Monday, December 22, 2014

Bow Hunting Skills, Computer Hacking Skills, Numchuk Skills...

I know it's a wee bit early to talk about New Year's Resolutions right now, but this isn't so much a resolution as it is a weak-point in my GMing game that I want to strengthen up. Well, I guess that makes it a resolution, but whatever...

Anyways, I want to up my design skills. Not my game design skills...I'm a game player, not a designer...my layout and production design skills. 

I've said before that I like RPGs with high production value because they're an easier sell to new players. My line throughout the past has always been that I'd rather focus all my free time on refining my GMing techniques and really learning the few games that meet my standards than consuming all that energy producing/designing a game but not actually playing it. However, I think there's a little wiggle room here. I don't have to self-publish my own roleplaying game or anything; I just want to learn how to custom-build a character sheet for a Cortex Plus hack or something. Or maybe make my Apocalypse World Hack not look like it was written in Google Drive, because it was.

My friend, Boomer? You should see the shit he's done with his Dungeon World campaign. He wrote his own campaign book, with fine layout and pictures, all that good stuff. He drew a goddamn map! I don't necessarily want to go in that direction, but I'd love to have skills like that if I ever wanted to. 

Here's an example of something I'd like to be able to do. I wanted to do a Walking Dead hack of Cortex Plus Dramatic. I'd love it if I could actually use panels from the comic or stills from the TV show, gank all the text from the system reference document in the Hackers Guide, and put together a little corebook for my players. Then I'd like to be able to make character sheets that look like they belong in a game with a Walking Dead theme, perhaps using fonts and graphics taken from the comic. 

Here's another example. I am working on a seven-part Cthulhu adventure for Fate Core. I'd like to do it up in the style of those amazing "Fate Worlds" setting books that have been coming out recently. I'd like to include all my rules for the Lovecraftian horror Fate hack, as well as the entire adventure, in a font/style similar to the rest of Fate Core's products. Again, I'd like to combine this with a custom-made character sheet.

I'm not sure how feasible any of this is. For all I know, the "little projects" I outlined above could require weeks, months, years of layout/design training. I have no experience with this kind of thing. But it would be pretty damn cool if I could do something like that, wouldn't it? 

I originally wanted to post a page of my friend's campaign guide here so you could see how well-done it is, but I lack even the basic skills necessary to do that, so instead, here's a picture of a panda.

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