Sep 14, 2014

A Change in Perspective

As a teacher, I would rather help students figure things out for themselves than spell everything out myself. As a designer, I'd like my work to speak for itself objectively without adding my subjective bias to an introduction of it. In my ideal world this would be the formula for success.

Sadly I live in the real world where students need things explicitly spelled out and hype is the most effective form of marketing. I am okay with not being rich and famous, but I do want this to be the best game it can possibly be. The more thoroughly I explain the game, the more feedback I get on it, and the more feedback I receive, the better I can make the game. So I do need to invest additional effort and both talk about the game some more and reach out to people with it.

This brings me to the current poll. Running games in the style of anime series is, obviously, a thing that BCG is suited to. Chapters 4 and 5 give you some good starting points but don't actually tell you quite how to run, say, a giant robot world tournament in the style of G Gundam. Previously I would have refrained from writing about this, because I think figuring this stuff out for yourself is part of the fun of GMing, but I figure it should be useful inspiration to someone.

For the next few weeks I will be elaborating on how to run games in the style of the various polled anime series. An aside: I chose those series because I figured that "Names starting with G" (with some leeway to have more than just super robots and Gundams in it) was as good a starting point as any.

Also I forgot about Gravion and Godannar. Sorry.
And now: Blogging

It became painstakingly clear through the course of the year that, even if I were to stubbornly try to publish BCG entirely on my own, it wouldn't live up to my standards. I mean I could just pick up everything I have right now, publish as an electronic game only on DriveThru (with a Print on Demand option) and call it a day. Some think of crowdfunding as "That thing you do when you want to get easy money from people.", I see it as admitting that you need help.

I keep my cards close to my chest, only cryptically hinting at what I am planning and I never ask for help without offering to pay back with a favor of some kind. Which is not really asking for help as much as it is negotiating for mutual benefit. Basically I am allergic to asking for help.

Last week I spoke of how I'm now working with fellow designer buddy LawfulNice to publish this thing together. I am making another person deal with shoddy webpage coding, sending faxes back and forth (Who the hell still sends faxes???), and of course putting money up front in my stead.

Also he has to deal with all of my nagging which costs less money than any of those but takes just as much patience.

I'm just trying to convey just how much of a paradigm shift it has been for me to try crowdfunding BCG. Anyhow, the next weeks should be interesting,  the campaign may or may not start next week but if it does I will still be doing this short series of posts on sundays. There's still a few days to go until the poll closes and I'm curious to see which series wins out.

Let's see what happens next week!


  1. I'm looking forward to the crowdfunding. I've been running a Super Robot Wars game with BCG/GGG for the last year or so, and one of my friends recently started a Build Fighters game, too. It's been a smashing success.

    I do have one concern, though. Maneuvering is an incredibly efficient way to become damn near untouchable and just soak up turns until the tension is high enough not to care. With the systems that allow you to give Maneuvers to other people, you can have one person just sit in the midst of the others and Maneuver till the cows come home, spending energy to keep the rest of the party alive basically indefinitely.

    Worse, using auto-target abilities usually don't do much - Extreme Terrain tends to be useless against Maneuver Builds because of high Speed/Systems.

    Is there a way to patch this? I feel like treating Maneuvers (or just that "shared maneuver" system that gives everybody a buff) as an Active Defense would help a lot, but I'm not sure if there's a better way to do it.

  2. That's awesome to hear. Particularly because Build Fighters is one of the shows I really wanted up in the poll but it did not have enough G's to make the cut.

    Okay so I was going to write up a bunch of words about the weaknesses you can exploit in Guardian of Steel and some tweaks I was considering doing anyway but you gave me a better idea.

    Multiple Maneuvers together do not stack and multiple Active Defenses together do not stack either. As far as quick patches go, you might as well treat them all the same - you get one Maneuver or one Active Defense, but it is one or the other, not both.

    I'm going to consider doing this in the future instead of a plain nerf to Guardian of Steel. The only other characters it should affect (on top of the super-passive gigatanks) are combiners, so I will have a look to see just how much it changes things for them.

    Yay for feedback!

    1. That sounds basically perfect, since that should stop truly massive defense-stacking. It also makes Guardian of Steel still really good, because that guy is tanking for everybody else, but it stops the ridiculous 18+ defenses people get that become almost impossible to break through until round 5 or 6.

  3. The world of headaches, deadlines, and seemingly infinite electronic communication. Brace for the haul.

  4. Good luck to you on getting this started Gimmick!