Friday, January 20, 2012

Far-Off Promise

A new year lay ahead, and the promise of a new set of days inspires the best intentions. The world echoes with countless commitments to work harder, be healthier, to care for each other, and to change in ways we hadn’t the year before. The sentiments are as often enough as vague as they are well-intentioned, the sort of positive thinking that we can stretch and contract to the size we can make room for.

But I want to do more than that this year. I want a game plan, as much for myself as for the accountability saying it outright provides. That’s not to say 2011 was empty of accomplishments. After all, I helped Minion Games ready no less than six games for sale in a single year -- no mean feat! And I took part in a graphical overhaul for DriveThruRPG and its sister sites that will be rolling out soon. Yet, for 2012, I want to get my things done.

So, here it is, my plan for the year. (Split up for your convenience and mine.)

My Blog 
I’ve been moving to a new computer, an iMac, for the past month or two — the lengthy travails of which I'll have to detail one or these days — but I fully intend to get this blog back on track. Besides my usual excursions of fancy, I'm launching several bi-weekly columns.

You’ve seen a taste of the first one with the Digital Gameboard. I’ll be making a point of covering all the gaming apps I come across, especially those involving euro-style board games and their kin. I stand by that the iPad is a great platform for classic board gaming fun and can use all the coverage it can get.

I’ll also be penning my foolhardy quest to play every console rpg ever. It's something that’s become ever more difficult as my list of unplayed and unfinished games grows longer. But maybe by adding you all to my party, this quest may become less of a foolhardy one.

And for those of you wondering, yes Minion Monday will eventually finish out its run. I’m waiting on my own physical copies of the games so I can better show off the components. It’s just taking a little longer than expected.

My Games
While there’s a certain anime-inspired elephant in the room, I have up my sleeves a plethora of games I've tinkered on in perpetuity, and I’d really like to finally get some of them out the metaphorical door and into the light. While finishing, much less releasing, all of them in this revolution of the sun is a unlikely accomplishment, I do want progress, and I want to share that progress with you. Here's a highlight reel of what to expect.

OVA — Yes, the oft-promised return of Wise Turtle's flagship product is still very much in the works, and I’ve made a commitment to its release in the early half of 2012. Long-time fans may have dim memories of several supplements that I hope to talk more about and bring closer to release. You can see a sample of artwork for a sci-fi-themed supplement on the left of the header, done by feguimel.

Legendary! — While I love all my work for Minion Games, and all its games are special to me, they’re still not mine in any true sense of the word. Legendary! is a fantasy dungeon-crawl of a board game inspired by fond childhood memories of Dungeon, but with enough twists to the formula that I believe in its ability to give something new to a crowded and often trite set of games. It’s infused with lore from a lifetime of love for console rpgs, and the very talented Honoel Ibardolaza certainly brings it to life. That trio of numbskulls in the header is his handiwork.

Last Legend — Before OVA, I was a devoted follower (and sometimes contributor) to the Returner Final Fantasy RPG, an attempt to capture the spirit of the eponymous video games in pen and paper form. Eventually I left that community over a difference of opinion...whereas most were concerned with copying the actual game mechanics and number crunching of the video games, I felt the rules would be better served trying to approximate the feel of rpg battles and leave the math for the CPUs that spawned it. Last Legend is my on again, off again take on the subject. You can see some art from it in the header, this time the inks in the background that are once again provided by Honoel.

iOS — Tied in with all these is a general interest in the iOS platform. Now that I have an iMac (more about that in a future post), exploring the world of iPads and iPhones is a real possibility. While the likelihood of me gaining enough prowess with programming to create a game of any decent measure is not good, having access to the tools does open other interesting opportunities. OVA-dedicated apps to aid with dice-rolling, character creation, and even easy rules reference would be a great resource to provide players, and iOS versions of the various Minion Games would be cool indeed.

My work for others
While I said I wanted to make 2012 a year for my projects, there is at least one outside job I'm really excited about. If you follow Ewen Cluney's blog, you may already know what I mean. If not...well, be sure to check by Tuesday for my own official announcement!


  1. I have been looking forward to the OVA Kickstarter for a while now, so it is always good to hear about it!

    Now that you have mentioned it, I'm really interested in Last Legend. I've been mucking around with my own takes for a good 12 years now so I know how tricky it can be to approach. :)

  2. It's definitely that! As well-loved and reused many JRPG tropes are, it's still difficult to gather them all up in one package without making a mess of things. Hopefully you'll be able to judge yourself in the not-too-distant future!