What I’ve Been Up To
I realise I’ve kind of abandoned this blog for a wee while now. I’ve had a lot more energy to work on things as of recent, and as such have spent very little time soapboxing or pontificating. Things I’ve been working on are as follows:
Where Abundance Lies
Back from the grave and my main project for now, in which I’ve been learning how to code in Godot, with the aim of eventually completing an immersive sim in the same vein as STALKER. It’s a pretty massive undertaking. Link to devlog here
Carrion For Gulls
A module for Liminal Horror exploring an abandoned cargo ship adrift at sea. I had to abandon this for now, as it ended up succumbing to scenario bloat and general lack of direction. I’d like to restart this at some point, but I want to concentrate on other stuff for now, and come back to it when I can give the attention it deserves.
Grand campaign setting expressing my love for planetary romance sci-fi, science fantasy, post-anthropocene type shit. More or less a superset of the stuff I’m doing for Where Abundance Lies. I mistakenly tried to write a System(tm) for this, which was a dumb idea, and I’m probably going to just use Alight as a base instead. Going to rewrite it as a series of hexcrawls on different planets.
Venison // Hard Lads
Earlier this year, I took part in Violence Jam, a month+ long game jam where myself and a bunch of exceptionally cool and talented folks wrote material for Luke Gearing’s Violence roleplaying system - an extremely lean and brutal rule system designed to simulate the deadliness of actual gunfights. I ended up writing two entries for the jam: Venison, my main entry, a folk horror themed setting depicting 18th century poachers hunting for cursed meat in an enormous hostile estate. And Hard Lads, in which I had a go at tweaking some base rules in order to simulate a pissed-up fistfight in a shit British town.
I pushed myself to work a lot harder than my usual glacial pace to get Venison in on time, and while there’s a whole bunch of stuff I would have loved to include, namely NPCs and actual written locations, I’m still shocked by how much I was able to actually get onto paper. This was also when I discovered that, shockingly, Google Docs is actually totally fine for basic layout. I would love to revisit Venison at some point, and put out a more complete version that fully nails the English folk horror vibe I wanted to convey.
As for Hard Lads, I joked about doing Binley Megadungeon for it at some point. I think that shit pun represents exactly the level of thought I want to put into it. I also discovered that I’d unintentionally shared a title with a very similarly themed project by prolific Quake mapper Robert Yang. Such is life.
I’m going to continue on with Where Abundance lies. I’m having a hell of a time, and getting a lot further than I expected coding game logic, and I’m extremely motivated by trying to make a videogame that takes as many design lessons as possible from the little bubble of post-OSR roleplaying I’ve found myself in, i.e. rejecting core loop theory as principal design pattern and leaning hard into minimally-guided, emergent play. Decree will probably be my backburner project for if I get tired of videogame stuff. Other than that, I’m just excited about finally hitting a creative stride now that I have the spare time and energy to plough back into doing what I love.