New Life on Haruspex Games, and a Reminder about ‘Kiso Valley Diary’

Hi again! Not much has been going on here lately, has there? I’ve been pretty busy blah blah who isn’t?

Anyway, when I have had time to write I’ve been posting everything on my other blog – Kiso Valley Diary. It’s a fun little blog about my experiences as a city boy moving to a picturesque spot in the Japanese countryside (i.e. the absolute middle of nowhere). Check it out if you have any interest in Japan, or life in the countryside, or if you’ve enjoyed stuff I’ve written here before.

For more delightful frogs like this, check out Kiso Valley Diary.

But what about Haruspex Games?

Well, honestly I haven’t done any kind of game development for about a year at this point. Like I said, I’ve been busy, and to be honest there’s been a fair amount of stress and minor-to-moderate health and mental health issues going on in the last 6-12 months.

But I do want to start game development up again at some point. I’m hoping to ease myself in slowly, maybe make a small side project or two in the next few months, then try to figure out what shape I want The Red Market to take in the future. I was honestly very down on the project for a while, but I recently replayed some of it (remember, you can do that here) and (absolutely amazingly, considering it’s a thing that I made), I don’t hate it, and actually think it’s pretty good.

I promise this game will be finished before I die (maybe).

So the medium-term goal is to slowly get back into game development, as a hobby and a creative outlet, rather than anything else (at least for the moment). In the shorter term, I’m going to try posting a bit more on this blog again. Not about game development, or even really about video games at all.

In the last few years I’ve gotten really into tabletop roleplaying games, and in the last few months I’ve gotten really into the OSR scene. OSR stands for Old-School Revival, and it’s a loose community of people who like to play (and make) games inspired by the early years of tabletop games.

At first I thought this would just be people insisting that cross-referencing a three-page spreadsheet every time they attack an enemy is much better than just rolling a d20. But while there’s a fair bit of “misery is good for you, because I told you so” dickishness floating around here and there, it’s actually an incredibly vibrant creative scene, with countless books and blogs full of cool-as-all-hell ideas.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs, and spending too much money on internationally shipped, lovely glossy books. Blogs like Goblin Punch – a blog full of fun mini-adventures, sharply-designed mechanics, and weird, wonderful ideas for monsters. And books like Deep Carbon Observatory – a chaotic race into a mysterious, deadly ruin beneath the earth.

For more delightful boys like this, check out Deep Carbon Observatory.

I’ve fallen in love with a metric ton of this stuff, and I’ve also been designing my own things. Cool monster ideas, fun mini-adventures, and (hopefully) sharply-designed mechanics. And I’m going to start posting them here on this blog.

While video games are fun (and there’s stuff I want to do that wouldn’t work in a tabletop setting), the barrier to entry is so high. If you want to make something big and systemic like I do, then you have to learn not only programming, but a thousand other complex skills. And I want to learn these skills, and make a great game. But right now it’s so amazingly liberating to be able to make creative stuff for tabletop games – a field with essentially zero barriers to entry.

So if you liked the strange world, magical items, and horrible, horrible monsters that came out of my head and went into The Red Market, then maybe you’ll like what’s to come on this blog. Stick around, and let me know what you think!

This entry was posted in Actual Real Life Stuff, Games Blather, Japan. Bookmark the permalink.

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