I must apologize to Eric and everyone else. I must drop out of the challenge — as in, I won’t be submitting a game. I’ll am still happy to participate in the judging if I am allowed.

Life has gotten crazy with some work stuff and an upcoming certification exam. I have some free time but I am giving other things a higher priority right now.


Published in: on February 26, 2007 at 11:03 pm  Comments (1)  

The Mind Map

by Adam Dray

I’ve done some basic analysis of the mind map and it’s led me to some cool ideas.

First off, I cataloged the list of words written on it: Light, Construction, Culture, Heaven, Altruism, Religion, H., Dove, Lamb, Minoris North, Poise, Future, Inspriation, Science, Man, Child, Equator, Learning, Arts, Defense, Intell., Percep., Vernal, March 21st, Receptive, Home, Fam., Magnet, Sensation, Appetite, 1st, Socials, Will, Earthward, Stability, South, Attractive, Spe., Spinalis, Equator (again), Ambit., J., Autumn, Positive, Industry, Elect., East, Th’ Past, Wealth, Wolf, Hades, Serpent, Destruction, Darkness, Leopard, Lion, Exit, Repulsion.

They’re evocative words with a few exceptions (“Fam.” is probably Family but what are “Spe.” and “H.” and “J.”?).

More exciting, there are Zodiacal symbols on the map. I see the marks for Aries, Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Gemini, and maybe Pisces and Aquarius. This means I will use astrology as the basis of Character for the game. And maybe for Situation; that’d be cool. I found some awesome stuff at astrology-numerology.com that describes positive and negative traits for each sign and lists of keywords for the signs. These is great fodder for character generation.

I can get into stuff like which planet is in your sign and so on, if I have time. That will be great for Situation. There’s also a page on synastry, or astrological relationship analysis. That might be useful for my interpersonal relationship system.

Published in: on February 16, 2007 at 9:29 pm  Comments (1)  


by Adam Dray

I don’t even know what my game is about yet, but here are some things I’d like to get into it.

No, wait, before I go there, I want to talk about what I want to get out of it. Out of this endeavor, I mean. I do these contests for two reasons. First and primary, I want to practice and hone my craft. Entering contests like Reversed Engineer, Iron MACE Game Chef, and Bibliodyssey challenges me to try new things, work outside my comfort zone, and experiment. I want to use this contest to try out some whacky new ideas for game mechanics and stuff. If they don’t work, oh well. Second, I like the attention or, rather, the communication. I want to talk to other people about the games I write. There are two well-tested avenues for doing this in this community: actual play reports and game design contests. Since I’m not playing these days (but I’m working on it!) I need to enter contests to find the kind of dialog I crave.

Okay, that’s done. What are my mechanical goals for this game? I want some cool social mechanics. I have a couple ideas, inspired by the indie diaspora. One is a sort of group entity with its own statistics. I stole this idea wholesale and totally forgot who brought it up. Full credit is due, if only I can find the reference. Second is inspired loosely by something that Shreyas said about characters imprinting messages on one another. I want a system where players can drop new stats on someone else’s character and that player earns some kind of reward for using the new trait.

So I might be aiming my setting and whatnot at something that can support strong social dynamics among PCs and NPCs.

Published in: on February 16, 2007 at 8:46 pm  Comments (1)  

Adam Dray’s image set – First thoughts

So Adam’s images from Itinerario led me to investigate the author
Jan Huyghen van Linschoten. To make a long story short, he basically copied top-secret Portuguese navigation charts, that helped the Dutch to gain a foothold into the East Indies. Even with the charts the Dutch could get to the East Indies, but the trip was perilous and many expeditions didn’t return, and thus my inspiration was born.

I want to frame the game around a Dutch ship headed to the East Indies. The crew will likely be fixed. Players will each choose a character to play and establish their character’s Links to home. Links to home can be used to reinforce the Bonds that a PC has with other crewmembers. So for instance you could show the locket with a picture of your sister to another crewmember while the two of you are sharing a drink one night, and this would increase the Bond that you have with that crewmember.

The scenes in which Bonds are strengthened are alternated with scenes in which the ship encounters dangers (i.e. being blown off course, running aground, storms, possibly starvation, or even mutiny). In these scenes the PCs will each deal with some portion of the crisis in some form of conflict resolution. Players can utilize other crewmembers within the conflict resolution and this will likely pull in a die equal to their bond size. If the initial roll fails, a crewmember’s die can be rerolled but only if that crewmember dies as a result of the resolution.

I’m probably going to build further around this initial idea. A lot of the thoughts around having a fixed cast, with the NPCs at risk of death is influenced by carry’s PCs and fodder.

Crossposted at my blog.

Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 4:39 am  Comments (4)  

10 Images From Adam Dray

From Itinerario:

Lectuli Quibus

Cochini Rex
Figuras de Mujeres


Ratio Que Coelo

Original Source

From The Spalatin Chronicle Family Trees:

Von Dises

Von Dises 2

Original Source

From Easy Pickings:

Broad Sword Instructions

Original Source (may be broken, also see this)

From Death Becomes Her:

Dis Des Estats

Original Source

From The Graphic Mercenary:


Original Source

Published in: on February 11, 2007 at 6:52 pm  Comments (1)