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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Game Design: #Grog1699

Things are finally moving out of my head and onto the page with the Grog 1699 design. Through these entries, you can be a companion to the design process.

Where do I start?

I've already mentioned the basic premise for the game here

Let's move onto solid ground. I'm starting with the characters to be included in the game. I'm thinking a list of roughly 20 or so famous seafarers should be a great start towards the inevitable prototype.

The ones I want to introduce today, are:
  • William Kidd
  • Calico Jack "Jack Rackham"
  • Blackbeard "Edward Teach"

William Kidd:

"Captain William Kidd (c. 22 January 1645 – 23 May 1701) was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians deem his piratical reputation unjust, as there is evidence that Kidd acted only as a privateer. Kidd's fame springs largely from the sensational circumstances of his questioning before the English Parliament and the ensuing trial. His actual depredations on the high seas, whether piratical or not, were both less destructive and less lucrative than those of many other contemporary pirates and privateers."

Awesome! There's fantastic stuff to work with here, specifically his character motivation for existing in the game. He wants to clear his name, but time and time again he just falls into the lure of, "Oh gosh. I guess I have to be a bastard about this, and PLUNDER!!" Or is that just the gossip about him? /cue dramatic film trailer music/



However, for the game, we can forget the last line of the Wikipedia entry. Obviously his depredations will be glorified. :-)

Calico Jack:

"John Rackham (26 December 1682 – 18 November 1720[1]), commonly known as Calico Jack, was an English pirate captain operating in the Bahamas and in Cuba during the early 18th century (Rackham is often spelled as Rackam or Rackum in historical documentation, and he is also often referred to as Jack Rackham). His nickname derived from the calico clothing he wore, while Jack is a nickname for John."

Active towards the end (1718–20) of the "Golden Age of Piracy" (which lasted 1650 to 1730), Rackham is most remembered for two things: the design of his Jolly Roger flag, a skull with crossed swords, which contributed to the popularization of the design, and for having two female crew members, Mary Read and his lover Anne Bonny."

Yay! This gives us two more members of the Grog 1699 cast! More importantly, cool chicks too! Mary Read and Anne Bonny. I'll cover them in future.

SIDE NOTE: Calico Jack was the first real pirate figurine/toy I got as a tiny boy. I remember him clearly. :-)

Of course, he's a very famous name in pirate circles. His fame *almost* borders on, "Too cheesy for inclusion. :-/ " I picture him as a vagabond/renegade/young-blood character. Also, doesn't the "Golden Age of Piracy" sound awesome??


"Edward Teach (also Edward Thatch, c.1680—22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies. Although little is known about his early life, he was probably born in Bristol, England. He may have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War before settling on the Bahamian island of New Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined sometime around 1716. Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop he had captured, and the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy. Their numbers were boosted by the addition to their fleet of two more ships, one of which was commanded by Stede Bonnet, but toward the end of 1717 Hornigold retired from piracy, taking two vessels with him."

Is he the most famous pirate name ever? Possibly. Nevertheless, he just oozes machismo. An important consideration is to make him cool but balanced. This also gives us yet another cool pirate to include...the teacher/mentor/sensei of Blackbeard, Captain Hornigold.

So what will these characters do?
The three phases of the game will be

Recruit and Equip
Setting: Port (Town)
Goal: Assemble your crew and equip your ship
Challenge: Attaining the goal while everyone is trying to get the best crew members and equipment. It will require careful management of time and money. I'm keen to include an element of gambling in this portion. Perhaps a card mini-game against pirates in a tavern? Something like that.

Sail and Fight
Setting: The high seas
Goal: Get to the island as quickly as possible, and delay anyone who's also going for the treasure.
Challenge: Again, time pressure balanced with crew strength. You need to decide when to go for it. Combat against others is obvious.

Find the Treasure!
Setting: The island
Goal: Treasure
Challenge: Actually finding the elusive treasure, running into rivals, dead ends, traps, etc.

I reckon it's important to just throw ideas out there and adjust as I go on, so the ones I'm proposing at the moment are:

Types of Character:
First Mate
Master Gunner

Character Attributes:

Hence, Blackbeard and William Kidd will fulfill the role of Captain. I reckon Calico Jack might be a Swashbuckler, or maybe a Captain. I dunno yet.
Their respective ratings, out of 6, for the attributes:

2 - Discipline
4 - Pathfinding
5 - Luck
6 - Firepower
5 - Toughness
Total - 22

Calico Jack
1 - Discipline
3 - Pathfinding
6 - Luck
5 - Firepower
3 - Toughness
Total - 18

William Kidd
5 - Discipline
5 - Pathfinding
1 - Luck
3 - Firepower
6 - Toughness
Total - 20

Their equipment AND abilities will be added on top of that, not to mention the ships they'd be competing for, giving us a wealth of options. I'm excited!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Konrad, Richard, & my HOLY TRINITY to follow...(are you reading this RIGHT NOW?)

We a team? I'll reveal my three at three pre-determined dates. It's the RULE OF THREE. Haven't heard of it? Google Steve Jobs. (Have my father to thank for this).

Neo, Morpheus and Trinity. The Bible storyline? Speak, bitches! :-P

Inspired by Tata, for real! :-D

I was SAVED last night...^5!

WHENEEEver you're ready to know, ASK ME IN PERSON. 0824182652.

This isn't for everyone, and you'll know when the time is right. Sounds HEAVILY cliched and I wouldn't have listened to myself a while ago. THANKFULLY, I was READY. I am over-the-moon-style celebrating. In a GREAT way. :-) 

Friday, 19 September 2014

One of my fathers...

This man is perhaps the finest human being to have walked this planet since I was born. Obviously. Blah blah. Blah.

But to appreciate the pure logic in his thought, the BLINDING beauty of it...made me cry. This was one of the best weeks of my life, and both myself and Man Utd are making a brand new start. Step-by-step. Only fools skip a link in the chain. And horses. If you ever watch British comedy... :-)

Just watch if you've some time to kill on a Friday night. Or whenever. But it's one of those. It's not a cat video. It's not a kid. It's not sports. It's not any of that shit.

Not that those aren't important. videos...they're so...if you could overdose on "Meh." /shrug


Points if you have any idea who said that. :-)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

OMG What a weekend! Dear lord, that was beautiful...

Just a VERY short entry, but there's a reason behind that. This is mos TO HELP ME, and I believe IT WILL.

I don't think I need to say more about this: 

I might have been guilty of exaggeration in the past. I'm fairly sure I was. But fuckit, this was one of the most amazing weekends of my entire life. The conversations I had with my two primary shareholders, my parents...MUFC...Colin's birthday was so satisfying.

Of course, the big thing is what I feel I discovered about life.

/...let's my actions do the talking.../

"Let's make a new start...", Louis v. Gaal to Konrad Brandt. Not directly, but still. Be foolish to ignore it. :-)
^5!!!!!!! :-D

Sunday, 6 July 2014

A view from the other side...

This is something I wrote while I was still in hospital. Give it a quick scan, it's well-written. I still feel the same way now.
Something I realized last night while writing on it is that not many people have been through what I've been through. Basically, my whole life has been ripped from me. First the guy I was gonna spend the rest of my life with. That was bad enough. Then this accident happened. The only way to get out there and face people again is to get back up. Yeah I've been through at least three major incidents. Pity doesn't help. I know the rest of my life depends on me and I've got to work hard but that's usually hard enough for people who haven't been through what I have. I don't know what the future holds but I'd love to pass some of this message on somehow. If it helps even one person, that will mean the world to me.

So until next time, stop procrastinating and be glad to be alive! Keep well guys.

This has inspired me to do something different for a new list (there's always one more! SIGH! :-D). I will do a list now and again as long as they're still fun to both myself and anyone who possibly reads this.

It's an article I wrote as an exercise in hospital. It's about the Top 10 Places In SA To Visit. I might revise a little, might add comments and keep the actual article verbatim, might TOTALLY do a new list of it, who knows??! :-)

A tiny bit of feedback here? What should I do with it? Do it as I would render the list right now? Let me know. Or is there something else you're dying to hear? 

Or does my writing just annoy you (btw, just ALT-F4)?