Saturday, February 26, 2011

MEANWHILE - A comic book game for the thinkin' man.

   It's a book. It's a game. It's a geniusly crafted comic adventure comedy by Jason Shiga.

   You begin by choosing chocolate or vanilla ice cream. What follows is a journey of hilariously epic proportions that includes a time machine, Killitron and a memory switching device. Jimmy is a cartoon character that you lead through the story by following tubes from one panel to another. This system brings you all over the book in a mind-boggling level of complication. Try to get to the end without killing everyone in the world.

   There appears to me a method to the madness. The clues on how to find an access code or progress in the right steps begin to show themselves after starting over a few times. I had to think long and hard about where I've gone before. Some of the pages look exactly the same with just a few words of difference, so memorizing your way through is difficult.

   I still haven't gotten to the end of the book, but once I gather all my wits about me I'll take another crack!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Game design inspiration - The Secret Teachings of All Ages

     Digging deep into mythology is a great way to create characters and events that we recognize. Games constantly feed off of urban legends, ancient occult themes and historic stories of gods and monsters. Oddly, there is so much fresh material left out there, believe it or not! After giving a book a read-through, I was more knowledgeable about the origins of belief systems, occults symbols and ancient stories than all my years of fantasy gameplay. That book is aptly called The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall.

     Volumes of global esoteric knowledge has been collected within one book. It contains many different cultures and their creations of religion, symbols and beliefs. It covers topics such as Ancient Mysteries and Secret Societies, Pyramids, animals and insects, Qabbalah, Tarot, Rosicrucianism, alchemy, Freemasonry, Christianity, gods, stones, metals, gems, atrology, etc. Hundreds of illustrations show ancient art reflecting philosphies and symbols of the day.

     Reading it through, I became aware of how much of our daily speech and today's symbols had their origins back in ancient times. This is the book that tells us where we've been mentally. I encourage you to read it when creating a fantasy that will have deeper ties to the meanings we've created in the past as humans.