Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

Son of Iron Game Chef!

Started by Mike Holmes, April 12, 2004, 03:29:35 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Mike Holmes

The Chairman enters the arena once again. The light's come up. He's carrying a fist full of d10s. He rolls them and considers the results as a strange grin comes over his face. What could it mean?

Quote from: ChairmanIt seems to me that the last time we stepped into Game Design Arena that we had a contest pitting the Iron Game Chefs against each other to produce the best Simulationist game. The expectation now is that the last leg of the triad will be to have an Iron Game Narrativism contest. But, good counsel has disuaded me from this idea, as well as my own evolving ideas about design. So, from this time on, the Iron Game Chef's will no longer be categorized by the play modes that their games promote.

It seems to me that far back games were always defined by their genre. I think that it would be good to use this as a category going forward. To whit, this iteration of the contest will be in order to crown the new:

Iron Game Chef - Fantasy!

Are there designers yet living who can accept the challenge to create a game in one week?!?! Is there one of comparable talent to Iron Game Chefs John Laviolette and Walt Freitag!

This episode's challenge! Create an entire Fantasy RPG that incorporates three of the following four terms:
    These are the rules:
    [list=1][*]Submissions to this contest must be made no later than 11:59 PM CDT on April 19th, 2003. If you're not sure when that is, post early. In fact you may want to post early so that you don't get messed up by server death as all are posted at the last minute (not to mention being in early can be a good tactic).
    [*]Post all submissions to this thread, and all work must be in the thread (though it can be in multiple posts). Graphics housed elsewhere and referred to in the code are excepted.
    [*]Any submission edited after the deadline will be disqulaified.
    [*]Submissions will be judged by myself on the following categories: Style, Estimated Effectiveness in Play, Creative and Effective Incorporation of the Above Terms, and Completeness.
    [*]The winner and runners up will be announced on or before April 30th, 2003.
    [*]RPG is defined intuitively. If you get too far from what may reasonably be constued an RPG you may be penalized! OTOH, you may get points for creativity. Do so at your own risk![/list:o]
    Direct any questions to myself, or this thread.

    Now, Iron Game Chef Fantasy Challengers! Get Ready to create!


    See here for the last episode.
    Per the moderators: Mike Holmes is the only person that's allowed to do this event (prevents these from proliferating impossibly). If you have an issue with this contact the moderators.
    Member of Indie Netgaming
    -Get your indie game fix online.

    Eero Tuovinen

    The chef is judged by his decisiveness, so without further deliberation, a master smith of the north, game chef from the land of thousand lakes... he announces the game, first one to spring to mind:

    The Battle of Frozen Waste

    The knights of Snow, they are straight and true... perhaps too straight, for the revered Oracles have cast the stone of displeasure for them seven times, seven times in seven times seven years past, and the order has grown weak... and now it's time for their judgement, for the Ambassador has risen. Ambassador: the great demon of the North, the one with the bone castle and only fangs and talons for children at night. The lord of the werewolves, they say. And only the Order stands in his way...

    The Battle of the Frozen Waste casts the players in the roles of brave paladins (for each and every man of this valiant troupe is one after the day is done) who face the terrible demons of ice in a battle to decide the fate of the middle lands. The game starts only a day before the battle, and will end in victory or defeat for mankind and life or death, honor or shame for individual paladins.

    More to come in the days to come, obviously. After I decide on some mechanics for nonce. Here's to hoping that the games aren't judged for legibility, some of us being a little non-english.

    Quote from: Announcer
    It's clear what Tuovinen is doing... he's vying for the favor of the judges by his swift action. But is speed enough!?! How will it affect the rest of his work? Has the chef painted himself in a corner so early in the race? Has he borrowed too heavily from George Martin? How stupid one has to be to promise the first game to spring to mind... Most important of all, did he make the first starting announcement, or is the strategy futile?
    Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
    Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.


    Damn.  Just when I was gearing up to finish the next version of Thugs & Thieves.  Oh well, I guess a week delay won't hurt too bad, and this could well be a nice warm up after my weeks away from design.

    Prepare for Ice Dawn.

    John Harper

    I really don't have time for this. But I can't help myself.

    Assault Force ICE DAWN

    After the tragedy at the third summit of Silverleaf Falls, a special unit was created to respond  to acts of terrorism at the border between worlds – codename: ICE DAWN

    Assault Force ICE DAWN is War for the Oaks meets Rainbow Six. The diplomatic situation at the border between our world and faerie is a delicate one. There are those who seek to destroy the peaceful alliance between the realms and plunge all into war. Only the brave operators of ICE DAWN stand in their way.

    More to come...
    Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!

    Jonathan Walton

    Whoa, horrible timing, but at least it's not during exam week, like last year...  Can I NOT do this?  I don't think so.  Ahem...

    Seadog Tuxedo

    You and your fellow band of penguin pirates sail your enormous laser-sharked iceberg-ship/home through the dangerous seas of Arctica, hoping to bump into another iceship or peaceful community, so that the raiding and pillaging can begin.  Such is the lifestyle of fuzzy penguin pirates!  Booze, violence, and uppity penguin wenches!  Arrrrr!  Squeak!

    The Summer Isles, deep in the warm southern reaches, are ripe with plunder.  However, when you crew aboard an iceship, sunshine is your worst enemy.  Make sure to get in and get out, pulling off a spectacular nighttime raid and sailing away before dawn.  Otherwise, you might find yourself easy prey for the shaman-wizards who rule the Summer Isles. They worship the sun-god, indulge in penguin sacrifice, and shoot blasts of solar flame hot enough to melt holes in your ship.  Yowza!

    It's going to be a icy hot time in the arctic tonight!  Strap on your fur-lined asbestos pirate gear and get ready to rock!

    Mike Holmes

    "It seems that Tuovinen-San has set off an early wave of designers bent on capturing their own corner of the creative pallette. An interesting maneuver. Will this cause a landslide of entries, however? How many of them will see their way through to completion? On cannot say at this very early date!"

    QuoteHere's to hoping that the games aren't judged for legibility, some of us being a little non-english.
    "Grammar per se isn't a criteria, but the judges say that if they can't understand it, they probably won't be able to give it good ratings. That said, Tuovinen-san is worried over nothing - his intercontinental gaming cuisine has been well recieved before."

    "Look over here! Two games with the phrase Ice Dawn in them? This surely will pit experienced Game Chef's Greer and Harper directly against each other in a hard fought and personal battle! Or will one of them retreat from preparing their dish this way? The tension mounts already!"

    "And what humorous elements is the veteran Walton-San incorporating in his early planning? Will the judges accept all of these in the category of Fantasy? Walton-San is known for pushing boundaries with his dishes, however, so maybe he'll profit from his creativity!"
    Member of Indie Netgaming
    -Get your indie game fix online.

    Mark Johnson

    Coming Soon To A Tabletop Near You...

    Dawn of the Damned

    Ragnarok is here.  The evil force that the ancients had called Fenris has escaped his bondage from Gioll (under the Icelandic volcano Askja).  Iceland is soon overrun by Fenris' demonic and zombie hordes.  Now only you and your comrades can stop Fenris by launching what will probably be a futile last assault on Fenris' citadel.  But can you rediscover the ancient magical secrets that can destroy Fenris or will you soon be among his mindless slaves?

    File under: Gamist Romp

    Mike Holmes

    QuoteSubmissions to this contest must be made no later than 11:59 PM CDT on April 19th, 2003.
    Aha, you're all late! By a year.

    Wait, the judges have decided to extend the contest by exactly one year. How generous of them! The deadline is April 19th, 2004!
    Member of Indie Netgaming
    -Get your indie game fix online.

    Jack Spencer Jr

    Quote from: Mike HolmesWait, the judges have decided to extend the contest by exactly one year. How generous of them! The deadline is April 19th, 2004!
    Shucks. And I had the time machine all warmed up and was ready to sell tickets.


    I'm not even going to mention how bad the timing is.  However, purely speculatively:


    On the very edge of night a handful of outrigger canoes ride the dawn-winds, chasing the dark ice-islands on which they hope their loved ones still survive.

    Imagine a world like the Pacific.  The endless sea is dotted by semi-tropical islands—small, lush paradises populated by isolated societies, each slightly different from the next. Fishers and farmers, they are proud people, mostly peaceful, sometimes warlike.  There the days are long—very long, weeks by our standards, the dawn coming no faster than a swift-sailing outrigger canoe—and the nights, longer still.  And now, in the night has come a horror, unseen or unheard of before, a horror which has ripped the tribe to shreds—huge islands of ice, swarming with the dead.  From the ice the dead creatures descend on the islands and carry away the living, carry them away into the endless night in which the ice-islands sail.

    Who are you?

    In Dawn-Winds you play an islander tribesman or tribeswoman, racing into the edge of night in a frantic attempt to catch up with the ice-islands and rescue the loved ones who have been stolen away from you.

    What happens in the game?

    The game takes place just prior to the final assault on the Ice-Islands.  The characters tell each other stories of their lives before the Ice came, and remember the hardships and the terror of the chase; then they play out their last rescue attempt and its joyful or bitter aftermath.

    Zak Arntson

    Can you believe it? Here I am, all ready to watch another cool Indie Game Chef when ... my wife leaves for Vegas all week! So I'm in this thing.

    Check. Island & Ice? Break up Antarctica. Check. Assault? Teams of elite weird soldiers fighting the incursion of whatever broke up the frozen waste in the first place. Fantasy? Heroes as paranormals rounded up in an 18th century attempt to curb all the rest of the unnatural things. Check. Finally, a dash of shared mythos creation on the part of GM & Players alike.

    And what's this? He's using swordfish as a resolution mechanic? Does he truly believe in swordfish?


    Mike: When you mention incorporating 3 of 4 terms, I presume you mean incorporate them into the game and/or mechanics, not necessarily restricting it to the title of said game... correct?

    Presuming that to be the case... I'll have a go at this (though fantasy, to be honest, may be my least favorite genre of game).  Let me think....

    My game will be "Broken Vows".  

    If I need to use 3 of those words in my title then it will be:
    "When the Ice Hearts Face the Coming Dawn: A Final Stand on the Island of Faithlessness" (I find that somewhat annoyingly long, however)

    If I may ask, may I fit a synopsis of the game in this thread, and the finished product elsewhere?  I ask because I may well overload this poor system with my words.  That, and I can make things a bit more elegant and flashy if I can format them more properly.  If not, very well, I'll see what I can do.

    Now to actually make the fucking thing.



    Dawn on the Island of Ice

    For a thousand years, the stars have shone down on Halakat, the Sea of Tears, burning brightly in a sky that was always dark.  Now in the east the horizon has brightened to grey, and the stars have begun to fade.  The shamans of the People speak of the rising of the Sun.

    For a thousand years, the People have lived upon Ganakagok, the Island of Ice, in the midst of the Sea of Tears.  This mountain of ice, floating in a cold sea, has been carved into soaring spires and dizzying stairs, immense caverns and intricate labyrinths.  The legends of the People speak of the Ancient Ones who carved it so, to escape the falling of Night.

    Dawn is coming to the Island of Ice.  The stars are fading.  The sea is growing warmer.  The world is changing.  Will the People survive the change?

    An earnestly narrativist effort inspired mainly by Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, with flavoring from the fantasies of Michael Moorcock and Gene Wolfe.

    Eero Tuovinen

    OK, now, Jonathan is clearly using proscribed incredients! Since when is it allowable to use any kind of humours in cooking, I ask you? Everyone knows that humor trumps pathos any day of the year... Oh well, we'll just have to make do without, I guess.

    I find it interesting how many of our phantastics are using modern condiments. I guess this is a hopeful sign, american fantasy has been in a rut for far too long. Seems that I'm alone with my tolkienist riff, actually, if this goes on...

    It's also interesting how Piers Brown and I both stumbled on the same structural idea for the game. May the best flashback win!

    Anyway, back to the fray with some color pieces! The following is the background for Battle of the Frozen Waste, as well as a preliminary mission statement. It should be noted that the game will include solid advice on converting it to tell a tale of any tolkienist fantasy battle, including those in the LotR. A little like a MLwM for tolkienist fantasy, if I may try to charm the judges with such a comparison...

    The Situation

    The Knights of Snow (or Northern Order of Knight-Chevaliers in Service, as they are formally known) were established after the last time the ravening creatures of the north penetrated the southern climes, bringing early snow and horrible death to the lands of men. After terrible sacrifices and wholesale slaughter the demons were driven off, but not without leaving the middle lands in ruins.

    When the imminent danger had passed the knightly order was soon left to control the bordermarches alone, as the then-emperor first turned his gaze to the west and then lost his throne and the empire to the various hereditary lords of the realms of the empire. This didn't mean any sagging of the effort, though; the lords all pledged support to the Order, and for a long while they send men, weapons and supplies that the Grand Masters of the Order put to good use, expanding their realm to the north and building forts long beyond the pale of what the man had known before the demons came.

    Then, as the reader probably already knows, the attention of the Lords started to sag, what with human life being short compared to creeping of the glaciers. The men, the weapons, the supplies... they all came more infrequently, and then in smaller and smaller quantities. This didn't spell doom for the Order, though, for then the bordermarches could support independent vassals, and the Order could pledge it's protection to the meager populace in exhange for what it needed to survive.

    Then there were the Oracles. The personal mages and soothsayers of the late emperor, the Oracles didn't waste any time in offering equal service to the Lords when their star seemed to be in the rise. Soon it was that for every lord there was an oracle, and they adviced their lords with utmost wisdom and insight. One could even say that the oracles were priestesses in a noble religion. First the oracles were one in their advice and supported the Order, but later on they, like every man of the midlands, forgot the Knights of the Snow. First it was a singular exception, that the stones should turn against the Order, but then it was all the more frequent and the robed mathriarchs were one in saying, year after year and every seven years in grand council, that there was no need, that the Order was fattened by the rich lands of the marches, that the demons were asleep in the north and would not rise.

    Of course they were wrong. The Order knew, but was not listened to. The Lords wasted their strength skirmishing against one another and the western sidhe, The Oracles blinded themselves to the truth. When the legate for the Ambassador came, announcing His strength... The Order knew that they'd stand alone, and likely nobody else would if they should fall.

    But the Knights of Snow... they are a hard, hard fellowship. Hard as ice, in heart and head. 'Though some of the men might have deserted the forts when the legate came, 'though some knights voice their disagreement... the Grand Master Schleyr didn't flinch, but instead send his riders and mustered both old-timers and young boys of the fief against the coming darkness. And when the Grand Master rode, the Order was behind him almost to the man, with forts near and far emptying to answer the Great Call.

    Great were they to the eye, the Knights of Snow... but greater the darkness, as they should come to know. All the knights, bowmen and spears hardly enough to withstand the darkness, not to talk of striking back. Only valor will help them now, when they ride to meet the Ambassador on the field of honor.

    It is said among the men that the Grand Master harbors an oracle, you see. It's said that he knows that the forts and fortresses, even the great castle of Sveafors will fall if the Order will not assemble and ride to the field. There is no choice, whisper the voices, for the Ambassador has unearthed from the dark sepulchre the forgotten artifact, the Desangraal, the Chalice of Doom. The chalice that will overflow darkness and blood, should the winter solstice come to pass unchallenged.

    Thus it is that the Knights of Snow ride to meet the darkness in the far north, in the hopes of seizing the Ambassador unprepared. The land is however against them, and the troops are bloodied by both freezing cold and constant skirmishes with ghouls, barbarians, werewolves and even worse things.

    Now, the end is near. The outriders have sighted the shadows and the troops within them, seen the Ambassador in it's terrible beauty and horrible monstrousness exhorting the demons. The Order will arrange for battle come dawn, for tomorrow is the day of the Solstice, the shortest day and the darkest night of the year.

    Style and goals

    The Battle of the Frozen Waste (BFW) is a limited-length roleplaying game suitable for independent play or as a pro/epilogue for a longer campaign. In BFW the players tell the story of a great battle between the forces of light and darkness, reminiscent of modern fantasy literature. A reader familiar with the heavy post-tolkienist fantasy tomes will have recognized how those books most commonly will peak in an epic battle where the fate of all that is good hangs in balance. BFW strives to capture that epic moment of gore and glory in a game.

    The style of play in BFW is primarily and most importantly pathetic. Pathos is the cornerstone around which everything else will be built. Whether the game will be a paean for heroism or gritty exercise in cooperation and bravery, it's pathetic nature will shine through strong. The colours should be used with abandon, swathing the knights in heraldic tinctures and gold and silver, while giving the demons darkest attributes imaginable, with crests of blood and pain. This is the moment of truth for a whole world, and neither realist nor animation palettes are sufficient; strive for colours worth the masters of renaissance, colours where lead and arsenics blind the painter all the while giving the audience the richest feast possible. Pathos is about distilling reality.

    The goal of play for the players is primarily to produce a satisfying visual phantasm for the enjoyment of all. To this end they will take roles as members of the Knights in their darkest hour. By role immersion or inspired storytelling they will entertain themselves and other players through a story where their individual knights face their hardest choices and the Order in totality faces either death or victory, depending on the choices of the players.
    Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
    Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.

    Jack Aidley


    Not sure of much yet, but characters will be defined by four stats:

    Island The Island stands alone, indominatable against the elements, and thus does the Island stat define ones ability to look after ones self - to survive in the wilderness, to hide from prying eyes, to sulk unseen past the mainland.

    Ice Cool under pressure, and mysteriously alluring. A character's Ice is a measure of their will power, cool and social grace.

    Dawn Mysteriously each day the magic of the sun is renewed, and with it the light and heat of the land. Some can tap this ancient magic for their own. Dawn is their ability to do so.

    Assault To err is human; to forgive divine - to maim, kill, murder and otherwise batter is fun. Hit 'em in the head with your Assault.
    - Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter