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September 19th, 2010
06:11 am
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Racing the deadline on this one
So that teaser from a few days ago? Here's the game!* I was REALLY hoping to post this, like, two days ago. My sleep schedule has been pretty effed up this week.

Egregore** is a game about mages exiled from reality into a world of their own making, trying to discover the secrets of a deserted city before their own phantoms and emotions drive them over the edge.

(WARNING: This is a game about self-confrontation with inescapable inner demons. If that might be triggering, please feel free to give it a pass.)

 
--> Download Egregore (final Game Chef 2010 version) (~750kb PDF) <--
 

(Edited, 2010/09/19 3pm: Goals section complete; only the Scene rules to go.)
(Edited, 2010/09/"19" midnight+6 pm: Well, it's complete and in, and hopefully still qualifies on the "when I get up on the morning of the 20th" technicality. Even if not, I still wrote a game in a week! The contest is only for bragging rights anyway, so the fact I did it is the important thing.

--

* Egregore is, as I type this and drop to bed for a nap, in a not quite playable state. I need to get the meat of the actual gameplay rules down. Which we can all agree is a pretty shitty thing to leave for last, but in between procrastination and lengthy design hacking, it's mostly pinned.

What is finished is all of the game structure, including character generation, mechanics, overall play arc, setting (is the conceit of the game clear enough?) and story (which doubles as mechanics-free sample gameplay). Typesetting is, well, um, at least not a complete embarrassment, which meets the standards for a one-week game quite adequately.

At this point I don't expect there to be a great deal of time for productive feedback (it's due Sunday night), but if you happen to flip through it on Sunday, let me know if any of the (existing) rules are unclear, broken, or Way The Hell Too Long Jeez Bax You Could Trim Six Pages Off This Thing. I'll post a complete, revised version once it's written.

** Thanks to tangyabominy for the naming inspiration. :)

Current Location: ~/Brainstorm
Current Mood: busydeadlinin'
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(13 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:packbat
Date:September 19th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
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I think I could play this game. Were you planning to run tests as the City over the internet? If the time is feasible for me, I might participate.
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From:baxil
Date:September 19th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
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I highly doubt I'll have time before the contest deadline - I'm scheduled to get together with another gaming group tonight for the D&D campaign that has lain untouched for over two months - but if you want to make a character or run through a few sample encounters, to see how it runs, or just offer feedback, I'm on IM in the background (as I scramble to fill in the last missing pieces). :)

Jabber: Baxildragon at gmail is probably the most reliable way to IM me, unless you prefer a different network.
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From:packbat
Date:September 19th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
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No worries - if you want to run it after the deadline, just let me know.
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From:baxil
Date:September 19th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
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I should also note, I will potentially have a lot more time to play it after contest submission - and if the game is good enough to keep, I can use the feedback to keep editing it with an eye toward eventual publication.

Past years' Game Chef competitions have spawned some damn fine games. For example, Polaris (which probably has influenced my thinking on Egregore a great deal, and which I'm still desperately seeking a book version of) had its earliest draft created submitted for GC 2004, if I remember correctly, and the final publication version ended up winning the Indie RPG Game of the Year award in 2006.
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From:tangyabominy
Date:September 19th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
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I am heading outish, and my knowledge of whether a gaming system is good enough is sort of nonexistent, but if I can get to this before tonight I'll letcha know.

And wow, really, me? :3 (Hey, that's a second-generation word, mind. The very awesome draegonhawke originally introduced it to, or at least popularised it in, my vocab.)

...Incidentally? I was just looking for something in my address bar and your "Browser: The Paginating" post came up, and I read it as "Bowser: The Paginating". Which I guess brings us back to dragons, but I'm not sure what kind of game that would be... some kind of bizarre evil overlord/salaryman mashup? (I bet Japan has salaryman-based tabletop RPGs. Just saying.)
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From:baxil
Date:September 19th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
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You were my original source for the word, and when I was churning through Greek and Latin dictionaries last night in a desperate attempt to find a better title than "Exile" (Xathepolis, "city of exiles," was a contender at one point, if that tells you how desperate I was getting), it kinda hit me between the eyes and I looked it up again and I was like, "Oh. OH! Duh! It encapsulates everything this game is supposed to be about! And nobody's even used it to name an RPG yet, that I know of, and why the hell is that? It's begging to be used as an RPG title!"

"Bowser: The Paginating" sounds like it could be hilarious (if in-jokey), but I am done with game design (real or fake) for a while after this. X-p Need to turn my attention back toward the Fireborn campaign, actually, which has been on stall for two months.

If you read it, let me know what you think! Submission deadline is "before the judge gets up Monday morning," so I'm going to angle for a ~midnightish final run.
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From:tangyabominy
Date:September 20th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)
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I am sorry I couldn't actually come through on this, Bax. RP ate me.

Xathepolis is, in its own way, a lovely word, though. But i agree that Egregore was realy begging to be used!
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From:baxil
Date:September 20th, 2010 06:52 am (UTC)
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It's ok! I ran some playtests with my gaming group. Now to hack at it as much as possible before I fall asleep in my chair!
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From:roaminrob
Date:September 19th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
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Okay, fuck everything about that.

I read it all, and you've just described my most visceral personal hell, and now I'm looking around the room and feeling a little paranoid.
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From:baxil
Date:September 19th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
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Shit. I'm sorry - I knew the subject matter was a bit on the dark side, but I didn't even stop to think that it might be triggery. :-(

I'ma edit the post to add a little description and disclaimer. Please consider yourself absolved of any requests to discuss the game, go take a walk, and get it off your mind.
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From:kadyg
Date:September 20th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC)
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If it makes you feel any better, when Bax was describing the game to me, I was like "So matter what, you end up dead? Who the hell is going to want to play that?!?"

But initial play tester reports have been positive. So apparently you and I are not the target audience.

...wanna play hearts? I can bring the lamp.
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From:baxil
Date:September 20th, 2010 06:53 am (UTC)
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It's been changed since the concept version. You can now destroy, control or protect the city, which means there is a definite endgame, and if you survive through that process your character is redeemed.

But yeah, still dark in tone.
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From:packbat
Date:September 20th, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
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#48 - I think you made the deadline.
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