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Ed Turner
Writer, academic, game designer. Wearer of many fine hats.
Writer, academic, game designer. Wearer of many fine hats.


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Here's my effort for this year's Game Chef: The Wild Land. It's a kind of hybrid between The Quiet Year's mapmaking and Microscope's "zooming-in" gameplay. It's also heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda, especially Breath of the Wild, and the feeling of having a big old map full of big stuff to take in.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out... I get the feeling that "using a length of yarn to represent a border" is an idea that's going to get a lot of play this year, since it's such an easy link to make, but I'm pleased with the way I present the idea here.

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I've been having GameThinks this week, so I've written up a blog post where I pin down some of the ideas that have been flitting around in my noggin since I saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

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Hey Google Plus community, whoever you are.

I'm going to Big Bad Con this year, and I'll be running By the Author of Lady Windermere's Fan. It's a story game about desperate improvisation and egregious theatricality, in which you are an acting troupe who made it to opening night without having bothered to pick up a script, and all you know is that you're supposed to be putting on an Oscar Wilde play.

It will be exhausting and hilarious. If you're coming to BBC (and you should!) you should play.

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It occurs to me that I should get into the habit of posting things here on Google+ from time to time. Ah, social media, I feel I will never get the hang of you.

Anyway, here's a short, untested, one-page game I made, both to get an idea out of my head and onto paper, and to learn the very bare-bones basics of inDesign. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out; like I said it's untested, so there's no guarantee that it won't fall apart (and since most of my playtesting infrastructure got left behind when I moved to Fresno, I have no plans to actually follow through on this for the moment), but it FEELS good to me.

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My game submission, "Hunters," is an attempt to pare down the rules of Anima Prime to fit within 200 words. I don't know how successful I was, but I did get  a chance to playtest this thing and had fun killing a giant mole with a lighting-imbued-grenade launcher, so that's something!

Massive, deadly monsters wander the land. You are monster hunters.

Choose your name and signature weapon. Collectively describe a monster and how you get to it.

In any order, each hunter takes one action:

    Maneuver: Describe your attempt to gain an advantage on the monster. Roll a d6.
        3+: Success. Add the die to your Attack Pool.
        1-2: Failure. Keep the die in front of you as a Wound.

    Attack: Describe how you strike out at the monster. Roll the dice in your attack pool.
        If any land 5+: Success. The monster takes one Wound.
        Otherwise: Failure.

    Support: Describe how you bolster another hunter. Move any number of dice from your attack pool to theirs.

    Heal: Describe how you aid another hunter. Move one of their Wound dice to their attack pool.

After every character has acted, the monster acts: choose one hunter to take a Wound and describe what happens.

A hunter with three Wounds is down, and cannot act until a Wound is removed. If every character is down, the monster wins.

If the monster takes as many Wounds as there are hunters, it has been defeated.

Either way, collectively describe the aftermath of your hunt.

I'm very excited about my submission for the Supplement category; it came to me in a flash in class this morning, and I've spent the day poking and tightening it. 199 words, and is titled The College Animalia:

An arcane college, deep in the woods, has been abandoned for fifty years (since the Elemental Sciences building exploded).

Dense foliage covers half-collapsed walls. Animals walk well-trod paths between the buildings. Wolves, rabbits, birds, bears… all wear makeshift cloaks of moss or animal skins. Sometimes, groups enter classrooms, sit by decayed remnants of desks, and watch an animal wearing a pointed hat made of tree bark lecture in grunts and growls.

They’ll attack if you’re aggressive, or disturb anyone studying the mouldering books in the library, or enter the Administration building (they are fiercely territorial of their offices).

They cast low-level spells, badly emulating words and gestures made for humans to perform. Spell effects are dangerously unpredictable. Lightning arcs wildly. Conjured servants are uncontrollable. Healing spells make their targets explode. Also? Some animals will just try to bite you.

The creatures are being influenced by the trapped spirits of those who died in the explosion. In the chancellor’s office there’s a gnawed-on Staff of Spirit Binding, awkwardly wielded by a very protective beaver. Destroy the staff and the spirits will be freed. Most wildlife will flee back to the forest.

A few will stay behind to continue their studies.

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Birthday card from Amber and Miles.
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