I’m happy to report that the newest iteration of the playtest doc is now available. It uses the same basic gameplay, but I really streamlined the mechanics while simultaneously adding in some new elements to add to the flavor and strategy. I’m confident that, while it will undoubtedly need some tweaking, the final version of the game will look something pretty close to it. I already sent out the playtest doc to current playtesters. If you are not on the list or haven’t received it, drop me a line at my work e-mail jdj[at]floridacollections[dt]com, and use the subject line “Tokyo Rain”.
For Inside Out that is. June 29th. Coincidence that it’s right around my birthday? I like to think not. Thank you for the early birthday present, Barry.
Barry’s latest thriller stars Ben Treven, who manages to get himself embroiled in a tangled web of intrigue concerning 92 missing torture tapes and an effort to blackmail the U.S. government. But, if you’ve been paying attention, you might recall some strong hints from Barry that a certain half-American, half-Japanese assassin, who specializes in death by natural causes, will be making some sort of cameo in the book. What’s more, there is a chance Treven and Rain could end up crossing paths more explicitly in Barry’s next book.
Apropos of Tokyo Rain, that gives me a good target date to release the game, which I always intended to release in conjunction with the next Rain novel. So you can expect Tokyo Rain to drop somewhere around then too. I’ll give a formal publication date as things get firmed up on my side.
I just got a playtest report back that knocked my socks off — really, just a designer’s dream. It was incredibly detailed about what they did, what results they got, what they liked, what they didn’t like, etc. And, as an ideal playtest report should, it both largely reaffirms the general structure of the game and pointed out some rough areas that can now be easily polished up.
But the coolest part for me was the color. They ran two sessions. One was an Asian-themed standoff between an operator and his onetime best friend and training partner. The other: Deadpool vs. Black Tom Cassidy. I’ve always thought the system would translate very well to some other genres, and I’m happy to see that in practice. But mostly … Dude! It’s Deadpool vs. Black Tom Cassidy!
At his message boards, Barry just posted a great little dissertation on How To Give a Great Talk.
I’ve done a lot of public speaking myself (between competitive debate and my legal career), and I can tell you that there is a lot of gold in there. But more than just some advice on public speaking, there are some nuggets that apply equally well to smaller settings … say … role-playing games. In fact, Barry is rather overt about it: “Your talk is a story.”
So go have a read.
After overcoming a sizeable designer’s block and undertaking a little playtesting of my own, version 2.0 of the Playtest Doc has gone out to the ever-increasing playtest group. The mechanics are fast approaching a final framework, from which there will undoubtedly be much tweaking but hopefully little major revision. In short, I’m close.
If you are interested in playtesting, please read my playtesting page for info.
In case you missed it, Fault Line is Barry’s new, non-Rain thriller. I’m about halfway through myself, but it looks like it will make good fodder for Tokyo Rain.
Bonus for Barry, the blogosphere has caught on to the book, which can only be good for exposure and sales.
Finally, for the Rainophiles, there are a couple of subtle “cameos” by everyone’s favorite assassin. Not to give anything away, but one of Rain’s prior “assignments” gets a nifty mention.
Playtesting continues apace. V2.0 should be out to playtesters by next week.
So the Kindle 2 has just been revealed by Amazon, and it looks pretty spiffy. I was very close to getting v1.0, but I knew I’d like the second generation if I could just hold out. I just put in my pre-order. Not coincidentally, John Siracusa has a fascinating article about the state of the e-book that’s worth a read.
On a Tokyo Rain related note, this is my commitment–assuming it is both technically viable and permitted under my licensing agreement–to release an e-reader friendly version of the final text.
So, are there any e-book afficionados out there? What are your e-book experiences?
If money is no object…
As of right now, I recommend 20-30 dice total for a game of Tokyo Rain. At 3.5 euros per die, that comes to … 70-105 euros. Ack! Hmmm … maybe just one or two for Friction rolls.
Q-Workshop make some great dice. I’m particularly fond of the Call of Cthulhu dice that I use for my warlock in my D&D game. So what are your favorite dice?
I finished opening all of the presents of the holiday season and found just one more waiting for me when I got back from my vacation:
(The site’s in Japanese, but the trailer loads automatically when you go to the web page.)
Thank goodness for the Finns. One of the cool things about the playtest group I’ve assembled so far for Tokyo Rain is that it is comprised of players from around the globe. I’ve got playtesters from Italy, Autralia, Brazil, Tokyo (natch!), and many others. And I’ve got Finns.
Most people don’t know this, but Finland has an amazingly robust role-playing game scene. In fact, you can get a national grant to design role-playing games. So it will come as no surprise that the Finnish group of Petri Leinonen, Mikko Merilainen, and Petteri Autero just dropped some amazing playtest notes on me.
Much of what they had to say will find its way in the next version of the Playtest Doc (which should be available right after the holidays). They also had this reassuring comment: “The game was great fun to play and ponder about. It was different from typical games in so many ways that it was really refreshing.”