Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Awesome Fantasy game

So currently, i am working on figuring out a few things for the game i am designing for "Jake's Awesome Fantasy Game Contest".
The main characters of this game are the Chosen or children of heaven, and they each have a sign of heaven. These signs or marks are: Chimera, Unicorn, Naga, Satyr, Pegasus, Dragon, Phoenix, Great turtle, and Ogre. Each one of these has a special ability/power. The problem is that i have to figure out what those abilities are, but at the same time keep them balanced. They can't be too overpowering or be used constantly. Plus they have to work with the rest of the system. I have worked out parts of a few of them such as: Unicorn- can heal another character. Make a Heart roll, the number of successes equals the number of boxes (either body or blood) that are healed.
The other thing i am trying to work out is what the benofit of have the characters have friendships. In combat i can see it being important as far as overall morale, but in non-comabt situations i'm having a hard time coming up with a reason or benofit to have them. I don't want the game to be all about combat- i want it to be more about the character interactions. So this stage is really important- i feel.
On top of that i have to work out more stuff for the magic system for the game. One thing i know for sure is that the ability to cast magic will work off a skill for the most part. more on this later.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Laika's First Big Hit

So i was finally able to see the movie Coraline, Laika studio of portland, OR. first big project. I have to say that i like the story, it mature enough for adults but the right type of story for kids. I wonder how much of the story changed during its transition from book to movie.
How i didn't love the movie. I will not be buying it, mostly because even though the story was good, its not the type of story that I can watch over and over again that I require in order to buy a DVD. Beyond this, i felt that there was something off about the film, or more specifically, off about the animation. Unlike other stop motion movies that have been made in the last 15 years, there were many moments where I as a viewer couldn't help to notice that this was stop motion animation; that the suspension of disbelief was not there. I'm not sure why this was happening. Part of me wants to blame this on the lighting, but since i know nothing about Stop motion i cannot say for sure why this was happening. It was distracting and bothersome. I was not watching the film in 3D since i got my copy from Netflix and they didn't send along any 3D glasses. So i watched it in standard 2D. So if this was a side effect of the lack of 3D then i think Laika should rethink their plan to make all of their future projects in this style.
To tell the truth, i don't see a lot of people keeping hold of their 3D glasses for 20 years just in order to watch their copy of the DVD. i could be wrong, but i see them getting lost quite often. However, its a kool idea for the theater only- its a way to get people to go to the theater more often, over just waiting for the DVD release.

So to end this i will say that Laika did go and experiment with a lot of new stop motion techniques that looked kool and seemed to work and other that didn't work as well as i think they were hoping. It over all a good movie and everyone should see it at least once.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jake's Awesome Fantasy RPG contest

So a friend and fellow GOplay PDX member Jake Richman, the creator of indie rpg games such as Ocean and Panty explosion, challenged the members of our community to design a simple Fantasy rpg game in 2 months. The outline of the contest is as follows:
-Must be 48 pages.
-Must include a distinctive core mechanic.
-Must include complete rules for character creation.
-Must include complete rules for magic.
-Must include a flexible skill system.
-May include guidelines for resolving actions during the game.

This game was announced while i was out of town and sick. So my fever induced brain decided to work on the basic story of the Fantasy game that i want to create and came up with an idea. The game would be about characters who were chosen at birth when the stars in the heavens had come into alignment. Each would gain a mark of heaven 20 years later that would prove who they were and dispose upon them a power of heaven. The purpose of these children of heaven, as they will be called, is to herald in a great change in the world. The setting will be inspired by both the anime's The Twelve Kingdoms and The Mysterious Play, as well as the Sukodain video games. I have always liked these settings and how strongly they are tied to anceint Chinese histroy and Culture.

However, i should point out that the purpose of the game will not be like games such as D&D or Warhammer where the focus is Combat and killing. The game will focus more on the roleplaying side of things and will be about the gathering of allies and friends. This will all be mechanicely gauged for maxium benofit. I will post some of the stuff i have been work on for this at a later date.
Jake's Awesome Fantasy rpg Contest

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


My name is Josh Dixon, but most people call me Skull. I am a student at the AI of Portland, Or. I am currently getting my BFA in media arts and animation. I am married to the love of my life, and we have a little girl named Niko.
The purpose of this blog is for me to talk at length about my many projects that i am working on. The types of projects that i am working on range from anything from TRPG game system design, to illustrations, to animation and storyboarding, to writing. My hope is to help other (and to some extent myself) in understanding how the creative process works. Where do ideas come from? Where does one start? How do ideas evolve over time? Hopefull, this will help inspire other and help orginize my own thoughts so that i can work more proficantly.