[Show Me The Game You Want] What Did We Show?



  • Posted By: JaroslavAlso, when a city or other kind of setting is really important in a novel or movie, people often say that it was as if the city (or the mountain, or the space station, or whatever) WAS as character. I'm pretty new to indie games, so there may be great examples of this that already exist (in fact, I'm almost sure there are), but it seems to me that if you want, for instance, a city that is so cool and interesting that it pervades the game at every turn, there should be some kind of mechanic to encourage this, and the city needs some kind of traits and statistics that describe the mechanical effect of living there. Otherwise, the really awesome setting you pick fades to the background.
    I like this a lot. Just sayin' :)
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanHuh. Do you have the same feeling about art in game books?
    Good question. Partly, in a game book I'm already kind of bought in to the character types. If I'm reading Mountain Witch with an eye toward playing it, a picture of a samurai looking fretful is helpful and evocative, because I'm thinking about that kind of character.

    But mostly, yes. Landscape pictures get my creative energy going more than characters. D&D books, for example, often have great art. But I'll pass over ten awesome, weirdly-dressed warriors and focus on the picture of a ruined castle or a planar city.
    Posted By: ColinCI like this a lot. Just sayin'
    Me too. New thread!

    Also, hi John! We gotta get our Burning City game going again, but in that city where Chinese temples are sitting up on giant spires (from the picture thread). The Black Hand will have NOWHERE TO HIDE.
  • RyRy
    edited October 2009
    willem's one made me think "Burning Wagon, Luke Crane's answer to Dogs in the Vineyard."

    nemomeme's airships are gorgeous, I felt the same way about Johnstone's sea.

    ColinC's buddha maze and Jared's temple made me look for a long time although I feel like I don't "get it."
  • With my 3 pics, I was showing that I want to make a licensed RPG based on a European comic called Ythaq. Why? Fantasy meets magic, sexy ladies and talking walruses. Yay!
  • edited October 2009
    What did I like?
    The one that is sort of a Techno Adam and Eve.
    When I first saw it, I didn't notice the Adam and Eve imagery, I saw the techno god and I immediately started thinking of ways to make it a playable game. Super mechs? The end game of White Wolf's Scion or Exalted? Fantasy Religion?

    I only noticed the Adam and Eve imagery after this thread started.
    Dave M
  • Posted By: JaroslavI can't figure out how you would play aMy Dinner With Andregame.
    I guess I'll take that as a compliment. I guess I see the movie as two men who you would think might have a similar approach to art and life staking out some very different positions where they challenge each other as to what they believe and how they should live and produce art. So it's not so much that I want to play a game where you roll up a Wallace Shawn character--actually, maybe I do, but that wasn't what I was getting at. I'd like to play something that involves telling stories about art and life. My other hotos were meant to evoke a milieu of anarchic creativity--Zurich Dada and American hardcore punk. I don't know how you'd play those games either, but a game that could transport me to those times and places and make me feel like I was participating in a small fragment of the "scene" would be a game I'd very much like to play.
  • I just posted some random images I had at hand that I would like to use in a game at some point.

    The temples on spires sticking out of the sea is Guild Wars concept art. Just google that up and you'll see all sorts of amazing settings. I don't even think that's the best one, I just picked one at random kinda.

    I thought there was plenty of cool art in that thread, and a lot of it was absolutely not typical rpg art, even if there was a fair share of locations and badass posing.
  • I was the very first image. I posted it for a very specific game I'm working on, called Scissors (hence the pair of bloody scissors).

    It's a game where you're given the power to control fate, but you're simultaneously tied into your own fate...
  • I think gaming and game design have a lot to do with yearning: places we year to visit, explore, and inhabit; people we yearn to be, meet, and possibly have sex with. I see a lot of images like that in the thread. This matches my own creative experience. I'm inspired by a desire to explore.

    Some of the pictures don't seem to fit this model. I see pictures that juxtapose images that are strongly evocative (like the scissors and blood). I'm curious about these images and why they were chosen. What about these images inspires you?

    I keep an inspiration file of images that spark my imagination. The pictures I added are all recent additions to my inspiration file and are connected with concepts I've been working on lately. I've been reading a lot about planetary exploration, and I've long wanted to write a game that approaches it in a somewhat hard science way. The Weimar Constitution picture (from the Anchor atlas of world history) is there because I'm also very interested in how political institutions break down into tyranny. A game whose board was a diagram of the Weimar constitution, the Roman Republic, or the US political system would be pretty damn rad.
  • Posted By: bevedogSo it's not so much that I want to play a game where you roll up a Wallace Shawn character ...
  • Posted By: ElizabethPssh. Does that look like a kid's game or Zorceror of Zo to you? No. I am talking grown-up Dorothy with ruby-red stilettos and a rottweiler named Toto, a scarecrow that would make you wet your pants, a soulless robot, and an honest-to-god Lion, not a goofy dude in a lion suit.
    For what it's worth, you've inspired me, Elizabeth.
  • Ryan asked me (in whisper) if the "Map of Humanity" image counted as "places to explore", and I thought the question was so interesting I'd go public with it, as it were.

    For me, the Map of Humanity is absolutely a place to explore. In the game inspired by this map, if you want to explore hate, you walk there. If you want to investigate isolation, you'll have to charter a boat because there's not regular service. That's interesting.

    An infographic might also be a place to explore, even if it's not a picture of a place. That's why I put in the diagram of the Wiemar Constitution. Just because the map isn't of a physical place doesn't mean there's nothing to explore in it.

    In Trollbabe, you explicitly decide where on the map your character stars. Imaging playing Trollbabe with the Map of Humanity, or with a relationship map of the characters in a soap opera, or in this map of related TV shows, and so on.
  • I saw a huge variety of ideas. Also I saw how bad an image can be. Sometimes they are not worth 1,000 words without any words to give you a starting place. I had no idea the woman on the bicycle was supposed to be a new Wizard of Oz, for example. I figured it would be something cool, but on its own it looked boring. There were many like that, they looked like they could be cool if I had any idea what they were about. Then there were others (like the sci-fi looking Angel over the Garden of Eden) that looked awesome and striking enough on their own.

    We also saw how bad Google Image search can be. I think many searched like me, searching based on the game concept they had in mind and then picked the best image they could find. I hated the images I found, but it was all I could find that were remotely close.
  • Given that I keep resurrecting the companion thread to this whenever I run across a image that makes me think, "Hey, that's food for a game right there." I put two such images in other discussions over the last couple of days, but I still managed to drop a new image into the bucket this morning.

    I'll go through mine from most recent to oldest:

    The latest one got me thinking about a Sin City type of game, perhaps using Jared Sorensen's Sex & Violence, but with vivid exploration of the sex and the violence. The colors really jump out at you in this one, and that speaks to me of more intensity.

    I Borrowed an image from Bakshi and Frazetta's Fire & Ice because I have yet to play a fantasy game that's been able to capture the brutality and sensuality of Frazetta's work. Like many of you, I see Frazetta when I think of Conan, and that mode of storytelling has gotten short shrift in the fantasy gaming I've done.

    Of all the places to find evocative art, I got one from Mafia Wars. The image is attached to their Moscow expansion — which I haven't reached yet, despite much clicking — but I suppose it could be taking place anywhere fancy cars and back-street deals intersect. As above, my interest in crime storytelling is shown.

    The best thing about the new Turok was the way it juxtaposed Aliens-style space marines with dinosaurs. And, really, who wouldn't want to roleplay a desperate fight for survival on a planet overrun with prehistoric, predatory animals?

    Lastly there's my image of a woman with two wakizashi. Something about this says ninja to me, specifically of the Eric Van Lustbader variety. I played a ninja way back when in high school and enjoyed myself thoroughly. How much more would I enjoy it as an adult? I'd like to find out.
  • edited March 2010
    For what it is worth, here is why I posted mine:

    Freedom by Thamer Al-Tassan
    Broken eggshell with days counted on the inside

    Though probably not the artist's intention, the vibe I get from this is a certain kind of evil. The implication is a creature that, despite still developing, is fully sentient, and just biding its time. Lurking for the time when it is unleashed. Plotting. And it might just be one of hundreds of eggs, each with their own agenda. The game would be called something like Embryo or Gestation, and it's all about the buildup to a single action, with the climax when you hatch and the actions all happen.

    thor... cow by Stjepan Sejic
    Marvel's version of Thor, as a cow

    A number of thoughts collide here in ways I haven't fully sorted out (that's why I want you to make the game, not me). Part of it is the whole "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor" notion, and the idea of a cow being that worthy. Another part is some kind of "sacred cow" idea. Also shades of "thunder cow" and "drop a cow on them". I dunno. Lots going on. There's fun in there someplace.

    Cthulhu's Approval by hwango
    Cthulhu, giving the thumbs up

    Something about the "Buddy Christ" version of Cthulhu always appealed to me. I suppose its been done, but it seems like there is a sit-com game in there somewhere (with a trait called Exasperation, or something like that). Or maybe this drawing is really a mind flayer, which changes its tone quite a bit. A "hijinks and brain sucking" game would be interesting for a session or two.

    Trust the Professional by Sakura6
    Lips with a Red Cross logo painted on

    Like the Thor picture, this one pulls my thoughts in several directions at once (which is probably why I like it). While there is some "healing kiss" stuff going on, the image conjures up a bunch of other stuff. There is some kind of vampiric twist or inversion to it. There is a sort of joylessness about the actual lips, maybe a sense of duty as well. Being a closeup of fairly sultry lips, there is some Freudian stuff there as well. I confess I don't have a great game idea in mind, just a notion that whatever it might inspire someone to make would be a game I would want to play.

    My Red Tie by Daniel Conway
    Post-apocalyptic tie straightening

    The only forces powerful enough to survive the apocalypse are not governments, or motorcycle gangs, or Tina Turner and a midget. They are corporations. Even after the Fall (especially after the Fall) the wageslaves need to get to work on time, in their corporate power ties and gas masks. Maybe the players compete for empty status (a la American Psycho) in a world that really is bankrupt. Maybe it's just about getting to work through the endless hordes of mohawked mooks.

    Flatland by A. Square
    Cover of the book

    A world of a rigid caste system (status based on number of sides), linear assassin babes (women are lines, so are lethal and hard to detect unless they conform to social norms), visitation from other dimensions, serfs that naturally evolve out of serfdom (isosceles triangles becoming equilateral), generational tension (male children have more sides than their fathers, which, if you think about it, means that the society is basically unstable).

    He is Thundarr the Barbarian by Allan Otero
    Cast of the the cartoon, in a more realistic style

    Sue me. I loved this show.
  • I wrote Under the Bed in part because I wanted to do an Oz game, then it accrued some different ideas.

    In any event, I here repost my images, since now the story can be told:


    I think that we have no idea how many human cultures have come and gone in the Paleolithic and even Neolithic periods. That gives us opportunities to make some up. Jonathan Walton recommended a book called After the Ice that I started as part of a project that I'll get back to some day, and it's full of goodness about that. What's interesting to me is that every culture would have been operating in near isolation from other cultures. That means that they all had nearly unique ways of interacting person-to-person. I'd really love to use that to explore different types of morality. And Mammoths are some of the most incredible creatures in history, so I'd like to have a game with them.

    Vivian Girls

    The Vivian Girls are the obsessive work of Henry Darger, who literally filled his apartment with filing cabinets to contain the thousands upon thousands of pages that he created. The combination of obsession and relatively coherent fiction (as far as we can tell — there's no compendious publication of the work) in this realm of fantasy is a powerful, personal exploration of ... something. I'd like a game that both represented the personal weirdness of the creator of a world and the world itself. I'm a big fan of Imajica, but the Vivian Girls was not made for publication, and so is directed wholly by the intentions of its creator.

    Altered States

    I was looking for a good image from Altered States that didn't have any words and couldn't find any. This one was at least in Japanese. John Lilly is a really interesting guy. He's the fellow who first posited that dolphins have human-like intelligence, and this movie is based on actual experiments he did (though his results were less cinematic). We have lots of games where you explore stuff and places. Exploration of the mind and ourselves is less common. This could be played with Shock: but I think it wouldn't work spectacularly well.

    On the other hand, my first image:

    ... is simply my favorite image on the entire Internet. It might make for a good boardgame, though. A bunch of animals riding other animals on an offroad course seems like a good time laughing.

  • Joshua, After the Ice looks very cool. Thanks for pointing me toward it. If you're really interested in the subject, I would also steer you toward the book, Limited Wants, Unlimited Means. I love humanity's hunter-gatherer past and always wanted to use something like GURPS Ice Age to do a campaign. I just never had players who interested enough to make it happen.
  • edited March 2010

    That's because you're using GURPS Ice Age. Like GURPS Aztec, it takes something totally fascinating, shows you all the stuff that's there, and doesn't show you how to do anything.

    That book looks really interesting! When I get back around to Rock: I'll check it out!

  • Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanI think that we have no idea how many human cultures have come and gone in the Paleolithic and even Neolithic periods
    If you ever get a chance, visit Knossos. You'll hear a lot about the Minoan culture. If you're lucky, you'll also learn that almost all of what you hear is entirely made up. You'll see famous frescoes, but when you look closely, you'll see that only a few square inches are original, and the rest is artist "extrapolation". Once that happens, you'll see that with just a little bit more decay, what was the "Minoan culture" would have been wiped clean from the face of the Earth. And this was a culture that was around as recently as 1450 BC.
  • Because I apparently can't stop adding images to the thread, I posted another one today, this time an image from the Gold Eagle series, Rogue Angel.

    You don't really get it from the image itself (though it's a nice one), but the series is kind of a mixture between Witchblade and Lara Croft, with all the Indiana Jones-ish hijinx and supernatural weirdness one might expect from that.
  • OK, here's what I posted:

    Kids playing in the ruins of a civilized planet by MeganeRid

    This whole scenario is instantly fascinating to me...what happens when an advanced civilization collapses? How do people survive? Is it a better life, maybe? The kids look happy enough that maybe there's hope.

    Ancient British Warriorsfrom Warlord Games

    I love ancient Celtic cultures. This image struck me (naturally, coming from a wargame) as a distinctly martial take on ancient Celts' struggle against outside forces. WHich is great for a wargame, but could also be a pretty fun, balls-out approach for a storygame.

    Medieval Japanese Police facing down a monster

    This just screams Feudal Japan B.P.R.D. to me, and could be totally fun with any number of approaches (InSpectres Style, Cold City Style, or something else). And it's an artifact of a very real strand of folktale in that time and culture, which would be really great for someone knowledgeable to tackle.
  • And my second post:

    Fairy Feast and Frogs in the Beer, both from Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan by Reinder Dijkhuis

    I love RoC-R, but I actually wasn't thinking of a game covering all of the Rogues story or "universe"--just the Fairy Realm as depicted in certain story arcs, and focusing on living life with magical hijinks. There's fun family relationships and friendships (there's a half-Fae with a human husband and a daughter, and some other human guests, all shrunk to Fairy-size), and a great body-positive theme running throughout, with clothing OK but completely optional. Most Fairies go naked, and the humans either go native, stay clothed, or switch back and forth depending on mood. And the natural surroundings are wild and wonderful, and life proceeds at a leisurely pace. If I could go to this Realm with my family and raise my daughter there, I so would.

    I thought it would be great to have a story game that eschewed conflictCONFLICTCONFLICT and dealt with more day to day (magical) life circumstances, with a side of non-sexualized nudity.
  • edited March 2010
    Posted By: WordmanPosted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanI think that we have no idea how many human cultures have come and gone in the Paleolithic and even Neolithic periods
    If you ever get a chance, visitKnossos. You'll hear a lot about the Minoan culture. If you're lucky, you'll also learn that almost all of what you hear is entirely made up. You'll see famous frescoes, but when you look closely, you'll see that only afew square inches are original, and the rest is artist "extrapolation". Once that happens, you'll see that with just a little bit more decay, what was the "Minoan culture" would have been wiped clean from the face of the Earth. And this was a culture that was around as recently as 1450 BC.

    Totally. That whole northeastern Mediterranean area is really well-studied, too, because of our cultural origin myths relating to the area. But, it should be noted, the environment of the Maghreb just doesn't preserve objects as well. Who knows what's come and gone there, and it's just as much a connection to the rest of the world.
  • My images :

    Maakies by Tony Millionaire : a drinking crow and a drunken monkey pirate live strange adventures. I really like the graphics, stories and poetry that comes from these amazing strips. I just don't know how to make it into a game... yet.

    Soviet propaganda poster : my mother is from russia and I grew up with this strange fascination-hate relationship to communist era russia. There's material for a game there, I just don't know which one yet. I ran a game of Dread FbP set in Leningrad in the 80s, it was close to what I had in mind.

    The Monkey King because I want a light hearted take on chinese/oriental adventures. I'm finishing this one as we speak.

    A mash-up of Babe and Metropolis. It could have been Dr Moreau and Blade Runner or a cross between Animal Farm and 1984. This game already exists, it's Justifiers but it would really benefit from a new edition (that AFAIK Jason Blair let die).

    Wallace and Gromit in Space : really, I don't know why I picked this one, sorry.
  • Posted By: KobayashiTheMonkey Kingbecause I want a light hearted take on chinese/oriental adventures. I'm finishing this one as we speak.
    Cool. Be sure to share the details when you've run it or whenever. I came up with a vague outline for a Monkey King-driven d20 campaign ages ago, but nothing came of it. It's be nice to see what someone else does with the same central character.
  • I am playing around a lot with concept art for the moment. Massive Black being the inspiration.
    And this is very much how I build my games, though from mental images rather than actual images.
    But after having played around with ideas inspired by the Afro samurai universe I created a series of images of badass cybersamurais just to create character concepts for this game universe I was thinking about.

    So when I see this list of images, whether they are badass posturing characters, battlescenes or just landscapes it is all about conveying concepts. Starting ideas. I can see several of these images getting my juices flowing. And by combining a collection of images I can then develop a visual cue to what I want my game to be about. Just like I enjoy watching movie trailers for just the same purpose.
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