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Deus Ex Minima

A member registered Aug 16, 2019 · View creator page →

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Thank you for letting me know your thoughts on the game, I appreciate your good wishes! Also, very cool that you live near the original 100 Acre Wood, on my list of places to go if I ever get to visit England.


Including the .afpub files is a pro move, very cool.

That really sounds amazing!

Thorough method of creating complex story lines using tarot cards as prompts, excellent resource, includes two full walkthroughs! Five stars.

This game was just what I needed today - it has a beautiful theme and low stress writing prompts. I will play this one again! Thank you for writing this!

These are great! I'm looking forward to putting some of these to use!

Hope is Not a Plan is a game about the stress of managing projects in an engineering firm, and ultimately, about choosing between the needs of your job and the needs of your personal life. (It is built on the Wretched & Alone template.)

The game is not a fantasy or science-fiction game, but uses the language of business - contract terms, deadlines, engineering practices, and so on. There are some sarcastic definitions that might need more care in translation to get the tone right, like “Project: a business activity with a hopeful beginning, a stressful middle, and a ruthlessly pragmatic end.”

Some of the projects that I worked on in gathering the experience to make this game were in Mexico and Argentina. It would be a privilege to work with someone to have this translated so that it could be enjoyed by engineers throughout the Americas. I’m open to ideas about how to promote and distribute the translated version!

I only know enough Spanish to be polite, before we switch the conversation to business English, (and no Portuguese at all) so I cannot help translate things the other way. But I would be happy to do review passes on other games to help the American English flow more naturally, if that would help anyone.

No, if you’re enjoying the slow burn, go ahead and play that way! So glad you’re enjoying it. :)

Oh, no, keep your character deck, that’s the level up mechanism. I bet it is super slow going without that!

That is a typo, thank you for letting me know! There is no further description for the Jack, please disregard that “If you”. I’ll get rid of that and upload a revision. I’ll also see if I can clarify the language about resetting the forest but not resetting the character cards.

Glad to hear you’re enjoying it, thank you for letting me know!

This is a village, a bit of wilderness, a cave map, an ooze fight, and a party rescue NPC if things get weird. I think this would be just about right for a two hour session, depending on how experienced your players are. It is really designed to be a jumping off point for your own plot, or to slot in with a story you're already telling. even have them run across this randomly as they're going from one town to the next.

I'll try messing around with that!

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I've managed to get an icon working in Type 3.2. Got through all the warnings the software gave me, save as OTF, install on computer, and I can see the icon in Word! Unless I raise the font size more than 72 points, then the icon turns all black inside the outline. And on Affinity Publisher, it is all black no matter what.

Any ideas what I did wrong?

I guess I'm leaning in on that with mine. I ended up going full rogue-like, with fast iterations on small maps. Luck of the deal plays a big part, but it moves pretty fast. See how it develops.

Digital games is fine with me, I hope these are helpful to you!

Also very interested in being able to do this.

These look great!

I’m working toward another update, more chonky lines, more colors, more stuff, and then I’ll start thinking about bumping the price up again. 

Take advantage of the Early Access pricing on this asset pack. It has 14k tiles, but I’m not done yet. Thanks for your consideration!

Nick, I added some more community copies - if they're all gone before you see this, let me know, I'll send you a key directly!

Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate the comments!

Thanks! There's not much hope to win the first game, but chances are not so bad on game number 3. :)

I think that's a cool addition to the mix!

I added a New Game+ mode to Hope is not a Plan in order to make each subsequent game easier. With some feedback from Matt (thank you Matt!), decided to remove one card from the deck for each previous game, make the token die roll easier each time, and starting on your third game, you begin with Ace of Hearts in play automatically.

Hope is not a Plan is a solo journaling game submitted to the Wretched Jam, using the Wretched and Alone SRD.

At its core, it is a failure simulator for a complex international engineering project. You make up the company, the client, the project, then document how it goes from bright vision of the future to abject professional failure. Unlike many Wretched and Alone games, you won’t die in this one. Instead, you have to deal with themes of professional embarrassment, getting blamed for things that aren’t your fault, profoundly disappointing your loved ones with poor work/life balance, and job loss.

More than half of the writing prompts are from my personal experience, the rest happened to people I knew in my years as a project manager.

I added a couple of new features to the game structure, including a New Game+ mode that leverages your experience in later games to make it easier to succeed the more times you play.

Also, if anyone wants a custom version for PM training at the enterprise level, hit me up!

I took a printmaking class in college, learned how to do screen printing, engraving, woodcuts, and so on. The best part of each class in the print shop for me was when we would do a 'print suite', which was a lot like a game jam. We'd pick a theme, a size of paper, and people would sign up.

The goal was that everyone would make a series of prints so that there would be enough to share, and each participant could get a copy of everyone else's work. I still have those bundles of prints, decades later, because I really loved seeing how many different ideas would come out of the same theme.

That being said, I'd love to exchange a copy of Hope is not a Plan with any or all of you, regardless of the list price of your work. Let me know if you're interested, and we can exchange download codes.

I’m waffling between $5 and $7 for mine, depending on how I feel on any given day. I would not have gone that high without your encouragement and example, setting your game to $8. :)

When you look at the number of downloads for some indie RPGs from the Racial Justice Bundle, it shows that the problem is not that people are not interested in indie RPGs, just that they don’t know about them. 

Thanks, glad you like it!

Litza, how do you want to be credited? I am adding this attribution to my copyright page:

Portions of the content are based on the Make a Wretched Game template (, by Litza Bronwyn, and are used with permission.

Anything you'd change there?

Totally falling down a rabbit hole here, trying to model budget and schedule risk in a deck of cards. Think I'm going to pull back out of that. Maybe that's the game I make next. :D

Hey, I just wanted to thank you for this. I needed the extra time. :D

Wow, what a great contribution to the Jam! This is really helpful, and I love that you included some words on game safety in your template. I will need to go back into mine and make room for that! This guide makes the world a better place. Thank you!

Would any of y'all be up for a quick read-through of Hope is not a Plan, my personal horror take on project management? I've added a New Game + feature to encourage replay, but also an imbalanced side-roll (contract Change Requests) to make things harder. I'd love to get some feedback, if you have time for it.

Glossary of Project Management Terms
  • Company - your employer. By definition, always right.
  • Client - your employer’s employer. By definition, also always right.
  • Stakeholder - one of the bosses (either Client or Company) paying attention to the project. Often, they want the project to succeed.
  • Senior Stakeholder - like a demi-god, reality shifts in their presence. They do not care about the project, they only want the outcome the project will bring them, and as far as they are concerned, you were already late when the project started.
  • Project - a business activity with a hopeful beginning, a stressful middle, and a ruthlessly pragmatic end
  • Risk Register - a document summarizing all the ways a project can fail, in the vain hope that those failures will be avoided
  • Project Manager - a highly organized wretch, practised at both hope and disappointment
  • Project Management - the art of making tradeoffs that nobody likes then explaining them to people who don’t want to hear it

Not gonna lie, I love the Volcano idea! I'm a big fan of Civ games (though I don't have that kind of time to play anymore) and I really like the idea of balancing the development of the society with the risk of blowing up.

They say write what you know. This is what I know. Hopefully, this does not turn out to be desperately boring.

You are a project manager of some experience. 
Which is why you are worried
Your company has asked you to “just get us started” on a substantial project, though the final contract terms have not been settled.
You have warned them that this is a bad idea, but management insists. They explain they are confident that you can handle it.
You know the odds are not in your favor
Project managers can ask, but they cannot compel. Their greatest strength comes from speaking truth in meetings. 
Document everything.

Thank you so much!