Thu, 30 July 2009
In this design episode, I talk Emily Care Boss of Black and Green Games about Sign in Stranger, her game of alien exploration. Called "the Peace Corps in space" game, Sign in Stranger is about human beings who've elected to leave a quarantined Earth behind to try to build a life for themselves out in space, among aliens who at best regard them with curious pity for their benighted condition. I've played and enjoyed it, and since it's coming out at Gen Con this year, you can do the same.
WARNING: The Independent Insurgency is an "explicit" podcast.
This episode is 60.6 MB big and 01:06:11 long.
00:00:55: About the game
00:01:46: The "Mad Libs" thing
00:06:20: The interesting role of humanity in the game, reminds me of Asimov's Elijah Baley stories
00:07:45: A rare indie game with a strong setting
00:09:20: Science fiction and the Native American analogy, and an NPR piece on the subject (which I can't find), which then reminds me of The Celluloid Closet
00:10:41: Why such a specific setting?
00:12:24: One of the early playtesters, Clinton R. Nixon, felt it accurately captured his past experiences of going to live in foreign cultures
00:14:21: Jonathan Walton has a vision for the game that makes it rather like Red Mars
00:16:57: Emily talks about gaming at NerdNYC's Recess
00:17:36: Dadaist games like Eat Poop You Cat
00:20:26: Emily gets all John Stavropoulos (of NerdNYC) on me
00:21:13: Ideal number of players
00:23:20: How long is the play cycle?
00:27:01: Blue booking
00:30:05: Spotlight sharing
00:32:49: The way dice work, inspired by Otherkind
00:37:39: Why complete and publish this game?
00:41:26: Emily was recently inspired by Montsegur 1244 at Camp Nerdly
00:46:37: A dropped system where players—a la Misspent Youth and Dread (Jenga)—asked leading questions of one another.
00:49:40: Emily mentions "Loading the wrong ammo" and "flags," ideas created by Chris Chinn
00:50:03: What was difficult to fix?
00:51:17: Archipelago, shock: social science fiction, and Annalise all do some cool stuff with owning pieces of the world
00:54:42: Getting playtesters
00:57:05: SIS got some very nice exposure on The Durham 3 (who are now back in action!), from episodes 49 to 51
00:58:51: Emily has agreed to do a cross-longer-term-play exchange with Mendel Schmiedekamp
00:59:21: How many times has the game been played?
01:00:15: Defining success
There's a new The Hub City Stompers album called Ska Ska Black Sheep and I'm all excited about it. It's half new songs and half dub versions of older songs. I decided to start with what is probably my favorite track from the album to close this show, Ska Train to Dorkville.
Logo courtesy of Daniel Solis: http://danielsolis.com/