Friday, August 22, 2014

Minecraft meets The Hills Have Eyes?

I was not going to post about another game built with Unity 3D so soon, but after watching this video I could not resist sharing. Welcome to The Forest.

This is an open world horror game with the ability to craft your own tools and home base. Could be an interesting combo. I think I may check this one out on Steam.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Draugen, Unity 3D Powered Survival Horror.

Lately I have been spending a lot of my off work hours trying to learn the Unity Game Engine in an attempt to create my own video games. This has led me to check out what some other creators in the Unity community have been making. Below is a link for one of the hundreds (or thousands?) of games being produced.

From the developers website comes this description : 

Inspired by Scandinavian literature, legends and fairytales, along with Norse mythology and the Icelandic sagas, Draugen is set in the early 1920s and delves into the deepest, darkest secrets of a remote fishing community where every single soul has mysteriously vanished.

As the player explores the tiny settlement, gathering clues and memories, and unearthing the truth behind a terrible tragedy, they will learn more about the history of the village and its inhabitants. And they will come to see that behind even the most innocent of facades lurks the potential for malice.

But there is more to this place than meets the eye.

A 1920's horror story set in an isolated atmospheric setting unlike the typical survival horror set in the United States. Although the video does not show any actual gameplay it seems the developers have done a good job of creating a foreboding mood with the environment alone. Looking forward to seeing more.

There are a lot of very interesting and creative projects coming out using the Unity Engine. Having tools that are easy to use and yet that are powerful has empowered indie developers and major studios to be more experimental. With electronic distribution and the ability to port games made in Unity to 11+ different platforms developers are taking more chances and developing less mainstream fare.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Go Fund Me Campaign

Recently I have created a site on GoFundMe with the intent of using the money raised to start the video game company I have dreamt of starting for decades. Please check it out here.

I will be updating that site at least twice a week so please swing by and check it out from time to time. Also if the mood strikes you please make a donation. Any amount is appreciated and I have set up rewards based on the amount donated.

What will the money be used for?

The money from this campaign is focused on creating the business entity. Funds will be used to pay the costs with forming either an LLC or a corporation. I have not settled on which one yet and I am currently researching which would be best for the needs of the company. Additional money will be used in the registering the trademark for the company name & logo, paying concept artists, legally protecting the IP for the game and securing funding for the game engine. Any left after all of this will be used to purchase additional equipment and software as needed.

Why GoFundMe and not Kickstarter?

Simple answer - Kickstarter you have to hit the dollar goal before you get any money and this needs to be done in a set time limit. GoFundMe you don't have to hit the dollar goal, you can withdraw money as you go and the campaign can last indefinitely.

This works for me since it gives me time to build on the campaign and even if I fall short of the dollar goal I picked, there may be enough funds to accomplish the important goals.

Friday, December 27, 2013

X-Mas Surprise Packs, where are you???

This holiday I received some cash and was instructed to buy my own gift. It didn't take me long to decide to use it to purchase two 2013 X-Mas Surprise Packages. I have always had a soft spot for Palladium Books' products and have been looking to rebuild my once mighty collection. For $40 plus shipping a purchasers receive at least $80 worth (or more!) of books and materials.

Since I placed my order on the 23rd of December there will probably be a fairly long wait till my packages arrive. This is both good and bad. Bad, because I want them now. Good, because I have that child waiting for Christmas feeling. This feeling of anticipation is not something I have felt at Christmas since I was a kid waiting to see if Santa was going to bring me that shiny new Colecovision.

Once I recieve the packages I will list what I got here. I then may have an announcement for my old gaming group.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

D&D Next

While I am planning for my new campaign using the AD&D 2nd edition rules I have decided to start up running play test sessions for D&D Next. The play test will be held at Brothers Grim in Selden, NY 11am - 5pm Saturday September 14th. Interested parties should contact me as early as possible, please note I am looking for 6 players. More details to follow.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A needed change...

Things have been extremely hectic lately with work, family and life in general so it was no wonder that I have been suffering from burnout. So to remedy things I have decided to end my Saturday gaming group and take a break from playing with the Sunday crew.

Ending the Saturday was a fairly easy decision as it allows me more time to spend with my family, especially during the summer months. When I broke the news to my group I said we would probably pick things up once school starts in September. Now that I have had a couple weeks to reflect it seems unlikely that will happen. I have been running games on Saturday with few real breaks since around '98. During that time I have run many different systems. The group started out with AD&D 2nd edition and then branched out into dozens of games including the following :

Champions (Big blue book)
Palladium Fantasy
D&D 3rd edition
Star Wars Saga
Hero System 5th edition
Villains and Vigilantes
D&D 4th edition
D&D Basic
Marvel Superheroes
Too many one shots to bother mentioning by name

A lot of good times were had and I got to meet and play with a large number of people. I look back on this time with a lot of fondness. I think I have grown as a G.M. and while I feel I do a fairly decent job, there is much room for improvement.

My players have all claimed the have been enjoying the games but for the past year or so things have felt forced. At least for me. Also in the days leading up to Saturday I find myself dreading game day. Before the group arrives I find myself wanting to cancel on a fairly regular basis. It is not a good feeling and something had to change, the only logical choice was to end things.

As for my Sunday game, this was harder for me. I enjoy playing in my friend Jack's D&D campaign. Our weekly delves in the bowels of Stonehell have been a blast. Why then did I quit?

1. Spend weekend time with the family.
2. Focus more time on my side business.
3. There was the same basic group as my Saturday group.
4. I needed a change.

There were other reasons which I discussed with the DM, but those reasons will stay between the two of us.

I needed to shake the cobwebs out.

Oddly enough within two weeks after quitting these two groups I received an invitation from a friend to play in a game with some friends I had not seen in a while. Game time would be on a weeknight and not take away from weekend family time. The system, AD&D 2nd edition set in the Forgotten Realms.

I have a fondness for AD&D 2nd edition and have found myself wanting to run a campaign with the system. Playing in this game would be a great way to re-learn the system. Also the Forgotten Realms is a world that I have always wanted to explore in depth and with this particular D.M. this would be my chance. His love of the setting is apparent and the intro session left me very impressed with his level of attention to detail. In fact it inspired me to put much more work and planning into the next campaign that I run.

This new game has definitely blown the cobwebs out and gotten the wheels turning in my head once again. It is a good feeling and one I have not felt for some time. I look forward to where this will all lead. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Villains and Vigilantes Turn Chart

Last night I finally resumed running my Villains and Vigilantes campaign and I had a chance to finally try out a turn chart one of my players created. Overall I found if really helpful. It is set up so that it can randomly determine initiative for all characters or it can randomly determine NPC initiative while allowing PCs to roll dice. There are a couple features I would like to see, such as recording detect danger/hidden with built in % roller for those stats.
 At first it took some getting used to, but by nights end I saw how it did speed combat along. The players and especially the GM when rolling for initiative have to do the following to determine initiative :

1d10 + Agility + Power/Speed Bonus = first action phase
Then the character can act again 15 phases later in the same turn.

ex. Zero Hero with an Agility 22 rolls a 9 so his action phases would be 31, 16, 1

While the math itself is not that bad, try doing this quickly as a GM handling a dozen NPCs.

Enter the Villains and Vigilantes Action Tracker. You can try it out at the following site.

In the bottom window just add character name, player name, Agility (not Dex as shown) and any bonus derived from powers. Click add character and they are added to the list in the top window.
I would like to see the list place characters alphabetically automatically and further separate PCs from NPCs.

In between the two windows is the following...

You will notice there are buttons for Import and Export. Once you complete a list of characters to be involved in an encounter hit Export and you will get the following result :

Now just copy and paste this into a general text editor and save it. Later just open the text file and copy and paste it into the Tracker using the Import option. You could even just type up a list of characters using this format in the text editor and import that. This would allow a GM to create lists for each separate encounter he has planned and just open them when needed. I know I will be using this option a lot in the future.

When you hit either of the Roll Initiative buttons you will generate action phases for all of the characters like this :

Further more hitting the Create Turn Chart gives the following result :

As each character finishes their action just click on done next to that action and the chart auto updates.

I like this GM aid so far, I think there is some room for improvement as I mentioned above and I will mention here as they are made. Please check it out and tell me what you think of it.