In early April 2019, I had the pleasure of being invited to cover Hanging Lantern’s event “Real Royalty” written and designed by Natasha Borders, Jeffrey Steele, and Benji Michalek. The game was a dark fairytale incorporating stories and inspiration from the world’s most famous, classic stories. From a designer’s standpoint, Real Royalty was an amazing and fascinating game. While not everything worked and the experimental mechanics certainly could have used more playtesting before going live, the fact that the Hanging Lantern team was willing to try so many experimental things meant that Real Royalty helped push freeform mechanical design forward dramatically faster than any game I’ve played in the last two years.
Processing negative feedback can always be challenging for players or organizers, but we can take feedback in and defend our games without putting other games actively down.
I recently attended Eskhaton by Reverie Studios. It was talked about as a horror game, but in truth, it was a game of modern day cults and the end of the world. The characters and cults were the horrors, not the things being horrified. It was interesting to walk on the other side of that classic gaming genre. Here is a full review of the things that worked, what didn't, and what we can learn from this engaging, dark experience of an event.
(Featured Photo by Katherine Chartier.) I see burnout coming in the distance. It’s an old familiar friend. One I’ve done the dance with at least 3 times before in my gaming career. It’s that temptation of knowing my life would be infinitely easier if I just ceased designing or staffing games all together, that I … Continue reading Gamers Cause Burnout, Not Game Creation