[Spark] Spark RPG Open Beta

Hi all,

I have been working on my flagship game, Spark RPG, over the past 3-4 years and I am happy to announce I am releasing an open beta/ashcan today.

What is Spark?
Spark is a roleplaying, storytelling game. You play important characters in a fictional world. You cooperate to tell a story about heroic deeds and personal struggles. Explore the ideas that matter to you.
• Create fictional characters and portray them as they explore a rich setting.
• Collaborate with your friends to tell a dynamic story.
• Through fiction, explore the themes and issues that move you.

Challenge your Beliefs.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette is a tale of two youths torn between family loyalty and romantic love. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, focuses on the cost of vengeance. The Spark RPG is designed to help you tell those kinds of stories. It's about examining your character’s motivations, convictions, and perspectives.
You tell a story about a group of individuals with their own firmly held convictions. These characters struggle with each other and with the world to uphold their Beliefs.
The more you challenge your Beliefs, the more Fate supports your characters during play. By changing yourself, you can change the world.
It is a game about self-reflection and personal growth. A game that helps you explore real life issues and learn a little bit more about yourself.

For the Story Games Crowd

*This is an attempt to make a setting-agnostic game following story games principles.
*Paired with a setting-agnostic system, I also have a robust setting-creation component rife for lifting.
*I am proud of the Factions system which seems to represent the influences of macro-level organizations/societies/governments.
*The key design principle is maximal agency for all involved. You may not like the choices offered to you, but as a player you always have a choice.

I am looking for as much feedback as I can muster and I would love to hear your thoughts about the game!

Spark RPG Open Beta


  • edited June 2012
    Good pitch. Sounds like a mash up between Fiasco / Burning Wheel / Burning Empires. (Which is a good thing!) What makes your game different? What are you most proud of mechanically or narratively?
  • Add in a bit of Fate in the mix for added accuracy, since I also stole a few bits from there.

    What makes my game different? Fundamentally, it's a light-weight setting-agnostic game about challenging and examining your beliefs. The normal fiction is somewhat of a pretext, with the struggle of beliefs and perspectives as a strong subtext of gameplay.

    What am I proud of? That is a very good question which I find remarkably difficult to answer. I would probably have to say the Faction mechanic is unique and useful in play. It's effectively a player-driven group kicker generating system which is bound inexorably to the setting. My runner up mechanic would have to be the resolution system which forces people to make restrained choices during certain conflicts.

    I hope that those two mechanics survive the trial by fire, because I would rather not kill those particular darlings.
  • Just curious; are there any lurkers who downloaded the game because of this post? Are there any questions I can answer?

    I'm really bad when it comes to promoting my own works.
  • Download, but I'll read at lunch time since this weekend was action packed.
  • This is my last selfish plug. I think there is plenty of stuff in the beta for people to appropriate. Go forth and pilfer.
  • I'm starting to read through the PDF. Two immediate nitpicks:

    (1) It's spelled "Romeo And Juliet", not "Romeo And Juliette".
    (2) I find the line numbers in the margin really distracting — they seem to make it hard for my eye to jump to the start of the next line. I understand that they make it easier for us to post notes on the text, but maybe they could be in light gray, or a small font?

    Other than that, it looks pretty interesting...
  • Oy, yeah. The Juliette thing is really embarassing and I am fixing that now in my final version.

    I couldn't seem to find a way to alter the font of the line numbering. I know there must be an option, but it seems to evade me. Sorry about that!
  • Jason, I'm planning to at least read through Spark, it'll just be after some crazy work stuff resolves...

    I've downloaded it, expect thoughts and comments in the next few weeks.

    - Mendel
  • Thanks Mendel!
  • Heads up; The folks at The Walking Eye podcast are doing an actual play of Spark this summer and they have just posted the first episode.

  • And I now have Version 2 of the Open Beta online for your perusal.
  • And with that, I now have version 3.5 of the Open Beta. It's drastically improved now that I demolished the core system and rebuilt it from the ground up. I also explaned how the game has evolved over the past few months, in case anyone is curious.


    Link here!
  • This one sounds pretty cool, though it's hard for my group to do anything campaign style, since there are about 8 to 10 of us with various schedules, so we rarely have exactly the same people. But I'm about 10 pages in and still reading!
  • The game actually works quite well for short-run games or with missing players. If nothing else, setting creation is fun and only takes about 2-3 hours depending on your group.

    Thanks for reading!
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