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Author Topic: Status of Alyria  (Read 5021 times)
Ben Lehman
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« on: April 07, 2004, 06:29:05 AM »

Hey...

So everything I've heard about this system makes it sound perfect for a game that I want to run in the Fall, but I don't know if the game is going to available by then.  Is it?

This is also a request for the quickstart copy.

yrs--
--Ben
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2004, 06:59:37 AM »

Hi!

This week I am preparing for my wife's birthday party, which has eaten up my spare time.  However, you'll be happy to know that last week I sat down with the manuscript and some notes that I received about it.

Here's what remains to be done:

--assembling the Forever Lost scenario

--minor editing on one of the stories (Bloody Heat, for those of you who are curious)

--some organizational tweaking.  I reorganized some of the sections, which means that some of my concept introductions got moved.  This shouldn't be a major issue, though.

--a final editing pass for anything that I missed

After that, we're off to layout.

So, I'd hope to have everything in place well before fall.

And the current Alyria downloads are available here.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Ben Lehman
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2004, 07:05:41 AM »

Sweet!  Thanks for the fast response.

Happy birthday to your wife.

yrs--
--Ben
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2004, 11:51:16 PM »

Quote from: GreatWolf
After that, we're off to layout.

It's not my place to do so, really, but I wanted to make a comment on layout.

I feel weird here, because this is something I really hate in game rules; but I think Legends of Alyria would benefit greatly from it. Take all those stories out of the sequential text and box them as sidebars or facing pages or something.

I'm serious.

When I sent you the Multiverser/Legends interfacing text, the contained story was boxed; when I got the PDF back, the story was inline in the text of the interfacing rules. It seemed really to break the flow of the explanation, to me at least. I think that happens quite a bit in the PDF I read; I would be a lot happier of "this is a story" was set to one side.

Now, I think the stories are tremendously important in this book; they teach the mood, spark ideas, and provide countless details that fill in the world. I wouldn't want anyone not to read the stories. I just think it would be better if they read the stories when they were ready for them, and not at some point in the text that they were inserted.

Anyway, take that with however many grains of sand you wish.

--M. J. Young, who really hated boxed text in Pendragon, although largely because those boxes tended to go on for page after page instead of just being in one place as a sidebar.

P.S.--Give my love and birthday wishes to Crystal.
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Rich Stokes
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2004, 04:18:58 AM »

My 2p worth:

Yes please, either box the stories or put them on facing pages or maybe do something that denotes them as something OTHER than the core text.  I'm one of these heathens who wants to read sections in my own order and at my own pace.  While I enjoyed the stories in the manuscript, I felt that they broke up the "pacing" of the book somewhat.  The formula of "Here's an aspect of the world, now here's a story about that aspect" is fine, but I found myself trying to skip the fiction and come back later.  I understood about the Gifted fine from the game text and really didn't need to read the fiction to get my head around that concept.  But it was good enough fiction that I enjoyed reading it.  Ideally I'd have been able to read the fiction on the second pass through the book.

Dunno if that helps?
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The poster previously known as RichKS
GreatWolf
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2004, 07:48:24 AM »

I was planning on suggesting sidebars or something to Jason for laying out the stories.  Indeed, that has been my plan for some time.  I haven't wanted to use a lot of formatting in the manuscript, because it interferes with ease of editing.  However, I don't want the stories to be inline.  They should be set apart.

The only problem that will need to be overcome somehow is that some of the stories are somewhat lengthy, and I would be concerned that some of them might take up too much space in sidebars.  So, facing pages are another option....

It'll be a technical issue to overcome, but I think that it can be accomplished.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Valamir
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2004, 08:19:19 AM »

How many pages of stories, to how many pages of game?  If they are in the ballpark of being roughly equal then perhaps you could put all of the stories full page (different font and look) on the left hand page and all of the rules full page on the right hand page.  

Not to "line them up" in the sense of this story with those rules.  But just as a visual seperation.  That way you'd be able to read the story like a story (just skipping every other page).
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arxhon
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2004, 12:43:45 PM »

There are approximately 8 pages of fiction total, using  size 10 Times New Roman on a standard Word page layout. Most of the tales are about 2 pages long.

Breaking them up into sidebars might be difficult. The sidebars are going to run on for page after page, making it really difficult to read. GURPS Biotech, for example, has some sidebars that run on for a couple of pages, and it's kind of on the annoying side, imo. Personally, i'm not a big fan of sidebars to begin with, mostly thanks to the GURPS use of them. It really breaks up the flow of reading the book when rules and whatnot are stuck over there. It's like footnotes; you gotta stop reading what you're reading, look over to the sidebar, and then find the spot where you left off in the main text. This is why footnotes aren't used much anymore, and most documents that require reference have switched over to MLA instead.

Now, Nobilis uses sidebars to good effect, but that's partially because the book itself is so wide so they don't distract with text at the edge of your vision, and there's nothing over there that's really important to running the game. Just small bits of flavor text, rarely more than 2 per page, and they're frequently short. A couple do run most of the length of the page, but it's not common at all. A lot of the color fiction is really good and really serves to convey the atmosphere of the game.

In the Exalted books, they preface each chapter with fiction. It rarely serves to introduce anything within the chapter itself. For example, yabbering on about some doctor cutting people up in the Abyssals book doesn't really do much for introducing the charms chapter. I'm not sure about other WW books, because i don't buy them. On the other hand, the Exalted line is pretty good generally with lining up art with the text, which i really like.

You could use Bloody Heat to introduce the stuff on the Outsiders, for example. BTW, the Outsiders creep the hell out of me. I like the entire concept.


To pick up with Valamir's suggestion of alternating pages of fiction and rules; in Unknown Armies, at the beginning of the book (pp 8-17) they have placed fiction on the left hand (even numbered) pages and the right hand (odd numbered) pages are devoted to some f'ed up search for a porno tape (it's an example of obsession and some of the other concepts of the game, like getting magical energy from certain items). You might want to check that out to see what it looks like. I thought it was pretty neat when i saw it, and it could be used to good effect.

I fall back on the Outsiders again by way of example. You could talk about the Outsiders on the even numbered pages, while running Bloody Heat on the odd numbered ones in the same section. I think that would be really cool.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2005, 12:29:17 PM »

Bumping up this message on news that Seth is still working on mechanics (or at least the moon phases).

Where's it at, Seth?

Mike
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2005, 12:56:20 PM »

Thread necromancy.  Evil!  Evil!

But since I don't feel like splitting this....

I have finished the manuscript, with the exception of renaming the moon phases.  The next step is to make a pass through, changing "New Moon" to "Matins" and so forth, and I'll probably have to add a little text explaining the Liturgy of the Hours.

I also need to get in touch with Raven about clock face graphics.  He had sent me a nifty looking sample, but I'm not sure if I ever followed up with him.  Bad me.

After that, I've decided to pursue a course similar to Clinton's approach to The Shadow of Yesterday.  In other words, I will release a no-frills version onto the Net for free, with the possibility of releasing a print version later.  I also am going to start a wiki section on RandomWiki (already talked to Doyce about this), which will be linked to the manuscript at various points.  For example, at the end of the Citadel section, I'd have a link to the Citadel section of the wiki.  (Input on structuring this linkage would be appreciated...in a separate thread though, please.)

I finally decided on this course for a simple reason.  I came to the conclusion that I needed to decide between two options.  Did I want to be a game designer or a game publisher?  I have decided that I am a designer and that I don't have the time or energy (at least right now) to worry about the business of publishing and distributing an RPG.  So, from where I sit, it is better to get this game to the point where others can actually play it than letting it languish until I discover the time and resources to produce it professionally.

That being said, if someone is interested in producing Legends of Alyria, I'd be willing to listen to a proposal....
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2005, 01:11:13 PM »

Thanks for the info, Seth.

So, what, a month before we can download the game?

Mike
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2005, 01:13:57 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Thanks for the info, Seth.

So, what, a month before we can download the game?

Mike


I think so.  Layout becomes a lot easier if you're not trying to factor art into the equation.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Ben Lehman
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2005, 05:09:27 PM »

Awe
some

yrs--
--Ben
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