News from Around the Net: 29-JUL-2011

Another month is nearly gone. How is that possible?

But it’s not all bad – GenCon is next weekend (August 4-7) in Indianapolis, Indiana! We should have buckets of news coming out of Indy by the end of next week as companies announce and release all sorts of gaming goodness. Unfortunately yours truly won’t be there, but I’m looking forward to hearing from the This Just In… From Gen Con! guys – Daniel M. Perez and Rich Rogers. Their href="http://www.indiegogo.com">IndieGoGo funding run was a huge success, so I know I’m not the only one looking forward to upcoming podcasts!

On a more personal note, I want to thank all you readers for making July 2011 another record-breaking month at GKR. This month we broke the 5,000 page view barrier and had more than 4,000 unique visitors. Without your support, I don’t know that I would have made it this far – and September 2011 marks the one year anniversary of GKR! So a huge thank you to all of you who read and keep coming back!

Is there something in particular you’d like me to review or someone to interview? Drop me a line via the contact page, let me know, and I’ll see what I can do!

And on that note, let’s dive into the week’s links! Remember that if you click through to some of these great posts, please try and leave comments for the authors. Sometimes even the smallest comment like “Thanks for the great advice!” is enough encouragement to keep all these wonderful folks writing!

Food for Thought

  • The Hopeless Gamer lets us in on his personal shopping list for GenCon this year. I know if I went I’d blow through my personal gaming budget in two seconds flat. And though he lists games from Cubicle 7, Catalyst Games, AEG, and FFG, he says flat out there are too many things to list he wants… Isn’t that always the way of it?
  • Shadowrun

    Image via Wikipedia

    Bowadges at Reddit/RPG has come up with a very cool way to get into character with his cleric – by creating a physical prayer book!

  • Anybody remember the cool art from FASA‘s Shadowrun RPG way back when? Well apparently Janet Aulisio was tough for Scott Taylor to track down for his Art Evolution series at Black Gate… But I’m glad he persisted. There’s something about her style that seems very elemental to me and it’s great to see these pictures again.
  • Do you wonder if WotC will figure out why their marketshare is starting to slip sometime soon? Ed Grabianowski has a few suggestions over at Robot Viking, and it should definitely give the Wizards something to ponder. But if you’re a small publisher, you might consider some of his marketing advice as well…
  • Mark Gedak of Purple Duck Games thinks we need a few more megadungeons to keep us busy… I tend to go for smaller dungeons rather than larger these days… But what do you think?
  • I *love* reading through classic gaming materials from the early days of D&D. There’s a purity there of Gygaxian influence that is tough to find these days in the much broader market of gaming choices. Well, the Risus Monkey has uncovered a PDF of the Ryth Chronicle and I know I’ll enjoy diving into this when I get a chance!
  • Sometimes, stream of consciousness is the only kind of consciousness I can write. But it’s not something you can expect to be perfect grammatically or spelling-wise. Apparently Sean Preston sometimes works the same way over at Reality Blurs. Do we really need to ask for permission for to sometimes be a little more relaxed in our writing?
  • Also from Sean Preston is a discussion of how preconceptions affect products. Can the form influence the content or does the content influence the form? I think it’s a combination of both, but I see Preston’s point where having a form can sometimes help you get a rough draft out faster. Interesting topic…

Games and Gaming

  • Have you ever considered the cost of living for your PCs staying in a particular locale? Apparently the creators behind Sand and Steam have been pondering it from a variety of different viewpoints. How would a nomad compute the cost of living in a desert? Using water as the basis, as the Fremen from Frank Herbert‘s Dune did. But what about wizards? Warriors? Nobles? Each has a different spin on life and what a single life is worth… I may have to view my next character a bit differently…
  • It’s no secret I’m a fan of the Warrior, Rogue and Mage system from Stargazer Games. Well, someone’s working on a crime fiction version of the system called Lawyers, Guns and Money which sounds pretty cool. Join in the conversation at RPG.net!
  • Pondering a bucket list for gaming may be a bit morbid to some folks, but I think it’s brilliant. Johnn Four of Roleplaying Tips fame has created his own “Game Master Bucket List,” which includes a list of published adventures he wants to run – and it’s a loooong list. How many of these have you run? Shoot – I don’t even think I’ve played more than 10% of these!
  • How can I argue with a Badass Ninja Cyborg from Hell? I can’t. That title alone wins points with me. And Dyson Logos takes it and develops a BADASS character I can see appearing in and surviving more than one campaign soon!
  • I don’t think I’ve ever tried running a business as a player, but I’ve seen folks try it in my campaigns as a GM. It’s always a tricky balance. The Grumpy Celt at Nevermet Press has some suggestions on rules and guidelines for PCs to own and run businesses in-game that I think would solve some of the problems *I* ran into years ago. I especially like the pre-defined skill challenges!

Publisher News

  • Daniel M. Perez of “This Just In… From Gen Con!” put together a great, detailed article on how the TJIGenCon IndieGoGo fundraising effort went on his blog Highmoon’s Ponderings. His analysis of Kickstarter vs. IndieGoGo has to be one of the things many publishers seeking crowdsourcing for their projects are looking at, so it’s nice to see this sort of data and reasoning flow back out to the game publishing community.
  • Leonard Balsera is working on a draft of the Fate Core rules along with everything else he’s doing these days. As someone who’s been tempted to check out the FATE system but hasn’t yet, I’m definitely keeping an eye on this effort. Can anybody suggest what game (such as the Dresden RPG) would be a good place to start with FATE?
  • Ben at Troll in the Corner seems to be a workaholic these days, working on Argyle & Crew as well as more cool stuff for the world of Aruneus. Does he ever sleep? (But that Ninja is VERY cool!)
  • With Azamar available now on the Wicked North Games web store, they’re starting to look
    towards their next product… And I have to say that Westward sounds very interesting – a Steampunk Western? Curious minds want to know more!
  • Evidently the Clockwork Gnomes have been busy cranking out new Adventure Works modules for Pathfinder… Check out the Adventure Works page at Clockwork Gnome Publishing for details on three upcoming adventures for levels 1-2, levels 7-8, and levels 13-14…
  • It appears Jade at RpgGM has settled on her new product to follow the Adventure Creation Handbook – and it will be The GM’s Field Guide to Players (or FGP for short). If it’s anywhere near as good as the ACH, I think the community will have another great resource on their hands.
  • Customer service. It’s one of those things companies are either good at or not. Apparently Columbia Games is better than good and proved that recently to Rob Conley (Bat in the Attic). It’s nice to know folks do actually care about that side of business – a personal call from the company VP goes a long way to inspire brand loyalty, doesn’t it?
  • Evil Hat seems to be humming right along with their Q2 2011 sales numbers

Reviews

Tools

  • Editors do a lot, but Ryan Macklin suggests that the relationship between editor and writer MUST go both ways to truly work well. And I totally agree – if you’ve written something and the editor comes back with red lines everywhere, challenge them as to why the changes were suggested. A true collaboration can only help the parties involved and improve the final product.
  • Gen Con is just around the corner, and if you’re a n00b to the conference it’s good to learn from the folks who have been there before. Sean Holland at Sea of Stars has a great collection of sage advice for Gen Con attendees… Eating and bathing regularly are things you and the people around you will probably benefit from!
  • Though it seems Dyson is still fighting issues with an internet connection (at least as of late last week), he still managed to get a map up for your delving pleasure – a Nameless Dwarven Crypt. Wonder who’s crypt it was?

That’s it for this week. I hope everybody has a great weekend!

As always, if you feel I missed something (and it would be impossible NOT to), drop me a quick note via my contact page and I’ll add it to the list for next week!

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