Car Chases In CAPERS Core Games

Happy Friday,

Time for a few more glimpses into what's happening in NerdBurgerLand. 

Project Thunderhawk

I've outlined a bunch of stuff for Project Thunderhawk. Mostly I focused on cool stuff characters can do in the game. Cool special abilities. The "character race" component of each character. Six "races" for sure (maybe seven or eight). Weapons for the game. Vehicles. 

Also, what the three "modes of play" mean in game terms. And "monsters!"

Vehicle Chases/Combat

Most importantly, I recently nailed down an idea for how vehicle chases/combat might be dealt with. I'm shooting for something that amounts to more than "kill the driver to end the chase." I'm approaching this from a cinematic viewpoint. What makes a chase cool and how can I emulate that in game rules. Making sure to give drivers interesting things to do and also give passengers fun options. 

Since Project Thunderhawk will use the CAPERS Core game system (the card flipping mechanic), it'll be something I can adapt to CAPERS as well. Maybe CAPERS will get a little PDF supplement for chases at some point. 

I'm building an idea that uses some of the unique possibilities inherent in using cards. The current incarnation allows drivers to draw a small "hand of cards" that they use for a sub-system that works in conjunction with the standard action sequence rules already established. This sub-system will have a "bidding" mechanic. Drivers will interact with the "action round" in a slightly different way than passengers. But hopefully it'll all mesh into a cohesive whole.

I hope to sit down with a few friends for a rudimentary playtest/brainstorm session in the near future. 

CAPERS Illustrations

There will be more glimpses of artwork coming, but here's a linework piece from Beth. 

Speakeasy (1).png

Don't they all look happy? Of course they do. They have illegal booze!

Die Laughing Playtest

Die Laughing is in the hands of a dozen or so playtest groups to help me fine-tune the game. I should have feedback from them in several weeks. Once I have feedback, I can make adjustments, run a few playtests of my own, and then start thinking about how I can bring Die Laughing to the masses. 

That's it for now.

Game on,

Craig

Project Thunderhawk - First Vague Glimpses

Hello!

While CAPERS moves through post-Kickstarter production, I've started developing actual RULES for the next game I'm developing, code-named Project Thunderhawk.

If you want to learn more about the very beginning of Project Thunderhawk, go back to the previous blog post. Lots of info there.

From Outline to Rules

I've taken a dive into the outline and determined exactly what pieces of game rules need to be fully developed in order to run an alpha playtest sometime later this year. The outline has expanded from 10 to 12 pages. Cuz that's how game design inspiration works. :-)

Here's a very brief (and somewhat vague) discussion of what I've been developing, rules-wise. Keep in mind that ALL of this is tentative. Things may change. This is just a glimpse of where things stand right now. 

Skills

Project Thunderhawk will use the same rules mechanics as CAPERS. However, there will be many differences. 

For example, CAPERS has some skills in the game that were purposely called something kind of "old-timey." In CAPERS, the Conveyances skill deals with vehicles. "Conveyances" is an appropriate, 1920s word for vehicles. In Project Thunderhawk, that skill will simply be called Vehicles. 

There is also a skill called "Anomalies."

"Moxie"

In CAPERS, Moxie is a resource point system that players use to gain a variety of advantages in play. In Project Thunderhawk, "Moxie" will be renamed to something appropriate to the game setting and genre. It'll still be used for all the things "Moxie" does, but it will also be used in a VERY different way. 

Characters will have this version of "Moxie" for themselves. But the GROUP will also have a pool of this "Moxie" that they can all call upon for certain things in certain ways. 

This "Group Moxie" mechanic is easily the thing I'm most excited about exploring in Project Thunderhawk. 

The "Races"

Characters in Project Thunderhawk will have "races." They're not called "races" but that's what I'll call them for now. Each "race" shares a general appearance, info on their communities predilections, as well as one or more "racial features."

I've developed the basics of six "races."  I think each one is pretty interesting and should be fun for players to play. I've fully fleshed out one of them. 

Vehicle Chases and Combat

Vehicle chases and combat are a very important part of Project Thunderhawk. I've recently developed the very basic version of these rules. They'r'e just bullet points right now, but I'll flesh them out more soon.

When you're driving a vehicle and things go badly, a mishap might occur. I've designed the first version of a Mishap Table for the game. Fun stuff. 

Game Term Glossary

There will be a two-page glossary of game terms at the end of the CAPERS book. Terms that are important to understanding how the game is played. Things like Moxie, Trait Check, Reaction Check, Target Score, and Disadvantage. 

Project Thunderhawk will have a similar glossary of terms, including many of these things, plus more. Project Thunderhawk includes other important terms like Construct, Anomaly, and Collapse. 

The meaning of "Collapse" is VERY important to the game. 

Plus, some of the terms in CAPERS don't even appear in Project Thunderhawk. There are no Powers or Boosts in Project Thunderhawk. Instead, there's some other cool stuff for characters to have access to. 

Modes of Play

There will be three modes of play for Project Thunderhawk. They're called Easy, Hard, and Hopeless. 

Chew on that. :-)

Game on,

Craig

Project Thunderhawk Begins

Hello regular blog readers,

Final production of CAPERS is underway and all is going well. Die Laughing is currently in the hands of a whole bunch of playtest groups. These groups will be providing their feedback by mid-July. 

What's Next?

I try to be fairly transparent with my game design work. I started blogging about Murders & Acquisitions from the very first rule set. I've continued that process ever since. While I don't hit on EVERYTHING in terms of my designs, I've endeavored to provide enough insight into what's happening that you will be intrigued with and satisfied by what I AM providing. 

I will be continuing with that transparency in the future. BUT, the next game idea I have (post-Die Laughing) is in its most rudimentary stages. It's a really cool idea (I hope) and something that I'm really excited to start developing. I'm not prepared to get TOO specific with what I'm developing until I have it fleshed out further. (As with all new game ideas, it might explode - in the bad way - before launch.)

So, I'm going to be a little vague for a while. But I do want to continue with SOME level of transparency until I'm sure this game idea is ready for more specificity for all of you. 

Welcome to...

Project Thunderhawk

This is a code name for the next game from NerdBurger Games while the game is in the first stages of development. The word, "Thunderhawk" has NOTHING to do with what the game is actually about. It's just a name, so don't bother guessing. :-) But I'll be talking about it here on the blog on occasion.

Right now, the idea is pretty well fleshed out in my head. I've created a 10-page outline of the game. This outline is mostly organizational but it's filled with a metric shit-ton of IDEAS. Some of those ideas won't pass muster. But many of them will. I hope. 

The Game System

Project Thunderhawk will use the same mechanical system as CAPERS. I'll be releasing CAPERS under a very permissive Creative Commons license. Project Thunderhawk will use the system, expand some things, try out some new mechanics ideas, and (hopefully) show how the CAPERS Core system can be modified and expanded to create other types of games in different genres. I'm really excited to see how the system can be developed beyond CAPERS

Genre and Themes

The new game is something I'm calling a "mid-apocalypse" game. Player will portray characters who are LIVING THROUGH an apocalypse in their world. There's more to it than just THAT, but that's the best description of "genre" I can put it in right now. The characters might be able to stop the apocalypse. They might not. That is an important part of what the game is about...HOW the characters interact with the apocalypse. 

The "world" of Project Thunderhawk is, I think, something that hasn't been seen in many RPGs before. That is, it's not fantasy. It's not space opera or exploratory sci-fi. It's not "real world" apocalypse. It's not a supers game. It's something...quite different. It falls right in line with NerdBurger Games' "brand" of "exploring corners of the RPG landscape that haven't been explored very often...or at all."

Vague Tidbits to Hopefully Get You Interested

Here's a list of some of the "cool stuff" currently residing in my 10-page outline. Some of it is fleshed out a bit. Some of it is just a line item. Some of them may disappear entirely from the game as I develop it. 

  • There will be “zombies,” of a sort.
  • Vehicle chase/combat rules will be VERY important.
  • There will be gladiators!
  • Characters will have a “race” of a sort. It won’t be called “race” but will be similar in that each “race” will have certain features that differentiate it from the others.
  • There will be something called “anomalies” in the game.
  • There will be a settlement/location in the game that can move around.  In fact, it HAS TO move around.
  • There will be a type of “storm” that does some pretty horrendous things.
  • There will be something called a “death flicker.”
  • Moxie will be called something different but will work like Moxie in CAPERS. In addition, there will be a shared pool of this “Moxie” that all the characters can call upon. This version of “Moxie” will also function as something else very important in the game. This “other thing” will inform game play across an entire campaign and will define how characters relate to each  other. (I think it's fair to say THIS is the mechanical bit that I'm most excited about. Game mechanics that serve the theme and style of game play.)

What I'm Currently Doing With All of This

Right now I'm trying to get all of this under control to the point that I can run an initial alpha playtest of the game later this year. This is what happened with CAPERS. I ran a rudimentary playtest at AndoCon a couple years ago just to see if the game mechanics and "world" had legs. It did, and I moved forward. 

I hope the same thing for Project Thunderhawk. While the CAPERS post-Kickstarter process moves forward, I'll be tinkering with this new game idea. With some hard work on my part, I'll be ready to give it a spin in the not-too-distant future. If it seems viable, I'll push forward. Or maybe I'll have to re-design a bunch of it. Or maybe I'll shelve it and look at some of the other ideas I have. 

But I have hope. 

Game on,

Craig

Who Wants to Playtest?

Hey there NerdBurgerlings,

Just a couple quick things.

Google+ Community

NerdBurger Games now has a Google+ Community page. It’s over HERE.

This page is dedicated to discussion of games from NerdBurger and building community. I’ll have the occasional announcement there, but only the really big ones. This page is for the players, GMs, and fans.

Die Laughing Playtesting

Die Laughing is the next game up from NerdBurger Games. It’s a zero-prep, short-play, GM-less RPG where everyone portrays characters in a horror-comedy movie. Everyone’s gonna die. It’s just a matter of when it happens and how funny you can make it. Even after your character is gone, there are things for you to do to continue to influence the story. Plays in 1-2 hours, maybe a little longer if you have a LOT of players

I’m in need of playtesters. If you’re interested, email me at NerdBurgerGames@gmail.com and let me know. If you agree to playtest, I’ll ask you to run the game 2-3 times over the course of a few months. Write down your feedback in my little feedback form and send it to me. It’s that simple.

Please only respond if you’re 100% on-board with playtesting and coordinating your group and feedback and getting it back to me in a timely manner. And please respond by midnight, Saturday, May 19th. I’d like to get the playtest ball rolling soon.

That about does it. NerdBurger Games is rockin’ and rollin’.

Game on

Craig

 

 

CAPERS Available for Pre-Order!

If you missed the Kickstarter, you can get everything the $15 Bootlegger backer level had for the same price on Backerkit right now. Go HERE.

If you have friends who wanted to see how everything panned out before getting on board, they have one more chance. Pre-orders!

Craig

The Boring Stuff

Great title for a blog post, huh?

But it's an appropriate title. The couple weeks following a Kickstarter are busy, but kinda boring. They're things that HAVE to be done and done now. But they're not exciting to tell people about.

So I'm gonna tell you about them anyway. But I'm gonna keep it brief. Here's what I've been up to since the Kickstarter wrapped.

  • Waiting for the Kickstarter funds to clear.
  • Prepping Backerkit for pre-orders, once the funds clear.
  • Prepping the CAPERS Preview Edition to be re-released (for free) on DriveThruRPG with notes about how the full game will be available to pre-order on Backerkit.
  • Getting the art orders and contract to Beth.
  • Wrangling the last of the backer reference photos so I can update the art orders with Beth.
  • Watching seasons 8 and 9 of ER on Hulu. "Rocket" Romano is a douchebag but super fun to watch.
  • Watching Owen create cool graphic stuff like character sheets.
  • Waiting for my first look at layout progress.
  • Creating the backer survey, to be released to backers after the funds clear.
  • Prepping a Kickstarter update for after the funds clear.
  • Waiting for the Kickstarter funds to clear.

I also got the second preview edition of Die Laughing squared away in preparation for more playtesting and conventions.

Exciting, huh?

Game on,

Craig

CAPERS Kickstarter Recap

Aaaaaaand it's done. The CAPERS Kickstarter is over. $10,256 raised by 532 backers in 30 days. That's more than twice as many backers as my Murders & Acquisitions Kickstarter pulled in. WOW!

On behalf of myself and the entire CAPERS team, thank you to everyone who supported, shared, and backed the Kickstarter. My little game is going to get published. 

The Initial Push

The KS started off strong. Half funded in about three hours. That's when I started to worry about what happened with M&A two years ago, which flatlined for eight hours after the half-way point was hit. But...it was not to be. CAPERS funded in less than six hours. 

It was both surprising and not. I spent the past two years networking and building my "marketing reach" as best I could. More people knew about M&A and CAPERS and more people shared it this time around. So it's not surprising that it funded quickly. But I also tempered my expectations so as to not be disappointed if it took a few days.

148 backers in two days. 

AndoCon Weekend

The activity of the first few days rolled over into AndoCon, my personal, local gaming con, run by my good friend Ando and a bunch of great volunteers (including of course, wife Katie Mae). Being my "home con," I was able to keep the CAPERS train rolling by introducing people there to my games. So the con weekend actually ended up being fairly busy. 

206 backers by the end of the convention. 

The Slog...or Stretch Goal World

The bulk of the middle run of the KS was as expected. Between 3 and 12 backers per day, average 7 on weekdays and average 4 on weekend days. Some days were slow. Some days were busy. There was no real logic to any of it. One week, Tuesday was good. Another week, Tuesday was bad. CHAOS!

But we punched through multiple stretch goals at one week intervals. 

That Geek and Sundry Thing

On Wednesday, March 28th, at 3pm Eastern, Geek and Sundry posted an article about the CAPERS Kickstarter. In one way, this was the result of me contacting a person, getting the ball rolling, and a couple things falling in my favor. In another, more accurate way, this was the result of many years of gaming, freelancing, failed game designs, successful game designs, con-going, networking, exploring avenues to share my games, and THEN me contacting a person, getting the ball rolling, and a couple things falling in my favor.

The Geek and Sundry Days, as they'll come to be known, extended through the end of that week and beyond. Wednesday was solid. Thursday, my birthday, was the best day the KS had since the initial two day push. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were solid. By that following Monday, things had started to slow down. 

The G&S article was pretty popular on the site. I got a report from a G&S person that it spent time in the #3 most popular slot for a while, only beaten out by two Critical Role articles. Not bad company. 

Looking at average backer pulls for the weeks before during the slow period. I think it's fair to say I pulled about 80-100 backers from Geek & Sundry. WOW!

ConGlomeration Weekend

I spent the con weekend (March 30-April 1) mostly pimping CAPERS and giving away physical copies of the preview edition to anyone who backed the game right there in front of me. Backer #400 happened like that. A young woman named Fallon backed for #400 and got her copy of the preview edition...along with a copy of everything else in the NerdBurger library. I was in a really good mood.

Final Three Days

On the Tuesday before the Kickstarter ended, the "48 Hour Reminder" went out to folks who had hit the "Remind Me" button on the KS page. That, combined with marketing pushes by me, the CAPERS team, and many backers resulted in a big push at the end of the Kickstarter. 

Here's what the entire Kickstarter looked like in graph form, courtesy of Kicktraq. 

Kicktraq.png

So there you go. That's what a successful Kickstarter looks like. 

And you great backers, you made it happen. Thanks so much. 

Game on, 

Craig

 

 

CAPERS Kickstarter - Once More, With Feeling!

Hello all,

We’re a little over two days away from the end of the CAPERS Kickstarter and I thought I’d reach out one last time.

My apologies if you’re seeing this announcement/request from multiple sources. I’m just trying to make sure all my bases are covered.

So far, CAPERS has funded to nearly 400%. Lots of great stuff has been added, with more to come in the final days.

Also, the game was featured on Geek & Sundry. Check it out. We’re legit!

I’d appreciate it if you gave the game a look. If you’ve already backed, thanks so much

Game on,

Craig

ConGlomeration Recap

Hello all,

I have returned from the second of my "bookend cons" during the CAPERS Kickstarter (the first being AndoCon). 

I drove to Louisville with Dave Lupo of New World Alchemy on Thursday. We talked a lot of game design in the car. Surprise. We shared some booth space with John Arcadian of Encoded Designs, Jim Dagg of Saddle Shaped Games, and Brandon Aten and Matthew Orr of Wet Ink Games. Good times. Noodle salad. 

Friday

While I had met John and Jim previously, I finally got a chance to meet Brandon and Matthew in person, and while their Kickstarter for the second book in the Wild Skies game was live, so they were super excited. (The KS is still going HERE, so go check it out.)

Here's the booth set-up (with bonus John Arcadian).

booth.JPG

I spent much of the weekend pimping CAPERS and giving copies of the preview edition to people who backed the game from their phones right in front of me. I think I had a dozen of those.

I also recorded and episode of the All Games Considered podcasts with Carol and Mags, and spotlight guest of the show James Sutter, formerly of Paizo. Cool people. Great podcast.

Saturday

Saturday was more pimping and more giveaways. I ran a fiver-person demo that turned into at least four backers. Spent the evening hanging out with all the folks from my booth corner and eating entirely too much fish and chips at a place called Four Pegs.

Sunday

Sunday was sloooooooooow.

BUT, near the end of the day, backer 400 happened right at my table, in my presence. Say hello to Fallon, backer 400! I gave her a bunch of free stuff cuz I was in a super-duper good mood.

400.JPG

Game on,

Craig

PS  15 backers on Easter Sunday, believe it or not. Such is the power of Geek & Sundry. (The CAPERS article is still on the front page.)

The Secret I've Been Keeping

Hello stalwart NerdBurgers,

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have noticed me FREAKING OUT about something a couple times over the past couple weeks. I've been sitting on this news for a while.

But, because YOU are a blog subscriber/reader, I'm gonna give you the heads-up here and now.

A while back, I got in touch with a guy who does some freelance writing for a very well-known geek media site and news outlet. After some back and forth between me and him, and me answering some interview questions about CAPERS, he submitted an article for this website. I've been informed it will go live tomorrow, Wednesday, March 28 (one day before my birthday).

So...keep an eye out on...

Geek & Sundry

(on their website or Twitter account) cuz Geek & Sundry will be featuring CAPERS on Wednesday. Once the article is up, I'll link to it here. 

And now, one day before it goes up, I'm freaking out AGAIN. Getting noticed by Geek & Sundry is a big deal. Even if it doesn't bring in a lot of backers for the Kickstarter, it's a huge opportunity to tell people about my little RPG. 

This news is for YOU, blog reader. Please keep it to yourself. I'll announce more publicly tomorrow when the article is up. If you feel like posting to me on Facebook or Twitter and refer to "the big news" without revealing any specifics, go for it. It'd be nice to know there are people who read this blog without being prompted by Facebook and Twitter announcements

Game on, 

Craig

Stretch Goal #4 and 300 Backer Goal

Hey all,

The CAPERS Kickstarter is going strong, but we're in the doldrums of the mid-KS storm. We're closing in on stretch goal #4 and a 300 backer goal I've set. 

If you haven't backed yet, and plan to, now is a great time to jump in. You can help us get over $6200 for the fourth stretch goal and help move us toward 300 backers. 

If we hit 300 backers by midnight Eastern on Sunday, March 25, every backer gets to add a gangster-style or supers-style nickname to their name in their KS backer credit. Do you want to be known as John “Knuckles” Smith or Jane “Slingshot” Jones (or something like that) in the credits? This is your chance. 

Game on,

Craig

Four To Go

Hey there,

I don't have too much to post right now. At least, not anything that hasn't already been covered by Kickstarter updates and Facebook/Twitter posts. But, there's a couple things worth noting.

A Milestone

If CAPERS pulls 264 backers by 3pm on Wednesday, March 21st, it will exceed the backer count of the ENTIRE M&A Kickstarter and it'll do it before the HALFWAY point of the CAPERS campaign. That's kinda cool.

Four backers to go as of this typing.

Craig and Media

Make sure to check the Kickstarter page (down at the bottom) or the Podcasts page here at NerdBurgerGames.com for more of me on my media tour. Taking CAPERS but also lots of other stuff. If that's your thing.

Game on,

Craig

The Return of AndoCon

Whew.

When I set my Kickstarter to begin right before AndoCon (my favorite local gaming con), I thought it'd be no problem. I'd be all jacked up with excitement for the Kickstarter launch and I'd roll that right into the convention.

And I did. But damn, if I didn't crash hard Sunday evening and Monday.

But I'm back now.

AndoCon was great. It didn't happen last year and was sorely missed. It came back better than ever with a bunch of cool stuff they never did before. A wider variety of scheduled RPG events. Many more panels than previous. A slew of prize giveaways. Good times. Noodle salad.

I ran a CAPERS event. Recorded a NerdBurger podcast. Co-ran a cooperative game design workshop. Recorded ANOTHER NerdBurger podcast (this one "After Dark"), and facilitated two tables of six playing Die Laughing simultaneously (while enjoying 12-year old scotch).

And that was all on Saturday. Friday and Sunday I mostly schmoozed. Got a chance to meet some cool designers. Hung out with Eloy Lasanta, whom I've known for years buy never hung around with previously. Played a few games. Kicked back with my friend Mike.

If you live in the Atlanta area and didn't go, should endeavor to attend AndoCon next year. If you live elsewhere, you should make sure to look around and find those one or two small, local gaming conventions where everyone treats you like family.

It's totally worth it.

Game on,

Craig

Day One Recap

Hello,

Day one of the CAPERS Kickstarter. Funded in under six hours. At the 24-hour mark, we were about $100 from the first stretch goal. Nearly 130 backers in 24 hours.

Pretty darn solid.

I'm not going make blog posts TOO much during the Kickstarter. The updates will cover the details of how the Kickstarter is going. But I thought it was worth it to drop in here and say hi.

If you are planning to back, jump on now. Your card doesn't get charged until the campaign ends and doing well in the first couple days makes all the difference in enticing people who happen upon it later to back the game.

Also, I have a whole NEW way to obsess over the Kickstarter. Google Analystics for the first day below:

01.png

Hooray!

Game on,

Craig

CAPERS Kickstarter Is Now LIVE!

Greetings loyal NerdBurgerlings,

It’s time. The CAPERS Kickstarter is live.

THE LINK

Give it a look and back it if you like it. Also, very important, please share this around with your social media. Word of mouth helps more than you can imagine.

Game on,

Craig

Con Nooooooooooooga

I'm back from Con Nooga, a three day geek convention in Chattanooga, TN. I shared a corner booth with James Dawsey of Vigilance Press and Jamie Chambers of Signal Fire Studios.

Con Nooga is a little weird. It's a full on geek con with a wide variety of stuff going on. The gaming side feel a little light to me, though. The gaming hall was only partially full and there weren't a lot of gaming-oriented vendors in the dealer hall. But it seems they're working on beefing that side of things up for the future. Here's hoping.

All in all, I had a good time. Sales were okay, but could have been better. I had a fine time chatting with James, Jamie, and Thomas (Jamie's friend) in the booth. The hall was busy enough that there was always some fun cosplay to check out and folks to chat with.

Will I go next year? It's likely, but I'll have to give it some thought.

Oh, and by the way, we're at T-minus one week and counting to the CAPERS Kickstarter.

YIKES!

Game on,

Craig

ETSU Con Recap

Wow! What a great convention!

I went to ETSU Con knowing relatively little about it. But it was within driving distance and three weeks before my Kickstarter. A bit of a gamble for my first ever NerdBurger Games booth.

Great crowd. Lots of cool cosplay. Nice sized dealer hall. I had my second best sales convention (only eclipsed by GenCon last year), which was something I TOTALLY did not expect. And I got a bunch of people excited for the CAPERS Kickstarter.

My thanks to dealer hall organizer Nick for all his help. And a big thank-you to Brian and Letitia, who popped in to help out at the booth both days for a little while. So I could host a panel and pee occasionally.

Here's what my table looked like. More photos on the gallery page.

Game on,

Craig

NerdBurgerCon?

If you follow me on my personal Facebook page, the NerdBurger Games Facebook page, or my personal Twitter account, you can ignore this.

If you don't follow me in these ways, read on...

I'm considering the idea of NerdBurgerCon. Just spitballing the idea here. 

If NerdBurger Games organized an all-day "con" on, say, a Saturday, at an Atlanta-area game store, would you attend? A handful of scheduled RPG events. Plenty of open gaming space. Maybe a few "special events" TBD.

If this is something that you would attend, assuming it works for your own personal schedule, let me know by emailing me at NerdBurgerGames@gmail.com. Put "NerdBurgerCon" in the subject line. 

If enough people express interest, we will look into hosting an all-day "con" in the Atlanta area sometime later this year. Could be fun. But I need to know if people are interested before I commit to the idea. 

Drop me a line,

Craig