Thursday, April 30, 2009

Had a rough night, blasted allergies and wet weather.

Woke up at 3 AM with sniffles and by 3:30 I was having a wonderful sneezing fit. I pulled up Quark and worked on the layouts for the new card sets. I have 24 of the cards laid out. 12 more and set one is ready to print. I'll get that done today.

I have a Jason (Mark's Mysteries) podcast that I'm recording that is coming along mighty fine, so I'll be spending most of the day on it. I'm also turning over the next GGP Astral Podcast in my mind forming it for recording. Time to meet an Astralager. She is a space ship pilot. She guides ships through the Astral World from planet to planet... She has an interesting perspective on the Astral World.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We Played!

The game went very well. The new tweaks work. I am really excited by what we have here, but I have to be careful not to jump the gun. If I put up the alpha game too soon it will be too confusing to be given a good play. Most of it is in crude notes and in my head.

After lasts nights game and discussion I was able to write an understandable and comprehensive description of the combat phases. I will also be able to get a good combat resolution description done from the game last night. We are doing this in a much more detailed way than we did with DS. It is easier for the GM to control the game this way.

I am on pins and needles waiting to see if we get pre-orders for the new card sets. I only put them up yesterday, so I am in for a lot of finger twisting waiting to see what happens. I can't help it, I'm excited by the prospects and I'm really hoping people put up money for the sets.

Well, back to work.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Standard Cards come to life.

We are working on two experiments on the gaming front. Both are nerve wracking and are costing me both time and restless sleep.

The first are the standard card sets. We are trying out the items first. We have two 36 card sets and an 18 card set up for Pre-Orders. We really do want to do this whole project straight out of incoming cash. We do not want to borrow money to buy them. That always involves the extra cost of interest and bookwork.

The second is the new Core Rules. We are doing a full play test tonight to see exactly how it works. The game itself is both familiar, and different. The first question is whether people can overcome their preconceived ideas. We shall see. The new card making process makes this new game possible.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I have made some observations

After spending these three days focused upon the Furry Connection North Convention. I am afraid, that while this con was quite invigorating, it was also somewhat perilous.

But, for the moment I shall pass from that to the differences between the traditional Sci-Fi and Game conventions and the newer Furry and Anime Cons. As some of you know I wear and listen to an Ipod. I have some tunes there that I find both entertaining and relaxing. Anyway, back to the point. At traditional Cons I get several inquiries about my health and heart, since they think I am wearing a heart monitor. At Furry and anime cons they ask which Ipod I am listening to and no one mistakes an Ipod for a heart monitor.

Now to return to the health issues of conventions. I fear that I have several chemical allergies. As the years have marched onward the number of these chemicals that I encounter in convention centers has continuously increased. I find my feet swelling, congestion rising, fingers losing feeling, itching in awkward locations, headaches and several other less savory responses.

The sad truth is that I do enjoy the people and antics which occur at conventions. I actually enjoy both the speaking and the listening.

There were several dedicated DS players at the Con and they provided us with new players. A round of applause, please, for Steele, Alkalai and the others. I know, I am terrible with names, but I will recognize them in the dark allies that I haunt...

Furry Connection North is going on our regular convention rotation. We had fun and showed a profit. You can't beat that combination.

More of this rambling tomorrow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Heading Out for Furry Connection North

The convention is about an hour south of us, so we will be driving back and forth each day. That should be fun. I know people do that all the time, but I'd rather have that time to actually work with.

I have been prepping the new Core rules for a serious play test next week. It should be interesting to see how it works over the long haul. So far, it is looking very good. Much easier to set up scenarios to play. It looks like it may be possible to set the scenarios up as descriptive podcasts.

I'm still working on the "card speak" for the Astral Theory and Astral Vision cards. It is so much easier to play them with just a title and card points. Da Whip and Da Big Whip will be up soon after. Ya just grab one of those Astral Ribbons and start whipping up some trouble. Certainly helps to be a Whip Master.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Core Game Work, New Cards, New Podcast

I got the second podcast up on the Astral magic/worlds/transport. I am hoping that while I'm at Furry Connection North this weekend I can focus enough to do the Astral basic cards as Beta Cards.

Doing the podcasts takes a good deal of time, but it is a lot faster than writing this up for the Madness Blog. Writing/typing is a slow process for me, I keep second guessing myself and spend way too much time searching the dictionary for the precise meaning/word I want to use. A lot of that can be covered in an inflection where in creative writing you have to find the exact word.

We had a very productive meeting/game for the Core rules last night. Covered a lot of ground and got good info on what people want to know. Combining that with the feedback here and I'm making good progress on the fundamentals.

The new concepts in the game are taking some "unlearning" of DS rules, but the changes appear to be working. I think it is hard to unlearn because 80% has stayed the same as DS.

The initial Storm Worlds games will not have shape shifters, we already have that covered in DS, no sense in covering the same territory right off the bat. In fact the first world is a low Tech, Low Magic world. It lets us focus on the actual skill and combat system without getting too many details in the way.

At this point we have eight Races in play. Tigreans, Foxes, Wolves, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Tarkians and Humans. We have some of the Racial skills set, but I'm keeping my eye out for more ideas. We could also wind up adding more races to the selection before all is said and done. By having direct Racial Bonuses built in we can accommodate a lot more races in the Core rules. I am open to other suggestions for the selection of Races.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It was a slow day

We had a slow day at the craft/art fair. It was worth doing, but not by much. We did meet with someone who does vests and we may be getting pocketed vests for both Sue and I. They would get a painting. Trades are good.

I have been plugging away at the Core game in the back of my mind. One thing I would like to do is distinguish the different races from one another better. To do that I would like to know what abilities or skills you think different races should have, what suits each of the races to distinguish them.

The Races we are looking at for the Core rules are: Tigrean, Foxes (Das Karr), Wolfmen, Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Trolls, and Tarkians. I need some ideas for each. Tarkians are tall, usually bald, cross of Elven and Human. The lead character in the Gatekeeper comics was a Tarkian.

Just drop some comments in here with your thoughts. Thanks!

Oh, yea, I reworked the main page on the Dragon Storm site. I even dug out the old Stories Site and threw it in a folder to bring back some of the old files.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Working on a Sponsored card set.

We have a Sponsored / Commissioned card set of 17 cards that is due in May and now is on the front burner. A lot of editing/layout and artwork to be done, but the process started some time ago, so It should not be as bad as it could be. Some of the cards they want are beyond the scope of DS, so they will Campaign cards. Once we get there I will be posting those somewhere for people who want to use the ideas themselves in home games.

We have a Craft/Art show this saturday in Lansing, so Friday will be a prep day. I'm going to do some extra Prep for this one because we have Furry Connection next weekend and it will take more prep time than this one day show. It also means we are going to move our day off from Saturday to Sunday.

I will be using Monday and Tuesday to create the next GGP podcast on Astral Worlds. I think you are going to meet an astral Mage, well, one trying to create astral magics anyway. It will go over astral senses and some of the basics that are seen this way. He is working on the first Journey Storm casting.

Wednesday will be printing the Pre-orders for the new cards, and a few for Furry Connection. It will be about a week later before the individual cards will be produced.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday's, I'm just glad

I'm just glad that Mondays are the second day of my workweek. What if I had to face this as the first day of the week?

I started the explanations of how the Storm Worlds are connected with the GGP-012 podcast. This one covers the random storm portals. You can locate everything through this link. I am really surprised at how many downloads there have been of these game podcasts. Way more than we have DS players. The regular Mark's Mysteries story podcasts have a much bigger download audience. I know people are going to want all this stuff written, but honestly, I'm a storyteller and Sue is a creative artist.

When I do a podcast there is no script at all. I record it once, Sue and I listen to it, talk, then I go back and re-record. No written version, ever. I work from the previous spoken version and my memories of talking to Sue. I have also tried talking to Mocha, but I just don't understand her comments. Maybe I'll try the cat...


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Morning

I had planned on re-speaking the new GGP podcast this morning, but I just got up too late to fit it in. We have a trip to Sue's mom's place this afternoon.

So, I'm going to start this holiday with some web work, and setting up a Custom Card order I just got. Sue got me the text for three more TOK pages and I want to work on the SVC and MM sites some. I'm not even exactly sure where I want to start.

I have already covered the e-mail/Etsy/Fur Affinity/ routine, so I'm ready to go.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I have started working on the Astral Travel/World

As everyone knows, I am a lot better at talking than I am at writing, so I have started working on a new GGP podcast to talk about Astral Travel, the Astral World and other aspects of the Astral RPG background.

I am working on this because it has direct relevance to the existing Dragon Storm world and to the future worlds. I am thinking that people who check out the new rules are going to want to know how all of this connects together. The physical connection is through the Astral World. I will combine the podcasts with a short written version. I should be able to create a webpage with a link to each of the related podcasts and a short written overview of each podcast.

I did the first rough podcast this morning, played it for Sue, got her feedback and the next step will be to re-record it in an expanded and smoother version. Oddly enough, I'm looking forward to doing this.

I appreciate the feedback I got on my previous commentary, and I want to continue that as well.

Now I need to put in some time on web work. I have several new pieces of artwork that Sue has completed that I need to create pages for. The old, post it, add ads, and get the print advertising out there. More Content, more directions. I know it is work, but on some level I like doing this crap.

Sue has completed a new Dog Art piece, a Great Dane this time. It is up on Etsy and now I'll show it off here:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Time travels onward and, sometimes forward

I have played Susan's Role-Playing system now since 1994. It has been a long road from those days when the rules were scribbled on the sides of common playing cards. Her mind cut through to the core of role-playing, the mechanics, in a way which has to be admired.

Dragon Storm has been a lot of fun to watch grow and expand from those simple beginnings. Yet, I want something more. I want a kind of variety that only a multiverse can provide. Quietly, in the privacy of the Clanhold, we have been working on a Core system to be the focal point of the future worlds that Susan has envisioned. If you go all the way back to her Gatekeeper comics you can see that her world had portals to yet more worlds. We are preparing to start walking through those doors and take a look at them.

To make this successful we are going to need a much larger circle of aficionados who follow and enjoy the comics, podcasts, artwork and games that we would like to pursue. To do this Sue and I will need to spend the vast majority of our time doing the creative work for others to digest and enjoy.

This leaves a huge gap in our system. The growth and proliferation of our works is going to need volunteer enthusiasts who want to grow and spread the community.

I do not yet see how this is to be done. Right now, as I write this my mind is starting to fill with random thoughts, ideas and concepts. I think I need to just list a few of them and then begin to pick up each and look them over in future postings.

Creation of an Enthusiasts community. We need to find a way to draw in more youthful people. Our current enthusiasts are, well, aging along with us, we need more and new blood.

Finding the devotees who will bring in new people. The traditional RPG market is a shrinking resource. We need the bloggers, podcasters and web content people are the core to expansion to a wider audience.

Laying out the concepts and ideas behind the Storm Worlds games in way way that makes it more than just a set of rules to people.

Expanding to new, but associated, entertainment areas, like comics and podcasting.

Using the podcasting to spread the ideas behind the mechanisms and create an entry into the community. To allow our current people "feel" these worlds we create.

Using comics to entertain and widen the community we are reaching. To allow people to "See" these new worlds.

To create an enthusiastic audience that wants to support us by buying from Cafepress, Etsy and more. Who will use our ad links to go out and buy, because they want to support us.

To find ways to both help, and get help from, our current loyalists at the Guild, DS Annex and Storm Warning sites. What do they need from us and how can they help us achieve a larger community?

How can we bring diverse people closer together, and make them more of a part of the community. People like Tim, Ann, Lee, Russ, Dave, Debbie and Elizabeth. Plus a pile of people who I should be listing here, but my mind has gone blank. These folks support us, even though they do not see eye to eye on a lot of things. They are in the boat with us. How do we just get along and make a bigger boat?

Find a way to get our current people to read and comment on our blogs. We have a very limited number of people who are inputing ideas on the blogs. Some of these are not even willing to tell who they are. They post as "anonymous" and we can't get a real feeling for whom they represent. The vast majority of our people are letting just a few voices dominate. How do we get the other 99% to speak up?

I am not even sure where I should start. I am going to need some of my couple hundred readers to put in some direction here. So, until I here from you I will just have to start talking and see what you want to discuss.

And I think I'll take the time to head out and start a Friend Feed account to see what is happening over there.

Which "Social Networking" communities are you mortals using? I would like to know.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My mind is in Turmoil

I am not posting much right now. I am getting our taxes done and that is stressing me a little, like everyone else.

What I am doing is keeping up with Blog comments, Etsy, Fur Affinity, etc. and then spending the remaining time with piles of papers.

I just found an old set of Holy Shaman notes. New cards for Elethay and, or, Temple Speakers.

Anyway, on to the taxes. I should be able to finish them up today.