Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Google Drive link to 2014-12-17 Version
There are only typo fixes to the material that was in the 2014-12-05, but a lot of new material has been added.
Specifically, a new six-room dungeon called "The Halls of Lorsem" and eight new Relics to draw from a random deck.
To avoid this becoming a single unwieldy document, new material will likely be given as separate modules while rule changes will follow future versions of this document.
Sunday, 14 December 2014
It's December, so in the spirit of giving, I've been looking for ways to make better use of my phone. Specifically, uses of the Play to Donate business model, because it's motivation to continue developing the scrabble style dungeon crawler (see previous post).
There have been a few of these in the last 10 years, but they never seem to take off. In the Play Store for Android, I found three apps:
Give a Heart, which is the app port of the website of the same name. They have a simple catch the falling objects game, which occasionally rewards players with donation hearts. Donation hearts can be given to your choice of many charities, and they translate to 10 cents per heart.
Give a Heart has almost no activity, which is probably good because anyone with skill could produce more donations than the ad revenue being produced. The mobile port of the game is buggy, and playing it is truly an act of charity. I do like that skill increases the donation potential, although this is a tricky thing to pull off from a designer standpoint. A pity really, because a better game and a more active or aggressive revenue stream and this could go somewhere.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, by Fortee Too Games, is a good foil. This is another catch falling object game, but it's native to mobile and runs much better. In this game, skill is rewarded by unlocking videos of the ice bucket challenge. There are full screen ads between every three games, which is about one every 90 seconds.
42% of the ad revenue goes to ALS research, but there's no way to see your personal contributions. Also, being good at the game means seeing fewer ads, so if you're playing out of charity, it is tempting to throw games intentionally. Also, the game is only amusing for ten minutes, shorter when you realize the video rewards are YouTube links.
Swagbucks, is a paid to surf system with an option to donate earnings. It's mostly on the traditional web, but it has a mobile search widget that functions similarly.
Swagbucks has games, licensed of commissioned from third parties, but the large majority of player earnings come from other activities like watching videos and searching the web.
In short, for existing systems, either the games are ineffective or the donation potential is. Disappointing really.
Friday, 5 December 2014
This is a rough draft of the first module, in tabletop format.
Scrabble Dungeon - The Cavern
I have ambitions to make several of these modules, because I think there's a lot of fun mechanics and maps that can be slotted into the game without much difficulty. I'd also like to explore the possibility of making it an Android app in the future, potentially with ads and under a play-to-donate model.
If any of you could have a look at this, especially reading the rulebook (2 main pages + 1 appendix page), I'd appreciate it greatly. Is the rulebook simple enough? Does it leave unanswered questions? Does it need a turn by turn example? Making it easy to digest is my current concern.
Please get back to me in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org