Making Games In 2017

It can take a long time to make a game. I’ve released three new games this year, but I’ve been working on some of these for many years now. I want to take a quick look back over the things I’ve released in 2017 and plans for the year ahead.

Phoenix: Dawn Command

Dan Garrison and I have been working on P:DC for the last four years, and finally released it at the end of 2016. Phoenix is a card-based RPG that I think of as a blend of Gloom and Eberron – a traditional RPG, but one that uses cards instead of dice, encourages storytelling, and in which you ultimately want your character to die… because in Phoenix, death is what makes you stronger.

During 2017 I was tied up with my other games, and I didn’t have a lot of time to support Phoenix. But I still love the game, and I have a lot of plans for doing more with in in 2018. If you’d like to know more (or to get a copy of the game!) go to the website!

Illimat

In 2015, The Decemberists presented me with a mysterious board and a challenge. Could I make it into a game? Could that game feel as though it could be a hundred years old and simply forgotten? Illimat is the result of that challenge. It draws on the mechanics of classic card games, while the rotating illimat in the center of the board adds a dynamic twist. I’m thrilled with how it came out, and can’t wait to share it with more people in 2018. You can find out more about Illimat or acquire the game at the official website. You can also learn more about the game – including how I’d work it into Eberron – in this previous post.

Action Cats!

Action Cats began as a lark — something I designed to play with friends, with no real plans beyond that. But the more people we played it with, the more fun we had with it… and eventually we decided to share it with the rest of the world.

Action Cats is a simple game with a familiar format. The judge looks at a picture of a cat and gives the cat a name. Each of the other players combines two cards in their hands to create a story about the cat, and presents the story to the judge. Aside from the fact that it’s filled with cats, the primary thing that differentiates it from other games of this type is that it’s about storytelling. The cards from your hand form the foundation of a story. But it’s up to you to elaborate on that story, adding as much as you wish. Why are the stakes so high? Why is this cat wearing a hat? Only you know the answer. You can find out more about Action Cats or order the game at the official website!

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game

This isn’t a game for everyone. If you don’t know anything about Scott Pilgrim, the whole concept of the game – building a better life while fighting giant robots, ninjas, and awkward conversations – may not make any sense to you. If you ARE familiar with Scott Pilgrim but haven’t played many games before, you might find this has a bit of a learning curve. But if you ARE familiar with Scott Pilgrim and you’re comfortable with deckbuilders, then this is the game for you. I’m very happy with the way that this captures the flavor of the Scott Pilgrim universe. The goal of the game is to get your $#!7 together – to deal with your drama, sort out your relationships, finally get off of your parents’ house and get your band on the radio or finally get a job. You can do all of this through hard work… or through gratuitous and random videogame violence. Trying to get a new apartment? A good work ethic will let you buy one… but because of the double-sided cards, you can also flip the apartment over and beat up the Evil Landlord with a few fancy combo moves. It does a lot of interesting things and I’m happy with the flavor of it… but it’s not for everybody.

And What About Eberron? 

Thanks to the support of my awesome Patreon backers, I’ve been able to spend a little more time on this website. Over the course of the year I’ve posted articles on a host of topics, including…

I’ve also been part of the Manifest Zone podcast, and helped run a game for CCD20. What happens next? I wish I could tell you! I’ve always believed that Eberron will come to 5E, and I still believe that – but I don’t know exactly when that will happen. I’m running a 5E Eberron campaign of my own, which has got me working on all sorts of conversions and digging deeper into the setting. We’ll see if 2018 brings any news!

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