Finding a Voice

8 09 2009

  I spent an hour today writing the introduction to the game.  It’s helping me find the game’s voice.  Through writing, I’m slowly exploring the game’s world.  Here’s a quick synopsis:

  In Northwest Kansas, there’s a big Freak Storm, full of voices on the wind and green lightning and all that pizzazz.  When everyone wakes up, they find themselves in a different world.  Their TV’s don’t work, their cars give a last shudder and die.  The highway is empty save for a few already-rusting husks of automobiles.  The barbwire fences have already dissolved.

  It’s like the rain softened the laws of the universe somehow.  Time flows differently, the seasons seem a little off-kilter.  Because of the great distance between the small towns and civilization, no one is able to leave.  Everyone now finds themselves in a time of brutal horror and quiet miracles where they must learn to live together.  This is a Land of Ill Harvest.

  I’ve also spent some time designing a system which I’m pretty happy with.  It’s a little bit of DitV (what game nowadays isn’t!), a little bit of FATE, with a dash of The Pool thrown in for flavor.  I’ll post more on the system later.

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Starting the Process

7 09 2009

Well, to tell you the truth, I really haven’t spent a lot of time thinking up ideas for my game.  Lately I’ve been keeping up with Robert Bohl and Joshua A.C. Newman’s podcast Oo!  Let’s Make a Game! They spend an hour a week designing an RPG, then release their brainstorming sessions online.  One part of their process that impressed me was their conversation on what the game’s about. For this reason, I’ve decided to start something of a one-man conversation to help me cut down to the very marrow of what my game’s about.

Yesterday I read through Ron Edward’s article Narrativism: Story Now on The Forge, which advises that for a game that immediately generates narrative, one should first determine what the game’s about, then head straight for the conflicts that illustrate and explore the game’s theme.

So, enough useless rambling.  Now on to the useful rambling!  This weekend I’ve been staying at my grandparents.  They live on a small farm in northwest Kansas, a sprawling, bare land of golden crops and skies as blue as the sea.  A highway and a busy road run by their house, the roar of cars a constant a background noise as constant as the wind.  Something about this land has impressed me.

Yesterday, a thought struck me as I took a walk down the road.  “What would it be like if the highway was silent and empty?”  It was that seed that has slowly begun to take root in my mind.  And so, I’ll end this post with my first, embryonic statement about what the game’s about.  In an already failing community that has been completely cut off from the outside world by mysterious forces, how do people learn to coexist and survive when they are forced to return to a way of life they thought had already departed from the world?





A Beginning

7 09 2009

It’s probably best to start a project like this with introductions.  My name is Noah Trammell, and I’m a high-school student who has just begun to discover the world of indie RPG development.  My love of roleplaying games is partially fueled by my love of writing and literature.  I’m boing to be very busy this year, but I’m going to do my best to finish a game.  It’s going to be helpful to have a deadline to help me finish at least a rough draft of my game.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in the Game Chef competition and look forward to seeing everyone else’s efforts and getting feedback on mine.