Wednesday, 23 August 2017

My game designing story so far - part two


So USR in its first form was on the internet and people were warm to it. I decided to get in touch with OBS and set up a publisher account, eventually uploading several previous T&T supplements and USR.

I was apprehensive to say the least. This was a bigger platform than I was used to, so generally I was worried about all these seasoned gamers hating my creation.

Turns out, most people liked it. Some loved it. Spurred on by the reception I started putting plans in place for supplements, starting work on USR Cyberpunk. This was an effort to stretch USR as far as it could go - taking a traditionally complex gaming genre and making it work for a rules lite game and I believe it may have been the first to do this.

I followed this up with The Trollmanac, which is probably my favourite T&T supplement and my first book to get some kind of award (runner-up Diehard GameFAN 2013). Meanwhile USR was gaining traction by a handful of people online, one being my friend of quite a few years Stuart Lloyd, who is a gamebook genius. He proposed creating a short gamebook for USR as an intro to the rules, which became Locket Away.

At this point I was seeing that there could be something in this game designing malarkey and I was vindicated when The Mary Sue wrote about USR in an article about great games you've never heard of. Sure, the money was still only enough to buy a monthly pizza, but it was something.

Google Plus became a haven for me as a designer. Here was a bunch of people I could talk to, riff on and ultimately be inspired by. It also served as a ground for marketing my stuff and to this day it's one of my most effective avenues for this.

Late 2013 I released Halberd Fantasy Roleplaying, my biggest book at the time. This was the first supplement which I considered a slog, having worked since USR's inception on a fantasy version of the game. It's a fun game, but not my favourite work - but you can find the origin of my Dunsanian fantasy game Tequendria right here.

In early 2014 I released my refurbished version of USR to the world, with an aim to build off that over the coming years.

Next time: 'experimental' games, Beyond Fear and stepping into the Void.