Thursday, October 17, 2013

quick post

It's been ages since I planned on doing anything with this. I might start dusting this off. Maybe not. It sorta feels like a monument to failure. Maybe I could make it work this time. will see.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Semester

My final year of my Sociology degree has started. So far, it looks very interesting. It should be a year of mostly Sociology with a bit of Political Science. And yes, I do consider this post to be relevant to gaming. Many concepts from my classes are extremely helpful when I run or participate in a game. Frameworks and perspectives can be mined to create more realistic societies for the players to inhabit. As the year progresses I might post more detailed intersections of my interests.

A quick case in point: Currently I am in a PBF (Play By Forum) game of Battlestar Galactica over at One of the reasons I enjoy playing BSG is the social aspect of it. Much like the old B5 CCG, player interaction is vital to winning. Negotiation, deception, and tactical planning merge into an unpredictable experience. Human players spend the game struggling to survive long enough to find a new home for the fleet, while constantly trying to decipher the true loyalties of the other players. Cylon players (determined secretly and randomly) win by preventing a human victory by any means possible. While the theme may make it sound somewhat removed from the world of Political Science or Sociology, the heart of the game relies on an individual's ability to sway the actions of other. Cylons adept at feigning innocence and triggering misdirection have ruined more than one human group's chances of victory. Conversely, adept human players that can manage the oncoming disasters and deduce the nature of the other players have saved many fleets. I really want to incorporate the game into some projects this year.

To see how things are going on the U.S.S. Why-The-Frakk-Can't-We-Roll-Above-A-Two follow the link:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Design Strategy

1. I do not want to do a campaign setting (for the moment)

Blue Max is working on "The Black Desert" and Port Nova Media has already released "Astral Empire". Beyond OpenD6Space, there are also several other settings out, or planned, for Adventure and Fantasy. All of these settings are really new. Creating another setting risks diluting the market at a time when products with potential are just being established. I would rather avoid any accidental overlap and allow for them to grow naturally. If, down the road, I am confidant that I have an idea for a setting that is thematically distinct I would consider working on the project. Until then, I wish everyone else the best of luck with their own projects.

2. I want to avoid product line overlap

Annoyingly enough, Blue Max has been producing high quality ships. I would ordinarily be drawn to working on projects with a technical theme, however, it would be difficult for me to design such intricate ships. Blue Max's grasp on science and engineering really imbues the ships with a sense of realism. I don't have the same background. Ships I design would likely be less interesting. Choosing to work on an alien supplement first allows me to exist in my own space. After that, I want to mine my years of running d6 for some adventure supplements.

3. I want to stick to core OpenD6

While the various alternate d6 systems released under the OGL are interesting and provide useful rules revisions, I want to release products that are accesible to all OpenD6 Space players. Working in the core system allows my products to be universal.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: Blue Max Studios: Ships of the Black Desert

Detail and precision are the foundations of almost every design choice made by Blue Max Studios. While the only current product line is the "Ships of the Black Desert" series, every ship released is a fascinating window into the politics, engineering, and personal lives of the humans inhabiting his upcoming hard sci-fi setting. In addition to the background material, each ship has detailed floor plans, technical discussions, and an explanation of the role the ship plays in the universe. The results are a consistently fantastic product and a disappointing wait until the official campaign book is released.

While many of the ship stats use an OpenD6 variant designed for his setting, most of them are multi-statted. D20 Future, OpenD6, and Classic D6 are all systems that receive attention. The only real problem is the sporadic nature of the multi-statting. The systems featured vary between ship releases and change at random. This is the only inconsistent aspect of the series. Down the line, after he has released enough material, I hope to see the ships arrive in a collected volume that consistently multi-stats them for OpenD6 and The Black Desert.

Even if a collected volume is never released, the wealth of information provided can be used in any system. The detailed floor plans and maps allow for each ship to be used as an adventure location. The political system can be mined for factions to be lifted for a home campaign. The scientific and engineering details can be used to create more vivid space scenarios, with the characters using realistic technology.

Each ship retails on RPGnow for $4 -$5 apiece, however the first 10 can be bought as a bundle for only $10. At that price, the ships are a bargain because of the versatility and depth found within each file. Please keep making more ships Blue Max, just don't keep me waiting for the setting forever.

First Sketch Returned

Along the way, my plans for this blog changed. A simple blog where I could create interesting character builds was the extent of my ambition. Had I not read Blue Max's blog, it is very likely my plans would have remained unchanged.

Blue Max is a start-up OpenD6 designer and creator of the upcoming "Black Desert" hard science setting. Many of his ship designs are for sale on RPGNow, and I strongly recommend any fan of OpenD6 investigating his work further. His products are of very high quality, but I would rather save an in-depth discussion of his work for a proper review. As I investigated his work, I was drawn to his posts that detailed his design process. He describes how he was able to utilize an affordable publishing process to create an indie studio and then encourages others to do the same.

After reading his post, I couldn't shake the idea that publishing an OpenD6 supplement of my own was more than a daydream. Sensing that publishing had become a tangible possibility. I started the early phases of writing an Alien sourcebook. I then contacted an artist.

I have just received any early sketch for one of the aliens. I am thrilled by the work, and promise to post a playtest version of one of the aliens once the commissions are paid for and distribution rights secured. My job involves artistic copyrights so I intend to be a stickler for attribution and rights.

I look forward to giving another update on the project soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fun With OGC + Update

Art is ... not an area in which I excel. Ordinarily, my inability to draw a line with a ruler is not a huge hindrance. As I plan what I want to accomplish with this blog, my sub-par artistic abilities are becoming an issue. It is less of an issue when preparing a free blog post. It only becomes an issue when I want to attach a monetary value to something I create. Including appealing art is a major component of publishing a professional product. Because I cannot provide it for myself, I must seek outside sources.

There is public domain art. Actually, there is a lot of public domain art. There is so much public domain art that it is difficult to find relevant material for what I want to accomplish. If I continue searching there is a good chance of finding something, however, the process is very time consuming. There is also the issue that even when the image may be used free of charge I may need to acquire model or location releases. Any public domain piece I want to use requires a painstaking vetting process if I want to avoid legal issues.

Instead of investing the time in public domain art I can simply commission art. There are amazing artists on DA who are affordable, however, even affordable art can become pricey quickly. Given that most of my current ideas are OpenD6 centric, I am concerned that spending money on art could become a good way to loose a lot of money.

There is also the option of going art-free. Cost is no longer an issue this way. There is no chance of choosing a copyrighted picture that was mislabeled public domain. While it might be the most affordable and safe path it is also the most boring.

I am currently debating which path to take. Once I decide, I will be able to create a more coherent plan for this blog.


I have been working on the Character A Day project. I currently have several dozen sketched out. All that remains is to fully flesh them out before posting. I want to have several weeks of material before I start posting. Because of how involved the character creation process can be, the only way to go a year without missing a day is to plan ahead.

I am working on several OpenD6 projects. They are still in the early stages. When they are more developed I will announce them.

Crappy Pic of Guy at Computer, copyright July 27th, 2011. No Dan's Land. Daniel Loyd (The pic is designated as OGC. It's really too bad for keeping as IP.)