Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What's Next?

If the rapid succession of playtest reports vs development posts hasn't clued you in, development for Shadowitz has slowed. Most of the heavy lifting's been done at this point, and we've run 5 sessions with it. We've done most the necessary tweaks and the game runs without many requests to change things at this point. I'll get the occasional question about how we might liberally interpret the rules for something, but that was the intent when I started out. A flexible system requires an ongoing series of judgement calls; if I codified them into specific rules the system wouldn't be flexible anymore.

I have some other things I could still do for the game. There's a loyalty mechanic that I toyed with early on that I found clever and useful for reinforcing the idea of being loyal to your Johnson even though you're a professional criminal. It rewards you for holding true to your employer, even when given opportunities to double-cross him, but then fuels righteous vengeance when you are screwed yourself. The thing is, I haven't had a single opportunity to use this rule or even develop it since we've begun playing under this system .The team's been remarkably on point about sticking with the job.

Another aspect I thought would be cool to develop was the idea of party resources. Things like making the group itself into a character of sorts, or adding the idea of group aspects (aspects that become more effective as more people in the party have them). But again, the call for such things isn't high right now.

Because at the end of the day we're a group of 30 something guys with a growing list of responsibilities, and Saturdays just aren't the open range of free time that they used to be. We play once a month. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. It takes nearly a season to complete a single run. This isn't a campaign I see moving ahead at blistering speed. And because of that, I'm not compelled to dive into developing minutia mechanics that might see use a few years from now.

So, for the moment, development on this game is complete. What's that mean for the blog? It means that regular development posts are done; there's simply nothing more to say at the moment. However, give me a month. Check back here in September and I'll try to get the notes I wrote during the development of this game into an actual manual that I'll post here. You can download it and use it as you see fit. I just need to get it cleaned up and in some cases written in full sentences.

Until then, I hope you've found this interesting, and maybe even useful.

Game on!

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