Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sometimes, it Takes an Outlaw to Bring Justice

Big Hearts in Big Country version 2
I've updated the original version of Big Hearts in Big Country to version 2 of the rules.

In this new set of rules, you will find:
  • Rule tweaks and clarifications, including a full example of a sample gunfight.
  • More good guys to befriend and more bad guys to stand against.
  • More detail and story hooks for the sample setting, Sangre De Dios.
  • Spiffier, more western-themed layout.
  • More detail in the character archetype generator.
  • More artwork.

Enjoy. If you play it, please send me a play report - I'd love to hear how it goes for you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More work on "Big Hearts in Big Country"

I've been working on fleshing out the rules from Big Hearts in Big Country a little more over the last week or so. It's starting to look really good, and the more I work with it, the happier I am with the original rules I wrote.

I'm finding that I have less cleanup than I originally thought. It's funny - I went back in to add a lot of detail and complexity, and found myself, after much typing, deciding that I liked the simpler, original mechanics better, and deleting everything I'd typed and instead just doing an editing pass on the original content, clarifying what was in my mind as I wrote the thing. I think the 24 hour limitation actually made the game better, because it kept me from going in a direction that would have weakened the game.

Out of my wish list of new features, I've got just about everything but a map for Sangre de Dios, the sample setting for the game. I'm also a lot happier with the layout:

I'm toying with the idea of commissioning some original artwork to be created for the game, such as portraits of the various characters in Sangre de Dios and some more scenic set piece type illustrations. I know better than to try to illustrate the game myself; I'm not "Mr. Stick Figure," but for a game that's all about mood, drama, and character, I know my drawings wouldn't be able to set the tone I want to set. In order to recoup the cost, that means I'd have to try to sell it (or ask for donations, or sell ad space on a web site for it, or something.)

The question is: is there a market for something like this?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Big Hearts in Big Country

I just finished an entry for the 1KM1KT / FreeRPG Blog 24 Hour competition, a competition where you have 24 hours to design a tabletop RPG from the ground up. You pick a theme from a list, and I chose the theme "Cowboys with Big Hearts." Since my life has kids and work in it, my game represents far less than 24 hours of work - more like 6 or 7.

My game is called Big Hearts in Big Country. Here's the pitch:

Big Hearts in Big Country
Welcome to Sangre De Dios.

The villagers stare as you ride into town. They don’t know what to make of you. Strangers are rare here, and usually don’t stay long. They either have a drink and continue on their long journey northeast to Las Cruces, or they take a much shorter trip southwest up to Boot Hill.

Long ago, the townspeople stopped daring to dream that a big hearted gunfighter would come clean up the town. But then, they’ve never met you...

Big Hearts in Big Country is a cowboy-themed RPG which centers on what cowboys do best, at least in the movies: staring down the villain in the black hat, waiting for him to twitch, and then being fast on the draw. You’re the guys (or gals) who clean up bad towns.

Featuring six pages of simple rules, a starter setting for gameplay, a simple core mechanic for telling dramatic, character-based stories, a tense, edge-of-your-seat system for high-drama shootouts, and theme-appropriate game materials like poker cards and chips instead of character sheets, "Big Hearts in Big Country" is quick to pick up and play, and focuses on telling stories that would make Sergio Leone or Sam Peckinpah proud.

Enjoy. If you have any questions, suggestions, or play reports, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update to MVC Framework

I've released an update to the MVC framework for developing Shockwave3D applications in Director. Changes include:
  • Models now receive the act() message each frame.
  • Fixed bug that makes demo scene not work.
  • info() gives more information, and more complete information without parameters.
  • Fixed thumbnailer to include headings on member thumbnails.
  • Added floor() and ceil() math functions.
  • Added event() and replaceController() to the Controllers object. The Controllers object is now implemented a little differently, but the API should be the same.
  • Added centerImage() imaging lingo routine.