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Space is fire, which, on C64 (which this game is inspired by) does everything.

That was great, thank you! You actually found a bug... and I'm sorry you didn't get the full experience because of it. You won JUST AT THREE so the clown got sad and didn't actually come in and kill anybody. 

I made you a lil video in return so you could see the ending. Also, check out that masterful technique... you can get two shots in and hide. The clown only advances while kids are looking at you, and shooting the teacher gets their attention. But, if the teacher catches you and starts yelling the class loses attention and the clown runs away. I'm working on finishing development and I hope you'll try it again when it's complete.

(Oh, also, the glitch in the title screen goes to "Begin the Slaughter" and "Run Screaming.")

Thank you! Can we get rid of this one? It's about eating seagulls and not clowns at all...

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I'm so sorry, something happened with my submission, the one that was supposed to be submitted was, but it wasn't on my list when I went to upload it, and there was just a pink button that said nothing on it, and when I hit it, it chose my other game GullBuddies. That is NOT my entry. I'm so sorry, if the jam host could fix this, I would be so happy, I promise the game was released on time, it just wasn't showing up on my list to submit to the jam.

EDIT: also, for some reason, at present my game does not fit the window. I don't know why the auto-size doesn't work, but it never does. I will, instead of relaxing now for the first time in ten days, try to make my game fit the damn window.

EDIT 2: Nope, sorry, my game was still in draft mode the whole time. I guess it doesn't count. Sorry.

I meant more than just the face, but what do you have in mind? (ie the C64 font, pixel art, keeping everything in the manual in the C64 palette, and making games using the Wizard's Tales rules).


I was actually most impressed by Mayfair's Chill and TSR's Marvel Superheroes (the old system even had the same d% Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent ranking success system). I think I most likely will take your advice and set up something like Chill's wound system where the character takes gradual fatigue injury but called shots have set results. It shouldn't take too much more work to simply combine it all.

as for your marketing advice, it may have been exactly what I needed. as a game developer, I am very heavily influenced by the old 80's desktop computer games. My dad bought me a Commodore 64 when I was a kid and I taught myself to program BASIC at seven by looking through the old "type in this program exactly this way and hit run and it will play a game" books and changing things until I figured out how they worked. Because of this, I make retro 2d games in C64 and NES style.

The C64 was amazing... They did so much with so little, and they made me as a kid experience so many worlds with such limited capabilities. I remember those old games with such respect, especially Zork, which, with NO graphics, made me have the closest experience to VR I could have back then. 

What do you think if I brand it like an old retro game, with my Wizard's Tale logo on the cover (it plays in the intro to my games, it's my face digitized and palette swapped to C64 colors), and that way I can tie in my video games as well?

Overall, I very much like it, but the first (admittedly few) readthroughs of the text were a bit confusing.

1) Before I say this, let me say it's clear you've read game manuals not just to learn how to play the game but to study the style so you can write your own manuals. Your language is very professionally "game manual-y," and in individual sentences and paragraphs it's very easy to follow.

However, I didn't actually feel I knew how the game worked at all until after I got through most of the book, and after the examples I still wasn't sure I was on track. My main issue, I think, was how the Guide is to choose almost everything to make the game mechanics work, and how many of them to choose. I have an idea, but the example section didn't do much to cure that issue. 

You start using rules and terms that aren't yet defined right away (I actually noticed this on the game's page, in that some of the features of the game used terms I, as someone who didn't know the game, would have no reason at that point to understand or care about) and it took me a second before I even realized what the Guide was supposed to be (luckily, it was only until the end of the paragraph, not until the section where you say it outright). I think you'd benefit from two things... one of which I did in mine and the other I wanted to but I cut it out because I wanted to keep the manual short enough to print cheaply.

First, the first time you reach a new term, you should either embolden it and immediately define it, like I did, or add a sidebar doing so. The second thing intrudes on my answer to question three, so I'll explain down there.

2) I actually really like the concept of the cues. It doesn't just back up your character, but as you yourself pointed out in the text leads to an understanding of the complex interrelationships between the characters. A self-described jock character and a self-described nerd character are going to react differently with each other than with a self-described cheerleader character, and the bonuses and penalties involved in these interrelationships are readily understandable. How much more do you think you could get into it? Is it worth a supplement, or could what you have in mind be added in a page or two?

3) To continue my thoughts from the first question, a good idea might be to write out a story about a group of people playing a full game session, from character creation to wrapping up a game session, focusing mainly on one character and the Guide but using three or four characters as "background actors." Stuff like "Dave decides he wants his character to be a Prussian pikeman in the Napoleonic Wars, so he looks at the weaponry-related skills for any related to his profession. He finds the Melee skill and chooses specialties in Pike and Short Sword." 

Once you have one full play session mapped out, specially designed to introduce the reader to each new concept in order from least to most complicated but most to least integral, you cut it up and order the manual so it becomes a readthrough of the story, with little bits inserted at the end of every page of the rules. I think this would serve to make it feel less disjointed than the examples section toward the end.

4) I'm not sure I know how you mean, but I'll answer with an idea that may be helpful both here and in response to the second question. Maybe you should release supplemental stake sheets for different situations rather than worrying about what everyone's going to want right up front.

5) Not right now, except I like the art, but I'm going to try to to get a playtest group together. I'm not sure if I'll be able to gather enough people before the jam is over, but when I do I'll record the session and get back to you with my further notes. I'm perfectly willing to discuss anything further.

That was really fun, but incredibly hard. I couldn't get past the second level, but I kept trying for a good long time.

That was pretty fun. I played it for a while before I could get myself to stop. It reminds me a lot of Operation Wolf if it had a baby with Time Crisis and then that baby somehow also got Metal Gear 2 involved in the mix.  Some background elements overlap the character a bit sometimes, but apart from that, good game and cool concept.

Thanks! A lot of the material is supplemental, don't feel like you need to read the entire manual to understand the rules.

I can't promise you I'll be done by today, but this is just a "hey there" to say I've downloaded it and copied your questions to a txt in the folder and I'm looking forward to giving it a read and a playthrough so I can get back to you.

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The Wizard's Tale RPG

There's a link to my game. It's a universal game engine, like GURPS, where you can make any type of character you want and play in any type of game world or genre. These are the most recent rules, and they've been undergoing revisions for around thirty years. On my website, there  are links to some of the earlier versions, back when it was a d% system. It currently uses 1d10.

My two main things I want to talk about are the combat system and marketing.

The problem is the injury system. The main reason I changed the old percentile system to d10 was to accommodate making the combat easier and and more streamlined, but I don't feel it's helped. I've never, ever been happy with how injury and healing work, and so I always fudge them during gameplay in favor of my players.

The reason I even made the game in the first place was because I hated how D&D was so fun during the roleplaying segments but combat became this...

"I hit the goblin with my axe."


"I hit it."

"Roll for damage."


"Okay. Next."

I hate it, especially when playing in a big group and everybody just sits there waiting for twenty minutes just to say "I hit the goblin with my axe" again. It got even worse with the newer editions pretty much turning it into pen-and-paper World of Warcraft, where you just click on your move to attack. I wanted to create a game where the combat would be just as cinematic and action-packed for everyone involved as the other segments. For thirty years of running this game and its predecessors, I have had people swear off other RPG's for life, I've had sessions last for days in a row with no break except lunch, pooping, and the occasional nap, and I've had newbies and people who have never even been the type of people who wanted to play an RPG become addicted.

...But I have never, ever used the proper combat rules as they are written in the manual. 

I made complicated damage rules because I wanted it to be realistic, so it could be cinematic. It annoys me in a game where you can shoot a target in the toe for one damage, but since they just happened to only have 1 HP left, they die. I hate that idea sooooo much that it was the driving force for me to start working on The Wizard's Tale. Every time we play, I tend to strive to get all my players through alive to the end of the story anyway, so even though they can take some pretty bad injuries, I kind of handwave the penalties, and even when I do add them in nobody remembers to apply a -5 penalty from an injury to their left hand ANY time they use that arm, never mind every time.

Anybody who could really help me improve my combat (specifically injury) system would be greatly appreciated. 

Also, I believe in Ars Gratia Artis, or art for art's sake. I create things so people can enjoy them. However, my art is technically my only form of income, since my main profession is "Wandering Wizard," and I do not ever charge for those services.  Thus, while I provide everything I ever make free of charge, I do accept donations.  I'm relatively new to the internet community, though, and in my attempts throughout the years to get it and its predecessors out there I've never had a single person stick around in the community unless I personally run a game for them. The internet has never been a source of new players, and I've only just recently gotten the website up, so until now there has been no place for the other "converts" to congregate. Thus, despite in my travels having built up a real-life following all over North America, I have absolutely no online presence, and despite my best efforts haven't been able to obtain one, and I'm not even quite sure how you're supposed to get new people to find you online in the first place. 

On top of that, I wasn't really interested in making any money at all back then, and was just running it for the love of the game, so I'm sure none of the people out there still playing my game (using very outdated rules at this point) even know I'm still around doing this.

So, if anyone can help me come to grips with how you're supposed to do this silliness also, that would be amazing too.


"Indicate in your post if you're available for further discussion of the game, of your answers, and so on..."

...Okay. Also, I've been designing tabletop pen and paper games, card games, and computer games since I was seven, which was a really long time ago, so I'd be happy to help anybody else out.... once some other stuff gets posted. ***first! yeah!***

I just released what little I had as a Proof of Concept, and now I can start on things like a devlog for it.  It even has a little procedural generation in it, even though that was one simple thing out of a million things I somehow thought I could get procedurally generated in ten days.

Still, a lot of the code is there. It just doesn't do anything on screen yet, unfortunately.

I plan on sticking with it for awhile. I didn't get much done in these ten days but the list isn't as ambitious as it may seem... I actually got a lot of the character and vehicle generation stuff done in the first two days, it's just hidden in the background. I was also pretty limited in that I taught myself Unity and C# in the week prior to the jam by making a game where you eat seagulls and your health meter is how much bird shit is on your clothing.  I hope you'll enjoy the end product!

I've been working on this same idea and developing a tabletop RPG engine for twenty-plus years that works on this type of concept. It's my thought that by "practicing" being in dangerous situations with your friends and having to make split second decisions which could lead to drastic success or catastrophic failure, you can really assist people in trust and teamwork when confronted with similar real-world situations, and that a skilled Game Master can help his players become better people... Very interesting, I can't wait to read it thoroughly.!!!

Cool, I'll save for later and definitely give it another look. Thanks for the detailed reply!

Those are awesome. It reminds me of the sprites from the old C64 game "Adventure Creator."

This reminds me a lot of the games that taught me to program... You used to be able to buy these books for C64 with themes like Marvel superheroes and if you typed out the whole program and typed run you could do something like this, only you were Reed Richards looking for Doctor Doom (I don't know how I remembered that right now).

NO... Stop it. That's too addictive. The car was a little hard to control, but I couldn't stop trying.

Neato, I thought I was the only Wizard making games. This is really awesome. It reminds me a bit of one of the Ultima games for DOS, although I can't remember which one... early on in the game there is this guy spouting procedurally-generated poetry that seemed extrapolated from Shakespeare, but I thought it was so cool I made my own in QBasic.

I've never seen that type of lighting with that type of art style... It's really neat. I'm going to add this to my list and keep an eye on it, because it seems really cool and atmospheric (I keep calling games atmospheric today, but everyone keeps using this really creepy "Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark" aesthetic, even when they aren't creepy, which I absolutely love. Yours really reminds me of the Terminal Reality game Nocturne, which had amazing flashlight effects. Good job!

It seems like a really well-made game, but a tutorial mode may be in order. Are there any docs?

It seemed a little unfair that I could whiz around like the Flash and my competition were a bunch of dopes, but that didn't stop me from forgetting how many rounds I played trying to rub how good I was in their stupid construction worker faces.

Very simple and nice. The art is really perfect, and I wasn't always sure if I wasn't somehow controlling it with my mouse movements.

Well, that's pretty relaxing for a while. The art style is simple but still really beautiful.

That was cute and fun, and it can get pretty addicting trying to not let her run away.

This is really great! The graphics remind me of games like Uridium, One Man and His Droid, and all the other old C64 games I used to love as a kid. Good job, and neat idea!

Those are great. I hope you plan to put this in a game, because procedurally-generated guns like that would be super-neat as a game mechanic.

That made some really unexpectedly pretty creatures.

This was pretty neat, although finding where I was on the screen was almost never easy, especially when going through the double door that leads to the thing that talks like a Ram Dass book (I got stuck going back and forth through it for a while). The concept of procedurally-generated tarot cards is pretty cool. 

That was a neat little game, and one of the best I've played from that engine. It gets a little hectic!

Very cool. I haven't had a chance to play it yet, but I downloaded a copy of the demo and I'm excited to have a look. Based on what I see here, it's like a lot of my favorite games (like Wing Commander: Privateer). Looks like a lot of work has gone into it, too.

Good heavens, that seems like a whole lot of work went into it. Very beautiful images.

Well, that's pretty neat, and the art style is very appropriate...  looks just like the kind of maps you'd find in a campaign module booklet.

Good gravy. It makes me feel much better that the host isn't going to make it. I hope nobody is giving up outright... Keep pushing onward, fellow codesmiths!

I think I may have bitten off more than I could chew... I haven't even gotten to the part of my game that does the procedural generation. Also, when I first found out the theme of the jam I was like "cool! That fits perfectly with my idea," but only at the very end of the game that I'm likely not going to finish anytime terribly soon. Personally, I don't even have enough to release a worthwhile demo, and likely won't for another week or two. 

Anyone else sailing with me aboard this grey ship of despond? And if so, what are you planning on doing? 

It was a fun little game. I agree with the other poster, I couldn't get past the second level, but my laptop is a poopmaster and was pretty laggy (and that's the one I'm using to make my game... argh!). It was a great idea for procedural generation, too.