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DRAWCEPTION! - Eat Poop You Cat!


You are probably familiar with the game of Chinese Whispers. You probably played is as a kid. You probably even found it funny back then. But as the years have passed, you enjoyed it less and less. And just like other kid games, you stopped playing, because it wasn't fun anymore...
What, If I told you, that there is a much better/funnier game with a similar mechanic, but uses drawing and writing instead of whispers? This game is full of pop-culture and geeky references,  memes, and other internet culture.
What if I told You that can play it for free right now?



Let me introduce you to Drawception!


What is it?

I couldn't sum up the game better than the game's creator did. Drawception is "A free web game that combines drawing with the classic "Telephone Game". As a phrase is drawn and described by players it changes in unexpected ways. Miscommunication and hilarity ensues!"
When you choose to play, you are given either a prompt with a phrase to draw, or a picture to describe. Your input is a part of a larger chain (usually 12 panels - 6 drawings and 6 descriptions). You can choose to skip this prompt, and you are given a new one. You can skip as much as you want (most players do) until you find a prompt you like. Then, you have 10 minutes (60sec in a Blitz Game), to either draw or describe. Once you are done with your creation, you submit it and wait for the game to finish.
Games usually take a day or so to finish, but you can play more than one game at a time (8 at the start, 32 when you level up). Once a game is finished, you can see all of the panels, and how the original prompt got twisted during the course of the game - you laugh, "thumb up" your favorite panels (those thumb-ups are the experience points of the game) and play again.

That's it?

Well, yeah - that's all the rules for the game, but you are not playing here for rules. Just like RPGs or Story Games, rules are only a siphon for the experience you will have.
Drawception has a great strange community of players - some are amazing artists, some are amazingly funny - but all of them have one in common: they love geek and pop-culture references! If you enjoy the "internet culture" you will be right at home here. Puns, Memes, Sublimal  Batmans - they are all here, in a weird social experiment of a game. You might need to play a bit to get into the really good games. You get access to vet(eran) games at level 20 - and vet games are where all the cool kids hang out! But even starting up you will have fun and have a laugh. You don't need to be an amazing artist to play. Sure - the great artists are getting a lot of exp for their work, but so many games take a left turn because someone thought your drawing of a turtle was a cabbage.

I started playing Drawception in 2012. Every time I thought I was done with the game, I found myself coming back to it every now and then. For me it is a mark of a great game!
On top of that, I think my drawing skills improved quite a bit thanks to drawception. Win - Win!

If any of this sound interesting - head down to Drawception.com and start playing! And while you are there, check out my gallery of games.

And if you want to play this game with your friends in the mythical offline world - check out Eat Poop You Cat or one of its commercial kin like Telestrations or Cranium scribblish.

[Idea Time] Educational Adventure Game? Mathematical!

This is just an idea I have for a game. I might, or might not work on it more. I am pouring it on "paper", so I can focus on other projects.

ELEVATOR PITCH: Adventure Time inspired dungeoncrawl-style RPG, where you resolve tasks using mathematical formulas. Aimed at kids learning the times-tables, and making the memorization and using math more fun. Released either as a normal book-style RPG, or as deck(s) of cards with cartoony artwork.


This idea hit me while binge watching Adventure Time (c'mon grab your friends). I heard "Mathematical!" for the Nᵗʰ time and something clicked. Mathematical basically means "Cool" or "Awesome" in the "very distant lands" of Adventure Time. So, in that world, something happened that made math cool? Hmmm... 

This is when my brain got aboard the Thought Train: What did happen to make math cool? How can you make math cool? Using it in a game! But almost every game out there is using simple math... Maybe addition and subtraction isn't enough to make math cool? But how can you make multiplication and division fun? Won't it be too cumbersome?

This is where the train hit a wall.

The answer came to me when I stumbled upon a small board game by the name of Secret Code 13+4.
Secret code basically makes you roll some dice to get numbers. Your task is to use the rolled numbers and any of the four basic mathematical operators (+, -, *, and /) to achieve a target number represented on a randomly drawn card (e.g rolling 1,3,5 and 5 and trying to achieve 24 - you can use 5*5-1). This is a simple enough system, and makes the gameplay somehow puzzle-like.
This, combined with a teamwork mechanic and some simple narrative rules can make a half-decent RPG or Adventure Board Game.

Obstacles (like traps, enemies, etc.) would have target numbers ranging from 1 to 100. Possibly lower numbers for easier tasks.
Players would roll D10s (I think up to 4 or 5 per player) to try to overcome the obstacle using the mathematical operators. To make it more thematic and gamey I would include location/dungeon cards that would modify target number, combos between obstacles (goblin chieftain adds +3 to all other goblins on the table) etc. There would need to be a system for loosing HP (as it would be a kids game I would name it courage or determination) and gaining gold(?). Each player would have a times tables cheat sheet and a special power that they could use to get rid of particular obstacle type easier.

Some random concepts:
  • Teamwork encouraged
  • No player elimination (loosing a turn at most)
  • Adventure Time inspired artwork (or at least cartoony)
  • D10 generate numbers from 1 to 10 - the scale of basic times tables
  • Character Powers (lateral thinking?)
  • Could be played with or without a GM

Basically it would be a times tables educational game disguised as an adventure game. As a kid, I remember hating to memorize the times tables and I would appreciate having a game like that. I think putting obstacles on cards with some cool artwork would make the game more appealing to kids and just easier to manage. 
While aimed at kids, the game would have enough depth and theme to appeal to adults looking for a light puzzle game and would not be boring while playing with kids.

What I Think about Powers For Good #0

I found this game in the Story Games Weekly newsletter #24. I think this is the only newsletter in my inbox that I am actually looking forward to reading. I always find at least one gem in it, and this week was not an exception.
I never was a huge fan of superhero RPGs (maybe becuase I have grown up on Disney's characters comics and not Marvel's or DC's), but for whatever reason I was always drawn to them. The only supers game I have played, or run, was powered by Savage Worlds, and even this seemed a little too crunchy for my liking. I wanted a more narrative and action oriented approach, but nothing on the market really scratched that itch.

For some time I have toyed with designing a rules light supers game. You would have a die type assigned to each "power" and you could use it in a similar fashion to FATE's Aspects. But like many (oh, so many) of my projects it ended up on some scribbles in one of my notebooks.

Then, I wake up one day (yesterday, actually) and find that someone had the same idea, and released it as a free (well, pay what you want) game. This person is Sage LaTorra - designer of Dungeon World! I know this guy has a good grasp on narrative RPGs, so I check out the game.

The game assumes you are new to Story Games (and RPGs in general). That's not an issue - anyone familiar with the hobby will get the grasp of it quickly and can finish reading the book in 20-30min. It's only 37 pages anyway.

The game starts by creating your team of superheros. You choose the team's name first. After that, each participant (Players and the GM) names two heroes. Yeah, just create two super hero names. That's it. This is actually a brilliant idea. Names are always something that people struggle with, and good names will spark creativity around the table. Now, you assign a power and personality to each of those oddballs. Done!
Next, you choose which of those heroes you will play this time (you can change heroes after each adventure). Flesh them out with 2-5 extra powers and you are good to go! Personally, I love this approach - it works great as a pick-up, or even a convention game, and gives you enough info to start roleplaying.

The system is simple, but also brilliant in it's simplicity. You get a set (core) of dice: d12, d8, d6 and a d4. You don't assign them to anything - you just have it. Treat it as, I don't know, your hero's current power. When you need to roll, you pick up any dice you want and roll them. If the total on the dice is greater than the Difficulty Level (GM never rolls dice, only assigns difficulty) - you succeeded!
Now, for each die you did not use in the roll, you get a Determination Point - you use those to add to your roll on 1 to 1 basis. If you failed - you get an extra point as well. Simple, and keeps players from using all their dice all the time (you want those Determination Points).
But wait! That's not all. "Each roll has consequences" - the die with the highest result in the roll is reduced in size (so d12 becomes d10, d8 - d6 and so on). This small rule makes teamwork encouraged. As even if you and your friends roll tons of dice to achieve something, only one of those will be reduced. Also, at least in my mind, the little line about the consequences tells the GM, that when describing success, they should always go with: Yes, but.

And that's it for the system - quick, simple and narrative - just like I wanted. Well, there are tips on how to GM and a sample "adventure" in the book. Both good chapters, explaining the narrative GM approach in some detail. So, even if you never played a story or narrative game in your life, you can get the hang of it.
If I sparked your interest - go and give it a try - you can get it for free from DriveThruRPG.com, and if you enjoy it, go back and send the author some monnies.

Oh, one more thing - the game is licensed under Creative Commons - so nothing is stopping people from releasing their own hero teams, scenarios, rules etc. I really hope that people will jump on this game and start creating - I want to see Powers For Good #1, #17 and even #200!

The state of things...

Just a quick update on the state of things related to this blog, before we continue with the irregularly scheduled content:

Heist Aces - The game is in a slow process of being updated to version 2.0 (because "2.0" will go with the near future theme nicely). I have gathered a lot of feedback, especially that the game, as is now - in pocketmod, wasn't very clear. Because of creative surges it was put on a back burner - but the project is far from abandoned.
Savage Witcher - I have plenty of notes and even some graphics from a great artist for this one, but somewhere along the lines I (yet, again) lost motivation to finish it. I still want to make it, but it is now far from the top of the pipeline - maybe replaying the Witcher video games will help... we will see. And speaking of video games...
Video Games - The blog will feature some video games. Especially small, indie games with great mechanics. Sometimes it will be a review-like article, sometimes I will look into its interesting mechanics and see how they can be transplanted from the digital world into RPGs or Boardgames. Hopefully you'll enjoy it.
Board Games - As with video games, board games will show up more on this blog. Especially because I am in the process of making some (more info soon). Expect musings on mechanics, themes and general design in card and board games.
RPGs - roleplaying games will continue to be a feature of this blog. I expect an eclectic mix of Savage Worlds, OSR and story games... maybe FATE? We will see. What I am trying to say, that if you where coming here for RPG, you will get your fix ;). Apart from Heist Aces and Savage Witcher I have few RPG related projects in the pipeline - I will will happily share my design process here. Which takes us to...
Twitter - I revived my long-forgotten twitter account, and pasted it shamelessly on the right. I will use it to give quick updates on my design progress and share some interesting, game related, things that are not big enough for a whole blog post. If you are interested in any of that - follow me and we can be best buds!

There you have it. An update on how the blog will change and what is happening with my designs. Hopefully, you'll like the changes. Leave me a comment to what you would like to see here in the future, or just say hi.