Tag Archives: James Wallis

Episode 53 – Storytime with James, Colby and David!

This one’s quite the epic, comprising of three interviews with designers who tell their stories in very different ways!

You’ll be aware of the work of James Wallis, ‘the godfather of indie RPGs’ – with games like Baron Munchausen and Once Upon A Time under his belt, he’s built quite the reputation in the gaming industry. Now he’s back with a blast RPG called Alas Vegas; a tale of amnesia, violence and life in the desert. We talk about the game, his experience with Kickstarter and much more. There’ll also be a few lies in there, but it’s up to you to work out precisely what is true…

Colby Dauch of Plaid Hat Games then returns to discuss how the company has expanded in the space of a couple of years from producing only Summoner Wars to having a massive range of titles in their catalogue. With new releases on the way including City of Remnants and a tie-in with the forthcoming Bioshock Infinite video game, Plaid Hat are moving up in style. There are also a few revelations about what they have planned for the future, including a brand new design from Colby himself.

Finally, David Malki! from the excellent webcomic Wondermark joins me to talk about a new game he’s co-developed – Machine of Death. Set in a world where the technology exists to reveal the method of your demise, Machine of Death has spawned a book (along with an upcoming sequel) and now a party game of ‘creative assassination’. Brace yourself; this isn’t your average dinner party extravaganza…

Want some links? You got ‘em!

Direct Download link for the episode: https://archive.org/download/LMDEpisode53/LMD_Episode53.mp3

This episode’s sponsors are Artipia Games, promoting the rather charming Drum Roll on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/magecompany/drum-roll-the-board-game

James Wallis’ campaign for Alas Vegas: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jameswallis/alas-vegas-an-rpg-of-bad-memories-bad-luck-and-bad?ref=live

Spaaace – James’ company site: http://www.spaaace.com/

Plaid Hat Games’ site: http://plaidhatgames.com/

Machine of Death on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1234131468/machine-of-death-the-game-of-creative-assassinatio?ref=live

Wondermark by David Malki!: http://wondermark.com/

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Sweet Dreams: Cadbury Pocketgames – Egg-a-thon and Flick Racer

If you live in the UK, you may well have noticed the campaign being run by Cadbury that’s attempting to encourage people to get into gaming. In the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games, they’re trying many different approaches to promote the spirit of competition. There’s Facebook and Twitter campaigns, even a special chocolate bar (Spots vs Stripes, made into three chunks – two people take one bit each, then play a quick game to decide who will win the third).

They also recently launched a design competition where budding inventors could come up with a Pocketgame – basically a portable game for multiple players – that would fit into the whole Spots vs Stripes promotion. After whittling down the entries to a final two, these were sent out to a select group of people (and me, for some reason) to play, discuss, and hopefully come up with a winner. The concept behind them was simple – they must be portable, easy to explain and quick to play… after that, the sky was the limit.
The two finalists are very different, but I feel they both achieve the objective well. Egg-a-thon by Sally Manning and Flick Racer from former Little Metal Dog Show guest James Wallis (@jameswallis) are very different beasts. One cerebral, the other all about speed, they do their job remarkably… and that job is a quick injection of fun that you’d be remiss to turn down.

The two Pocketgame finalists, very much in keeping with the colour scheme of the campaign...

Egg-a-thon first then. Two players take control of two eggs each, lining them up at one end of the box (which happens to be the play board). The objective is to get both of your egg pieces to the opposite end. Rolling a dice gives you a set amount of moves (apart from when you roll a 1, meaning you miss your turn). These can be given to just one egg or split between your pieces, rolling a 4 allowing you a 3/1 or 2/2 share, for example. It’s not all about straight lines though – orthagonal movement is allowed, meaning you can move sideways on the board into the path of your opponent’s pieces. If their path is blocked they must go around you, wasting their valuable moves and hopefully giving you the chance to take victory.
Flick Racer is a simpler idea, but no less fun. Two players (though it can handle up to eight!) must take rubber discs with cars printed on one side and flick them around a race track which is drawn before the race with a stick of chalk that’s included in the pack. First one over the finish line is the winner, as you would expect in a racing game. It’s all very reminiscent of the rather fabulous PitchCar (also known as Carabande), complete with rules for collisions, coming off the track and flipping your vehicle. However, the fact you’re not limited to building with wooden pieces really adds a little something – your track can be a long or as short as you like.
Both games are made from recycled materials and a particularly lovely touch is that the car discs from Flick Racer are actually made of old tyres. I must admit that my preference falls to the racing game, simply because the only limit to making your track is how much space you have. Admittedly a piece of chalk isn’t amazingly useful when you’ve got a foot of snow outside your door, but I’m sure the more creative amongst you would be able to fashion something indoors! Egg-a-thon is a lovely idea too (and would be an ideal way to teach kids simple strategy) but I’m afraid the boy racer in me just won out…
Now, how do you fancy getting hold of these two games yourself? Well, I’m giving away my copies so you can get involved too. If you want a chance to win them, just email littlemetaldog@gmail.com with “Pocketgame” as your subject – no need to even answer a question! I’ll draw randomly from everyone who emails in on January 1, 2011 and send both Egg-a-thon and Flick Racer to one lucky winner. Good luck! If you want more information on the whole Spots versus Stripes campaign, have a look right here and see what you can do to get involved, or visit their Twitter feed.

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