Daily Illuminator

December 23, 2014: Of Jetpack Gorillas And Tragic Heroes

Most of you know me as a member of the Marketing team here at SJ Games. What you may not know is that I'm also a game designer. I've done a lot of work for companies like Evil Hat Productions and Rite Publishing, and I've self-published a game, too.

Becoming: A Game of Heroism and Sacrifice

The vast majority of my work in game design is for Evil Hat Productions. I've worked on many, many games for them, but the thing that's occupying a lot of my freelance time currently is a game called Shadow of the Century. ShotC is a follow-up book to Evil Hat's pulp sensation, Spirit of the Century, the game that popularized Fate as a roleplaying system. Spirit of the Century was a game of two-fisted pulp action, biplane dogfights, mustache-twirling villains, and hyper-intelligent gorillas with jetpacks. ShotC moves the timeline forward from the pulp era into the '80s, and updates the style of action to reflect the decade. It's a game where time-traveling robots, techno-ninja clans, and heroic truck drivers all have a place. I'm acting as Creative Director on the game, and I'm having a lot of fun doing it. You're gonna love it.

It's possible you've also heard of the game I did for Rite Publishing a while back, The Demolished Ones. Also a Fate-based game, The Demolished Ones is a dark, creepy, Lovecraftian murder mystery influenced strongly by the movie Dark City. It's a complete system and adventure in one book, and it won an ENnie Award this year!

I also want to take a moment to mention the game I self-published this year, Becoming, a game about a single hero embarking on a difficult quest, and the way that quest changes her and breaks her down over the course of her journey. It's sometimes dark, sometimes funny, and frequently surprising. The game uses a custom roleplaying system wherein one person plays the Hero and three others play Fates. Fates, in Becoming, are a bit like GMs in other games, though the game is adversarial in nature. Also, it's on sale until the end of the year! Right now you can get the PDF for $4.99, the softcover and the PDF for $13.99, or the hardcover and the PDF for $19.99!

-- Brian Engard

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