I just returned from Pax East (hence the slow-down in daily Tumblr posts…need to figure out how to pre-set those before Origins). And every time I attend a convention I invariable am asked “How do I know if I’m a game designer?”
And every time I hear that question I think of a similar question I once asked author Michael Stackpole ages ago: “How do I know I’m a writer?” And his response, without a pause, was “Are you writing? Then you’re a writer. If not, then you’re not.”
I was taken aback at first. “But what about being published, what about an agent, what about…” And he cut me off. “Those are all after the fact. You’re not a writer unless you’re writer. Start there and once you’ve proven that point, you can then start working on the rest.”
The same applies to developing games (whether digital or tabletop, it’s the same). Are you designing games? Do you have a notebook(s) of ideas you scribble in? Do you play a game and if you find yourself disliking an element you immediately try to figure out how to “fix” it? Do you wake up in the middle of the night either with a new idea, or with a “fix” for an idea that’s been plaguing you about X or Y game design?
Then you’re a game designer. However, there’s a HUGELY important element, IMO, that I think far too many designer miss. All the best authors read monstrous amounts from every style and type of writing. All the best musical artists are constantly sampling music from around the globe. And the best game designers, again, IMO, are constantly playing games of every stripe.
If you want to take that next step from just “being a designer” that has a note books full of games and pass into publication and seeing people at tables playing your games, then you need to know what’s out there. What are people playing and why. And if you hate a game and yet it sells like crazy, you need to step beyond your own likes and dislikes and play the game (many times if need be) to find what is drawing people in. How can you be inspired even by a game you dislike?
As you can see in the photos from one of my recent blogs I own a ton of games. And I play a ton of games. Constantly. Even if I wasn’t a game designer I’d be playing all the time. I simply am very blessed to be “required” to play games as part of my job to stay abreast of the exciting things going on in our hobby.
Yet despite all those games, here’s a new haul of games from Pax East for me to start diving into in the coming weeks and months.
Now some times you grab expansions for games you love (Zombicide!) But all the rest are games I’ve never played before. Some are from game designers/companies that have been making games for decades, others are brand new with their very first design. I’m anxious to dive in and tackle each and every one.
If you attend cons there is something you might see on the last day, just an hour or two before the show ends…and that’s various companies walking between their booths with armloads of games. There’s so many things I love about cons but this is one of my favorites. The excitement of fellow game designers to share their games…to want to play other games. To be inspired by great games to make even cooler games.
Just play more games!
We’re debating shirt designs for Origins/Gen Con. No promises, but what would you want on a BattleTech or Shadowrun shirt? -Matt— CatalystGameLab (@catalystgamelab) April 15, 2014
What are your ideas?
Shadowrun Returns now $14.99 with Save Anywhere! Retweet to your friends who would love it but haven’t played yet! http://t.co/pqzRKddErU— Harebrained Schemes (@WeBeHarebrained)April 11, 2014
30% off Shadowrun Online - Now only $20.99 USD: Sale Price: $20.99 USD, List Price: $29.99 USD, Store: Steam http://t.co/qKBaAKNOHj— Steam Sales US (@steamsalesfeed) April 4, 2014
Shadowrun Online - 09.04.2014 12:52PM
Some good news for you: Mission 2 and Mission 4 freezes are fixed! All hail the testers and programmers and thaaank you all who have been testing with us and provided feedback! <3
Also, here a quick insight into one of our test levels…
Shadowrun Online - 10.04.2014 9:18AM
Shadowrun Online will be present at the PAX East in Boston, US and at the Insomia in Coventry, UK!
PAX East 2014: 11th April – 13th April 2014
Reverb Booth on Level 0, Exhibitors Hall
Insomnia 2014: 18th April – 21st April
Both our booths will be presenting both of our games Shadowrun Online AND ÆRENA – Clash of Champions.
So, if you don’t have either Early Access on Steam but are at the PAX, pop by and say Hi! :)
The previews have all been posted. The ramp-up is all done. The time is here. Run & Gun, the core combat book for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition is now available for PDF purchase and print pre-order (Battleshop, DriveThruRPG). And when we say print pre-order, we have a load of options for you, since along with the regular edition, we’re also releasing a limited edition of the book! Following on the look of the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition limited editions, this will feature a red leather cover with an embossed illustration of some of the weapons from the book.
So what do you get in Run & Gun? Well, the previews will give you a good taste, but here are some highlights: A monofilament chainsaw. Three laser weapons. Full-color illustrations of dozens of firearms, including the Savalette Guardian and the Ares Executioner. Fashion armor, mil-spec armor, and the deceptive murder armor. Group maneuvers in combat. Called shots on specific body locations. Information on using explosives in cars for assassinations. And so much more!
The graphic below outlines the bundles available at the Battleshop; below that is the summary text of the book if you need more information. Enjoy!
Nothing Is Free
Guns and ammo cost nuyen. Mastering martial arts takes time. And learning how to use explosives without blowing yourself up takes patience and a steady hand. These weapons and more are out there, waiting for you. You have the chance to use them to become deadlier, faster, more dangerous than the next guy—and more dangerous than you were yesterday. You’ll have to pay the price to get what you want, but this is the Sixth World. Don’t you always?
Run & Gun is a combat core rulebook for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, containing more weapons, more armor, more modifications, and more game options such as martial arts and unit tactics. Explosives, survival gear, specialized techniques—they’re all here! Break the book open and prepare to raise your game!