30 March 2011

Loco for Logo

What is it with me and logos? Seems like an obsession, of sorts. And a means of procrastination, obviously.

Which is to say, I've tonight designed not one but two new logos. One for an RPG concept that might well never be used (as detailed in my previous post). The other for an older RPG, which is currently not being played, and whether it someday still will be is yet uncertain. Both can currently be seen on the slightly revised front page of my site's RPG section, together with a couple older designs.

Now, let's get one thing straight. I really have no talent for visual arts. But software these days is quite helpful. The way these logos come about is rather simple and easy, really. I pick a font, maybe a bit of clipart, arrange the words in a pleasing manner, slap on a few effects, and fiddle about with stuff until it starts to look somewhat acceptable. Often I'll have to make a couple fresh starts before I'm satisfied with the end product. Nothing truly original goes into the work, and I never actually draw anything.

My older graphics have mostly been put together in Gimp, but lately I've been experimenting more with Inkscape, and these latest examples have been done almost entirely in the latter, apart from some cropping and resizing. The clipart used is, as usual, from openclipart.org.

29 March 2011

The Strange Dungeons of My Mind, Vol. 2

Ah, world building, one of my favourite pastimes. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

First of all, there's Looking For Group. I was introduced to this web comic last week, and devoured the existing archives in just a couple of days. It's a humorous fantasy comic with lots of references to Dungeons & Dragons and other games, movies etc. It's frequently hilarious, and certainly recommended to any fantasy RPG fan.

And this has sort of put me in a a D&D mood. Again. This seems to be a periodical occurrence for me, and I've written about it before, on several occasions. But still I haven't run a D&D game for years. And what with running another big fantasy game for one group already, it doesn't really seem likely in the foreseeable future either.

One thing I do, though, when in these moods, is think about settings. As I've written before, I love fantasy settings that are original and imaginative. Combining this with usual D&D creatures and clichés can lead to some delightfully weird worlds. There have been a few different concepts I've toyed with these past few years. The latest came to me just last night (although it drew a little on past ideas), and seemed intriguing enough to jot down a few notes, with the working title 'Mapwalkers'. Yup, probably will never amount to much more than this, but at least it's got some kind of existence now.

20 March 2011

The Game's the Thing

So, I tried my hand at something entirely new recently: designing a brand new fantasy card game.

The thing is, while I'm a big fan of role-playing games and video games, I've never really been much of a board/card game fan. Repeating the same routines turn after turn, and waiting while others do the same, just tends to get me bored pretty quick. And I'm not particularly good at them, either. Stories are my thing. I need plot twists, interesting characters etc. to keep me happy. But of course when it's a game you've designed yourself, it's a whole other matter. And designing it is half the fun.

Actually, I invented this concept and thought up most of the rules a couple years back already, and it's been lurking somewhere in my subconscious ever since. A week ago or so, however, I finally, out of the blue, received the inspiration to take the next step: printing out some test cards and tokens and actually trying the game out in practise. Which we finally did last night.

The experience was mostly quite positive. Obviously there's a lot of room for tweaking, which was expected, but the basic concept seems to work. It's a light game, with a fair helping of humour mixed in. It's about goblins. It hasn't got a name yet, I'm just referring to it as 'the goblin game'. And I guess I won't be writing too much about it at this stage. We'll need several more test runs with my friends, and once I'm quite satisfied with it... Well, I don't really know what happens then. I guess we'll just play it some more.