Archive for the ‘Dead Salesman Games’ Category

Dead Salesman Update: Mary Sue

09 Jan

I’ve been working on a game called Mary Sue for a little over a calendar year now, and–embarrassingly enough–only managed to get it right very recently. After weeks of watching the trappings of the game be more fun than the mechanics, I’ve finally hit on a radically different design principle that lets the craziness of the concept come through in gameplay. When the game’s closer to release, I’ll have a post explaining what I mean.

Anyway, the most recent playtest has got me terribly excited. The rules should have a candidate for release in another few months, and I can get a lot of the heavy lifting done on the rulebook in that time. This means the game could be less than three months away from completion. Considering that this is a far more elaborate affair than Hobospy, that’s saying a lot.

I do intend to put the game through a Kickstarter once I have a workable website and a few more assets to show off. I could release the game without any money at all, but even a couple hundred dollars could make a tremendous difference in terms of production value.

In other news, I’ve been screwing around with different designs for the Dead Salesman website. I considered switching to WordPress, but was ultimately unimpressed. Some day, I might have the funds to put up my own website, but for the moment, the Blogspot will suffice.

Dead Salesman Games still has not, officially, launched. I’m keeping in a soft-open state until I’m sure I have the website where I want it. But since this is the internet, there’s not a whole lot of difference between a “soft” and “hard” opening, except that I’m not pushing things as hard as I could be. I should be ready to do a hard open within a month or so.

Well, looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me. Good thing I’m not graduating in six months or something, or else I’d probably go absolutely guano crazy.

Anyway, this has been another post from King Ruts, Supreme Emperor of Luxembourg, reminding you that turnip rations are being increased by 300% in honor of the Saint Jibar’s Day Festival. Good night, good luck, and don’t let the nightmare bats eat your hair, Margaret.


Hobospy Has Launched

14 Dec

It’s finally here. A more involved post might come later. For now, just know that you can buy it here.



Production Diaries: Hobospy

15 Nov

I’ve decided to expand the Hobospy document. Since it’s going to be the first product released, it deserves a little more meat and substance to it–not to mention a few more playtesting passes. I’ve written up a sample adventure, a good chunk of fiction, and a suite of random tables and special encounters to give the game more zing and playability. This means it’ll take longer, but I’ll be a lot happier with it when it’s done.

The cover’s already done, and I have to say I like it a lot. I’ll unveil that, as well as the sample adventure, in a little while. I’ve already finished the pitch for the Mary Sue Kickstarter, but I don’t want to start begging for seed money for an ambitious RPG project when I don’t even have one on the market yet.

Right now, it looks as though the Hobospy rulebook will end up anywhere from sixty to eighty pages, and all of them will be awesome. I really can’t wait to get this thing in your hands.


30 Oct


Free RPG: Malice

26 Oct

To celebrate Halloween, and to throw some more soft-opening grist into the Dead Salesman website (technically up, link coming soon), I designed and documented a quickie horror RPG. This is a game you can learn in one minute and run in almost any kind of setting. It’s made to solve a problem I face a lot in horror games, which is that there are few systems that evocatively simulate running from something. I don’t mean that Malice is about literally fleeing, although it is; I mean it’s a game where you’re almost always less powerful than your opponents, and fate is never on your side.

I’ve got more to say about it, and I will, but right now it’s already far too late. I’ll just throw this up here so you can get an advance look at it. Again: this one’s free. It’ll eventually have a cover and some decent formatting, but I figured I’d make sure you all had this before the 31st. Enjoy.

Malice: The RPG


Stream, Questions, Link, Fanart

19 Oct

I’ve had a lot of work to do getting ready for launch, and it’s almost–but not quite–finished. As a rule, I tend to keep radio silence until there’s something new to report. This is why someone checking in here lately might have concluded I was eaten by dingoes, or I was brokering a deal to sell the site to pharmaceutical manufacturers, or I bought a copy XCOM, or something else that’d prevent me from typing words in a browser. Well, none of those are true, and now I’ve got some stuff to prove it.

Firstly, a couple announcements: from now on, I’ll try to stream around 3:00 PM PST on Mondays. This policy will skip next Monday for sure; I’ll announce the first stream, and its content, on the site a few days before it does happen.

Secondly, Dead Salesman will be up and running by the 25th, and as part of the grand opening, I was going to kick off a series of Q&A posts about RPGs. I’ll be taking questions on two categories. Firstly, I’ll answer questions about how to get into the game (how to find groups, pick a game, GM, etc). This is primarily directed towards new-and-curious players. Secondly, I’ll have a column giving advice to players and particularly GMs about how to handle certain types of/specific situations. If you’ve got a question of either variety, do me a favor and throw it at me from the comments, and I’ll see it gets answered.

Thirdly, a personal friend of mine started a pixel-art webcomic based on a Dungeons and Dragons game he started and I co-DMed. If you check it out, be sure to let him know in the comments that the ghost of Nicolas Cage appeared to you in a dream and gave you the web address. That oughta rattle him.

Fourthly, I got a swanky piece of Cahmel fanart from fan Jacob Evans. Light your peepers on this:

Click for full size.

Also, I recorded some shiz with Jibar, but he hasn’t edited it yet (and may, in fact, be waiting for the site to go up first). Until he can convince me to buy XCOM and shoot at him with assault rifles, it’s just more Saints Row luching.


Approximate Release Dates/New Stream Schedule

14 Oct

So now I’ve blown my hand for this whole Dead Salesman Games thing, I should probably talk actual dates-and-times. I’m close enough that I can lay down sketchy targets of when this stuff should actually be hitting the digital streets/discuss what they will be.

For example:

October 20th: Release of the first Dead Salesman Games ruleset, a free mini-RPG.

October 20th-31st: The first Dead Salesman Games product will be released: Hobospy. This is a joint work Jibar and I have been working on for a few months. It’s a pick-up-and-play title that requires no studying, no memorization, no tedious reads and re-reads of the rulebook; the mechanics of the game are such that you’re playing it as you read the instructions. I had a relatively inexperienced GM run the game blind, in a limited amount of time, with no problems whatsoever. The game is a blend of dark comedy and psychological horror, and my favorite part is, it’s totally diceless. Should cost around US $5.00.

October 25th-31st: The Kickstarter for the next Dead Salesman Games product, Mary Sue, should be going up.

And now to address another issue, which is my periodic Livestreams. One of the reasons they’ve ceased lately is that the time slot I used to film them in is now taken up by classes. Long story short, the only days and times I can run them now are as follows:

Monday, 9:50 AM-5:00 PM PST

Thursday,7:00 PM-9:00 PM PST

Friday, 9:50 AM-4:00 PM PST

Post in the comments to let me know which, if any, works best for you. I’ll try to average it out from there.


Questions Answered

11 Oct

From the last post, here are some brutally paraphrased questions:

1.) Do you intend to release big systems or smaller modules?

Somewhere in between those. I’m creating roleplaying systems that can be used to create new content, but not systems as sprawling (and generic) as d20 Modern or GURPS. Generally the systems will be created around creating a certain type of play. I’m inspired by the modern boardgames market; you can find boardgames simulating everything from the fast-paced world of a French guillotine operator to the life of a Chinese poet-prince. I’d like to create games that can be easily understood, won’t play like the last fifty RPGs the person has tried, and are accessible by new and old players alike.

2.) How extensive are your mechanics? I never thought of you as a nuts-and-bolts guy.

I give the mechanical side considerable attention, and my systems are generally scratch-built. Several are diceless, and the rest tend to use d6s above all others.

Snooping around here might give someone the impression I’m interested only in the setting, but that’s an incomplete picture. The fact is that I’m very interested in how mechanics can be tweaked to create a mood and playstyle, and that’s one of the things I’ve been exploring with these projects.

3.) Will we be seeing some of your previo4us RPG/World Building projects represented?

Down the line, yes, I’ll probably be expanding on previous projects. I can tell you at least one will be around at launch.

4.) Physical copies?

Not right now, no. Right now I’m worrying about creating products and marketing them out; I’d rather not deal with physical printing and distribution, especially since that usually puts you in different legal territory as far as licenses go.

5.) What settings are you doing?

You’ll see soon enough.


Coming Soon to an Internet Near You

09 Oct

Perhaps you’ve been wondering what I’ve been working on. This is it.

By the end of this month, I’m launching a brand of commercial roleplaying and parlor games. The past year (and especially the last few months) have been spent laboriously designing, compiling, testing, and archiving a few different rules systems, many of which are either complete and ready to roll or a stone’s throw from it. All of these products will be purchasable (or freely downloadable) as .pdfs, and each will be based on a concept I found funny or weird or interesting enough to spend half a year working on.

Again: this is where my time’s gone. I’ve written over a hundred pages, done another dozen pages of art, familiarized myself with the relevant software/transactions, held iterative playtest and design sessions, developed a crude mockery of a business plan–it’s been like a part-time job, one that hasn’t, thus far, made me any money. What I mean to say is that this is definitely happening: it’s just a matter of how fast I can finish playtesting the games and rigging up the website while balancing my courseload.

Like I said: this is all happening later this month. I don’t have any links for you to spam, and I don’t have any buttons for money-giving to happen. This is not a launch post. This is akin to the same private announcement I’ve been giving my friends and family: not trying to get people hyped up, just giving people an idea of what’s been going on. I’ll turn on the hype machine when I’m ready to launch.

The first thing you’re going to be seeing over the next week/few weeks is going to be the release of a.) a free roleplaying game, b.) a non-free but very cheap (~$5) roleplaying game, and c.) some documentation on what roleplaying games are and how to get the most enjoyment out of them. In addition to creating game content, I’ll be writing up guides on GMing, worldbuilding, and systems customization which I will make freely available.

Eventually, I’ll get to the big game I’ve been working on, the one with the sprawling Google document and the months of design behind it. This is the one I’m banking on a little more. It’ll still be very cheap for an RPG (ten dollars or less), but I’ll want to put more production values into its makeup. I’m strongly considering Kickstarter, but I’ll get to that when the time comes.

Anyway, that’s the skinny. If you got questions, I’ll take ’em downstairs.