Art and Horror in Mundaun

Explore Alpine mysteries in a Puzzle based Horror with Mundaun! This game has a focus on Art and storytelling, and its overwhelmingly positive reviews rave about the vibes this art piece gives off.

The art of the game has a combination of Two and 3 dimensional aspects, and is entirely in black and white. The overlay of 2-d textures heightens the uncanny valley often seen in 3-d video games.  The consistent  art style provides a feast for the eyes and increases the spook factor when a monster fades into view.

The atmospheric ambience  is achieved through the use of  rough textures of the mountain , while things like plants and animals are carefully detailed. By making the sky light grey and the mountains dark, there is just enough contrast to distinguish the two as you traverse the map.

The simplified human shapes of the characters lend credence to the appearance of the monsters. Having a simple style throughout  lets the player maintain their suspension of disbelief.

The story-book-esque style contributes to the games easy-going gameplay, with minimal stats to keep track of an the ability to run or avoid monsters. The game only has  a few jump scares, relying on psychological horror to keep you on the edge of your seat.

A pleasant vista
From the game’s STEAM page

How to make your own card game

How to make a card game from concept to completion

What do you enjoy in the card games that you play? What will entice others to play?

For this example, I tried to create a card game that my friends would play. They enjoy relatively simple games, that one can do while talking or conversing. I chose Uno to be the base game, as all agreed that that was their favorite game.

I like the aesthetic of tarot cards, so I also added in their number system (1-10, then page, knight, queen, and king).

I chose a theme, next. I enjoyed the tiktok trend of “vaguely terrifying beasts as pests that just bother you occasionally” as the theme, and boiled down their appearance to “Oblong form in mask”. Simplifying the appearance of the card’s design increases it’s readability. Making your images overly complex can confuse your players (or yourself when coloring them).

After deciding on those, it’s time to design the cards!

I chose to match the number of the figures to the number on the card, to keep it consistent visually. Other options include making the numbers of objects equal to the value of the card (ordinary 52-card deck), creating symbolism to match the value (most tarot cards), or even just putting the value of the card as the main focus (a-la- UNO).

Consistency is key to make sure the players can distinguish different groups of cards from each other while still recognizing it as part of the group.

Matching color-schemes or patterns is the common route to solve that problem!

For mine, each group (distinguished by color) has its own pattern as well. To make sure that all the cards -regardless of color- are read as from the same game/set, I used the same line-art for the base. Making all the figures the same helps tie the card set together.

The video has the rest of the process!

Good Society: a Jane Austen RPG

From Kickstarter project to off-the-shelf popular enough for a reprint, “Good Society” has come long way.

First released in 2018, funded by $154,774 Australian dollars from 2,677 backers,  it included a hardcover rulebook, between 20-36 cards (depending on how much you gave), and Pdf versions of the above.

Now, on its Storybrewer’s page, it offers one of its expansions in hardback as well, along with various expansion cardsets. The 280-page rulebook includes art and accompanying material.

The game is heavily focused on role-playing, which can be seen in it’s lack of numbered stats, and its LARP version that is also available to purchase. The traits used to navigate the game are the role you’re given, your family, desires, and your relationships.

Some unique aspects of the game:

    • NPCs printed on cards
    • Having a Game Master (GM/DM) is an option
    • Numerous Expansion packs ranging from servants to magic

Collapsed

Collapsed was just released for Playstation on March 13th, 2021. It was released for Nintendo Switch on August 27th, 2020 and it first came to PC on August 1st, 2019. Collapsed is a roguelike platformer where you can play as one of four Hunters and fight against hostile alien invaders. The game is the only major project from the indie developer Glaive Games. It was published by OverGamez, a Russian indie games producer. The gaming community appears to be split on their opinion of this game. While the game has received praise for the online co-op and the large skill tree, its also been criticized for its poor story-telling and repetitive gameplay. But there are definitely some features that might appeal to many gamers.

Most of Collapsed’s levels are filled with tons of alien enemies.

4 Hunters

In Collapsed, our Solar System has been invaded by a massive force of varied aliens. The invaders intend to enslave all sentient life in the galaxy and it’s up to the player to repel the invasion. The rest of the story is told through messages that you can find throughout the procedurally generated levels. All four of the playable Hunters have their own set of abilities, skills, and weapons. As you play through the game, inevitably dying on your first couple of playthroughs, you’ll move through the game’s large skill tree and unlock new ways to strengthen your hunters. You can also craft over 100 different items to help you through your run. There are 9 uniquely styled locations in the game and the procedural generation will make it so that every playthrough is different. There are over 60 enemy types and 15 challenging bosses to battle at the end of a level.

Thanks the huge skill tree, the player can really choose how they want to develop their play style.

Blast from the Past

Collapsed art-style is incredibly reminiscent to the flash games that were popular on the internet in the 2000’s. The way that the assets move and are drawn brings back plenty of memories from that time period. Whether you like this or not is a matter of personal preference. Ultimately, Collapsed is a roguelike game with potential. The online co-op is a neat feature that’s fairly uncommon among most notable roguelike games. However, priced at $14.99, there are plenty of other excellent roguelike games that Collapsed is directly competing with. If you’re a fan of roguelikes, you might really enjoy Collapsed. But is it as good as Binding of Isaac or Enter the Gungeon? Now, that’s a tall order.

#Collapsed #Indie #Roguelike #Platformer

Blaseball’s Boom

Musicals and Music video, fan animations and artwork…. for a fantasy baseball browser game?

It’s indeed the case!

Blaseball is an absurdist online baseball game that was split into “seasons” (a la Apex Legends) with a rulebook with chunks that are redacted for the player. There’s a shop with in-game items purchased with in-game money won by backing teams, similar to various irl fantasy leagues.

The trick with this game is the unusual stats, the ability for you (as a player) to vote on actions of the teams or rules of the game, and “blessings” (random powerups) get randomly assigned to the blaseball players on the teams, like “performance enhancing demons” and “bloodlust”.

The trick is both in choice making, and knowing the players enough to decide which teams to bet on.

For fans, the joy is in the story telling, the characters, the competition, and the eagerness of waiting for your team to win.

PACER

Pacer was just released for Xbox on March 9th. The game had already been released on Playstation and PC. Pacer is an action packed anti-gravity racing game from R8 Games. Originally known as Formula Fusion and rebranded to Pacer in 2019, it’s the only game that R8 Games has released to the public. However, many of the developers at R8 have established themselves in the industry and worked on various major game franchises. This includes the Wipeout series, which PACER seems to have drawn much inspiration from. Like any good racing game, PACER lets the player customize their vehicle to their heart’s content. But where PACER really sets itself apart from most next-gen racing games would be the actual racing gameplay.

You can customize your craft at the Garage. Everything from the engine to the brakes can be fine-tuned.

High-Octane

PACER takes place in the year 2075. Anti-gravity motorsports have developed into a world renowned competition between highly skilled pilots. But crashing is far from the greatest danger that the pilots face while they’re racing. Every craft can be customized in a variety of ways and they can be fitted with deadly weaponry. You could be dodging bullets and bombs the whole way to the finish line. In the single-player campaign mode, you’ll advance through 10 unique race teams around the world to win the PACER World Championship. But there are plenty of other game modes beyond the campaign.

With up to 10 players in each race, there’s plenty of danger on the track.

Racing Around the Globe

Singleplayer and online multiplayer races have 8 individual game modes. One of these game modes, called “Storm”, is inspired by Battle Royales where you have to flee the ever encroaching storm as the battle races on. Plus, the game lets you race and battle on 14 different tracks that are located across the world. These numerous modes and tracks have kept people playing and kept people interested in the game. There are also plenty of other nice features that set the game apart. Every craft can be heavily customized to your preferences. So if you want to focus on the vehicle’s handling or speed, you can go for it. PACER also lets you create your own playlist from over 80+ songs in their library. This library includes tracks from many artists, including original songs from CoLD SToRAGE written exclusively for PACER. If you’re in the market for a new racing game with a twist, consider giving PACER a try.

#PACER #Indie #Racing #Battle

Robotech: The Macross Saga HD Edition

Robotech: The Macross Saga HD Edition was released on the Nintendo Switch on March 4th. It’s a remaster of the original Game Boy Advance side-scrolling shoot em up game that came out in 2002. The game is based on the anime, Robotech, from the 1980s. The original game was developed by Lucky Chicken Games and published by TDK Mediactive, both of which are now defunct. The remake was released by the California-based indie developer Galaxy Pest Control, founded in 2010. Many of the people at GPC who worked on the remaster were also a part of the team that made the original Game Boy Advance version, so the game mostly stays true to its origins. The remaster mostly focuses on enhanced assets, models, and audio.

There are a total of 10 playable characters if you include the unlockable characters.

Blast from the Past

Robotech: The Macross Saga takes the player through the events of the first season of the Robotech anime. You play as one of the characters from the show while piloting a Veritech fighter. Veritech fighters are unique mech units that can transform into three different modes. You can switch between all three modes in the game. Fighter mode is like a military aircraft, Battloid mode is like a huge robot suit, and Guardian mode is like a mix between both. There are also special missions where you play as a Destroid. Destroids are essentially walking tanks that cause major damage to the enemy. The game features five playable characters from the show to start and you can unlock an additional five more characters by playing the game.

The game’s visuals have been fully overhauled.

A Major Update

While most of the gameplay features remain the same, the game looks very different. The player and enemy models have all been enhanced to 3D. All the backgrounds have also been updated with higher resolutions. The developers also added enhanced lighting and various other effects. Beyond the graphics, the audio also received an update. The developers added soundtracks from the anime in hopes to connect players more with the story. Plus, you’ll be able to play local multiplayer on the Switch. You won’t need to use a link cable like back in the old gays with the Game Boy Advance. The game is only $9.99 USD on the Nintendo Switch store, so consider picking it up if you’re a fan of classic side-scrolling shoot em ups.

#Robotech #Macross #Remaster #Sidescroller #Mech

Dungeon design in DnD: The Rooms, Hallways, and the bits between your players and the Boss

A home is not an empty house; even the most neat space still has stuff in it. In Dnd,  the problem is how to describe a space without tripping up your players, while maintaining the atmosphere you want.

Where is this place going to be? Will you build the building around the location? Will you develop the building based on its occupant? Both?

Think about what people would need to live in your chosen location. For example: A Cult that lives below ground; where do they get their food? What do they do for entertainment? What do they find important in their cult, and what kind of space does that occupy? In that case, you could add in pantries, game rooms, a few sacrificial alters in front of a statue with it’s own room, a space for priests in the cult, a space for digging tools, an area for certain building or support materials, and some sort of path to remove dirt that’s been freshly dug.

Even with just this, there’s already a map being developed.

To build a place around its occupants can be more complex than just location-based design. For example, If you have archers in your castle, you’d want the tall, thin windows and battlements that will protect them; however, non-European cultures tend to use mounted archers (those on horses) more often, so the buildings in those areas don’t account for defense-based archery.

More simply, you can examine the origin and design of your boss, and what pieces of architecture would accentuate those traits. an Eldritch beast would call for a dark and imposing building, with heavy materials, the tall ceilings oozing with foreboding shadows, and stained glass windows alluding to something far beyond the Players’ knowledge. There is also a need to consider the atmosphere you’re trying to create, and creating a moodboard (a selection of images associated with what emotions you want to convey) can help.

For the individual rooms, you can search up a list of items created in the era you wish (for more historically-inspired pieces), or a list of items found in books or media for the location (for sci-fi or high fantasy). You can also review your list of occupants and wonder about what they might need for daily life, and then scatter about these items.

To spice up the interior, you can add in Furniture! Use words that can describe the atmosphere or boss as well. The furniture a person has can tell you something about them. A “bone-thin chair with a black metal back” has a much different vibe than a “warm, plush couch, made of quilted velvet”. A visible lack of furniture can set up an atmosphere of barrenness, or even when placed in context, an air of suspiciousness.  Furniture can be minimalistic, decorated, homely, and can help set up your atmosphere as well as any sounds made by a you-tube playlist.

The materials used in the room can also give it flavor. Describing types of stone using their textures or appearances, or using the wallpaper to its maximum effect. Add in color-meanings or flower symbology to tell the story of the place or its inhabitants. How well-maintained are the rooms? Do people care about the place they’re in?

You can also Give clues about your Boss in main rooms. Shed skin for scaly beasts, the odd hair or piece of fur, or even a closet with the Boss’ preferred outfits. Does your Boss have a particular diet, or habits that are unique to their species or situation?

All of the above can be used to world-build in a way can be as subtle (or dramatic) as you’d like!

Have fun designing!

Elite Dangerous: Odyssey

The PC Alpha version of Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is scheduled to arrive on March 29th. Odyssey is the newest DLC for the MMO space flight simulation game Elite Dangerous. Produced by the renowned British developers at Frontier Developments, Elite Dangerous is the fourth installment in the Elite video game series. Having started in 1984 with Elite, it’s one of the longest running video game franchises to date. Without ever having reached a deal with any publisher, Elite Dangerous was originally funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012. After its original release on PC, the game has also been ported to Xbox One and PS4. Following its predecessors in pushing the bar for innovation in space flight games, Elite Dangerous: Odyssey has a wide variety of features that will likely keep players engaged for several hours.

Elite Dangerous lets you pilot a variety of ships. The carrier, for example, is a huge and expensive ship that lets you carry numerous small fighters aboard the ship.

Explore the Milky Way

Elite Dangerous boasts the extraordinary feature of allowing players to explore a 1:1 model of the Milky Way galaxy. Over 100,000 of the game’s star systems use real astronomical data. The game also features some fictional star systems from the past games in the series. Perhaps most impressively, approximately 400 billion star systems have been procedurally generated in the massive game world using scientific models. This essentially means that players will never run out of room to explore and the game can feel fresh to new and old players for many more years. While the game was designed to be played online, it also features an offline single player mode. The game starts you off in this vast open galaxy with a small spaceship and a bit of money. What you do and where you go from there is mostly up to you. There are numerous activities for you to partake in that will help you to accumulate more money and galactic influence.

Elite Dangerous: Odyssey finally lets players leave their vessel and explore the galaxy on foot.

The Next Chapter

Elite Dangerous already lets you play many different roles to make money. You can find work in mining, exploration, transportation, and trade. You can also go to the darker side of the galaxy and make money in bounty-hunting, piracy, or even assassination. Elite Dangerous: Odyssey lets players step out of their ships. Now, you can disembark and explore planets on foot. Many of the missions that were previously available will now be translated to missions that can be completed on foot. Whether you want to make money through combat or commerce, you’ll now be able to do this outside or your ship. You’ll also finally be able to meet other players up close instead of out in space. Elite Dangerous is available through the Xbox Games Pass, so subscribers should be sure to give it a try if you’re a fan of games in space. While there is a steep learning curve, this game is a favorite among many fans of the genre.

#EliteDangerous #EliteDangerousOdyssey #FrontierDevelopments #Space #MMO #RPG #SpaceFlight #SpaceFlightSim

DnD for Dummies

Part 1: Character Creation

When you are asked to join a Dungeons & Dragons adventure, it is rare to go as the persona you present in day-to-day life. Instead, you’re given a plethora of options for race and class, and are asked to give your Dungeon Master (DM) a backstory by the end of the week.

If you’re lost and don’t know where to begin, I’m here for you!

There are a few ways to start thinking about this problem:

  1.  What does your party need?
  2. What does your heart and soul want?
  3. What would be fun?

What does your Party need?

If you’re creating characters with everyone else in the party, they can give you fun tips on where to go with your character. Party composition (how a group is organized based on class) will depend on the kind of game your DM wants to run.

A more easy-going adventure won’t depend on perfect stat arrangement, but rather on how characters get along. For this kind of game, make sure that your character can establish a rapport with at least one other member of the party, through shared ideals, gods, race, or backstory details.

A more intense adventure (one more based on survival or monster-vanquishing) will need careful arrangements of stats. Take care to note what each class requires for use, and if this is a first time endeavor, pick an easier class to learn, like Fighter, Wizard or Barbarian.  Many Races in DnD have stats or abilities that can help with specific classes.

 

What does your Heart and Soul want?

What did you want to be when you were a kid? What characters did you want to be, to dress up and pretend to be them? Who do you envy, what parts of them do you want to emulate?

Is there any part of yourself that you wan to explore, that never gets to go out and play?

This character can be your chance to try on different genders, different mannerisms, to be a little more dramatic than usual, to do something new or unusual.

 

What would be fun?

What character concepts have you thought of that you think would knock people’s socks off? Is there a character that this group of friends finds entertaining?

You and the DM can also create a character made for their world, one that holds secrets, or carries the plot, or has aspects unique to the campaign.

 

Communication is what makes any group sing, and character creation is no exception.

 

For additional character creation tips, the official DnD site is https://www.dndbeyond.com/