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JDCorley

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A member registered Jun 10, 2018 · View creator page →

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Really nice demo. A few notes:

The white UI elements (back arrow, and sometimes even the cursor) can be invisible in the high-brightness backgrounds sometimes.

While I approve of the webcam idea in theory, it's hard to ethically pull off. Unless you tell a player up front that their camera may activate, it really isn't the right thing to do. You don't know who else may be in the room or what the camera may catch. I know it isn't transmitted but it's the difference between talking to someone on the phone and putting a bug in their house.  And if you tell the player up front you will certainly miss out on the surprise of the reveal.  I'm just not sure the needle can be threaded.


Great first pass, hope someday it comes together!

A lovely little puzzle game - not too hard, but there are a few levels where if you haven't been careful looking at all elements of the game that you could get yourself in trouble. As most of the people here mention the colors, music, and design are all immaculate and extremely pleasant. I'm not sure the story adds up to much but it certainly doesn't take away from the accomplishment. Nice work.

It's an interesting work, in which you construct certain issues in a 32 issue miniseries about a trans teen superhero. However, the miniseries structure somewhat works against the conceit - you roll a d8 after each issue and skip that many issues.  While this means that the average length of play is 8 issues long, there's going to be many playthroughs that are much shorter and longer.  With only d8 tables to add thematic complications to the issues, you're going to get a lot of repeats if you roll low, and might not have a great picture of why the final issue is the way it is if you roll high.  The complication for the last issue is "you come out", though you do come out in one of the individual issue complications to a friend (and potentially more than once, accidentally or as a result of enemy action). I get what the game is getting at - here you come out to a more public degree, and of your own volition (though not necessarily in circumstances of your own making.)

I would suggest that the advantage of the miniseries format is not just in the finale (although this finale is definitely well chosen) but in the ability to aim for that finale over a set course of issues.  Not knowing exactly when you'll get there impedes the sense of pacing you can develop as a creator, or, if you prefer, the sense of continuous growth you would experience as the player of a character in a RPG.

I think the best ways to alter this are:

* Make the miniseries a set length. Give some ideas for different sorts of pressures that might make for a good finale. (Though maybe this part doesn't need to be mechanized. I like the idea that on different playthroughs we can have finales that are more or less under the control of the main character.)

* Incorporate more tables into the development of each issue.  That way if you get the same thing twice but don't have a second idea you have some variation in the prompt. Tables could also be a fun way to create villains, fellow students or supporting cast when you're not sure how to proceed.

* It's all very well and good to say "oh this can be any kind of setting you want" but actually that's not true, the teen super genre is very different in different contexts.  I would instead pay some attention to fleshing out the setting in terms of its themes. What is special about 1) the school environment, 2) the superhero environment, 3) the rest of the world as it relates to trans characters? In shifting between these environments what does the main character gain and lose? How are the pressures different? These are all questions that can help a writer guide the character through the issues.

A solid first attempt, very enjoyable to play.

I did a fan game recently and used manipulations of public domain photos for the background:

https://www.pexels.com/

https://www.rawpixel.com/category/53/public-domain?filter=all&sort=trending

https://unsplash.com/

And http://freesound.org

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I've always suggested that the sitcom was a natural fit for tabletop RPGs, but few games have truly figured out the combination of holding environment, recurring supporting cast, and balance of "straight" and "funny" to make the sitcom setup work.  After Paranoia, there's a long break in the sitcom RPG world. Primetime Adventures had "ensemble cast TV show" as a remit, which can include sitcoms, but usually in today's prestige streaming world, everyone wants to make the new Sopranos or Haunting of Hill House.  

My group ran ACP for a few nights - not all the way through the season, but far enough to really absorb the cycles of play.  ACP does a fantastic job of creating a funny and evocative sitcom premise, and then even provides the episodes itself!  A "season" of ACP probably lasts around eight or nine episodes - although sometimes you can get through two episodes in a night there are also downtime and refit episodes, as well as a season finale.  We had a great time and highly recommend it.

Ironically, another great zine-style game came out recently with a sitcom premise and structure: Visigoths and Mall Goths.  I'm excited to see what others do with this underserved area of tabletop RPGs going forward. Congrats to AlwaysCheckers on a successful project and best wishes on their next one.

Great work and looking forward to your next thing!

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Our team of three did a four night campaign of this game. Here are our impressions:

* Don't think that because it's a zine game that you'll play it to completion in one night.  Setup is fast, but to make the epiphanies of the characters meaningful you will have to give them highly detailed lives and that means taking a lot of time on the first few loops.

* It's possible for a character to exist entirely on their own and not interact with the others if the other players (the Loop, the Home and Away Teams) permit them to and the player wants to do it that way. This is fine and the game works fine if you do it that way, don't worry about it.

* The character types include a LOT of information about their personality and problems in the moves.  The Tastemaker literally can't keep a promise without spending a token, for example.  If you play the Tastemaker and you don't have any tokens you can't keep a promise. So don't.  The regular moves are "your normal bullshit".  It's what you revert to.  That tells you a lot about who the characters are.

* Dramatically, you want the strong moves to work out well for the characters and the weak moves to not work out well for the character.  But the time loop means that the "real" impact to the decision only comes in the epilogue.  So feel free to mess with them on the strong moves too in a way you wouldn't in another BOB game.

* The first loop is normal, the second is usually confusion, the third is where you panic and do a lot of loop oriented things.  If the Loop hasn't gotten a good idea of what to do before the third loop, then they need to take a break and get a good idea. They can share it too.

* Don't rush through the epilogue because it's the end of the session. Give it plenty of room to breathe, it's the only time there are genuine consequences to anything that's happened in the game.


Good stuff, we really enjoyed it.  Perhaps more comments to come!

Here are a few thoughts:

1 - Overall great job. I like that the computer feels like it's "just user friendly enough", with the unexplained blinking light next to things that are "new".  You might actually enhance this by starting the game with some of the lights already blinking and turn them off as we explore.

2 - In the video sequence, you have to return to your guest several times to trigger the sequence proceeding, but there isn't a clear reason to. Perhaps you might include something in the report.  "The next door neighbor said they heard them going in and out of the bathroom all night long" or something.

3 - In the 3D maze, you might make the photos from the photo viewer come up more often; you also might prompt to press escape to leave it behind. (I clicked a bunch, hit space bar, etc. but didn't think to use Escape as I never used it before.)

The sound in this game is great, the graphics are top tier. I especially love the deer picture. Felt really weird and creepy.  All in all a really fun experience!

I recently started working on a RPG "miniseries" length campaign with two fellows who told me "JD, we are both Jewish. We'd love to have Judaism, somehow, be connected to what happens in the campaign, or even a central element." I, raised a Southern Baptist kid, embrace the challenge of doing this effectively and respectfully.  Trying to delve into different expressions of these cultural points of view is one way I'm looking to prepare. I'm very glad I was able to review this material as it will definitely help.

I should note that I haven't had a chance to play any of the games in it, so I'll just touch on the work as a whole. The games here are mostly of the "prompt and play" sort - you roll on tables, or trigger mechanics (whether fictional or not) via things you say and do rather than with elaborate standalone systems.  The wide variety of games in the book is excellent, as is the introductory material. In fact, the first two sections are extremely useful even on their own, beyond the games themselves.  The games are brief but well detailed.  Although one game is a dinnertime LARP, another is a frankly hilarious drinking and songwriting game, and another is a wrestling RPG, the introductory material helps ties the feel of the games together. 

It's an odd kind of hobby we have. I certainly would not say my knowledge of Jewish culture, thought or art is significant, but here are fellow creators working in the same space I am, offering those perspectives through a medium that I do have expertise in.  Approached in this way, this work is highly valuable.

I recommend this work even or perhaps especially for tabletop RPG fans like me who are not very familiar with Jewish culture or thought and have never considered bringing it to the tabletop in more than a superficial way.  Best wishes to the team and good luck on whatever comes next.

Played a session of this with four experienced players. Here's what we thought:

Strengths:

* the four character types are iconic for fantastic setups, we did a steampunk game with some hidden sorcery and it worked just great

* The setup is great, the bonds are interesting. As a situation generator the game works well. "We could play this in Primetime Adventures or some other game!" was a comment we all agreed with right before we did the last page.

Weaknesses:

* the resolution doesn't seem completely functional from a game perspective; with four players there's no reason for any player to defect from the group. Further, with that many cards being dealt there's really very little chance of failure or even partial failure. We had to pick something other than "complete success" if we wanted to explore any other ending.

* the game directs you to keep some cards and discard others, but you never use the ones you keep and the discard pile never comes back. not sure if this is a mechanic that was deleted at some point

Suggestions:

* if you wanted to flesh out the strongest part of the game, the situation creation, with some specific rules for playing out particular bond expressions or the appearance of the obstacle, etc., this could be very interesting.

* because each of the character types has their own sections, you could easily create playbooks which each character stepped through as they played and create a unique artifact for everyone at the end.

A nice start to a game. One challenge you will face in polishing this up (if you choose to) is that the speed of the characters is very slow on the early levels where what you need to do is obvious and you just have to carry it out, but it will be very difficult to simply adjust the speed of the character because of how close you want to cut some of the timing puzzles. Since the excitement of a puzzle game is the "a ha" of seeing how it's done, just watching the character slowly proceed through once you've already seen it really isn't that great.  I also suggest grabbing a few more level music tunes, the one track I got several times in a row was very repetitive (not sure if it changes later.) A really solid jam game, congrats.

Really nice, solid simple horror experience. I'm not sure the low-res of it helps you that much. Also, even with gamma turned all the way up there really were a lot of spaces where I wasn't scared of the dark, I just couldn't see what was going on. However, I loved the enemy, I loved the way the doors get bashed down, it's quite solid. Good work.

A nice little horror vignette. One element vignettes like this often share is an inability to alter lighting or graphics settings. This is an accessibility issue and you should consider allowing some adjustment to brightness, gamma, etc. This is especially true since hidden numbers are part of the game. You can always change the ending sequence to the lighting you want as you go.  Overall, a great job. 

Hi there. There's no feedback option on the main game page so I'm commenting here. First, I think using the text message structure really helps the Twine elements come alive and feel real.  But I think there's something a little off about how long/elaborate the messages can be. Lots of parts of this game don't really feel like text messages. Here are some options:

* shorten some messages, and frame others with "hang on while i copy/paste" or something like that to keep the text message illusion alive

* frame it more as a conversation (a phone conversation, perhaps? or maybe a chat app like discord or slack where longer messages are good

* something else - maybe they are screensharing to us what they're writing, etc.  You might even look at some graphical elements to show this. Check out the Twine forums for help with this.

Some of the best moments in the work are when you embrace the "conversation by text" part, especially things like the main character nervously broaching themselves as a possible partner. In those moments the choice to make the game "texts" is highly effective. So I would not recommend losing those moments and switching to a standard narrative stance.

This game is a great example of what I always emphasize about worldbuilding - that unless you're literally Tolkien (and not even he was always Tolkien) it should exist only and forever to highlight character traits, strains and expressions. It took me a little while to figure out what "90s turn" meant, but when I did, it made me laugh at the "1390s" clarification in some of the responses. It was exciting to me to discover something about the world and the characters that wasn't just dumped in my lap. It's one of the more skillful examples of this feeling and technique, for everything from blood pubs to vampire psychology. At the end of this game I felt like you had actually taken me both into this world and into the life of these characters.

Kudos on an absolute delight of a game, can't wait to see what comes next.

In my opinion the difficulty was just right. Definitely something to be proud of since it would have to be tailored to fit the limitations in draw distance and the movement speed/pattern of the monsters. Nice job and good luck with what comes next for you!

You're very welcome and best wishes to all the contributors!

16 - 16 - A nice little atmospheric point and click, a breather after a few "run run run" games. However, the giant eyeball ending...cmon. The digitizing candles are a really low key build, you can think of something better.

17 - Vale - Great lightning effects, good atmosphere. Again, this feels like the nightmare of playing a video game. I also like that you can move around inside the credits. 

18 - Spooky Library - Again, this seems to not be connected to the previous game. i appreciate the new aesthetic, however, I have to say that the fixed camera angle makes death come...often without you really being able to see what kills you. Would love to see more of this one.

19 - Abraxas - Really solid....stealth (?) mini game. The ending's a good horror hook as well.

20 - 999,999 - A nice little showcase to close it out. Not a bad ending at all.

Overall thoughts:

* being a little stricter about endings and difficulty levels could have achieved the goal of the collection a little better

* the menu system, with the documents, faux disks, etc., is an absolute masterpiece!

* these games lack brightness and contrast features. i understand you want horror games to control these elements but this is an accessibility question for many users.

Best wishes, looking forward to the next thing from these creators.

11 - Day 11 - Excellent, but perhaps unsurprisingly given the predecessor, it doesn't seem to be part of the narrative. However, everything in it feels like it could have happened in a PS1 game.

12 - Avert Your Eyes - The presentation of this really hurts the concept. What, flamethrowering floating, murmuring eyes in a cave isn't scary enough without a smartphone and pixellation? It is. 

13 - (weird collection of symbols) - The second arcade style action game in the collection, this one a runner. The graphical style at first seems grating but as it proceeds you start to feel like you're playing a game that was found in raw code rather than designed. Really cool.

14 - (some kind of eyeball thing?) - I just got done watching a 3 hour video on Pac-Man, so it's great to see a horror/creepy version. Sticks around just long enough to be fun.

15 - 15 - Similar to the previous game (interestingly enough), the map is small enough that even finding "that darn last book" isn't too hard. Fun game with just enough pop-in to feel creepy.

6 - Dream Aether - At first I was a little taken aback by the lack of horror in the horror anthology entry but it was actually a nice vaporwave breather (get it?)

7 - Ball // Out - Tried to bridge the gap back to horror but I couldn't finish it because it was too hard. This entry raises the question of difficulty in "connected" anthologies like this, because perhaps I would have appreciated the next game more if I had finished it.

8 - (Can't tell the name) - A real pleasure of a game, capturing both the truly haunted/cursed PS1 vibe as well as actually working on the feeling of the movement and attack mechanics. Perhaps the game that most of all lets you develop a bit of skill in it (knowing when to backstep, for me, specifically, was a great feeling when I figured it out.)

9 - Swell - I liked the concept as a horror game concept, eating or being eaten, but even once I knew what I was doing I couldn't do it. 

10 - Organ Even (I think? Hard to read) - Of course the best thing about all Alien videogames is playing the facehugger, right? Right. This combines that with a literally collapsing level geometry for an unsettling pleasure. A little hard to see where or how you're progressing though.

Quick notes on each game (as i play them through, in groups of 5)

1 - Torch. Great intro game. A lot of "haunted PS1" games don't capture what a PS1 game actually looked and felt like. they're just generic smashed-graphics games. This one does some work to make it look and feel right. It's playable enough and creepy enough to launch the series.

2 - Ms. Blanch - Again, great job at feeling like a dream or a nightmare of a video game. Also, a very good rhythm as the game gets, uh, darker. 

3 - The participants - The first game I felt really popped with the "narrative path" element of this collection. Not what I had assumed would happen next at all. However, the flashing glitch elements were not necessary. The color-division and edge-of-screen tearing was glitchy enough.

4 - Emerge. A little more by-the-numbers. This type of game is what I expect from a project like this. I think the ending is great but there could have been other moments like that building up to it where controls were a little bit orthogonal.

5 - Drip. A completely unexpected experience; not at ALL what I expected from a horror game collection. I would have made it even a little more cursed. Solid feeling play.

Here are my comments:


+ great use of ambient sound, top tier

+ levels are great, right size, feel great

+ the sloppy mouselook is terrific


0 doesn't seem to fit the description on itch - there really weren't any "early MMOs" that look or feel like this


- Inability to adjust brightness may make game inaccessible, depending on monitor setup and vision needs of the player

- itch says you can just walk back to the exit, but that's sometimes quite a long way. a quit-without-saving-further option would be helpful. also the itch page is a bit inaccurate, there are many doors you can walk through that do not save the game


Best wishes, this game is really cool.

Will do!

We did a pretty extensive playtest on this, I don't want to go into too much detail here because I don't want the feedback to linger past the current test documents...i'm also not on twitter or patreon. is there some other way i can get the feedback to you?

yea. it's still broken

Nice job. I will echo what others have said that the sound design in this is fantastic. Realizing what the "whirr" sound was after you find the handwritten note was really exciting. However, I would urge that if you use unity in this way that you provide some gamma correction options. The dark parts of the house weren't scary, they were just......impossible to see in. This is a common thing with monitors Of A Certain Age. Overall it's looking great.

You're welcome and Trello is a cool idea.

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I backed this on Kickstarter and then played it in an online convention that replaced a regional convention when the pandemic broke out. Here are three things that we learned that might help others have a good experience:

  • Get a small notebook, steno sized is fine. At the top of the first several pages, put one of the key questions you have to answer when you Jump To Conclusions. So at the top of page 1: What is the Nature of the Area?, top of page 2: What caused the Fall?, etc.  This way when you Jump to Conclusions, you never forget a question and you have plenty of room to cross off your previous thoughts and write a wholly new one if the fiction has gone in that direction.
  • When introducing the game to new people, emphasize that, other than Lore, everything you say must be introduced with a light touch. You are gonna say some cool stuff that is going to get overlooked or misinterpreted by the other players. You have to always have your Conclusions but you can't hang onto them so tightly that you can't change your mind about what's actually happening. If you have a really cool thing you DON'T want people to overlook, you will have to introduce it in a piece of Lore.  
  • Lay out the full economy of each act at the beginning of the act. Be sure everyone understands how many scenes there are, and how many are required to be danger scenes. Walk all the way through the epilogue when explaining Act 3, including that there is only one scene at the end to show how things change as a result of the wanderer's journey.

We had a great experience with this game, it has similarities to classics like Swords Without Master, Dirty Secrets and Primetime Adventures.  Highly recommended.

(repeatedly hammers f5 over and over)

It was good! Everyone had a good time. Hope to see you all next year.

There's a similar game called Sad Robot,  but it's more explicitly about observing the end of humanity. https://blue-golem-games.itch.io/sad-robot

GenCon is a belching mess of boredom wrapped in a sweatsock. RinCon is a delicious cane asada taco served for only $2. Come to RinCon this year and I'll buy you a Sonoran hot dog and we'll play some good games. I'm gonna be part of the Indie RPG Arcade, which is comparable to Games on Demand in other conventions. It'll be fun!

Penny goes even further than this. You're actually not asking what happens next...you're asking what you do next! Penny for my Thoughts is the opposite of a roleplaying game - it's a game where you literally are forbidden by the rules from making significant decisions or statements as your character. That's what the other people at the table do. It's really fun.

It was great! We ran a huge Marvel Heroic game with four tables of crossing-over heroes in eight hours of cosmic battling goodness. I ran "the Netflix table" in Act One. 

I don't know why you wouldn't call a game - even a multiplayer game! - a ritual in the first place. If you go to a minor league ballpark early enough for batting practice and stay late enough for the cleaners to come through the stands, you'll definitely see the ritual; it might not be completely contiguous with the game of baseball, but it's entwined enough that I sure as heck am not qualified to pull them apart.

Great topic. Accessibility in texts in general is  a huge problem many TTRPGs don't succeed at. Here is a good font resource. The British Dyslexia Association has a style guide which can also help with visual stress from reading no matter whether the reader is dyslexic or not. 

Pokethulhu (available free) did a few things of interest to this question:

1 - It approached play as an episode of a fictional TV show.

2 - It put the bestiary in a cartoonily-appropriate world. Just as the pocket monsters were little cute cthuloid monsters, so too was the world a kind of combination of Halloweentown and Lovecraft country.

3 - It used 12 sided dice because those looked like the in-world version of Pokeballs

Right. I also try to fit things like complexity of system, type of setting, etc. to their tastes.

"Call of Cthulhu is....... good" - JDCorley, itch dot io user

Great topic, very important. I am a lawyer and you did a good summary. Typically the amount of money involved in a roleplaying game is so minimal that actual litigation isn't advisable to anyone who will ever read a web forum. However, you never know what will hit big and you definitely should keep an eye on what you own and what you don't or can't. Specifically, here, I'm thinking of game mechanics as different from the fixed expression of game mechanics. It's actually quite hard (and half-untested - a long story) to patent game mechanics as a process. But you can obtain copyright on expression that you do of game mechanics (texts, etc.)