Soul of a New Machine

December 22nd, 2012

Ahey, :)

Right, so, today, I updated to WordPress 3.5, and moved the blog to a new 64-bit server. Let’s see how it holds up… :)

This is just so anyone who’s interested knows that this… “repository”… is still being maintained…

Cheers,
J.

Give It Five Minutes

March 2nd, 2012

Hoy, :)

A coleague at work pointed me towards this. I figure it was worth sharing.

Give It Five Minutes

Cheers,
J.

Agora – Solar System goes Space Opera

February 3rd, 2012

Hello, all, :)

Wikipedia defines Space Opera as “a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, generally involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced technologies and abilities. […] Perhaps the most significant trait of space opera is that settings, characters, battles, powers, and themes tend to be very large-scale”.

Indeed, Agora is a game of space battles, interstellar intrigue, kings, emperors and dictators, air locks and blaster burns, a galaxy-wide Faith, an Imperial Navy, and naturally, an autonomous and self sufficient space station parked in the middle of nowhere.

The above is the introductory section for Agora, a space opera setting for Eero Tuovinen’s Solar System rules set, as based off of The Shadow of Yesterday, by Clinton R. Nixon.

In addition to the obvious Babylon 5 inspiration, Agora drinks from many sources, ranging from the strictly historic, like ancient Rome or the Spanish Inquisition, to the most outlandish science fiction franchises, like Star Wars and Star Trek. References will be obvious throughout this text, and the authors make no claim to the referenced material.

Agora was developed by Gonçalo Cardoso Dias, Diogo Curado, Luis Figueira and myself. Originally, we were going to license it under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Portugal license, but then this happened, so we’re not. Instead, we’re going to get it illustrated and published as both a PDF and a print-on-demand book, and sell it. All the proceeds will go to a charity in Gonçalo’s name.

We think it’s a fitting memorial.

In any case, I’d like to show some writing samples, stuff that’ll give a feeling of where we went with it.


Read the rest of this entry »

The Bear

January 16th, 2012

Hey, :)

As I was browsing the other day, I ran across this:

The Bear

Being a proud father of a brand new one-year-old, it just blew me away…

Thought y’all should know. :)

Cheers,
J.

In Memoriam

January 7th, 2012

Hello,

I lost a friend and a gaming partner over New Year’s Eve.

Just before four A.M., we watched him go through a rather violent convulsive seizure, from which he made what looked like a full recovery. Still, it was a violent thing, and we called an ambulance and insisted he get to the hospital and get checked out by a doctor.

As it happened, somewhere between five and six A.M., still in the hospital, he went through a second massive convulsive seizure, and this time, he didn’t recover at all.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Gonçalo Cardoso Dias. You played a good game, my friend, but now your seat is empty, your boards are folded up, your pieces are all put away and your characters lie lifeless in their folders.

Still, their memory lives on in the worlds you helped create, design and build, just as you yourself live on in the memories of everyone who’s ever played with you and worked with you, and lived, laughed and loved with you.

Maybe we’ll meet again, in the end.

Cheers,
J.

Smart People

January 16th, 2011

Ahey, :)

Here’s Simon:

Is there scope for asking people to do things that may not come naturally to them, that might make them uncomfortable, but that you think they might come to love?

How much can you ask someone to stretch themselves? Should play always be easy?

And here’s Vincent’s reply:

Is there scope? Of course!

How much? Well. You get to design your game to be as demanding as you like, but your audience gets to choose whether to try it and whether to stick with it. That’s how you find out whether you’ve judged them well – if they do the unnatural thing you ask them to, then you have. If they don’t, then you’ve misjudged them.

Should I underline that? Maybe I should. If your audience doesn’t seize upon the game you’ve designed for them, you have a choice. You can reevaluate your own judgment, or else you can throw blame. Blame your audience for failing to live up to your ideals, blame cliques and status-attention in the scene, blame me for monopolizing their attention, whatever. My suspicion is that reevaluating your own judgment will give you the most fruitful way forward.

There’s smart people out there in the world, and they can teach you things. :)

Cheers,
J.

Happy Birthday, Diana

December 14th, 2010

Hello, :)

Yesterday was my little girl’s birthday. Literally. It was the day of her birth. At 23:50, she turned zero! :)

I held her in my hands barely within an hour of her birth. She’s tiny, vaguely expressive, imminently banal, as all babies are, and her greatest skill to date is an uncanny ability to suckle while asleep. And yet, there is a beauty in her that is steeped in all the potential that comes with a newborn human life.

Happy birthday, Diana! My gift to you is my pledge to love you, guide you, teach you, and share with you all of the joys and sorrows of life.

May your path bring you untold hapiness, and may you take on the whole world with all your might. May the whole world gaze back in wonder and awe at the marvel that is you, that your footprint may shine forever in the wet sands of all our lives!

Cheers,
J.

How To Play Sorcerer

November 9th, 2010

Ahey, :)

Here’s Ron:

  1. Don’t fucking drop the ball on me. You have my Kicker. If it’s a mystery, you’re supposed to know what’s going on. If it’s an action-event, you’re supposed to round out its human and motivational side. If it’s just freaky, you’re supposed to embrace the weirdness. Don’t cop out. Above all, our shared agreement is that this Kicker is going to matter, and that means not only to at least one other character besides my own, but also to us, the people, here, during play. I know it matters to me, in its unbaked, unspiked form. You make sure your private/prepped version of it matters to you. All of that goes double for Humanity checks and Humanity gain rolls. Read the rest of this entry »

RPG Play Style Flowchart

November 4th, 2010

Hoy, :)

Here!

Do note the three radically different green endings, but note also the three equally different red endings.

There’s four red boxes, but one of them isn’t an ending, and really, it shouldn’t be red at all. :)

Cheers,
J.

Master of Illusions

October 28th, 2010

Hoy, :)

I present to you Master of Illusions, a “new” RPG by Simon C.

The first comment, written by the very author of the game, is particularly enlightening…

Cheers,
J.