Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mini-Games

So I'm the shiny new manager of EN World's fancy line of mini-games. Hope it works out. I loved mini-games when Polyhedron (and then Dungeon) published them and can only hope I can put out products of that level.

One of my criteria is going to be that mini-games ought to be nearly as much fun to read as they are to play. You should have a good time just reading the game itself, even if you never actually play a session of it. They ought to evoke a love and passion for the genre or setting or mood they're trying to evoke, and make you think, while you're reading them, how much fun it would be to play such a game.

There's some great projects in that pipeline and I'll be talking about them (hopefully) in the upcoming weeks. Right now I'm working on getting the first one written. It's called Gun-Fu and it's a game that lets folks have the kinds of adventures that characters have in movies like those of John Woo and Ringo Lam and Luc Besson and Robert Rodriquez, where all that really matters is having an automatic in each hand and being incredibly cool.

One of the key rules changes for Gun-Fu is the lack of hit points. See, with hit-point-based games, you're always worrying about, watching over and trying to manage your hit point total. Which is fine, but doesn't lead towards game play in the style of Chow Yun-Fat. So characters in Gun-Fu worry less about hit points, because they don't have any. Instead, they need to worry about maintaining their Panache, which are sort of like Action Points on steroids and let characters do cool stuff.

But the idea is that Panache serve another purpose -- because when you run out of Panache, you lose your cool. And that's bad, kids.

So Panache acts like a combination of hit points, Sanity and Action Points. Sort of. It need some serious playtesting, for sure.

Mini-Games. Gun-Fu. Whee!