May 19, 2010

My antiquated RPG is now retro

As early as jr. high school I was trying to design my own RPG. One of the brilliant things about D&D was the way it inspired many to become game designers in an attempt to tinker, "fix" or improve on the original. Not long ago I uncovered a box in our garage that stored those booklets I had made way back then. It brought back a flood of memories, I could see in them the earliest seeds that would one day become Dungeoneer, my first published game.

While attending college I worked at a print & copy shop where I had access to desktop publishing equipment, and in my spare time I retyped and laid out my first RPG into a larger format. One of the challenges to finishing this RPG is that I've always been as interested in the art as in the words. Since I have a little skill as an illustrator I tended to spend as much time, or more, making illustrations as in playtesting and writing. So the going was always slow, and I never managed to quite complete the RPG. To this day I'm still working on it!

I have long since lost the data for that edition of the RPG, and I only had one printed test copy. I recently took the copy apart and scanned it in so I could have a digital version for safekeeping. Here is a page from the monster section:

In the late 90's this design was becoming very dated, and I lost interest in finishing the RPG. Instead becoming excited about making a card game version. But here we are 14 years later, and contrary to being antiquated, the design is actually quite retro!