Indiecon Report

A bit late, but I’ve had a lot of other stuff to do lately!

Indiecon 2010 was awesome, as always, but minding the stall and running demo games I don’t get to – particularly – take part in other games save in the evenings at the chalet, still, I got to play a few things and got to observe some other games in play as well as making some good contacts and setting up some freelancing work for the future.

I did have a few pictures, but other than the ones I posted before, well, my phone is borked, so I can’t really show you any.

Setting Sun went over well and the poker table, cards, chips etc certainly attracted plenty of attention, which was nice. Got some suggestions on some rules changes and had a good time running it. Everyone seems to appreciate the group-dynamic but I’m still umming and ahhing about whether to make the techniques universally or specifically applicable, otherwise the background and the ideas seem to work out well and I’ve got some help coming on the appropriate Chinese and Japanese naming. I think I’m on to something with this game but it needs the right look, the right write up, the right art and the right presentation for it to really go over.

The adventure for Setting Sun was the one I ran for my semi-regular group the other week, but the approach was different this time. I think every single group I had run through it sided with the native rebels against the corrupt magistrate and the prefect and, interestingly, they all used the same ‘Wookie’ tactic of pretending to capture the leader of the Pomo rebels and using him to get access to the magistrate and gun him down. I’m thinking I need to produce a more sandboxy style of play that suits the ‘engagement/mission’ way the game seems to play out. I’m thinking of ripping off the community/social dynamic of MGI’s ‘Underground’ (a much underrated game) and using that in some way in Setting Sun.

Agents of SWING I did want to have this game ready by this time this year but between brain issues and freelancing, other things got on top of me and prevented me from finishing it in time. This was another playtest then and, again, it went over well. There seems to be a lot of anticipation and desire for SWING to come out – which is promising. Cubicle 7, who have developed something of a reputation for FATE products, are interested in licensing it – rather than reproducing it – which will be an interesting thing to negotiate.

This adventure was ‘Snake Eyes’, a gambling-oriented adventure that had three incarnations of Roger Moore characters from the period in it. Went over well and introduced an interesting villain organisation that I’d like to use again. Got some more interesting feedback from players and hopefully the whole game will get tighter thanks to that.

Blood!: Windycon Blood! seems to go over well with people, once they get past the system complexity and into the swing of it. Not that the system is actually that complex but it’s a lot to take in until you get used to it. This adventure was an out-and-out comedy-horror adventure, since that’s kind of the turn that the adventures have taken in previous years. This was also a pisstake of my experiences at Indiecon and other conventions over the years. I won’t go too much into the adventure as I’m going to release it for purchase, but gamers’ general tubbiness is certainly a factor!

I got to play a few games in the evening, Corporation, Star Wars Saga Edition and Dresden Files as well as Deathwatch.

In Corporation I played a taciturn sniper who only really talked to his (AI) gun, or when killing people. He was waaay too into his gun and got a sexual thrill from assassination, something exacerbated by the personality of the gun AI. ‘X-ray’ vision and shooting through walls and armour to reach the soft, gooey person within. Corporation’s mission dynamic seems to make it easy to pick up, even though I had really no understanding of the game background. Makes me think of Syndicate and Syndicate Wars, though a bit high powered for my personal Cyberpunk preferences.

In Star Wars Saga I played one of the last surviving Senate Guard, after the liquidation of the senate, a lost son of Alderan, a noble and scoundrel with guard training represented by feats. I got to stab stormtroopers in the head and rescue Princess Leia, so it’s all good.

In The Dresden Files I played a 1970s ‘hard’ cop’s ghost, bound to a Ford Capri but able to manifest. He began or ended virtually every sentence with the word ‘cunt’ and was a lot of fun to play, especially combined with our weird freakshow of other characters. We ended up taking on a manifestation of Herne and the Wild Hunt in a remote village, protected from his depredations for decades by warding magic. It’s a good character and I’d like to play Dresden Files again but it really brought home to me how much I want to streamline and simplify SWING. It’s not that FATE is a difficult system, it’s just that – as with a lot of CCGs – all the exceptions and special cases start to weigh down the speed of the system like making a sprinter wear clown shoes. The approach to magic etc, while good, removed too many FATE points – in my opinion – and added more complications. Things to avoid when I’m writing SWING though I’m definitely sold on FATE as a good system to develop for.

In Deathwatch my Ultramarine assault trooper punched a tyrannid in the heart with a meltabomb. So it lived up, nicely, to my expectations.

I managed to resist buying Dust Tactics due to it being expensive, someone else buying it and not having enough money… until I won £110 on the raffle and by then it was too late. Instead I bought Qin + Supplement, the Starblazer GM  Screen, Legends of Anglerre, Poisn’d, Barbarians of Lemuria, Barbarians of the Aftermath and Mars Colony. All of which I’ll be reviewing at some point.

I’m sure we’ll be going again and I heartily recommend Indiecon. We were even spared the D&D squatters this year, so it was pretty much all Indie (or at least non-standard) action. The con remains friendly and great for gaming (actual gaming? At a con?) and it was great to see a lot more younger people and women at the con this year. It’s going to remain a fixture for me I reckon along with Dragonmeet but I really do need to get around to going to a few more cons.

Still, can’t recommend Indiecon enough!

Check it out

One response to “Indiecon Report

  1. I absolutely loved playing in the SWING game. Really looking forward to seeing where you take. Hoping C7 do pick it up, as demoing it would be fun.
    – Neil.

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