WereDragon Melee – Bittersweetness of Good Feedback

#weredragon #dragon #gamedev #boardgame #tabletop
KS Cover copyAs I’ve mentioned, I’ve been developing a tabletop game called WereDragon Melee which I will plan to relaunch on kickstarter. I recently joined the Gameboard Developers Guild in Salt Lake City. Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to have them test it. The feedback was immensely valuable, which of course means having my work cut out for me, but that’s a good problem.

I went ahead and did a blind test with them, where they had figure out the game on their own, using the rules. I, of course, clarified things they obviously wouldn’t know, such as what the prototype pieces in the bag correspond to what components referred to by the rules. I’m glad I did the blind test. I overhauled the rulebook due to what I discovered.

However, my game benefited in other ways from this session. My testers suggested that I have the board composed of 6 wedges, like you can see below, with reversible sides, instead of 60 individual tiles, tedious to setup. Doing the math on the wedge approach gives 11,197,440 possible board configurations, more than plenty.

T1_A copy T2_A copy T3_A copy

 

 

 

Another suggestion was to switch from a slider approach on the stat cards to a dial approach, spinning numbers inside card with current value appearing through a window. One of the things I like about the dial approach is how significantly it declutters the cards, as seen below:

Old Version

Old Version

New Version

New Version

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, after these changes, the next steps will be to get the new prototype put together, and then test to see if it’s ready. When it’s ready along with the sculptures for the human/dragon tokens, I can send the finish prototype to review sites and things like that. Then finally, kick it on the kickstarter!

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WereDragon Novel Progress

#weredragon #dragon #amwriting #fantasy #scifi

This last Tuesday, I received feedback back after having WereDragon looked at for editing. I’m now going through the suggestions and making improvements to the manuscript. Things are getting that much closer for prime time.

Due to some of the feedback I received and came to agree with, some of the content will be moved from WereDragon into what will be the new Book 2 of the series. This I’m considering the title, The Peacebringer’s Commission. So book 1 is about Stag accepting his Peacebringer calling and book 2 is about his quest to fulfill it. With this book 1 will have better conformity to a “Save the Cat” three act structure. Google “Save the Cat” if you don’t know what I’m talking about there.

The editor is female, so I appreciate the woman’s touch to my story. I received helpful suggestions in improving the romantic aspects, making it pop. She also suggested cuts to some battle scenes and what not outside the POV of the main character and his love interest, making me say, “Hold on, let’s not turn this into WereDragon Twilight, shall we?”

I will cut some of what she suggests cutting, especially toward the front where it’ll help things flow better and also others have commented on. A good rule of thumb in deciding what to do about feedback is if you hear the same thing from more than one person, it’s more likely to be right.

Now back to the work I have cut out for me, no pun intended.

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OUR Rescue – Bringing Hope One Child at a Time

#OURrescue #Abolitionists #SlaveStealer #hope

In this blog post, I want to discuss a more serious matter. There’s a man, Timothy Ballard, who has become one of my most recent heroes. He’s dedicated his life to rescuing the innocent from sex slavery. He used to do this for the CIA, participating in sting operations. But bothered by all those he couldn’t rescue, due to limits in the CIA’s  jurisdiction, he left and founded the oranization, OURrescue. OUR stands for Operation Underground Railroad.

Here’s a video about one of their recent successes:

YouTube Preview Image

There’s also a documentary in the works about Tim and his mission called The Abolitionists, from the producer of Schindler’s List, Gerald R. Molen:

If any of this tugged at your heartstrings, like it did with mine, support them at ourrescue.org

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WereDragon Melee Kickstarter Postponed

@kickstarter #weredragon #dragon #crowdfunding #gamedev #boardgame

Thanks to all those who’ve helped support my WereDragon Melee board game on kickstarter. However, the time has come for me to cancel the project for the time being as I gear up for a bigger and better launch in January (more specific date TBD), utilizing what I’ve learned from this one to be more prepared for success. So let’s do this! Blow it out of the water in January!

In the meantime, I’ve setup an email list here. Sign up if you’re interested.

http://astevegrim.com/weredragonmelee/

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Too Much Time on Yer Hands

#angryoldman #sistinechapel #minecraft #finalfantasy

You know what one of my pet peeves is? The phrase, “They got too much time on their hands.” People commonly say this about the all manner of crazy things you find online on youtube and elsewhere.

The phrase implies that if you found time to come up with this clever or impressive sort of thing, entertaining to watch, then shame on you. You should have been too busy with the mundane of life to accomplish it. Ba humbug to fun!

Several years ago, I took an art history class at BYU. As we went through the modern era, one of the works we discussed was an urinal the “artist” put on a pedestal, displayed at an art museum, and signed with his own name. My initial knee jerk reaction was to be off put by this. Later, in assignment for that class to write on what art is to you, I argued against why this urinal isn’t art.

But you have to give it to this guy for how significantly he influenced art history in such a simple way. The area that most of his creative energy went into was defending what he did as art.

However, I think the principals behind my arguments against it do have merit, but maybe not so much for determine whether or not something is art, but rather, at what level should something be admired. Arguing “what is art?” long enough turns it into a ridiculously moot point. But, on the other hand, who can deny the contrast behind putting a toilet on a stand and creating the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Four years of strenuous back breaking work laying several feet from the ground with poor lighting, using the frustrating medium of fresco.

Was this worth doing? Well, centuries later, people still admire and are awe-inspired by this iconic work, travelling around world to take in the impressive sight. So you tell me.

Now, time to play the devils advocate. There is a flip side to all this that needs mentioning. I came across something just barely, the got me pondering on this subject again, prompting this blog post. A fan took two years to meticulously recreate a gargantuan Final Fantasy mod of a location called Midgar in Minecraft blocks.

Now, it could be argued that this was a worthwhile way to spend two years, but this is not my point. The point is to raise the pertinent question, “Where do we draw the line in exploring our creative passions?” When is too much, too much? On one hand, time, effort, hard work dedication is a big part of what makes something impressive and valuable, but on the other, things can get to the point where it’s much more justified to consider it a complete time waste. Though it’s perhaps highly subjective where to draw the line.

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