Last Updated 11/15/08
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.
carry. a game about war.
carry is my short-form role-playing game about the psychological struggle of US soldiers in the Vietnam War. It utlizes 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, and I’m very happy with it. You can learn more about the game here. Links to resources for the game are on this page.
You can also see the original draft, which was submitted to the 2005 Iron Game Chef competition, here.
Timestream: A Role-Playing Game
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 and download resources on this page.
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.
Untested, Complete Games
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.
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
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.
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.