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The 1.0 rules of Kodrek are complete! I’ll be sending boards out to all the Kodrek-level Kickstarter backers just as soon as printing is complete.
The timing means that I’ll also be entering the game in the 1000 Year Game Challenge. It’s got some stiff competition!
Kodrek is a game with a funny background. It comes from an actual game of Human Contact. Because HC is about cultures and their expressions in contrast with other cultures, we needed a game that summed up the part of the culture we were soaking in during a particular scene. In this case, it was an Academic (a bit of a dick, that guy) who was gambling. Now, keep in mind, the Academy doesn’t have money; its members trade in ideas because of their post-scarcity environment. So the guy was gambling with money that he was manufacturing. But he considered all the marines and pirates around him murderers, so he figured it all came out it the wash.
My specification was that it be a three-way game with shifting alliances. Vincent wanted it to be a game where you committed to plans in secret and then revealed them to each other, then dealt with the consequences. You can actually see the scene in Human Contact on page 84. We described the triangular board, the move-slapping, and that was about it.
After the game, Rob had to go home and Vincent and I went for a walk. We kept going back to the board game idea and rough-sketched play. I’ve thought about it for a few months and have come up with these final rules.
The game has a lot of variables and the rules discuss some of the things you might do differently if you lived with a different clan. I look forward to seeing the variants that players come up with!
40:30 long & 37.1 MB big
– You can’t cut a piece off something living unless it wants you to, like one of those happy cow-like aliens from Resturant at the End of the Universe or a German suicide
– The TV show Dollhouse by J.J. Abrams
– Rob’s a bad designer and Joshua doesn’t like people
– Game Chef
– Shock: Human Contact by Joshua, and In a Wicked Age…. and Apocalypse World by Vincent Baker of Lumpley Games
– Meguey Baker of Night Sky Games
– Behavior-based questioning in interviews, and how it relates to game design
– John Wick and Ed Healy also are doing a project like Oo!
– AXE COP
– Another project: Ludic Jibber Jabber (no link yet)
– The Podge Cast shows up on iTunes when you search for Oo!
– Our negative review on iTunes
– Our requisite Radio Lab reference
– Sons of Kryos, Science Times, Brilliant Gameologists
– HOW TO FAIL!!!!!
– An NPR story referencing public administration and dead horses
– Kevin Smith’s The Mountain Witch
You can subscribe to the show (if you still want to) by plugging the RSS feed URL into your preferred podcatcher. You can also use the one-click iTunes button thingie:
I just found this while looking through old illustrations for materials for Human Contact. It’s not related, but I remember being really proud of this drawing. The original’s about 4″ tall.
If I recall, the deal is that these guys are herd animals, but their herds stretch really far apart. They stay in communication with natural radio that run along the top of their bodies inside their carapaces. They’re not naturally highly intelligent, but because of their distributed observational standpoint, have a complex communication system for predicting the weather on the barren, storm-ridden surface of their planet. As herbivores, they spend most of their time snuffling through the soil for little fungus-things, but they occasionally gobble up a little animal that secretes a toxin that has psychoactive effects on the enormous creatures. This pushes their nervous system into full-fledged creative intelligence, which they can only participate in when they’re large enough to not be poisoned by the toxin. Children are therefore little herds, incapable of creative thought. Only adolescence brings creativity.
They have a single eye, but it’s evolved to give them a limited form of depth perception.
They also have started realizing that, if they all point their antennae up, they hear some really weird stuff.
In Bruce Sterling’s 1999 book Distraction, interpersonal relationships are largely mediated by “Relationship servers” that keep track of reputations beyond your immediate circle. People will sign up to help someone according to their trustworthiness, and they’re given tongue-in-cheek ranks to indicate how trusted they are. It winds up being a powerful sociopolitical tool in the story, of course.
Facebook — particularly Facebook Login — promises to be that kind thing, with Google Buzz following hot on its heels. But they’ve both made a horrible, critical error: they confused their users with their product. Let’s ignore the fact that, in this age of forward thinking, world-shaking media, they’re treating Google and Facebook like fucking commercial television in that regard. Instead, let’s look at what could be done to make shit work right.
I’m envisioning an Open Source Facebook. You establish yourself as a real person, with relationships, shared activities, a face, a birthday, and so forth. But this is distributed, encrypted, and signed. I’m imagining something along the lines of DNS or BitTorrent. It would necessarily include links to your blog, Twitter, Gravatar, Flobber, and Gropnik accounts (at your request) and allow you rights to edit the accessibility of those items category-by-category and person-by-person.
Doable? Can you design or program such a thing? How do I help?
I’m excited about running Shock:Human Contact at Dreamation 2010 (The Year We Make Contact) with folks! I’m getting the edition put together right now and I’m really happy with the way it’s shaping up. I’ll have copies of this edition for all players of the game, and depending on the cost of production, might have a few more for sale at the con.
I’ve been back down in the basement, working with the Sculpey. It’s more fun than is really reasonable.
I decided to try something with anatomy that could be rationally interrogated this time. So I’m doing a dude. I don’t know what his story is yet. Sooner or later, he’s going to have clothes, jewelry, and that stick will gain some character, but I don’t know what the stuff is yet.
There’s more detail visible over in the little guy’s thread at Concept Art. I’m going to post over there with more detail, just posting highlights on the blog here.
As usual, click these images to see a larger slideshow.
The little guy’s complete!