Horror Marathon Day 7: The Blair Witch Project

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I haven’t seen this film in about 8 years and I thought it would be a good to re-visit.  I still consider this a horror classic and generally this film is a polarizing film.  You love it or hate it.  Here’s why I think you should see it and what makes it a classic.

When this came out in 1999 I was in college, the marketing and buzz about this film was some of the first of it’s kinda.  Prior to the release they produced a make-documentary of the Blair Witch on TV, which added fuel to the fire of, is this real or not.  Imagine going to a movie where a good percentage actually thinks this is REAL.  That is insane. You just couldn’t do that now-a-days.  They were one of the first films to have a website, full of interviews, info, fake docu-stuff all to keep this mythos going, it was brilliant.

Found footage.  I love them, but I understand of the shaky cam bugs you then this it’s your bag.  This was one of the first found footage films.  It is still VERY effective.  Generally it all makes sense, who has the camera and why, and to me it’s scary.  Part of my reasoning is that I go camping alot to I know that feeling of being alone in the tent, hearing things outside and not wanting to go outside to investigate, all of that, I have personal experience with, so I get that terror.

I think the acting is actually good.  I’m not sure how much script there was, but I felt the dialog and characters were genuine, a real feat in a horror film.  Everyone acts rationally and yeah you kind of hate the girl, and I love Mike, some of his outbursts, it feels real, that totally sells the film again with this realism aspect they are going for.

Don’t see much.  You don’t see the badie really, you don’t have a lot of gore, you don’t need any of that.  It’s all in what you THINK you see and what you hope isn’t there.  Best horror films keep you guessing.

Ok, Blair Witch Project is a very good horror film.  If you haven’t seen it, go see it now.  If you have, and it’s been awhile, it’s a good one to re-visit.

4 skulls

Andres

Horror Marathon Day 6: The Exorcist.

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I haven’t seen this in probably over 8 years, so it was good to see it again.  I have to say the cinematography in this is top freaking notch, I love the angles and lighting in this, it’s extremely effective.

We don’t talk much about the beginning, and it didn’t recall how long that part is in Africa.  This first section is classic, critical and brilliant, it sets everything up and William Friedkin is a genius.

This is one of those movies that was so powerful (like Jaws) it created serious phobias and future claims of exorcism and supernatural shortly after it came out.  So it’s an important film from that time period and definitely left a stamp on our social sub-conscience.

This is a great film.   So much has been said about it, and it’s in so many people’s top horror films, there’s a reason why.   So much to work with, these characters are engaging and you want to be with them more, except maybe Regan while possessed.  You have to remember that this film came decades ago, and so many other films and directors have been inspired from it, if you haven’t seen it you really need to as a horror fan.

Now for the ending discussion.  I saw some confusion about that online.  Father Karras is definitely a hero in this film.  He is a savior that sacrifices himself for the girl, the demon does not win in the film, good triumphs.

Now I want to go see The French Connection.

Andres Salazar writes a horror graphic novel called Pariah Missouri, you can learn more at www.pariahmissouri.com

Horror Marathon Day 5: Sharknado

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Why do I do this to myself?  I don’t even know where to start with this one.  It’s definitely a 80s B with a capital B movie.

It starts off like a bad surf movie with bad acting, direction and photography.  The real magic here is the editing, he deserves a medal for combining 5 different films into this monstrosity.  There are shots that appear from a different film, it’s sunny (shot at Leo Carrillo) then other cloudy random shots of surfers, then crowd scenes that are at a different beach and time of day, and random inserts of real sharks from some documentary.  Movies do this all the time, but man it looks crazy because it’s so obvious.  I think this is a film you watch drunk with friends and laugh at it.

You know how this would be better?  If they used all physical special effects and animatronics.  You get 50 Bruce’s (Bruce is the nickname for the Jaws animatronic) and that I would see.  The digital effects are so bad, it’s really distracting, but then again, the point of a B movie is to make it cheap, so you get what you pay for.

Here’s the deal.  It is a film.  Many people worked hard on it and it took many hours to make.  People got paid.  I can’t hate on any of that, but I’d like to think of this more as a student film, and thinking of if from that perspective it’s fine for what it is.

Also, what’ with the color timing on this thing?  It has a constant blue filter that is annoying.

Ian Zering and Tara Reid do their best, but this is all about Sharks in a freaking tornado, so that’s what we come to see and we get that much at least.  My main gripe is that I wish the effects were better, then I could at least enjoy that.

There is a ending, crazy action thing that happens with a chainsaw that was too much for me, at least they single-handedly saved the fake blood industry for 2013.  I just looked at the rotten tomatoes score…. 82%.  I am officially depressed.

Ok that’s it, I’m finding some good horror movies to watch for the rest of this month!

 

Horror Marathon Day 4: Theater of Blood

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Today we will be talking about 1973’s Theater of Blood.  Vincent Price, one of horror’s greatest actors is the main character in this film, and it is completely all Vincent Price.  It’s very 70s, with the music and staging, I feel that today’s audience would definitely consider this a campy-horror film, which I’m not sure that it was considered campy at the time.  It plays a little comedic, not as dark as the Hammer films that Vincent would star in and that’s not a negative, just a different flavor of horror.

I think there are some good moments in it, it’s not the gasping, dark, evil horror that we are used to, it’s really a look into how the authorities catch Mr. Price, who we know right in the beginning is the Shakespearean-aficionado killer.

I like the idea of a killer who disguises himself as a theatrical actor, and Vincent definitely hams it up and delivers.  It’s hard to say that it’s too hammy of a performance, because the part he’s playing is of a hammy-actor, so maybe it’s just perfect.  I love that he has this crew of killer-thespians too, I’d love to see them in a “dress rehearsal” planning out the murder and what costumes, blocking and lines to give the next intended victim.

As a guy who fenced in high school and college a little, it was great to see a fencing scene!  Can’t beat that.

I also love the concept of a guy hell-bent on making the critics who give him bad reviews pay with their lives!  This is screaming for a re-make but with a completely different tone, go full-dark and straight with this and it would be a hit.

If you want to see what V. Price was all about, watch this one.

Andres Salazar writes a horror graphic novel called Pariah Missouri, you can learn more at www.pariahmissouri.com

Horror Marathon Day 3: Day of the Dead

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Not everything this month will be new, I gotta go back to some of the classics, and tonight it was Day Of the Dead.  While not as beloved as Dawn of the Dead, no mall scene here folks, but I think there’s more commentary and interesting ideas here than his other films.  I am going to attempt to only review 1 zombie movie this year, and this is it.  I might break my rule, but I’m making it because I’m a little over o the zombie genre, even with the ideas of making the zombies a comedy, romantic, and all that other hog-wash.  There is only one way to make a zombie film for the zombie purist and that’s the Romero Way.

The special effects and make-up STILL look great!  Can you believe it?  I’m watching this on Hulu, and I’d love to see how a blu-ray version looks.

We delve more into this idea of memories and domesticating the zombies.  Bub is our first zombie hero, and Romero even gets the audience to sympathize with the undead.  There’s been tons of writing about what the film is saying and I won’t go into all that here, the social commentary is pretty close to the surface.

We also have some interesting, all be it 2-dimensional characters in this film.  The bad guys (ie military) are bad, but they kinda have a point, and the scientist is definitely deranged.  I can see the Walking Dead coming from this world, where the zombies are just a part of the world, like the sun and moon, the seasons, but the threat and conflict is mankind.  That’s what we have here in this film.  We have some characters trapped in a confined space, with a timer that will go off, the bomb being the zombies getting loose.

If you haven’t seen it, go do so, it’s one of the best zombie or horror films out there.  It’s classic, the make-up is still amazing and some great moments.

5 skulls.

Andres Salazar writes a horror graphic novel called Pariah Missouri, you can learn more at www.pariahmissouri.com

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Horror Marathon Day 2: Knock, Knock

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Knock, Knock

Consider this a public service I give to the community that I have seen Knock, Knock so that you don’t have to.  When I do this 31 horror movies in Oct, I try to stay pure and not learn too much about the film.  I knew that Keanu was in it and Eli Roth was directing, that’s about it.  I barely made it through the movie and really wanted to stop it many times, but I didn’t want to have to re-start a new movie, so I just went to the end, and man was it a struggle.

If you want to see a man get raped, and tortured for over an hour to two beautiful yet it every way despicable women then go for it, but just remember, I did this so you don’t have to.

There was a MUCH better version of this story called Funny Games, which I think is brilliant and horrifying.  This just isn’t that.  If it was a 20 min short, maybe it would be interesting, but man does it go on and on.

I should have known with Eli Roth at the helm.  I just can’t get into his films, he has a taste and interest in horror that is a different spectrum than myself, and he knows how to make films, I just don’t like the stories he tells.  This is one of those well made movies that shouldn’t have left development, but I imagine the cost was low and so what the heck, right?

I just can’t figure out why someone would want to watch a movie about 2 evil bitches.  Even Jason Voorhees has some redeemable qualities (go to my Friday 13th post about those).

I’m also offended by this movie one two more points:

1. How dare you Eli use the Pixies in the soundtrack for this movie?  A crappy movie like this should not get the rights to use the Pixies.

  1. Eli is missing a BIG element to the horror genre, we need to get satisfaction!  I’m not saying that the good guy must win, but dude, we can’t watch for 90 minutes our protagonist get abused and then the evil bitches ride off into the sunset without a scrape, that’s just not the way it’s done.

There you go.  I’ve spent enough time on it.  Knock, Knock.  Save yourself and don’t open the door.
Andres Salazar writes a horror graphic novel called Pariah Missouri, you can learn more at www.pariahmissouri.com

October Horror Marathon – Day 1 The Witch

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Ok, boys and girls, it’s that time of year again. and we are starting this off, with a good horror film.   I’ve been doing this for 4 years now, everyday in the month of October I watch and review a horror movie.  Most of these are older films or things that you can find online.

Day one…. The WITCH

I knew nothing of the movie, and super glad that was the case.  I went in, watched it on AMAZON PRIME and start to finish this is a good horror movie.  I love period stuff and things that have actors caked in layers of fake dirt, so in the first couple of minutes I was in.  Then the language came in, I love Old English and antiquities languages, if I learn take a class in Latin I would, so I really enjoyed that part of it too.  No hollywood-ization here, it’s raw, it’s accurate and feels authentic.

As for the plot itself, I was intrigued, we knew that there really was a witch, but we were kept guessing if someone in the family was working with her.  Loved that.  Also some great imagery and horror elements that we haven’t seen much of and THAT is hard to do.  I always like it when we are surprised by something.  (That crow part with the mom was great.)

Acting was top notch, and that blonde girl, the lead was perfect.  I dug it.  Totally recommend and say, go see this!  One of the best in the last couple of years.  No joke.
Andres Salazar writes a horror graphic novel called Pariah Missouri, you can learn more at www.pariahmissouri.com

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T.I.M.E Stories : Pariah Missouri (FINAL version) free to all backers!

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So you wanna play-test Pariah, Missouri?

Great.

A couple of things first.

  1.  I am running a Kickstarter for the Graphic Novel of Pariah Missouri, a weird-western Occult story set in Huckleberry Finn time.  All Backers will get a PDF of these cards to print at home and play, you will need to print out, put them in a stack and run through the game.  You can be a backer for as little as $1.00
  2.  It took me about 80 hours to do this, NOT including all the art, which came from my comic book series, which I don’t even want to speculate on how long that took us.  So, a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears went into making this.   www.pariahmissouri.com
  3. This is the FINAL version, I already did a LARGE playtesting and this is it, it’s been corrected and streamlined.  
  4. You don’t need to know the comics to play the game.  But I will plug the book and say it’s very well done, and if you like good stories, you might enjoy it.

On the kickstarter page you can also download for FREE preview pages of all the books, 1,2 and 3.  Please take a look and see what we are doing there!

T.I.M.E.Stories is a board game published by the French Space Cowboys which I have fallen in love with recently.  As a big-time Role-player I found the board game a brilliant way to tell story, and for me, that is always paramount.  It’s Quantum Leap, going back in time and finding the cause of a ‘temporal rift’ and correcting the wrongs of the time-stream.  You play an Agent of this ‘Temporal Police’ and inhabit a character in the past, who may or may not be all that stable.

Because of the way the game is played, you play the game once, and then you know the mystery, the “who-done it” and it’s kinda over.  Sure you can play it with others, but now that you know that Colonel Mustard did it in the Library with the pipe, it loses the excitement.  So it’s a one-and-done experience, which at $30 for each story can be pricey.  Space Cowboys have published 3 stories so far and looks like each quarter we will get a new one…. but this is where the fun begins…. Space Cowboys also provided a Developer kit. Nothing fancy really, it’s just a collection of PNG asset files so you can make your own story, but think about it, how many awesome stories are out there for creators to make and play!

Once I heard about this, I was hooked.  Oh and for those that don’t know, I’m the writer and creator of Pariah Missouri graphic novel series, so HELL YEAH I’m gonna make a horror-western story for TIME Stories using my book!

Making this was no easy feat, and even though I have a bunch of art that I can re-purpose for the game, TIME Stories is a huge mind puzzle and as the puzzle-maker I need to know how this all works.  I created a new story, figured out how all the locations worked, all the items and characters.  Building this becomes very complicated, because there are certain events that must be triggered at the correct time.  After over a month of working on it, I think I have it ready for play-testing and then after those re-visions I’ll be shipping this game off to France to have Space Cowboys have a go at it, and maybe they like it enough to publish.  Either way, though I will be providing it for free here on my site for those fans of the game and my books.

Selecting puzzles that are both fun and solvable is the most challenging aspects of this game design.  Even if you think it’s too easy, most likely it will not be.  Also the types of puzzles to use; word, visual, numerical, riddles, all that has to be figured out, and hopefully make sense in the story.  The year is 1854, so I’m not throwing in a scrabble or computer code puzzle, it’s gotta fit the time and make sense for the story.

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Here is the Link to the Kickstarter and get your copy of TIME STORIES: Pariah Missouri

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If you are experiencing questions about Rules, Locations or things like that, go here to the FAQ Message board!

Pariah, Missouri Rules and FAQ

 

 

 

 

San Diego Comic Con 2016 Wrap-up.

For the last 5 days I’ve been at San Diego Comic Con and now that it’s over, I’m surrounded by piles of business cards, hand-outs and comics and today I’m going to share a little of my thoughts.  For the last 3 years I’ve been an exhibitor at SDCC in the Small Press area.  (Which you can read here: http://decadebrothers.com/2015/07/14/sdcc-wrap-up-a-small-press-perspective/  )  This year I wanted to change it up a little, and apply for a Professional badge, mainly because I do not have a new Pariah Missouri graphic novel out this comic con.  Book 3 will be ready later in the fall, and I didn’t want to go to the show with the same books back-to-back, even though a healthy portion of my sales is original art.

I was really looking forward to being free from my 6-foot booth/cage this year.  I had planned a ton of panels and people to see, art to study and a good amount of just seeing what Comic Con has to offer now.  I arrived in San Diego on Wednesday afternoon, and first thing to find was that parking prices increased.  $50 for 12 hours was way too much for me, and I swear that each year they raise it by $10.  My first year at Comic Con in 2000, I parked across the street in a lot for $5.  I didn’t have a hotel, so we slept in the car!  Yeah I wouldn’t do that again, but those were the days.  So I parked on 20th and Island, a neighborhood that was a little salty.  It was a good 20 blocks away, which was a hike, but on the 2nd day I decided to take an Uber for $6 which was a lot better than $50.

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Preview night was great, did some shopping, met with a few people and prepped for the weekend.  It’s a great couple of hours to scope everything out, see where people are and plan.  At night I stayed in a motel in Chula Vista and took the Trolley a couple of those days, which for $5 round-trip was a pretty good deal.

I won’t go through each day, but I’ll hit some of my highlights and thoughts.

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Portfolio review:  I’ve been going to Portfolio Reviews for many years.  Not so much when I’m an exhibitor but I try to hit them up for 2 reasons, 1 to find collaborators who want to work on new projects and 2. to talk to people who are hiring creatives to see where I fit with the needs of the market.  My first portfolio review, in the early 2000’s Dark Horse comics were there, and I felt that it was legitimate.  The artists and writers were right on that level of about to get jobs, ready to work professionally.  This year I can’t speak to people’s artwork, but I can say that the companies that are looking at these portfolios are the very same ones last year and the year before that.  There are some big names, like Hasbro, Lego, etc but not any big comic book folks, a couple of small press guys and honestly I wasn’t impressed.  I’m sure it is worth it for some and that good business happens there, but waiting for 1-2 hours for a 5 minute talk with a sketchy company, nah I’ll pass on that.  I did speak to 5 or so companies at the review, but I was very picky and even then I was wondering if it’s worth it.  That all said, for scouting out artists to work with I think it’s a great place, all these guys want to work in comics, so it’s great, in fact that’s how I met Jose Pescador the penciler for Pariah Missouri.

Panels:  Thursday and Friday were my big panel days, but towards the end, either things didn’t interest me, bad timing or I just felt that the info at these panels are light.  After years of these panels there is only so many times you can hear about how someone broke into the business.  Maybe the panels that are more introspective on a creator’s career or the more entertainment style ones are better, but the “business” ones are quite dull and rarely give good information.  I have heard that the legal panel is good, which I unfortunately missed.

Having a professional badge, I thought that I would be free as a bird, be able to do everything I wanted to with time to spare but boy was I wrong.  With everything going on outside, the other hotels that have events and the show floor, you just can’t do it all.  By Sunday 3pm I felt I did what I needed to, but there were still areas that I didn’t get to.

50-cent long boxes?  Done away with!  I saw only one vendor with $1 comics everyone else sold either trades, or the Bronze, Silver age comics.  No more bargain 25-cent,50-cent bins.  Too bad, I miss those days.

I spoke to fans, publishers and other creators, but talking to editors seems to be a challenge.  It’s like asking that cute girl out, and I always feel like I am intruding and there is a wall up.  I think editors are people too and great people to work with, but the circumstances of comic con and approaching some is a big challenge for me.

Highlights:  Seeing original Frazetta paintings and pen/ink work was amazing!  I saw original Robert Fawcett, Noel Sickles, Alex Ross, Wrightson, all these masters that you can look at and study.  That for me was the best.

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I never knew that Charlie Adlard worked on the Walking Dead in a smaller size.

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Alex Ross’s air-brushing and watercolors are really exciting to see in person.

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Artist Noel Sickles, one of my all-time favorite illustrators!  This was priced at $600.

Talking to fellow creators.  I spoke at length with Jose Villarrubia, with I was very excited about, his coloring is an inspiration for my book.  We talked about his process and I have some new ideas about how to color Pariah book 3.  Meeting the greats and seeing the originals is so fun for me, as a fan of the art form.

We played some Werewolf one of our big annual events.  We do this every year and it is always a blast to get back together with old friends and make new ones at Comic Con.

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The Creator Connection event was a great experience.  Think of it as speed dating for artists and writers.

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San Diego Comic Con 2016 was an experience.  It was worth the effort and for someone in the business or wanting to, it’s a must.  Now I have to get to my long list action items and follow-ups that came from it.

If you want to learn more about my work and Pariah Missouri, please check out http://www.pariahmissouri.com

Feel free to share this post with others!

Andres

3 Ways to Help a Kickstarter without spending money

 

So your friend or family member is flooding their Facebook feed with posts about their Kickstarter. Maybe you’ve already pledged, or maybe you just can’t afford to chip in at the moment. You want to help out but you’re flat broke!

Here are three ways to help at little cost to nothing.

1: SHARING IS CARING

Crowdfunding is really a numbers game. It’s all about generating enough small pledges to meet the funding goal. This can only happen by getting the project in front of as many eyeballs as possible. By sharing the link to your favorite Kickstarter campaign, along with other content related to the project (posts, photos, etc.) you are contributing in a big way to it’s success, allowing people outside the creator’s network to learn about the project.

2: TALK TO KICKSTARTER

One of the greatest boosts a campaign might get is to become a Featured Project or Kickstarter of the Day. A project which has a lot of social media buzz has a better chance of getting the attention of Kickstarter staff, thus a good chance of being featured. Each time someone mentions Kickstarter on Twitter or tags them on Facebook in a post related to a project, it increases the chance of Kickstarter taking notice. So when sharing your favorite project don’t forget @Kickstarter!

Also, if you feel passionately about a particular project, you may email Kickstarter directly at stories@kickstarter.com to tell them makes this project special and why it should be featured.

Finally, you may also post on the Kickstarter Facebook page.

3: ENGAGE

Comment, Like, Share, ReTweet, etc. Similar to number 1, engaging is just as important as sharing. By commenting or Liking posts on Facebook and Twitter, etc. you help make those posts more visible. When commenting, ask questions, especially of those who reply to your comments. This encourages the thread to keep going and increases its visibility.

If you’re not completely flat broke…

Maybe you have a few bucks in your bank account. Maybe you were planning on buying a burger at your favorite fast food joint. Maybe instead of supporting a giant soulless corporation, you drop those few bucks into an independent Kickstarter project. Now you’re a Backer, but maybe you feel awkward about telling anyone. Let me give a reason to share that fact with your social network.

When you’re a Backer, Kickstarter gives you the option to Share that fact with your Friends and Followers on Facebook and Twitter when you finish your initial pledge. They also send a notice via email to all your Followers on Kickstarter (Surprise, Kickstarter is a Social Network too!) When people see a project being supported it hooks their interest and encourages them to support it too. The more support a project has, the more likely it will meet or exceed its funding goal and the higher chance you have of actually receiving that reward you pledge for.

I might also note that you may pledge for as little as a $1.00 even if there is no reward at that level. Remember, every pledge counts. The more Backers a project has increases the chances of the it being noticed by Kickstarter and getting featured.


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Card Game Design #5 – Beastiary Battlin’

It’s all about play-testing.  Playing and playing. Finding people (victims) to spend their limited time after work to do this with you is the real test, and luckily I have some rad people near me who don’t mind, but of course I don’t want to push my luck.

So after a few plays, we are still trying to figure out the second half of the game.

The first half seems to be quick and fun for everyone.

Each of us are Gods, we have a God card that a player takes, which may or may not have additional abilities associated with it.

There are 10 types of animals and 14 types of Mythological beasts that they can make.  Yeah it’s alot but I wanted to try it, I’ll probably get down to 10-8 types of Beasts.

We are doing 1 round of a draft of 10 cards… which usually makes 3 beasts with some animals left over.

 

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The leftover animals need a purpose and use in the game, I don’t want them to be waste, so I put some values on them and they can be used for re-enforcing our troops, once we get to Phase 2.

Combat!  Phase two.  Now we have our 6-7 cards of Beasts and animals in our hands and we are ready to go down to Earth and show these villagers who is boss!

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I wanted to have location/land cards, each one has some modifier and the players then simultaneously select a location and if two players pick the same then there is some combat.  This is where we need some work.  Simply comparing power levels of the Beasts is not that fun, so we added some abilities; Fear, Flight,Intelligence and Seduce.  That helps but still it’s missing something.

Adding some goats, snakes or women to the battle, is a little better, but it turns into who has the most cards will win.  The strategy is very simple, so we need to fix that.

Things I’m thinking of are instead of obtaining the location, once you meet the requirements or defeat you enemies, your forces STAY there, and have loyalty to that land and your opponents must take it away in some subsequent round.

The game must have fun, fast and strategic conflict in Phase 2.  This is where all the magic needs to happen.

Some players those will simply select an area where no opponent goes… where’s the fun in that? Maybe we try un-opposed lands, where there is no opponent player, have some other condition on the card that the player must meet, and maybe that is hidden so you don’t know what you will need to do to get the VP.

A lot to work out in this combat.  Many ways to go.  It’s starting to become an area-control board game and I need to make sure I reign this in to keep it a card game.

Next Time:  More visuals and play-testing.

Playtesting TIME Stories Pariah Missouri

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So you wanna play-test Pariah, Missouri?

Great.

A couple of things first.

  1.  This is to play-test Pariah Missouri scenario for TIME Stories.  You need TIME stories to play this.  It’s a deck of ~195 tarot-sized cards that you will need to print out, put them in a stack and run through the game.  It took me about 80 hours to do this, NOT including all the art, which came from my comic book series, which I don’t even want to speculate on how long that took us.  So, a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears went into making this.  If you feel inclined and enjoyed the game, I will accept donations!
  2. Based on your feedback, I will be making some modifications to the game.
  3. Survey  – note: Do not read the survey until after you play Pariah Missouri.  The survey contains spoilers!   At the end of the .pdf file there is a 1-page form that will have some questions that I would like filled out.  Your gaming group does not have to agree to the answers, each player can circle their own response.  You have a couple of options, you can print out the survey and scan it back to me, or you can download the survey form and send it back as a word document through email.  I need these back no later than May 25th.  Thank you!
  4.   Feel free to also use the Comments section below to chat and ask questions, I’ll be responding every day..
  5. NOTE:  One correction made!  LOCATIONS MIXED UP:  Livery E and The Veil A are mixed up.  A new corrected version is now linked on this site.  (check at the file is .Rough-4)

 

Did you enjoy the game?  If so feel free to put a little in the TIP JAR.  All donations will go to the production and art costs for Pariah vol. 3.  All donations will also receive a digital copy of Pariah Missouri graphic novel!  If you really get into it, you can purchase all the books digitally or physical at http://salazarentertainment.storenvy.com/

 

LINK TO TIME STORIES: Pariah Missouri PDF

LINK TO SURVEY

 

If you are experiencing questions about Rules, Locations or things like that, go here to the FAQ Message board!

Pariah, Missouri Rules and FAQ

 

 

 

 

T.I.M.E. Stories : Pariah Missouri 1854

T.I.M.E.Stories is a board game published by the French Space Cowboys which I have fallen in love with recently.  As a big-time Role-player I found the board game a brilliant way to tell story, and for me, that is always paramount.  It’s Quantum Leap, going back in time and finding the cause of a ‘temporal rift’ and correcting the wrongs of the time-stream.  You play an Agent of this ‘Temporal Police’ and inhabit a character in the past, who may or may not be all that stable.

Because of the way the game is played, you play the game once, and then you know the mystery, the “who-done it” and it’s kinda over.  Sure you can play it with others, but now that you know that Colonel Mustard did it in the Library with the pipe, it loses the excitement.  So it’s a one-and-done experience, which at $30 for each story can be pricey.  Space Cowboys have published 3 stories so far and looks like each quarter we will get a new one…. but this is where the fun begins…. Space Cowboys also provided a Developer kit. Nothing fancy really, it’s just a collection of PNG asset files so you can make your own story, but think about it, how many awesome stories are out there for creators to make and play!

Once I heard about this, I was hooked.  Oh and for those that don’t know, I’m the writer and creator of Pariah Missouri graphic novel series, so HELL YEAH I’m gonna make a horror-western story for TIME Stories using my book!

Making this was no easy feat, and even though I have a bunch of art that I can re-purpose for the game, TIME Stories is a huge mind puzzle and as the puzzle-maker I need to know how this all works.  I created a new story, figured out how all the locations worked, all the items and characters.  Building this becomes very complicated, because there are certain events that must be triggered at the correct time.  After over a month of working on it, I think I have it ready for play-testing and then after those re-visions I’ll be shipping this game off to France to have Space Cowboys have a go at it, and maybe they like it enough to publish.  Either way, though I will be providing it for free here on my site for those fans of the game and my books.

Selecting puzzles that are both fun and solvable is the most challenging aspects of this game design.  Even if you think it’s too easy, most likely it will not be.  Also the types of puzzles to use; word, visual, numerical, riddles, all that has to be figured out, and hopefully make sense in the story.  The year is 1854, so I’m not throwing in a scrabble or computer code puzzle, it’s gotta fit the time and make sense for the story.

Another challenge of the game was that it needs to be 130 cards… well that just ain’t going to work for me, I had to add more to get the story told, and that means I have to go to 195 cards!  (For some reason with the production requirements, the game has be in increments of 65 cards)  Getting up to 195 was not easy, those last 10  cards were killer, but I think it all works out and will be very fun to play.

Here’s some photos of the game:

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I am 95% done, a few last teaks to go.

If you are familiar with the game, I’m opening it up for play-testing

Anyone interested?

A couple of notes: This is for PLAYTESTING, so I will need you to fill out a short form with some questions I’ll have on your experience and how to improve it. I will also need everyone to send me the form back by May 25th. So you have a little less than a month.
Lastly you would have access to a PDF (a big file), so you would need to print this out, which at 195 cards (4 cards per page) does add up to some serious ink/paper.

A little about it: It’s more role-playing, with some light puzzles, but nothing as complicated as Asylum (the first story that comes with the base set), probably it’s closer to Marcy Case, but it’s a LONG game, probably about 5-6 hours long, so a lot of adventuring and role-playing and uncovering the story of Pariah.

If you are interested, let me know, I’ll have the final PDF ready by May 6th.

Andy

Card Game Design #4: The Beastiary

Well, we’ve moved from potion-making with Voodoo Mama to Frankenstein-ing and monster creation to Greek mythology.  After a number of iterations and sketches I found that my idea of matching animal parts to make a griffin or chimera was not going to work.  I loved that visual of building a creature/monster but soon I realized that I would need various parts of the same animal, which wasn’t going to work for a game.  For instance, if I had eagle/bird parts, I’d need eagle heads for the griffin but then also just wings for Pegasus, so a player would have a hand of cards, which some would work and others would not and I have to be conscious of card economy.

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So I moved to full animal cards, not as fun as parts, but I think that’s the way to go.  In this first list we have: Goat, Bull, Eagle, Lion, Snake, Horse, and then I’m adding Man and Woman, as separate cards, so that you could have a Harpy (woman) and a Minotaur (man)

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So if I stopped there we would have these little critters with VP and the player with the most VP wins.  Right?  But wait a minute… You can’t just make a Minotaur or Chimera and NOT HAVE THEM BATTLE!  That’s INSANE.  So, here comes the part where I now need to re-design this into a drafting-COMBAT card game.

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Not at all what I was thinking, but with this theme and direction, I just don’t see another way to do it.  So now I’m working on the mechanics.  It’s still going to be FAST & FUN.  I want some strategy, but not too crazy.  Either each ‘beast’ will have a special ability to interact with the cards, or the various animals will have a color that they are assigned to and those will converge into the Beast and those abilities turn on then.  I think I will be sticking with 3 rounds’ Round #1 drafting, Round #2 drafting and Round #3 battle.  Whatever Beasts are left alive give you some VP and the one with the most wins!  Looking at a 20 minute game.  I still want in that quick Sushi Go, Coup-type of quick game space.  I still need a new name, I think for now I’ll refer to it internally simply as Bestiary (although there’s probably 5 games already named that).

So an idea came to me, what if round #3 there are locations that the players draft and can put down and send their beasts to and kill/eat the humans to get VPs?  This will be the whole crux to the game, how to do the combat?  Directly attack players, or use use this dungeon deck where the players send their beasts to.  But now, is it too similar to Thunderstone?  It becomes a whole different game.  So some things to think about:

  1. players draft location cards to play on themselves, on a little personal map.
  2. players all go through a series of locations from A to G, one by one and the player that beats the location gets the points.
  3. players pick, like a draft all at once which locations that they want to “explore” so it’s still drafting in a sense.
  4. locations spread out on a matrix and then players pick locations.

Many choices and possibilities.

Next up:  Play-testing!

Part 3: Is Making Potions fun? ie. Game Theme Change!

Part 2: Voodoo Mama ver 1.2

Part 1: A New Card Game

 

Is Making Potions fun? ie. Game Theme Change!

Just when I was liking the name Voodoo Mama, I was driving down to the LA Festival of Books this weekend at USC to work my booth selling my graphic novel series Pariah, Missouri and I thought, “You know this game doesn’t have to be about potions, it’s a simple set-building card game, it could be anything.”  I wanted to have 10 ideas/themes that we could go with besides the potion idea just to see what I could come up with.

I thought about what are MY favorite games.  I really like Galaxy Trucker and Castles of Mad Kind Ludwig, because they build things.  That idea of constructing your own X and seeing how it develops for me is a fun activity.  So how could I maybe add that to the game?  I want to keep it a card game, for my first original game that I’m going to see this through to the bitter end and I want to keep it simple with low costs and easy… so it’s cards all the way.

I didn’t want to do space-theme, like Trucker, because while it would be fun, it’s too close to that game.  I wasn’t thrilled about other vehicles or machines, things like that.

Here are some sketches I did on some cards for the potion-making Voodoo Mama

card game
Voodoo mama sketch

Now I was thinking, what if instead of making potions, you are making a monster.  Each monster would have some abilities and VP.  Lots of fun combos and ways to set up the cards.  I was thinking of them going side-ways and in different orientations.

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Setting that up became a big challenge to make the art “fit” and be easy to read and understand.

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I then thought, “Let’s keep it one orientation for simplicity.”  I made some sketches were all the monsters/people were cut in three parts.  So all the creations required the same amount, there were be combos that could still be used but we just made it even simpler.  The art however would be a challenge, because for a 7-player game we are talking about a LOT of cards.  So designing the different monsters would not be easy, and my 9-types of reagents in Voodoo Mama now seems really compelling.

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Then is hit me, “What about Mythical creatures?”  So now we are talking about cutting up monsters and putting them together!  Wow, I like it!  So you all know the Chimera, Griffen, Hipogriff, Pegasus; all these Greek Mythological creatures, what if all the players were a God or someone who created the next thing, the Pig-Bat-snake!  So I made some sketches.

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Next Up:  To Find a Name and get some dummy art to play a game with!

Part 2: Voodoo Mama ver 1.2

Part 1: A New Card Game

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