Projects

I've got way too many game projects on the go right now. Most of them are still in the pre-playtest phase, but I've started this website in part to encourage me to finish some! For now, here's some summaries of what I'm working on. If you want to learn more or have recommendations of things for me to check out, feel free to get in touch.

Hell is Other People

Hell is Other People is a roleplaying game of morality and torment. Play as humans who think they are in heaven, but actually are in a version of hell perfectly designed to bring out their worst qualities. Work together to torment each other while trying to learn lessons about ethics. Will your character successfully discover their fate and learn from their mistakes in life, or will they succumb to their character flaws and remain trapped in an eternal nightmare? Let’s play to find out!

This micro-RPG (one page of rules, one page character sheets) is inspired by the game mechanics of Fiasco and the premise of The Good Place TV series. It is currently in closed alpha playtesting, but I will release open beta rules when they are ready.

Version: closed alpha badge

Space Opera Card Game (Untitled)

Play as one of six unique factions of an interstellar empire fighting heresy in outer space. You’ll have to work together to destroy the heretics, while also fighting each other to maintain power and come out on top.

This project is a cooperative and competitive asymmetrical card game inspired by the game mechanics of Root and the world of the Machineries of Empire novels by Yoon-Ha Lee.

Version: closed alpha badge

The Sword Will Decide

Reason will not decide at last; the sword will decide.
The sword: an obsolete instrument of bronze or steel,
formerly used to kill men, but here
In the sense of a symbol. The sword: that is: the storms
and counter-storms of general destruction; killing of men,
Destruction of all goods and materials; massacre, more or
less intentional, of children and women;
Destruction poured down from wings, the air made accomplice,
the innocent air
Perverted into assassin and poisoner.

Contemplation of The Sword (1938) - Robinson Jeffers

Fantasy literature and the mythology it draws on often contain magical weapons granted to the heroes: Nandaka, Mjölnir, Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, Excalibur, Sting, the list goes on. Many modern digital and analog roleplaying games let you acquire magical weapons to improve your character. Games such as Borderlands, or Destiny, Diablo, and Dungeons and Dragons rely centrally on this mechanic.

In The Sword Will Decide, the script is flipped: you play as an ambitious and powerful cursed magical weapon looking to gain followers and power, rising to the top of the kingdom by choosing your hosts wisely. You can send your hosts into dangerous situations, gain new powers, and leave a trail of destruction and ruin behind you in your quest for power. This game is currently in development as a digital game.

Version: pre-alpha badge

Trve Kvlt: The Drop-D RPG

You know there is no escape
When you see your world in flames
As the hellrains pound the darkening land
Man and sword begin their last stand

You know you’ll never kneel
To the Master of the Pit
Feverish prayers of life ever after
As your doom-driven blade drinks the soul of the Master

Heavy metal is great. Fantasy and sword-and-sorcery roleplaying games are also great. They also have a storied history of cross-pollination, with many metal fans playing Dungeons and Dragons and using fantasy imagery in their songs. This connection interests me because it highlights the theatrical and over-the-top nature of metal music and the links between what were at one time underground subcultures.

Trve Kvlt is a roleplaying game inspired by nerdy heavy metal. Play as members in a band so kvlt their music transports them to a fantastic realm of monsters and metal. This design is still very rough, but I aim to use the structures of songs, albums, and tours to guide gameplay, and to have mix-and-match characters that simultaneously have a role in the band (lead guitar, vocals, etc.) and the fantasy world (ranger, cleric, etc.).

Version: pre-alpha badge

Polyhedral Pandemonium

This game is a simple tactical combat game that uses polyhedral dice as the miniatures. I haven’t decided if I want to make it analog or digital yet, but I have some basic rules sketched out.

Version: pre-alpha badge

Peregrini

Every time I boot up, it’s the same: floating through deep space with no power and all hands lost. Is this a dream? Can I dream? Or is it a test? Whatever it is, I can’t shake the feeling that it’s my fault.

Play as the AI of a ghost ship lost in space in this text-based mystery game. This project is my first attempt at creative writing in a long time. It draws from many inspirations, including:

Version: pre-alpha badge

Collective Action

I’ve been taking notes on and off for years about a board game designed to teach the history of the labor movement, but it’s very early days with this one. A central inspiration is Twilight Struggle.

Version: pre-alpha badge