James Wallis levels with you

That time of year again?

Right, some updates:

Hyperlife, the first game from my new company Hypergame Ltd, is funded and in development. We’ve got a Facebook page for the company here. If you sign up to it, that pretty much puts you on the list of people we will invite to playtest the alpha. Hint hint.

Twelve thousand prototype copies of Flick Racer, my finalist in Cadbury Spots vs Stripes Pocket Game competition, have gone out with Matter Box in the last few days, and people are voting on whether they want it or Eggomatic to clinch the crown and become the official game of the event. They’ve done a lovely job on the production—the car-counters are made from recycled car tyres.

Meanwhile Magnum Opus Press has published its last Dragon Warriors book, In From The Cold, and will be officially surrendering the licence to a new publisher on 1st April next year. It’s been an interesting couple of years and I’m very proud of what we’ve done for the game and the products we’ve released for it, but I’m saddened that the prophecies I made about the future of the RPG industry when I left it in 2003 have, despite what friends told me, broadly come true and it’s not a place there there’s much money or fun to be had any more.

I did also push out a little why-not project, a PDF of a pamphlet from the late seventeenth century called The Flying Serpent, or Strange News Out of Essex, describing the appearance of a flying serpent near the village of Saffron Walden in 1669, and the reactions of the locals to it. Various friends have accused me of making this up, but I assure you it’s the real deal. I wish I had created it; it’s a lovely little thing and the writing is a delight. Nobody’s buying it but hey ho.

In a more upbeat and Christmassy vein I worked on the Board Game Remix Kit for my office-mates Hide & Seek. It’s a lovely collection of variant rules and mashups for the type of board games your relatives have lying around the house, and means you will never have to play off-the-peg Cluedo ever again. It’s been released as a book, a deck of outsize cards (gorgeously produced) and an iPhone app, and you should buy all of them.

And plugs for a couple of interesting projects. One of the games that was prototyped at the BoardGameCamp Gamehack event was a thing called Festive Fingers, basically Twister for your fingers, played on a small board. It was a neat idea but lacked something indefinable and lost out in the face of some terrifyingly strong competition. Lead designer Michael has now worked out what was wrong with the original design: it didn’t have an iPad in it. So he’s put that right, renamed it Fingerknots, and it’s on sale in the App Store right now. Check it out.

If you work in the industrial side of the games industry you’ll know the name Nicholas Lovell. The man behind Gamesbrief, he’s one of the big gurus of the scene: what he doesn’t know about gameflow, microtransactions and all the rest isn’t worth knowing. What you don’t know is that he’s an old-school gamer, and he’s just had a GURPS supplement published as a PDF, available right now at e23. And it’s about pirates. How can you possibly not be interested in that?

And finally I’m aware that this blog has been hacked again, in what is probably a modified form of the PHP hack I experienced last year. It’s affecting search-engine hits and some RSS readers. Apologies if this includes you. No idea how they’re getting in, and no time to fix it right now. I’ll get to it, in time.

Stories that I am working on a new RPG are not being denied, but does it sound to you like I have any free time for that kind of thing?

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One Comment

  1. […] James Wallis, games consultant, designer and publisher, put a game idea in for the Spots ‘n Stripes […]

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