Introduction

Welcome to Chimborazo RPG blog. This is an open-sourced project where I create a role-playing game from the ground up. The primary purpose of this blog is to show readers what the design and development processes behind the creation of a game look like and to introduce them to an epic fantasy world. If you are interested in game design this is the place to be, as together we explore creative ad hoc problem solving, examine systems development, take an in-depth look at mechanics and get really technical with game engines. We will be using state-of-the-art theoretical and practical models including game theory, design theory, applied game dynamics theory, mathematics, physics, arcane studies, psychology, model-based design and more. For myself, rather than game designer I prefer the term “systems engineer” because I like to focus on the technical implementations of principles and building working theoretical models.

Occasionally I work on non-Chimborazo projects, primarily related to card games such as Hearthstone and Magic: the Gathering. Expect to find the odd article here and there, especially as development on Applied Game Dynamics theory continues. Here is an overview of the type of content you can expect:

Chimborazo RPG

As a flagship endeavour of the Chimborazo Multimedia Project, the roleplaying game is designed to be the primary way to experience the fantasy world of Chimborazo. The system is being developed in order to provide immersive and engaging gameplay, intimately tied to the setting and lore. The game is being created with the simple task of serving it’s “prime directives” first and foremost, which are the following:

The goals for Chimborazo
(in order of importance… mostly)

  1. A layered structure to the game which will allow for an accessible experience that lets players who are new to the game have fun without having to learn too much, all the while offering depth and rewarding those who prefer the hardcore approach. The way this is planned to work out is to provide a core gameplay experience and tack all of the complicated enhancements onto supplemental products, á-la DLC. They can cover a wide range of upgrades, from something as simple as new weapon types and techniques, to entire subsystems with additional rules and mechanics. This will allow the game to offer a streamlined and player-friendly experience, while still catering to veterans and hardcore gamers. An additional perk of this approach is that it lessens the load from players and GM alike – you can only enhance the parts of the game that are directly relevant to you, the group and the story you are building, without having to learn everything.
  2. An innovative game engine, designed from the ground up to support almost any gameplay and an incredible level of personalisation – the game aims to reinvent the roleplaying genre by learning from what has come before and applying that knowledge into providing an improved and streamlined roleplaying experience. Despite being designed specifically for the Chimborazo setting, the engine I have designed is more about creating a simulation of what is happening with and to characters. With this in mind, it will be one of the most easily hackable games out there and it should allow for a more effortless port of your world, in order to tell your stories.
  3. A true role-playing experience in which the Game Master provides an open-world setting for the players to explore and enjoy – Chimborazo is designed as an open-world storytelling adventure setting and the systems that care about setting are designed with such experiences in mind. Although limitations are possible and supported, the core gameplay is aimed at an immersive simulation that caters to player’s fantasy and puts their wish fulfilment above all else.

What type of content can you expect to come out for Chimborazo!™? I’ve broken things up into three main categories. In Design I detail the process of the game’s creation, everything from conceptualisation to realisation – making mechanics, interactions, creating spells and weapons, etc. Development is all about taking what Design has produced and balancing it. It’s like a second iteration that’s more focused on making things work in a healthy and balanced way. I want to note that there won’t be any development articles in the beginning, for somewhat obvious reasons. The Creative team works on producing assets for the game – initially this will be mostly oriented toward concept art and logos but will later expand into custom music, animation and more. The other big part of the Creative process (and the more active one) is Narrative – world-building, stories, character development, etc.

Hearthstone and MTG

The Hearthstone content is mostly focused around several big projects – the Metagame Clock, Hearthstone Remastered and C.A.R.M.E.N., but there are going to be plenty of other smaller pieces, mostly critique and analysis. A lot of the HS and MTG content is going to overlap because it’s generally applicable to TCGs. That being said, the goal for Hearthstone is to write shorter and more regular content while the MTG articles are planned as big longform projects centred around developing the TCG side of AGDt (more on that below… right below).

Applied Game Dynamics Theory

Here at Chimborazo we take theoretical material very seriously. In order to collect and localise the knowledge about making games and turn it into a real science separate from Game Theory (which is a series of mathematical studies) I have created the Applied Game Dynamics Theory – a series of works that describe theoretical concepts and the different ways they apply to various aspects of games. Eventually they will come together to form a complete and coherent knowledge base for designers everywhere. Our goal is to sponsor other writers who wish to work on AGDt and eventually publish their material. With this goal in mind we are working on founding the Applied Game Dynamics Foundation – a non-profit organisation whose sole purpose is to fund game design research and publish author’s papers. Stay tuned for further development on the project.

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