Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

One Giant Step.

Like many others here in the mines I am a Podcaster, specifically on the Sons of Kryos show. Somehow over my years of gaming I bumped into a few Game Designers and their passion sparked a flame in me to create my own game.

Giants is not really my first game, although it is the first one I thought worthy of publishing. Most of my other creations looked a bit too much like Frankenstein for me to bring into the light outside of my home game group.

Giants was inspired by my older brother, sort of. When I was a Kid I apparently was obsessed with being big, and I told him that I was going to be very tall some day. My brother dismissed my dreams of being big until as a teenager I towered over him. When I stopped growing I was six foot three inches and more than six inches taller than him. He took to calling me the “gentle giant,” although I wont go into why he picked that nickname. Giants have been on my mind ever since.

Ok, so enough about me, let me blab about the game a bit.

The game starts off with the players creating a map together, placing Towns and naming locations of importance. Next they move on to creating Giants, creatures of great size and huger, forced to work with those Towns because of their enormous needs.

Game play starts with the GM and goes from one player to the next. As the Giants try and deal with their individual needs they must also work together to defeat the foe that threatens them all.

I have gone through a number of playtests and things are starting to solidify quite well. But I am not happy with everything, and each time I play I learn something new. So if you have something to say about the game, please speak up.

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July 13, 2007 - Posted by | Giants

16 Comments »

  1. Welcome Jeff… I’m excited to see this game on Master Mines since I’ve heard about it for quite some time. What things are you not happy about?

    Are they similiar to your concerns at the game designers recording?

    Comment by commondialog | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  2. Welcome to the fold.

    I read on the Ashcan Front that you’ve either already had or about to have a book binding party for the ashcan. Is there a place where we can check out a draft of that game?

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  3. Heya Jeff! glad to see you here. I’m really looking forward to seeing your game.

    Comment by jhimmelman | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  4. Awesome. Welcome to the Mines.

    Right off the bat, I dig the idea of collaboratively creating the map before you create your individual Giants. World first, characters second. You mention turn-taking. I’ve played a few “each player takes their turn” style games recently, and one thing that worries me about them is player downtime. (This is an issue in board game design as well, unsurprisingly.) So, two questions: First, how long is each player’s turn, and second, during my turn, what do the other players do?

    Comment by ptevis | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  5. I will add that Know Thyself at one point had a “each player takes their turn” element, which completely fell flat. That prompted me to revisit what everyone is suppose to do and concentrate on telling one strong story rather than four or so weaker, shorter ones. I’m not saying that’s how your game works, Jeff, but that’s what happened with mine.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  6. And I will add that what while A Penny For My Thoughts also has that structure, there’s a very deliberate mechanism in place that keeps the other players involved. It apparently succeeds well enough that one playtester said, “This game is exhausting. There so much to do during other people’s turns!”

    But again, this is supposed to be about Jeff. I’m not helping.

    Comment by ptevis | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  7. There are plenty of ways to get other players involved during one player’s turn; I doubt we need to worry about that. Especially since we haven’t even seen a draft.

    What I’m concerned about is, well, what I’m always concerned about nowadays: who are the players, and what experience do you want them to have?

    And: welcome!

    Comment by misuba | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  8. Hey folks, I’ll try and get to your questions here.

    Commondialog, Vincent Bakers suggestions at the Dreamation Game Design Round Table really helped me out, my current concerns are with the the system promoting the type of play I have had with it. I’ve tried to put in everything I think needs to be in there, but I need to have a playtest from an outside group at this point.

    Ryan, the bookbinding party will happen as late as I can hopefully allow. When it does I’ll have pictures, and maybe a video or something along those lines.

    Jeff, thanks man, glad to be here. I am also itching to check out your game, what you mentioned about it at Dreamation really got my interest.

    Paul, to answer your first question each player’s turn lasts one scene. So they get to resolve one thing, Luke Crane’s text on scenes for Burning Empires really fit well with what I am going for. The second question is one I had problems with in the early playtests, now I have a system that rewards players for inviting other characters into their scenes. Thus far it has worked splendidly. I am afraid if people don’t use it like that, it will fall flat on it’s face.

    Misuba, who are the players. I am not sure what you mean by that. As for experience, I want them to have fun being the a giant that can stomp around and do just about whatever they want. But there are also consequences for ignoring their needs.

    Ok folks, hope that helps a bit. I’ll try and stop by later on tonight and post some more.

    Comment by thelostgm | July 14, 2007 | Reply

  9. I suppose by “who are the players,” I just mean “what’s your target audience.” What are your expectations about the expectations of the people who pick up your game and try to play it? Are they experienced gamers? Kids? Are they looking for a happy story, moral complexity, or just a good time bashing stuff?

    Comment by misuba | July 14, 2007 | Reply

  10. Sorry for taking so long to get back to this one folks.

    My target audience is anyone with an interest in Giants. While does not exactly make for a fairytale game, I think it could work well if run for kids.

    The game is more about working with other giants, your giants communities, your needs, and against a common foe. Bashing stuff is certainly part of the game, or I should say it can be if you want it to.

    Is that along the lines of what you were looking for?

    Comment by thelostgm | July 18, 2007 | Reply

  11. “Anyone with an interest in Giants” is an awfully wide audience. Are you really going for that? To the point where you plan to write your game text to include absolutely none of the context assumptions that an RPG text makes (much like Ron Edwards’ Spione attempts to do)?

    Comment by misuba | July 19, 2007 | Reply

  12. Ok, I think perhaps I am still not quite getting at what your are asking about.

    The game is really for people who are interested in a RPG about Giants. Can the game be about Giants that go rampaging around the countryside like Godzilla, yes. Can the game be about giants that work with the little people around them, yes. Can the game be about Giants that go off adventuring and ignore their needs, not really.

    Will the game have some text in it explaining what roleplaying is. The finished version will.

    Comment by thelostgm | July 19, 2007 | Reply

  13. Jeff,

    Just out of curisoity, is it really about playing Giants or is about wanting to play a character that intuitively must balance its own needs versus the needs of those who can satisfy its needs?

    Isn’t that the real crux of the game?

    I have to say that I am less interested in the fact that the game is about Giants, I am more interested in the resource issues.

    Comment by commondialog | July 19, 2007 | Reply

  14. Ah, the “what is your game about” question. It is about balancing your needs, working with others, and being an outsider.

    The resource issue is there if thats your interest, but there is more. Every Giant also has a personal goal, and a group goal. These things play a big part in the game. Personal goals are one way you can increase certain stats, and the group goal is really the main focus of the game.

    Comment by thelostgm | July 19, 2007 | Reply

  15. Jeff, I’d like to hear what you have in place to deal with conflicting personal goals & group goal. But, feel free to say “you’ll see that in the draft” if you’ve got it in there. I hesitate to ask more questions before we see the draft.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | July 19, 2007 | Reply

  16. Being 6′ 8″ myself, I’m interested in a giant game as well :). One suggestion I would make is to look at more boardgame-style mechanics as well. I think that this approach could help with the resource management aspect of the game, allowing the roleplaying to focus on the character and group goals.

    Comment by btaggart | July 26, 2007 | Reply


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