Till then, have a great day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weapons of all Flavors

I have been beating my head against a wall for some time about weapons in the book.  Not because the weapons are important...they probably will not be important at all.  But because they offer a guide post for the creation of other weapons and can help to arm an NPC in an unexpected encounter.

See in Manifest Destiny the RPG, I have included a system for the creation of weapons and armor.  This system is simple and can be altered, modified, and added to quite easily.  The reason I think the weapons I am making right now will be irrelevant to the player is because most players will probably look to make things that are far better then the vanilla weapons I am putting forth.  So with this it is easy to see that anything a player will make, unless limited by the cost or the GM, will be better then what I am making now with the same system.

So that leaves what I am making in the real of the GM and how that person plans to use the things I am making.  In most cases I see the items as fodder for NPC's and basic gear.  Something that is easy to reference and add on the fly with a minimum of hassle and rooting around.  But it also makes it hard to get done cause since it is not for the players and may just be entirely is not a very motivating set of reasons.

But I am slowly working them out.  Right now I have eleven out of twenty six done and I am just plodding through them ad I have the chance.  At least making them helped to highlight some contextual errors in my writing and some options I was missing.  Not a bad thing in my opinion.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tightening the nuts and bolts

Well another week and more things to work on.  I have not really been doing anything to astonishing right now.  Just fixing small inconsistencies and reworking some of the numbers to make sure they present better and are a little more idiot proof.  Like that is really possible...

Any way, I have been filling in gaps in the skill system to make sure I have all the skills that are needed.  Fine tuning character creation and the careers that help build your character up and develop some history.  Not to much else really.

May be I will have more to talk about in a little.  But I figure it is better to not make a post and focus on the book then it is to blather on for hours about this and that and never get anything done at all.  Any way I will keep fiddling about and working on my project.  It has been along time coming and a difficult path.  But I knew what I was in for.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Progress and Ideas

Slowly I have been beating on several fronts and it has been an interesting ride.  I have been working on techniques, the final link in the skill system.  I have also been writing the history of the Golemite species and how they have come to be what they are.  On top of that I have also been working on some of the more technical threats like Golems and how they became the core technology behind power armor and the Gladius Unit.

So first, I have been working on techniques to try and make sure there is a good spread of them.  Techniques are skills that serve a specific purpose.  Through intense training a character can achieve something with a technique that would either have a high degree of failure or would take multiple rolls.  An example would be allowing the character to fire three arrows from one bow hitting three separate enemies.  Or to slide a knife into an armored foes back bypassing their armor and dealing damage directly.

Techniques have certain skill dependencies that are required before they can be learned.  So a character will require the correct specializations of the proper ranks to learn the technique.  This allows a character to specialize more in depth then if the game relied on simple skills alone.

The rest of my work has been in the creation of the world and historical materials.  The history of the Golemite species has been filling out very well.  I am currently working my way out of the Golemite dark ages and their discovery of magic.  This will allow them to reclaim technology lost with the decay of Human tech over the past thousand years or so.  And allow them to create their own replacements becoming truly independent.

I have also been thinking about Golems and how they are used.  From simple robot types that have simple programing to character controlled death machines that stand thirty feet tall.  I am taking something of a side path to the Golems design.  Instead of being carved or forged.  Golems resemble robots.  They are asembled from smaller pieces allowing them to be more durable and reducing the chances of major flaws in their core materials causing weaknesses.  I am also investigating the idea of sentient golems, but only as NPC threats that GM's can use for encounters.

So...that is what I have been working on piece by piece.  It is hard some times to maintain all three trains of thought but they fir together so well with in the games dogma.  And that makes it allot easier to write in this more broken chain of thought.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The children of man and their personalities.

Over the past couple weeks, besides being sick as a flee bitten mongrel, I have been working on finishing the six core character races; Dralarian, Golemite, Podling, Vyrmkin, Kudu, and Furbolg.  This has been something of a long process for me because as I have been altering and changing the system, some times though major rewrites, they have had to change a little also.

But the core ideas behind them have also remained the same.  The Golemites will have allot of variety, the Kudu will be Squirrel tech heads, and the Asterilians...well they got the Ax.  They There were just to many issues with them, so I wrote them out of the main story and made their creations, the Podlings, a main race instead.

In any case I have been working to make sure that their background, culture, and core information fits well onto two pages each.  But I am also looking at creating supplementary information about them so that they can be more real if you desire.  I have some time and the writing is fun if not time consuming.

It is all about the details, what happened when and why.  That takes time to be reasonable...even in fantasy, you have to have a little amount of sense.  So any way hat is what I am up to right now with the RPG.

On a side note, looks like opinions of the system are good.  Those that have looked it over and that are in the know have stated it is very complete and they could see nothing wrong with it.  That made me smile since the core of the game needs to be solid.  But I will not delude my self, there is still some rewriting to do.  Old information needs to be reworked a little to make sure it all fits properly.  But more on that one later.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome to 2011, have a nice stay.

This post is going to be a little long, so be warned.  I will attempt to make sure it is laid out better and includes an index...well sort of.

  • Festive Niceties
  • To the New People!!! (clapping)
  • General Goals for 2011
  • -  More Writing
  • -  Some Formatting
  • -  Editing
  • -  Art...Lots and Lots of Art
  • Getting that much needed HELP!!!
  • Clicky Clicky Meow Meow

Festive Niceties
Happy New Year and THANK GAWD it is all in days past.  Now I do like Christmas, New Years, and my birthday all being in the same month.  But at the same time a LOATH them also.  This is just because I can never get anything done in December.  It can be a very frustrating time as I am sure you all know.

So with that said, I am happy to have had those great days and the months festivities.  But I am also ecstatic to be done with them so I can order my mental blocks and get back to writing.  As short lived as that may actually be.

To the New People!!! (clapping)
Wow...I actually have some people visiting.  This makes me happy because for a long time I thought I was going a little crazy.  I mean I had a blog, but no one was reading it.  It was like talking to my self with out a mirror.  I am just glad I did not comment on my own posts...I think then something would be wrong...(Shifty looks around the room).

So thank you very much for visiting and for your continued visitation in the future.  May this blog be worthy of further persons visiting, reading, commenting, clicking, etc.  After all my goal with Manifest Destiny is to try and foster a community.  And that community starts right here, god save us all.

Writing Goals for 2011
On to the meat and potato's of things.  There is allot done, but there is allot to do still.  This fact does not escape me and I know therewill be allot to do for a very long time.  Well...the core book will be done in a reasonable amount of unspecified time.  But then there is more...much much more.  For now, I must stay focused on the task at hand.

More WritingAhh the fun stuff sitting all day while peering at a screen typing away.  There are still some fine points that I need to hammer out before things are close to where I would like them.  I need to finish the section on addiction.  I need to create and refine the section on skill based techniques.

Plus poisons, equipment, and...allot of things that escape me right now.  Oh and examples and fluff also. the fluff.  But all in all things have not gone to bad.

The above may look daunting, but compared to the 170+ pages I have already written.  What is left is really not that much.  But it is just getting those portions of my mind to cooperate long enough to do them.  I shall get through it though and that will be that.

Some Formatting
The book needs to be formatted.  That is plane and simple.  Pages need to be split, front pages need to be laid out.  Spaces for charts and images need to be put in to make sure everything fit in nicely.  And to do it all I will need to find some one that can consistently assist on that.  That or I chop my attention into small one inch cubes...but that never works.  The cubes just sprout legs and run off.


Editing is also of vital concern.  I know my faults and my limitations.  And one of them is that my spelling sucks and we will not even go into grammar.  But fortunately I did find a willing party to do this for a price.  So the editing will get done and will be good.

Art...Lots and Lots of Art

And then there is art.  Art is necessary and there will need to be allot of it.  Currently I am looking at needing about 120 to 150 individual images.  Now that may seam like allot, but consider your average RPG book.  If you look there is either a piece of art or a chart on each page.

Assuming that I have 170 pages of usable material right now and about 30-40 charts you get an approximate amount of art needed.  This helps to understand how much art is actually needed.  And this varies between full page images and small quarter or eighth page images that are used to help space things and break up the text walls that are present now.

This will also take the time of others.  The time of my self to make sure things are right.  And money, a small mountain of money.  When doesn't it right?  Well that or I have to deal with people doing it on the side and then things get very very iffy. it is.

Fortunately I have found one person so far that is interested in the task at hand.  And I am hopeful that when things progress I will be able to find others.

Getting that much needed HELP!!!
Help is an important thing right now.  I have been doing this on my own for a while...several years now and it can be hard.  Never underestimate how much a single person can make things better.  So, if you have read the above and think you have something you can contribute...I am all eyes.  I would be all ears but unless you send me a audio message...I can not hear text all that well.

If you have a thought, and idea, a musing that can assist, drop a comment.  If you have an idea for a monster, poison, spell, or item power just drop a comment.  My goal is not to make the game about me and mine.  It is to create something bigger then what my mind can devise.

Clicky Clicky Meow Meow
For now, in lieu of a donations tag on this blog I have ads.  If I get enough traffic and clicks on them I will get money.  That money will be in turn used to pay for all the stuff that needs money.  Now it is not as daunting as one may assume.

Right now I have $5 in add revenue sitting around.  Editing is going to run me about $1 per page.  So right now if I got a check in the mail, I could have five pages edited.  Images are going to range between $20 to probably a couple hundred depending on what is being drawn.  First are the little things and them we go up.

But the simple thing is that my efforts will be ad driven for a while.  So if you feel you want to know where to put your mouse. naked lady adds...not that kind of blog any way.  But there are some good game adds...League of Legends is a particularly interesting game if you get it as an ad.

So that is text wall is done and I thank you for reading it all if you did.  I promise to keep these to a minimum, may be once a year.  In any case thank you again for visiting and taking a little interest in this game and I hope you find it inspiring, enjoyable, and entertaining as I write it and move to release it.