Saturday, December 29, 2018

Board Game: Slay the Oly Dragon Artwork

The game mechanics for Slay the Oly Dragon have been firmed up and the new artwork is well underway. There was no chance it'd be done by Christmas, but a releasable product should be available in a few months. If I consider the prototype as version 1, then this first professionally printed game with actual artwork will be version 2. I'll do play tests with friends & family for awhile, make some adjustments, then hopefully have my purchasable version 3 as "final".

Teasers for the artwork...

Experimenting with using real world photos...

And finally a monster... (I actually have much better monster images made by a much more talented artist, but until everything is finalized I won't post them publicly.)

My goal is to have all artwork completed & printed game ordered by the end of January with friends & family play tests in February.

(Game images within this post are Copyright 2018 by Clinton Kam.)

Friday, November 30, 2018

RPG: Tactics 2

In theory, all tactics are now in! I've already made and discarded a couple tactics I found lacking - so there could always be more adjustment in the future, but these are pretty solid.

The idea was to have 20 very distinct types of tactics a player can choose between. There are some similarities between a few of them, but really the goal is to offer several very different options for a player in a given scenario. Need to steal something that's being guarded? You could kill the person guarding it, charm them into liking you, go invisible and sneak past them, teleport in and out before they can react, or throw up vines to slow them down so you can run past.

They still need balancing, but here they are:

Row #1: General

Abilities that are non-magical.


Search the ground for hidden items. After using, invisible items will suddenly appear.


Use your wielded weapon - sword or ranged weapon, or fists if unarmed.

Lock Pick

Pick the lock of a chest. (Unlocked chests can be opened with single left click. Locked chests must either be hit many times with a weapon or be lock picked.)


Repairs a broken item. Does not bring once living things back to life.


Attempts to convince a target creature to be friendly to you, if only temporary. Also improves your overall reputation with the target creature's allegiance.

Row #2: Arcane Spells (Wizard)

Abilities that come from the power within the person.


Temporarily increases the vision range of the player.


Instantly jump to somewhere else that you have vision on.


Send a flaming projectile in a given direction. It explodes upon impact and causes damage to anything nearby.

Directed Energy

Send an energy beam in a given direction. Beam energy passes through creatures to continue damaging those behind.


Temporarily causes the player to be invisible - enemy creatures won't be able to see and attack the player.

Row #3: Divine Spells (Cleric)

Abilities that came from the power of a deity.


Heal yourself or a target character.


Create a protective ring around yourself or a target character.


Show the relative alignment of nearby characters.

Holy Bolt

Request a bolt of lightning to come down on a target character.


Bring a target person/creature back to life.

Row #4: Nature Spells (Druid)

Abilities that came from the Earth.


Cause a target plant to regrow.


Creates vines out of the ground to slow down all creatures within an area for a short period of time.

Flame Wall

Create a ring of fire that causes continuous damage to anyone within it for a short period of time.


Create a snow storm that both damages and slows down anyone within it for a short period of time.

Summon Golem

Create an Earth Golem that fights your enemies for a short period of time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Board Game: Slay the Oly Dragon Prototype

Progress on the RPG computer game is continuing steadily, but I want to finish up a couple things before my next posting. In the mean time, I'd like to introduce another project I have going on (that's actually in a playable state!).

Most RPG board games are very complex. Some have in depth stories that must be followed, others require dungeon masters that would otherwise be a player of the game, and if you haven't played recently then relearning the rules can take an hour. (One exception I'd like to point out is the Dungeons & Dragons "Dungeon!" game. Simple rules, easy to play, and even supports single player. Still too difficult for very young, but it's a solid game.)

I played many of these board games with my young son using VERY simplified rules, but even then those rules were quickly thrown out the window and the game lost all its structure. I wanted a game we could really play together. Giving up buying one, I developed my own with very young RPGers in mind but still interesting enough for those older playing with them.

The game was originally tested with my 3 year old, and to my wife and I's astonishment we all actually followed the rules and he loved playing it! And it had an educational aspect to it as well - attacks involve rolling 2 dice so my son had to add up his dice rolls. Sometimes that involved him counting the little black dots but occasionally he could answer by memory right away (learning by sheer repetition).

Some key aspects to making the game accessible by a younger audience:

  • Rules so simple they could be written on the game board itself - no separate instruction manual.
  • Just a few components: the board game, two standard 6-sided dice, two types of cards, and a handful of tokens to represent character positions.
  • I like the idea of branching paths, but from much playtesting we learned it does not work well with very young players - so there is a single path to follow.

We still play the prototype to make tweaks (it has quite a few more marks now than these photos below show), but we're in the process of making it a bit more "professional". There are board game manufacturers where you upload your drawings and they deliver you a high quality printed game. Our next step is beefing up the art-work and then getting it printed!

Prototype Game Board

Encounter Cards

Loot Cards

Saturday, September 29, 2018

RPG: Starting Island

This past month has been building up the content of the starting area. In addition to your small farm, there are several other farms and houses, a town, a dangerous forest area, and a cave.

The initial tutorial part to teach the player how to use tactics, pickup weapons, and attack is still in place. But now I have a populated island where you really start playing the game.

Time for screenshots...

What it looks like first leaving your house... (I'll cut down the player's visibility, but this vision is useful for debugging now.)

And the whole starting island...

There's actually a good amount of planning in this island layout. You start at the southwestern portion, and there is a path leading you into town. If you follow the path great, it's safe and you can explore & talk to villagers. If you don't follow the path and instead go north you'll come across a farmer that has red slimes invading his crops...

This is the first "quest"; he'll ask you to clear off the nasty slimes. The slimes can't move, so it's easy to flee / heal up to take them on one at a time. I don't have the farmer in yet, but I'll have him pay you for clearing his fields. I purposely have all fields that are fenced clear of slimes whereas the unprotected fields have the invaders.

Going east, the island pinches down to force you into the town. Town will have a shop (buy/sell items), inn (more quests), church (heal for free & learn a prayer based spell), and a port (to leave the island).

Beyond the town is the more dangerous portion - a forest full of rodents of unusual size. I suppose I could have fire spurting out of the ground, but that may be a bit too blatant ripoff.

At the far southeast of the island is a witch's hut to learn a new spell.

Finally there is a cave in the northeast portion of the island that has the most dangerous creatures.

Descending to the bottom of the cave will have a chest of coins; enough to afford a ship off the island.

Alternatively, you'll be able to sell the rodent hides for money to also eventually buy a ship; safer but it will take much longer. I like giving the player options on how they leave the island.

As I've said before, all graphics are temporary. There will also be much more to do on the starting island. It needs to be interesting enough to hook players to want to get a ship to explore the rest of the world.