The [Jackson Tegu's 2012 Gamechef Submission] Thread.

Started by jackson_tegu, April 07, 2012, 03:39:07 PM

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Hey there myself, and others.
I am very excited about this gamechef experience.
I love everything about it thusfar.
I will put more stuff here later, i just want to sort of get this here for my mental arrangement of locations & points on the compass.
With that in mind,

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sure of ourselves, aren't we?


Oh god, jackson, you are such a card.

I'm lolling myself ill over here.
Who's with me? Such a funny guy.

Confidential to everyone: i usually tell nobody about anything that i do.
This time i'm doing something different, the curtain is draping well in front of where it usually falls,
so you'll be able to see lots of the stuff i'm doing.
Really special, right?
Feel free to grab ideas from here to use in your own designs. I'll be charmed if you do!
also, feel free to leave your opinion about anything you read, ESPECIALLY if you are a first-time gamechef participant.
If that's you, and you're reading this, thanks for your time!
And, be warned: sometimes i try and do some pretty weird stuff with design. Sometimes it works, but even when it fails, it's spectacular.

Let's learn about design in public, shall we? we can learn by doing. (we = jackson)
So, put all of the ingredients on the table.

Last Chance
- design a game that might be played only once, ever.
...because it will attract only a very, very specific group of people due to its subject matter (it's about Jonathan Walton's cousins, say.)
...because access to the game is extremely constrained (physically, or that somehow it only works on a certain date or something)

Or that can only be played once, due to
...the materials being destroyed in the playing of it, and there being only one of em. Similar to above.

Or that a specific person or group of people will only play once,
...because the dramatic reveal in the game will be the fun part, and once you know, you can't un-know (he was dead all along, etc)
...because the game somehow changes the player of it so as to render them unable to play it again (renders blind; they forget their name, etc)
...because it is tied to another event in a person's life, an event that occurs once. (When you turn 50, when something you make is first held aloft by another)
...that the game is a mean trick which is actually not fun. Same as dramatic reveal, only meta. ("Let's play Switcharoo!")
...because the setup materials are too grandiose - that the "game" is more of a "what would that be like" experience.

Coyote not loving it. I dunno, like, road runner guy. I had a great time in the american southwest when i was there once, the game.
Once i saw a cool coyote on the side of the road at night, looking badass in the headlights of the cars.

Doctor Professor, mad scientist, strange wanderer, investigator. Professional. Also, playing sexy games when a little kid - maybe a "reveal yours, i'll reveal mine" mechanic. Ha! I mean with cards here, not with bikini areas. Doctors are looked at well by society, might be something about class in there, class differences i mean. Healers. The pain of watching people make bad decisions for themselves when you are a healer-personality, when you undertake helping people all the time. (Much love to KS and MAW and GJ and BJ, the healers in my life - i doubt any of you will read this, but much love anyway.)

Lantern Motherfucking awesome, i love this word. Guess i shouldn't dig out my old notes for that game i was making called "Lantern". Self-plagiarization a no-no, besides totally not fun to dredge. Guide. Emitting light out of one's eyes. Casting light, revealing, the whole interplay of light and darkness, both metaphorically and as a lets-run-around style game. Strong female protagonist (friend named Lantern once), the Way, brings to mind Led Zepplin cover and misty swamps.

Mimic Hella cool. Similarity, pretending. Lying. Lying in story games! So good. Also a D&D monster, i think? Ripe as fuck. Um... Yes, on a mechanic level there's great precedent for a player pretending to have a different role, Battlestar Galactica i think, and all those werewolf / mafia type sit-in-a-circle type games. I've dabbled in this before, and will (someday? This week?) be glad to do so again.

A Dice-heavy gamist romp Every thread is a goldmine. Geez. Quotes:
"In the Jane Austen rpg, the only arena that really matters is Sociability."
"their abilities in the Arenas may be derived from attributes or such (but really, why bother)."
"Power provides a character with his Bones"
"A character who runs out of dice is SOL." (the sun god!? LOL)
"It's never that easy."
"However, if he tangles with Alphonse of the Golden Hair"
"Will it work?  Does it make sense?  Are there any huge gaping flaws?"
"That seems to be missing something."
"Clever.  Do you actually envision a "roleplaying" game with this as the mechanic"
"you shake a big handful of dice, shove them at your oponents, expostulate dramatic descriptions if you win"
"character creation, setting, local color ect... these things will typically be described before hand in the conventional way."
"You get like 8 to 20 points to divide up between the three arena traits."
"I'm a bit strapped for time, so system and design thoughts will have to wait."
"pulp-kungfu-madscience-occult kinda thing"
"My Burning Crane Style will defeat your Burrowing Drill Suit, doctor Vorotolunda!"
"Some npc's too pathetic to consider individualy.  Mobs are treated as a single character for the purposes of conflicting with."
"A clever spy could talk his enemy into revealing his secrets..."
"Techniques, counters, anti counter, counter anti counters..."
"Kenway lit a fire under my ass with a great PM"

numbered list that stops very short,
calling dice "bones" (neat! Old-timey!)
A complex dice-pushing system, with different types of push-moves that the player can choose - can choose to split a die in two, or add two together, etc.

And then, at the bottom of the first page, there's a TOTALLY INSANE AND BEAUTIFUL setting idea, crazy pulp over the top throw everything in, that somehow still seems awesome.

Reflection: So, this took WAY too long to do. I was kind of messing around at first, trying to tease some other like weird meaning from what they were saying, getting meta on the thread and grabbing the sentences that reflected vagueness or uncertainty about the discussion at hand - maybe that would be fun for a game, but there have also been recent games that are fun for those reasons, so maybe i'll sidestep the what-do-we-do-with-this play experience after all.

Misspent Youth: A Game of Juvenile Delinquency and Being Awesome Well, since it's totally about Robert Bohl's game, it would be a pretty specific ingredient to add, that being said, his game's premise totally speaks to me. I'll add that in, in case i want it later -

"Misspent Youth is about standing up to power and having fun (not the standard "games are fun right?" stuff, having fun as characters is important to the game) while doing it.  It's about growing up too fast versus being sheltered.  It's about whether you can ever stand up to power and have it mean something, or if it's all just gas."

Daikaiju (long) Totally excellent card mechanic ideas, but moreso, WTF GIANT MONSTER FIGHTING!!!!!! Godzilla and friends fighting game with a card system that, with some polish, could stand up today. Kirt Dankmyer & Mike Holmes had awesome ideas in 2002. I'm stoked on the Kaiju especially, and though the card mechanic can be made solid, it's not what i'm looking to roll into whatever i'm making for Game Chef this year. The thread is a mechanics discussion.

Inspiration Though the thread veers away from what i'm interested in pretty fast, we've got this:
"End of times. 
Basis, all the biblical prophecies are happening.  The star returning to the heavens, Jews return to Zion, Rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, and the rebuilding of Babylon.
Maitreya has been born, and the signs have occurred."
Thank you, Chris Chambers! Very on-topic for Last Chance Game Chef. I've only played one Buddhist end-times indie RPG,, but it was totally a fave. Maybe i'll bite on that a bit, or just get Mayan with the End Of Times blanket. Hmmm. Probably not Mayan, that's not really my story to tell - I don't have a background in the Mayan culture or anything. But shit, i do like the romance of endings. So we'll see.

Wow, so that's all eight of my unique set of ingredients, huh? I have been writing this post for hours now. Holy crap. Let's take a look at what i might want to use.

Coyote no ideas, better options.

Doctor tentative cross-out, in pencil. Better options.



Steampunk alternate history & jane austin & deification & uncertainty & vagueness & counter-anti-counters & the phrase "A Dice-Heavy Gamist Romp".

Growing up too fast versus being sheltered. I've got other games that look at being young. I'm sure i'll do more later, too.

Giant Monsters fighting in a city & a cool card mechanic.

End of times all over & the star returning to the heavens & Maitreya & the phrase "adding your Mind and Soul together and dividing by two."

Really awesome.
sure of ourselves, aren't we?

Robert Bruce


Hmm, I guess it's your crystal tower..

I'm feeling steampunk lantern mimic endtimes, shadowboxing between illuminism and invisibilism, spies, all theater before Sunday arrives Chesterton-style.


Jackson Tegu, if you don't knock my fucking socks off with the INSANELY AWESOME PLETHORA of ingredients you got, I will *slap* you. That is all.


sure of ourselves, aren't we?


sure of ourselves, aren't we?


sure of ourselves, aren't we?


sure of ourselves, aren't we?


I'm a little jealous of your awesome ingredients but this looks AWESOME.


UserClone: Ok, part of me wants to instruct you to tape 'em on there, the socks i mean, but i have a fear that i'll be the one having to prep my old face for a slappin'.

Ideas so far: Get lamp. No no no no. Too funny.

next idea (can i do a list?)

  • yes it looks like i can
  • learning out loud, that is what this looks like.
But it looks bad when they're all blocks of text; live an learn.

Ideas, for real

Totally heavy game based around life's milestones, especially the kind of milestones which may or may not happen, based on one's own choices. For some reason I'm thinking of it being connected to Apocalypse World dice, like huge life milestone = one roll, & then it dictates what will happen next to you, like a fortune teller. The functioning of the mechanic has to do with the player's heightened emotional state - that the new input will be filed away in memory along with the event itself, so that they will unconsciously create it; self-fulfilling prophecy. Or even if they don't, they worry that they will. Perhaps they will be strengthened against it, if it's bad.

Far other end of the spectrum, move-around-the-room game with lots of stacked giant cardboard boxes. Players portray giant monsters in a city, who are hiding amongst the buildings. Through play, they define the tiny humans who live in the buildings, drawing windows or taping them to the boxes (card mechanic perhaps), and eventually try to get the humans to meet one another (matching suites of cards, perhaps) by pushing the boxes around the room. There's no giant monster fighting.

Also with giant monsters in a room full of stacked cardboard boxes, there's a shared protagonist which is a metal miniature or boardgame piece. The players help that tiny hero move around and tell their story, uh, somehow. Also, incorporating light sources would be awesome and beautiful."If you've played this game before, go outside and watch through the windows. You can watch the giant monsters inside, and also keep an eye out for the full scale giant monsters in your town." A calm game. Sad things happen if the buildings fall over.

I'd also like to make something which would let players describe stuff in the cool setting from the Gamist Romp thread, maybe i can have at-table parts to the game, and in-city parts to the game. Hmm. Also, dice mechanics would be cool. Ha! Sure, jackson, throw one of those in "because it's cool". This is the fricken FORGE, if you just throw in a dice mechanic, you'll be going against the advice that Mike Holmes put into those threads... wait a sec. Maybe that'd be how i'm NOT incorporating the... oh, it's the Inspiration thread. And the Misspent Youth thread too, to a degree. Maybe. Hmm.

Whoa, Robert's comment about "shadowboxing between illuminism and invisibilism" has me thinking about the possibility of light sources in mechanics... specifically, what if there's some cards from a standard deck, say, taped to boxes, and if your shadow crosses one of them, then... something. Like, the people who live there freak out and move away, right away; take their card off. Or turn them over, and now it counts against the giant monster team (is this a collaborative game? Maybe.) Something.

New note, recently had a great conversation relating to Alternate Reality Games that are won when the state of the actual world is changed for the better in one specific way. MrTeaPot pointed out that this is also relevant to this competition in the lets interpret the theme thread. I don't know if i'll do anything with this right now, apparently this evening i am falling in love with filling a room with cardboard boxes.

Really liked that intentional misinterpretation of "if a character runs out of dice, they gain great power and different in-game permissions or authority. Wonder if it'll have a place.

Ok, i've got to be done for a while. Fun, though. The rest of y'all, keep it up.
sure of ourselves, aren't we?


Nope, not quite done for a while. I want to underline for myself the line "The star returning to the heavens." SO good.

Also, Princess_r & PeterBB, thanks for the props!
sure of ourselves, aren't we?


I'll show you my game design if you show me yours.

That's all I've got. I've got to get back to my game design.

-Orion, Long time listener, first time caller.

Robert Bruce

love this giant monsters stewarding cardboard box tenants game.  beautiful silent dark shapes moving through, invisible things in visible cities.  their shadows instigating auspicious events.  good intentions versus the problem of big hands and delicate lives.  

a name for this game?

"handle with care"

enclosed in a black rectangle, stamped at an angle on a cardboard background


Oh yes, I am very much liking the idea of playing a big clumsy invisible monster with good intentions in a room full of cardboard boxes. But do we also get to build a fort out of couch cushions and or blankets? I also had this vision of a giant game of Jenga with tiny human lives at stake.