Posts Tagged ‘by the stars’

from the Anthropological Survey: Cetus-Four: Unauthorized Colony head surveymanager: Wunfife Aye-fortree The surveyteam’s insertion went exactly according to protocol. While in transit to Cetus-Four, each team member engaged hyperlearning techniques to master the indigenous languages, as had previously been decoded by the surveyrobot stationed in orbit two years ago. The team prepared itself to endure […]


from the Miscellania Galactica, compiled by Gase Trimagus Based on this author’s decoded readings of the venerable Proceedings of the Eighth Stalwart Conclave, as well as other sources, both ancient and contemporary, the enigma that is the Stalwartian glaive shall now be made clear. It is well known to all learned persons that a Stalwart’s […]


From the Miscellania Galactica, compiled by Gase Trimagus Much has been written about the bond between a Stalwart and his glaive. Mystics and scientists, debunkers and demogouges on a hundreds of worlds have expended thousands upon millions of words probing the pressing questions: Why does an order devoted to inner peace arm itself with the […]


I find myself thinking about setting detail for By The Stars. Specifically, space travel. The biggest decision is: More authentic relativistic slower-than-light interstellar travel vs. more sci-fi faster-than-light travel. Maybe I should puzzle out some of the pros and cons. RELATIVISTIC INTERSTELLAR TRAVEL –Pros– It’s rooted in reality. c is the universal speed limit, as […]


There are some thoughts swirling aimlessly in my head about BTS that I haven’t been able to articulate for months now. This is my first attempt. They may very well be understandable to no one but me, but that’s what rough drafts are for. At least they’ll be down and out of my head! One […]


Over a year I’ve been struggling with this damn game. Mostly out here, in public, on my LJ. After GenCon ’06 I thought doing a weekly update would keep me on track and focused. Instead, it kept me feeling guilty and pressured into producing something, even if it wasn’t worth producing. Couple that pressure to […]


Things are changing faster than my pitiful blogging skills can keep up with. Here’s the quick and dirty summary. * Last Sunday we playtested the new turn structure. For the most part, it works well. It makes the game feel more of a table-top and less of a LARP. With just a few tweaks, I […]


Week 42. The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Ten weeks shy of a year. And I’ve barely touched the game in the last month. Game development tends to go in cycles for me: a few weeks or even months of intense activity, followed by a few weeks of doldrums. The latest doldrums have […]


It’s been a less than stellar week for By The Stars. Due to real life stesses on many people’s parts, there was no playtest this past weekend. Carl and Bill came over and we discussed a possible turn structure, why it might work, and how it might be set up. We’ll try again on June […]


Okay, time for a consolidation and restatement of my design goals for By The Stars: 1) A game that takes players from “I’ve never heard of this game, but I’ll play” to “That was great! It was my best game of the con” in 4 hours or less. 2) A game that drives and rewards players […]


What did I do for By The Stars in the last week? I playtested it with eight folks who had never heard of it before at Camp Nerdly in Triangle, Virginia. We had a wide gamut of experience with LARPs, gaming, and Star Wars. How did that go? Not as well as I was hoping, […]


Lot of prep to do for Camp Nerdly this weekend. And every minute I’m typing this us is a minute I ain’t prepping. I will, at some point, be making a version of By The Stars available as a collaborative Google Document. If you’d like to be able to comment on the document, I think […]


The “Myth of Planet Earth” playtest was extremely instructive. I took out the rules for being out-bid by your own Aspect tokens and the game ran way short and suffered for it. This is great! I now know that those particular rules are vitally important for both pacing and excitement. Perhaps the best part to […]


Here’s a confession for ya: When I’ve got a really tough problem, I talk to myself. So late last week I turned off the radio on my drive home and thought I’d talk about what wasn’t working in By The Stars. As last week’s entry indicated, I figured I would be discussing “Big Board” solutions […]


Due to the holiday and some particularly horrid days at work, there was not much concrete progress on BTS this week. However, I have been jotting notes on the game’s biggest single weakness: Lack of a cohesive, structured story with a sense of dramatic pacing. Many of my ideas currently revolve around a large central […]


This past Saturday, I went to Policon, a small, annual, private convention run by Don Corcoran. This year it was at Don’s home in Philly. Kat and I were only able to attend for one day, so I had planned to run With Great Power… and she had planned to run Serial. On Thursday, Don […]


Stefan, our intrepid pilot, posted a fantastic actual play report about our Sunday game. Thanks, Stefan!


We did it! We playtested By The Stars for the first time yesterday. My most heartfelt thanks to Kat, Bruce, Bill, Michele, Stefan, Don, and Jo for taking a chance, helping me out, and having a fun time in the process. Yes, that’s right. Not only did the playtest happen, and not only was it […]


My playtest is in six days and I’m not ready. It’s going to be extremely rough and my little panic-voice is screaming “Cancel the whole thing and take up something simple, like gardening or photography.” But I shall persevere. No matter how rough the game is this Sunday, WE WILL PLAYTEST. One of the bits […]


It’s Monday morning and I should be recovering from a too-full day of too-much gaming fun at NYC’s RECESS yesterday. Instead, I’m recovering from a nasty stomach flu that filched most of my weekend from me. I’m frustrated for not being able to go to RECESS, confer w/ the NYC nerds, actually play some games. […]