Friday Knight News – Gaming Edition: 2-NOV-2012

Time for another weekly news round-up and it’s on time this week!

What an odd week here… Halloween followed by the end of Daylight Savings Time for the year here in the US. We get all sugar high on candy and then gain an hour early Sunday to help sleep it off – don’t forget to adjust your clocks! I hope all the ghosts and goblins had a great time haunting the streets. I spent a few hours handing out candy at the door and admiring all the costumes while my family toured the neighborhood. Good times had by all. 🙂

Other than that, it’s been busy here at GKR.

This weekend we have an interview and a short bit of Game Fodder, then we’re back to whatever serves as “normal” around here.
Now… On to the news! (By the way, please share this post around to your gaming friends – Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or your favorite social media site of choice. I love new readers!)

Food for Thought

  • The Headologist @ Do You Have a Flag? has a great post on creating “Army Background Fluff” for your game or story. He includes things like why your army came together, how they approach combat, and aesthetics such as how forces are composed and distributed. He added a section on “Knowing When to Stop” which I think applies to anybody writing for games or fiction. At some point you either realize you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole or you spend so much time on this one thing that you run out of time for everything else.
  • This post from C @ Hack & Slash just made me giggle incessantly for about 20 minutes the other night. What noises do fantasy animals make? I’m not going to spoil the fun, but read all the way through the comments – it’s hilarious.
  • In one of the cooler infographics I’ve seen lately, Michael Porath has put together a collection of 141 maps called “Manifest Destiny” showing the expansion of the United States from the 1780s to the addition of Hawaii. Great food for thought about populations and the geographic shift of nations over time. (Thanks Stephen Chenault @ The Troll Den for the link!)
  • Another cool infographic was from Randy Krum @ Cool Infographics and all about “Death & Gravestone Symbolism” – with tons of details on what certain things mean. For example did you know that Cypress Trees were planted in graveyards because they were believed to preserve bodies? Or that Yellow signifies mourning in Egypt and offers proof against evil in the East? Or that the image of a Dogwood flower on a tombstone might hint at resurrection for the deceased? Tons of useful little things to include in your next graveyard encounter!
  • Video games has been a hotbed of discussion in the last few years, especially around the topic of gender. For a long time, in-game characters were predominantly male and female characters weren’t exactly treated well. I’d like to think that’s improved, but this article from How Not to Suck at Game Design shows that maybe we haven’t… Any ideas on what we can do in tabletop roleplaying games to address the sexist issue? I know there’s some work going on now around this…
  • And the Social Munch network had an article I found this week detailing a bit of what we already knew – RPGs are good for kids socially, creatively, and occasionally even educationally. 🙂
Science
Writing

These aren’t necessarily gaming related, but many of us game and write, whether it’s for publication, on a blog, for our campaigns, or for ourselves.

  • If time is the number 1 reason you don’t write more, you should read “The Secrets to Fantastic Writing Habits” from Ali Luke @ Men With Pens. Ali talks
    about inspiration and how to figure out how to tap into that when you can, as well as word or time targets, and finding a work pattern that works for you.
  • If you want to write more, but don’t know what to write, check out “How to Write a Blog With Great Content Every Time” from Julie Neidlinger @ JeffBullas.com. Julie suggests that you can look for common questions (check out RPG-StackOverflow for one possible source) to answer, follow Google Trends, and more, so you end up with plenty of possible topics to write about. (This could be equally valuable for anyone trying to find a niche for a new series of RPG supplements.)
  • If that’s not enough, “How to Write a Killer Blog Post In Less Time” by Sai Kumar @ Monetize Blogging goes into great detail and offers a process to ponder.
  • Debra Jason @ Freelance Copywriter suggests 6 tips to consider in “Are Your Blog Posts Inviting?” Headlines seem to be a key and following through in the text of the article. And one thing I fail miserably at – the “call to action” section, which never seems to get much action!
  • Speaking of headlines… Jayme Soulati has some great suggestions on how to improve them in “Your Blog Headline Sucks.” And Melissa Donovan @ Writing Forward has a good creative exercise to help you work on titles and headlines in “From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Titles and Headlines.”
  • Lastly, sometimes we write well but we forget to edit. I’m guilty of this occasionally. Clare Dodd @ Bad Language has listed “Ten writing mistakes that make you look unprofessional.” These are quick tips that can save you a lot of grief down the line.

Games and Gaming

Kickstarter

Looking for a few deserving Kickstarter projects to throw some money at? Check these out!

  • Chris Lewis Carter, author
    of the Camp Myth YA series, and Eloy Lasanta, head of Third Eye Games, have teamed up to create Camp Myth: The RPG! I’m excited for this game because the world of Camp Myth is so rich and offers a fun way for kids to learn a bit about Greek mythology and still get their game on. 🙂 Please support this project!
  • If you’d like a deck of Bicycle playing cards with monsters of myth and legend on them, be sure to check out the Creature Cards Kickstarter. The art is from fantasy artist Michael Clarke and every image is gorgeous. Plus, since the deck is made by Bicycle, you know it’s made to last!
  • Now that Kickstarter is up and running in the UK, I suspect we’ll see some new blood coming into the gaming category at Kickstarter. Chris Tregenza from 6d6 RPG has kicked off the 6d6 RPG Core & Adventure Books project and I’m sure it’ll be a hit! Everything I’ve reviewed from 6d6 has been terrific and this is a great way to spread the word. 🙂
  • Do you like monsters? Of course you do! Then why not check out Monstrology, a new project from Scott O. Brown ad Rachel Deering featuring a creepy collection of monster stories from a wide range of creative teams. The art looks phenomenal and I can’t wait to read it (and then adapt some of the monsters for use in my campaigns!). 🙂
  • The Game Smiths Kickstarters for their upcoming projects haven’t even started yet, but they’re drumming up support with a raffle. Promise to support at least $25 to their Kickstarter and get an entry to win an original painting from Wayne Reynolds – WAR PAINT! – for the N.R.G. cover. It is gorgeous, so be sure to get your entry in before the Kickstarter begins on November 12th and get your pledge in that first week (the 12th through the 18th)!
  • And Obatron Productions, founded by Vickey & Bob Beaver, have kicked off a new project for Tunse’al – a tribal fantasy setting you can play in Savage Worlds or any other RPG system. It has a great world creation myth and the art is beautiful!

Publisher News

  • Though not exactly game publisher-related, I thought that Sacha Greif’s article on budget design @ Folyo would offer some great, low-cost options for publishers on a small budget. Though not all his tips apply, it’s definitely worth checking out!
Interviews
Releases

Reviews

Site News

Tools

That’s it for this week on the news front. If you want a bit more, check out:

There’s definitely plenty of news go go around!

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 the contact page or drop me an e-mail at news(at)gameknightreviews(dot)com and I’ll add it to the list for next week!

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