Archive for the ‘Podcast Announcements’ Category
At the time of posting this, the Master Plan Kickstarter is at $2590. We’re already funded, so there will be more Master Plan! (In fact, the first new episode dropped last week.) But we’ve still got 32 hours to go and some stretch goals ahead of us.
As of right now, you guys have unlocked ten regular podcast episodes and three Master Plan Live episode. Woo! But we still have a little time left to unlock more!
At $2750 (which we’re only $160 away from), we get another half-season of Master Plan: four regular podcast episodes and one Master Plan Live episode.
At $3250, that become a full season: eight regular podcast episodes and one Master Plan Live episode.
And should we break that goal, pretty much every $500 more is another half-season.
Why make these stretch goals?
That is a good question. Some folks have asked whether or not I’m going to do another Kickstarter for a later season, and some folks have given me pretty strong opinions on the matter. I’ve honestly been thinking about it since before I launched this campaign, and I got to the point where I knew I wouldn’t know the answer until I tried this one.
And the answer is: all good things should come to an end. This will be it for Master Plan. A nice, proper ending. I’m loathe to never say never — if I like the Master Plan Live format, I might occasionally keep doing those. But the whole reason for stopping in the first place was is because I couldn’t afford to do unpaid audio production. :/
The flip side is: I also want to do campaigns where you fund really cool games and stuff, just not shows. Maybe the Emerging Threats Unit will get that treatment. And asking you to crowdfund that and my podcasting is a bit much, don’t you think? :)
You guys have been incredible!
I was blown away that Master Plan was funded in a day. The 106 of you (at the time of this posting) who have contributed to this experiment to make more Master Plan has been pretty awesome.
Thank you all, Masterminds.
Listen to Master Plan #55 here: http://masterplanpodcast.net/2012/07/ep-55/
The first of the basement tape episodes! Ryan recorded a fantastic interview with Luke Crane back in Gen Con 2009, talking about the GM’s & Players’ Turns in Mouse Guard. It turned into a discussion about text design, reader assumptions about RPGs, media touchstones and their pitfalls, and of course the evolution of Mouse Guard’s turn structure.
When this was recorded, Ryan assumed it would be a two-part episode, so you’ll hear stuff to that effect. But Luke’s a charismatic interviewee, so we left all that in!
- Jason Pitre, Genesis of Legend (Twitter) — for the bulk of the interview’s audio production
- Duane O’Brien, A Terrible Idea (Twitter) — for help in little, secret ways
32:47 / 15.7M
“I believe in world where we can all dream big! I believe that the power to create and publish games is in every man, woman, and child! I believe that we all have Master Plans, and I want to help you realize yours!”
Hello Masterminds! I’m Ryan Macklin, a game designer and former podcaster.
From late 2006 to mid 2010, I had a lot of fun producing a podcast focused entirely on roleplaying game design: Master Plan: the People’s Podcast about Game Design. I did some amazing interviews with game designers like Fred Hicks, Kenneth Hite, Luke Crane, Patrick Kapera, Jason Morningstar, Daniel Solis, Emily Care Boss, and many others focusing on moments and elements of crafting roleplaying games. I had some excellent discussions on setting creation, text design, tension in mechanics, the various roles a game master has in design, all sorts of topics.
You might know me from other podcasts: The Voice of the Revolution and This Just In…From Gen Con! I’m also an award-winning game designer & one of the minds behind various Evil Hat Productions projects, including The Dresden Files RPG and the upcoming Fate Core and Don’t Hack This Game.
Master Plan was one of the original (if not the first) RPG design-centric shows. You can check out the current 54 episodes: MasterPlanPodcast.net (And once funded, that’s where you’ll find the next season.)
Now it’s time to bring this show back…
The Next Season of Master Plan
Quite a few of you have said you’d like my show to come back. And I’ve been talking with some game designers about if they’d like to be on the show…if it came back. But I can’t do it alone. Good audio production takes time & resources, thus this Kickstarter campaign!
If this Kickstarter is funded, my crack team of audiophiles (me and Jason Pitre of Genesis of Legend Publishing) will get underway, interviewing and producing the next season of Master Plan.
If funded, Master Plan will get ten more episodes:
- Two interviews from the “basement tapes”—old interviews that never got to see the light of day
- Eight new shows
These episodes will be free & available to the world, just as podcasting should be.
The show’s format will expand to 45 minutes (from the original 30 minute limit), enough time to get deeper into topics and shine some light on ideas that don’t get enough illumination. Starting in August, these will come out once every two weeks (barring health issues & conventions screwing up scheduling).
Check this space in the coming days, and I’ll share confirmed guests and topics!
I’m doing this funding in two ways: NPR-style rewards and individual episode sponsorship.
At $5, you have my thanks, which will be displayed on the website.
At $15, you have my thanks, and you’ll get cool kitsch! A “What’s your Master Plan” button and “This machine realizes Master Plans” sticker, perfect for pasting on computers!
At $25, you’ll have my thanks, the button & sticker, and you’ll be a part of the Inside Scoop during the season, getting exclusive previews and stuff that I work on. Things like previews of indie games, hilarious outtakes from the show, stuff like that! Sweet stuffs that’ll high your email, and also your brain!
At $50, you’ll have my thanks, the button & sticker, the inside scoop, and an awesome limited edition dice bag from Lyndsay Peters of Dragon Chow that I hope will be a font for inspiration, as well as a kick-ass bag for your sweet, sweet goods.
At $100, you can sponsor one of the eight new episodes: you’ll get thanks at the front & back, and I’ll drop in an audio spot you provide (up to 30 seconds) in the middle. (If you don’t have such a spot, we can talk.)
At $150, you’ll have my thanks, the button, sticker, dice bag, and…a commemorative hip flask! You’ll rock the Night Macklin vibe with this.
At $500, you’ll get all the swag, and you’ll get me! Well, you’ll get some time with me over Skype or G+ for a personal design conference, where we’ll talk about your game & text design questions and struggles. You’ll get an evening of you & I (and up to three friends, if you like) waxing on design, just as if we were at a convention! And if you’d rather make this about playing a game I’ve worked on, we can do that instead. (Naturally, we’ll have to hash out scheduling. Ping me if you have questions.)
I thank all you Masterminds for your time in reading this, and hope you’ll help me realize a few more Master Plans!
Last night, I had the pleasure of spending the evening chatting with Ron & Veronica Blessing, Ed Doolittle & Lee Langston on their new gaming podcast, RoleplayDNA. We discussed sandbox games, including:
- What we see is and isn’t a sandbox game
- The sorts of sandbox games we’ve run before
- Sandbox games and IP games
- Degree of player-ownership in sandbox games
- Shoot, degree of GM-ownership in a sandbox game with heavy canon
- Helping players not used to this sort of game dive in
- Player types & expectations with such games.
- Setting up sandbox games
- Giving me shit for Dresden’s lateness. And me giving some back.
 Lee’s note on the hosts’ about page proclaims him the “The God of Gaming.” People should not tell me that they’re gods. Ever.
Writing about Dungeon World in my 2011 round-up post made me think more about it. And if you listen to today’s Podge Cast episode where David Pinilla & I talk about hacking games, you’ll hear me spout forth love for Dungeon World. Oh, that reminds me…
I talk about hacking games on the Podge Cast! Also I hit on David. A lot. And I’m apparently an accidental dubstep DJ when my Skype goes to pot.
And you only have a couple days left to get your submission to me for Don’t Hack This Game! The pitch window closes on this Wednesday, January 4th, 2012. 11:59PM Pacific Time.
Back to Dungeon World
The way Dungeon World works in combat is interesting, because it puts everything on the player’s roll. If you do the Hack and Slash move, on a 6- you get fucked, a 7-9 you hit & get hit, and 10+ you hit without getting hit in return (or can boost damage in exchange for getting hit).
When a player damages someone, they roll damage dice. But when they’re hit, the DM just tells them the amount they take in damage. And the more I think about that, the more that feels flat. Recently in looking at board game mechanics & terminology, I have a better vocabulary for articulating that:
That removes a great deal of the Push Your Luck vibe that D&D and other games inherently have with random damage rolls. If I can determine whether or not I know getting less than 10 on 2d6 plus my stat will kill me for certain, there’s something uninteresting there. Like the way crap skill challenges can be run.
There’s nothing to say you can’t push the randomness back in. Give monsters variable dice. Don’t say that a monster hits with four points. Roll a d6, d8, d4+2, 2d4, whatever works. This is the sort of thing that could be tailored by level, naturally.
One of the elements to DW (and its predecessor Apocalypse World) has is that only the players roll dice. Now, I can take or leave that in design, so I don’t really care if it’s the DM rolling damage or the players forced to roll their own pain. Either way suits me fine enough.
Now that we’re rolling for damage, we’ve introduced Push Your Luck. Say you’ve got 5 hit points left, and you’ve discovered that the monster does 1d8 in damage. Well, now you can choose whether or not you’ll risk another straight-on Hack and Slash, or if you’ll try something else. If you know for sure that the monster does, say, 6 points of damage, you know you’re dead — there is little interesting choice there.
The other way makes sense when you have a game with six hit points, three of which are “and you’ll eventually get better on your own”. Not so much for a game of increasing hit points.
Anyway, once dice are added, if you want to add a bit of chaos, you could have monsters have custom hard moves that are triggered upon how those dice react. Like, say, having a giant slam a character across the field of battle when a 1 is rolled on damage. There is still the fiction-in-fiction-out elements: the giant is attacking & inflicting harm on the character, and the character is being hit across the field. The only thing added here is a sense of a critical effect against the character.
Maybe that’s too much to the hack, maybe not. I’m curious to try it out. As with many hack brainstorms, some ideas are shittier than they appear. But trying tells you something you didn’t know before about game design.
 Some will argue that “what about setting up a meaningful death”? Sure, but that requires actually setting something up. And using dice doesn’t remove or add to this element anymore than a fixed, known amount does.