Monday, December 16

The Drought Before The Storm

This week has featured no played games and almost no games design. We had several days of planning meetings at work which has got in the way of lunchtime playtesting and my weekly Games Night (which has been disturbingly infrequent recently due to visitors and illnesses) wasn't on because Thursday evening was our office Christmas party instead. The evenings have been short with The Daughter down with another filthy cold (I'm beginning to think her nursery is actually an undercover black ops lab for testing the virulence of bioweapons) and not sleeping well, so I've not had much time to do anything.

I have at least been thinking about games with Codename: Dragon top of the list. In my youth I did eight years of Tae Kwon Do, so I have a little experience of fighting. In Dragon, I wanted to capture the feeling of not knowing what your opponent is going to do, with the attack and defence with moves having both strengths and weaknesses (if you do an axe kick you'll get two points for a head shot, unless they do a back kick: then you'll drop the the floor holding your crotch!).

To achieve that feeling I want each move to have one or two counters that leave it open to a hosing if your opponent correctly guesses what you've gone for. The simultaneous action selection will mean that instead of reacting to your opponent's move, you'll have to play a Princess Bride like game of bluff and double bluff. I've started making some specific card notes, they'll need fleshing out over Christmas. I also want there to be two different ranges, close (swords and claws) and long (lances and fire), so the cards available to you are limited by your current range.

I've lots of ideas at this point, no concrete prototype or even set of rules yet though.

So that's the drought covered, what about the storm? This Thursday, Games Night is back on and it's Christmas Games Night with mince pies and Gl├╝hwein instead of the usual snacks and beverages. I'm anticipating a good turn out and a convivial evening of gaming. After that, we're away to see the grandparents (and aunts and uncles and cousins) for a week. We'll stay with the in-laws, and I'm hoping there'll be a few gaming opportunities that week in the evenings.

The big storm though will be in early January. As many of you know I have Multiple Sclerosis. For the last few years I've been on an experimental treatment as part of a clinical trial. It's been great at combatting my MS, but it's not without side-effects and thanks to one of those I'm going to need some radiation therapy at the beginning of next year. As I'm sure you can imagine, being a source of gamma radiation does not gel well with young children - I have to avoid picking up, cuddling and kissing The Daughter for three weeks after I get nuked. Obviously, that's going to be really hard on both of us, but I know what's going on and that it's temporary, whereas you can't explain to a 16 month old child why daddy doesn't want to cuddle you any more. It's going to be awful for her.

To avoid just really upsetting her, we're thinking that The Wife and The Daughter might just go away to stay with the grandparents for those few weeks. She'll still miss me (I hope!) but she'll be showered in affection by the grandparents, and missing me will be less traumatic than me being around but avoiding her like the plague (that I am!).

Which means a couple of weeks in the house by myself. I'll miss them terribly, but needs must. Any ideas how I could fill the time? ;-)


Dave J said...

Games Games Games! Weeks of Games!

You KNOW it.

P.S. Did I mention Games Games Games?

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Dave,

I'm considering it, but maybe the time would be better spent as a fortnight of sleep?