Feb 282015

I just cobbled-together a quick (and crude) tutorial on how RPG publishers can use the free Scribus software for layout. It’s a powerful, though flawed, piece of software and I think the video might help folks who can’t afford the rather expensive license for InDesign. I hope this is helpful!

 Posted by at 11:56 pm
Feb 272015

The Writer’s Workshop
RPG Design Panelcast sml

Recorded at Metatopia 2013

Presented by John Adamus.

Here’s a chance for authors and creators to get answers to their writing questions as they work on developing their first, or tenth project. Questions often include issues of layout, editing costs, the best way to write to the reader, and the best way to take an idea from the abstract idea phase to the down-on-paper phase

Feb 142015

Playtesting Brutally
RPG Design Panelcast sml

Recorded at Metatopia 2013

Presented by John Stavropoulos and Dave Chalker.

Your best friend, your spouse, and your grandma all say they like your game, so it must be ready to be published, right? WRONG. The most refined games come from an extended playtesting process, where your decisions are challenged and every mechanic is put through the burning forge of brutal playtesting. Learn how to examine games of your own design and others for ways to streamline, balance, and otherwise turn into a better game by “killing your darlings” and learning what red flags to watch out for in the playtesting process that could sink you after publication.


Feb 062015

Least System NecessaryRPG Design Panelcast sml

Recorded at Metatopia 2014

Presented by Cam Banks, Rob Donoghue, Clark Valentine & Stephen Hood.

How much system does your game *need*? We’ll be examining very minimal systems like Risus, CORE, Amber DRPG and so on as a starting point for design, always coming back to the question of whether you are adding things to your system because it need it, or because you’re “Supposed To”.

Minimal Game system references to:

Jan 312015

Icons and AnchorsRPG Design Panelcast sml

Recorded at Metatopia 2013

Presented by Rob Donoghue & Jason Pitre.

Icons and anchors are fascinating pieces of RPG design technology, establishing people and organizations within settings that are strongly tied to player characters and to each other. Let’s talk about how these can be effectively used in your own game designs.

References include:

1) My own summary of the mechanic: Examining Icons in Design

2) Rob’s ample blog discussion: [1][2][3] [4] [5] [6].

3) Chris Chin’s discussion of Keys, in the other excellent article.

4) And the economic devastation of the Identify skill over at Project Multiplexer