Friday 26 June 2009

Live Blog - 24 Hour RPG - Finished!

Update May 2011 Scribd have become a force of evil, so I am now hosting my game at the much less evil Google Docs. Download it here!. I have just finished a cracking campaign of Cloudship Atlantis and will be building the playtest changes back into the game in a new version.

I'm writing an RPG in 24 hours, obeying the Draconian rules I helped to sculpt. Keep reloading this page to see my progress.

To help speed up my blogging, here are a few shortnings I may use throughout:
Keeton is the glorious benefactor of 1KM1KT. I have to include him in the game somewhere as one of the rules. Chainsaw Aardvark or CA is one of the mods of the forums and a solid chap who shares my love of freeness. He's one of the judges of the compo. Kumakami or Kuma is an inventive fellow who has contributed some of the biggest thoughts to 1KM1KT. He's the other judge on the compo.

[Zero Hour] 20:00 It begins

Who came up with this list of topics? I know I had something to do with it but now reading it from the point of view of needing to make a game in 24 hours, it looks like the product of a derranged mind. Three derranged minds: CA, Kuma and I. Gah. I might have to take two and flip a coin.

[Zero Hour] 20:09 Topic chosen

It's going to be The Boiler Room of Atlantis. Right. Now what? Notes, outline. Drawing. Get my pencil.

[Zero Hour] 20:36 Topic chosen

Atlantis is a flying city run on gas. Society split into two: privileged living in the open and underclass servicing all the mechanics. Might try to make a dice pool system.

[One Hour] 21:33 Fleshing out the two races

Humbles are underclass but jolly. Gentry are snooty, insecure and hierarchical. Split between this idea of 'The Bow' a line drawn from the front of the ship. Character will be escaping the boiler room into the upper classes. Only to find it's worse up there than below.

[Two Hour] 22:11 It's hot!

The UK is having some kind of heat wave! Brother in law is coming round to pick up some stuff and I'm delving into the mechanics. Pool mechanic of sorts. Need to dream up some names for the attributes and then it will be attribute + skill + a dice out of the pool (if you want to). Vs a target number or opposed. Nice and simple.

[Three Hour] 23:04 Sleepy time

Now to get some rest before I begin again at probably around 8am ish. Sort of. Probably. Will be taking a notebook to bed.

[Eleven Hour] 07:51 And we're off

I'm up and about and ready for the last big push. Need some breakfast now. Then character character creation and update for some notes I wrote last night in bed.

[Thirteen Hour] 09:18 Skills started now onto some graphics

This is the bit I like and at the same time dread. I am a perfectionist and hate leaving a graphic unfinished or not absolutely perfect. I hope you appreciate how this is hurting me to just bash something out. I'll post up an image when I have one.

[Fourteen Hour] 10:06 Atlantis ahoy!

A side view of this mighty flying city.

[Sixteen Hour] 12:18 Dumping Open Office

I want a graphic background and to do that, you have to jump over loads of Open Office hoops. So I'm dumping it. It's failed. I can't recommend it for creating RPGs that want a border. I want a border.

[Eighteen Hour] 14:04 Example adventure

Hammering through the example adventure, which will be the actual Escape from the Boiler Room of Atlantis. I always want my Free RPGSs to have example adventures, so this is important. Have a few more mechanics things to do too - such as XP and target numbers for rolling dice. I'm at about 8 pages but that will be blown away when I get onto the graphics in a couple of hours.

[21 Hour] 17:00 More graphics!

I am now passed the point where I am happy with the game. I think it is playable in its current state. Now for adding more flavour and detail to it. Particularly in the form of graphics. I might even use myself as a model!

[23 Hour] 19:32 Final read through

I need to read it through once more and make sure stuff I wrong 22 hours ago still fits. Is it playable? I think so. But we'll let others be the judge of that.

[24 + 16 mins] I finished!

I finished on time but I'm writing this after getting a drink and rushing to the loo. The last half an hour was hectic. I realised that I had sodding well forgotten to add Keeton's name in. I noticed a few paging nightmares and a load of text that went missing. However, I'm done now. So, enjoy!


Rogue Games said...

I cannot wait to see what you come up with.

Rob Lang said...

Thanks Richard! In all honesty, I have no idea. The only RPG I've ever written is Icar, so this will very much be a new experience for me.

Farsight Blogger said...

Good luck, Rob - looking forward to seeing what comes out of this! A work of genius or a crazy trip into a sleep-starved mind? Either way it's fun on toast.

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

What's your topic? is it space monkeys? I bet everyone picks space monkeys, cause they are the coolest.

Rob Lang said...

@Jon, thank you - I think. I'm just sorting out dinner, so I might start while munching. I just hope I get something finished. :-) I will be getting some sleep as I think I work better that way.

@Norman I haven't picked my topic yet. I am going to wait for zero hour (20:00 GMT+1) before I pick. I'm going in cold. I think it's probably more fun that way.

Yastromo said...

Hey ... how is it going ? you stopped updating here and twitter

Rob Lang said...

Still going. I paused to set up the front cover. :)

jenny said...

Cool game! I'd be about done with deciding the fonts after 24 hrs.


Rob Lang said...

Thanks Jenny! One of the cool tips I got from people who had tried it before was to set time limits on such things so that the game can get into a playable state and then and only then return to back fill. Fortunately, I was restricted to those fonts that would allow themselves to be embedded into the PDF - which is a remarkably small selection!

Anonymous said...

For layout, next time ;), check scribus (writer and word aren't sane choice for layout, BTW, what did you use? inkscape?).

Rob Lang said...

I used Inkscape for the drawings and InDesign for the layout. Thanks for the tip on Scribus. I'll check it for the next quick game I write - which might be the chgowiz RPG.

Adam Dickstein said...

Oddly, I think I could do this fairly easily with two conditions -

1) It didn't need to be particularly original. That is the subject and system could be allowed to feature something familiar with a twist.

2) I didn't have to blog it. Honestly, you get my utmost kudos for blogging your progress. I can sort of hyperfocus on this kind of project but if I stopped to blog I would loose momentum and they would be all she wrote.

I may have to give this a try sometime.

Farsight Blogger said...

Rob - superb stuff. I might give it a stab myself!

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

Congratulations on finishing.

The awesomeness of your creation, esp art, design and layout which I can't do, has convinced me to never give this a go. Which is ok, cause I hate deadlines :)

Rob Lang said...

@Barking Alien. Blogging was the easy bit. Rather than prattle on at my poor wife, I used it as an outlet. Especially when Open Office couldn't go the backgrounds I wanted. I went ballistic.

@Jon. Please do give it a go. The deadline for the competition is nearly up but there are always people on 1km1kt to discuss your 24 hour RPG. It's an enlightening experience.

@Norman Many thanks and at the same time, I'm sad to hear you won't give this a try. I think the 24 hour rpgs that get played the most are those with the most original idea. You have to be original to stand out. Ah go on, the compo's nearly over but there is time enough in the world to put aside 24 hours to write a game :)

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

What did you use for layout? I'm considering using Scribus as it's free as in beer. :)

A few mispellings and some content, but fascinating setting! I see your RPG more as a structured setting game than an open RPG. I'm enjoying it so far!

Rob Lang said...

Ah, the mighty chgowiz. You're a hard task master. I only had 24 hours, you know and I haven't actually read it all the way through yet. ;-)

I used a super old InDesign (pre-CS) to set the page. The next game I do will be using Scribus too as it's not restricted in the same way as the madness-inducing Open Office. Everything else about Open Office was slick except the manner in which background images were handled. :)

I don't think anything I did with InDesign would have been any more difficult in Scribus.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

For doing this in 15 hours (counting a 9 hour sleep) - I'm amazed. I work at the speed of slow and doubt I would be able to draw anything well, much less write all this, in that period of time. I'm really impressed that there are so few mistakes.

I'm going to test Scribus to layout my Quickstart, I'm hoping it goes well. I have no clue as to what I'm doing though, so it should be... interesting.

Rob Lang said...

@chgowiz I'd be keen to read about your Scribus experience when you're done. I would love to be able to point readers at a good free DTP package - I get asked a lot.

I will probably give Scribus a go for that other lite VER SECRET RPG about mutant monsters.

JB said... put my little one-page micro-games to shame. 'Course, they took me a lot less than 24 hours to write.

Mmmm...I really need to get around to doing the 24 hour RPG thing one o these days.

O...and by the way? Atlantis & Cloudships? Two great tastes that go great together!
; )

Rob Lang said...

JB, please don't feel that way! One page games have their own utility and beauty. I'd argue that CS is obese, bloated and over the top compared to your lean one page games!

If you do have a got at a 24 hour RPG, please do come over to 1km1kt and tell us how it goes.

I should really have a go at a one pager. :)

le poilue said...

i just love it!! it was my first time at being gm, and it was a succes, every one enjoyed it.

le poilue said...

it was a great night!