GenCon 2011 Seminar Recordings

One of my guilty pleasures at GenCon is to attend a variety of interesting game design panels with digital recorder in hand.  I was quite successful this year with 5 distinct seminar recordings.  I have done some rudimentary audio clean-up on the recordings but I currently lack the skill to properly polish them.   They are definitely worth a listen though, in my opinion I present the seminars in chronological order as I attended them.  I will try to link to the presenters websites whenever possible.

Things You Think About Games

Event Number: SEM1122700

Presenters: Jeff Tidball and Will Hindmarch from Gameplaywright (

Things You Think About Games


The No-No’s of Game Design

Event Number: SEM1128758


Stan! (

Jeff Neil Bellinger (

Daniel Solis (

Matt Forbeck (

 The No-No’s of Game Design



Lessons from Indie Publishing

Event Number: SEM1122904

Presenters: David A Hill Jr. from Machine Age Productions (

Lessons from Indie Publishing


Design an RPG in an Hour

Event Number: SEM1122800

Presenters: David A Hill Jr. from Machine Age Productions (

Design an RPG in an Hour



Game Design is Mind Control

Event Number: SEM1120297


Luke Crane (

Jared A Sorenson (

Game Design is Mind Control


The Legal Rules of Gaming

Event Number: SEM1118576

Presenters:  Neil A. Wehneman (

The Legal Rules of Gaming



In addition to those excellent seminars, I also had the pleasure of running 2-3 playtests of the Spark RPG with some excellent gamers and/or designers.  I didn’t request permission to post those game sessions online from the participants, so I will not post those particular recordings.  I was told a couple of things by all of the different groups of playtesters.

  1.  I need to improve the presentation of the rules; teach them in a better fashion with more clear character sheets
  2. I should change the GM Fate tracking sheet into a variant of the normal player character sheet.
  3. It is counter-intuitive to have conditions which only help you or only impede you, regardless of circumstances.  I will consider changing this around, though I am uncertain how exactly that would affect the economy.

I hope the seminar recordings and I wish to thank all of the fine participants of GenCon who supported my playtesting endeavours.


GenCon 2010 Seminar Recordings can be found Here.


Amaranthine – The Chess Game Eternal

So, Machine Age Productions will be releasing a brand new RPG at GenCon 2011 by the title of Amaranthine“Amaranthine is a game about yesterday, now, and forever. Amaranthine are immortal, destined to reincarnate from here until eternity. They’ve lived many lives before, and every other immortal they meet, they’ve met before.”

I pitched in on the Kickstarter drive and in honour of their release, I volunteered to produce a hack of the game system.   This is a hack of their resolution system, which replaces the dice with a chess board.  I hope some of you immortals enjoy playing the eternal game!

You can find it here and it is released under a Creative Commons, Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike License.  This hack was produced by Genesis of Legend Publishing, but I chose to cede all rights to Machine Age Productions

Amaranthine Chess Hack PDF

Have fun and feel free to leave a comment if you have any thoughts concerning the hack.

A Sojourn in Alexandria – Virtue’s Edge

I am pleased to announce that I have managed to complete a playable game for Game Chef 2010.  In the spirit of the competition and my personal whims, I am releasing the work to the Public Domain.  Use it for absolutely anything, any where, any time.   Love to hear if you play the game or are inspired by it but even that is at your discretion.

Disclaimer; this was produced in two-weeks of insanity.  It contains hippy indie story game concepts, extremely limited playtesting and my own amateur layout skills.  I still offer you a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back!    The Spark RPG will have a great deal more polish and a significantly higher word count.

A Sojourn in Alexandria concerns both physical voyages and ethical journeys. The characters try to walk the knife’s edge between the deprivation of the harsh Desert and the excess of the opulent City. Walk in the footsteps of Alexander the Great!

Get it here and have fun!

A Sojourn in Alexandria

GenCon Seminar Recordings

I attended a series of seminars at GenCon and I am posting them with the permission of the speakers.   Feel free to link or copy any of the MP3’s.

1) Improvising: The GM’s Backup Plan by Patrick Benson

If you like his seminar, here are his haunts online.

2) Design an RPG in an Hour by Machine Age Productions where we designed an occult World War 2 game with a card-based resolution system.   The write up will be released under creative commons at Machine Age Productions.

3) World Building in an Hour by Machine Age Productions where we built a world where attachment is suffering, the sunlight is a precious dwindling resource and the world is a dream they seek to escape. The write up will be released under creative commons at Machine Age Productions.

4) The Intersection of Games and Stories by Matt Forbeck, Stan !, Jeff Tidball.   Excellent discussion on how stories may be told with Roleplaying games, board games, video games or in novel form.

5) Game Design is Mind Control by Luke Crane and Jared Sorensen and recorded over by the fine folks at The Walking Eye Podcast.