Over on the Play This Thing blog, master game designer Greg Costikyan describes "My Life With Master:" "as seminal a work in the history of tabletop role-playing games as Frankenstein was for literature."
Imagine a gothic countryside burg, like the quite Bavarian steppes where Victor Frankenstein might have lived, or the brambly swamps of Dracula's castle. We're talking Eastern Europe before communism, when science was just kissing the brittle lips of superstition and stable poverty. The game begins by the group collectively designing a "Master", the otherworldly antagonist who dwells in some archetypal castle or haunted house or ancient catacomb. This master has some kind of M.O. - discovering the secret of eternal life, rejuvenation, astral projection, or maybe just a nice skin suit, get creative. Then the players design their characters, minions of this master, complete with a tragic flaw and constrained power. Then the real game begins.
The game is based on a few variables: Love, Self-Loathing, Weariness, and Fear. If you have any game design experience, you may be experiencing a form of cerebral arousal right now - we're talking about a spreadsheet soaked in procedural theme, yet elegant to the scale of Euclidean geometry. This sets the incentives for players to act a conflict of love versus self-loathing, where doing work for the master increases self-loathing, and making overtures to villagers increases love. Remember in Bride of Frankenstien when he smokes the pipe with the blind man? Stuff like that, but in the context of your character design, and acted out with your own pathos.
Eventually the contours of the dynamic, the way the spreadsheet algorithmically tends to move, puts the dramatic arc toward a climax, with one minion swelling with enough love to rebel against the master. Then everything goes crazy, the villagers start attacking the minions, and the fight with the master goes back and forth. After the master is killed, each character gets their own epilogue scenario based on what their numbers were at the finish.
8Bitdo’s prototype Desktop Arcade Joy Stick is a) an entire retrogame cabinet, complete with controls, display and guts, b) excellently crafted from wood, c) a surprisingly beautiful re-contextualizing of the experience of play. I’d like to own an entire arcadeful of these, in sizes ranging from 6 inches to 6 feet tall, in a colossal […]
Retro Game Cases sells at least superficially-accurate replicas of the cases that old games came in: perfect for game hunters who’ve nabbed a cartridge from a crate and want it to take pride of place in their collection. Protective archival game cases are not only a safe way to protect your retro video games, but […]
A new report from Axiom Capital Management suggests that Pokémon Go is on a downward trend in daily active users and engagement of those users. The data comes from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia. Additionally, “The Google Trends data is already showing declining interest in augmented reality, whereas interest in virtual reality remains high,” says […]
If you’re looking to earn a top salary in the tech industry, there’s no better career than coding. However, sometimes the hardest part of entering this career path is knowing where to begin.We took the Complete Web Developer Course because it took that decision out of our hands. This course teaches beginner-friendly coding languages that will also help land an immediate […]
To be a Pokémon master, you’ll need a phone that won’t constantly die on you. Because nothing is worse than seeing the screen go black right as you’ve finally found the Charizard of your dreams.That’s why we’re so excited about the LinearFlux PokeCharger Portable Battery ($39.99). With its 3.0 Amp HyperCharging technology, this slim battery will […]
The tech industry is constantly innovating, and in order to stay competitive, you’ll need to keep up. The Programming Into the Future Bundle was created to teach you the skills employers are looking for at this very moment, including in-demand coding languages like Google Go.The bundle of courses includes instruction on a range of innovative tools that advanced coders […]