Monday, 11 November 2019

Alien Blackout

So Alien Blackout, the sequel to Alien Isolation as... a mobile game.


Look, it wasn't a bad game and had some decent atmosphere - watching the crew on the cameras was creepy - but it just got repetitive, a little boring and really frustrating. I know that sometimes games make you angry and there's a part of you that says 'That's not fair!', but there's moments in this game that really weren't, and it felt like the Alien just turned up randomly, no matter how you planned it.

And as a sequel to such a great game? Really lazy. It's not what I wanted, and not what many other fans wanted, either.

Still, it killed an hour or two and it's really cheap on Google Play right now.

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Sunday, 10 November 2019


In my quest to find fun rules-lite games I can do something with, I just picked up Simply6 - it's a cracking system that's so fast that I knew how to play it before I actually read it.

The presentation is excellent, too, and there's enough material to keep a group going for a long while.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Observations From A Gamer's Chair

I've written a lot of gaming articles about different things over the years; my first one was accepted for publication in 'Arcane' magazine (who sadly closed their doors before it got published), some appeared in my old e-zine 'ODDS', I tried to self-publish a book about them and I featured them on my blog.

Right now they're appearing in a serialised column on and they cover detailed thoughts to simple observations; in fact, once I realised that my articles were just me talking about what I've experienced in the hobby, and conclusions I've come to because of those observations, that's what I named the column; 'Observations From A Gamer's Chair'. They stopped being about hints and tips and became more about me sharing my experiences.

There are 48 articles available to view at the monent with another ten to come. It'll be a shame when the column is finished, but I've had a great time writing them and venting/sharing/exorcising my thoughts and feelings on all kinds of gaming subjects. I have no intention of writing any more as I focus more on game design and creating adventures rather than writing about playing them.

Maybe there's a game design column in there, somewhere. I need more experience first.

Simply6 Campaign Setting - 'TITAN GATE'

I've just released this under the WOIN Community Publishing Syndicate using the Simply6 system. It's an old setting of mine I never found a home for, but then Simply6 reared it's head and I found it to be the perfect fit; I could create a setting and not get too hung up on the rules.

I'm rather pleased with it, and hopefully it'll do well enough for me to be able to give the setting more support.


'A galaxy on the edge of civil war...

The stirrings of revolution...

The rumours of persons with incredible powers who will lead the oppressed to salvation...

A simple science fiction setting for the Simply6 roleplaying game, including:

A future history of the human race up to year 4799.

Information on the the Prime Gate Houses and how they are slowly bleeding the known galaxy.

Life under the Gate Houses.

Player and GM guidelines.

Adventure hooks

A short adventure 'Rumours'.

All things must change, for that is the nature of the universe.

The Risen are emerging.

Requires the Simply6 core rules and the Spaceships supplement for play.'

What am I writing? Take a guess.

I had a really productive week of writing adventures for dark science fiction adfventures.

I think my desk layout tells you what kind of writing mood I was in...

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Thursday, 7 November 2019

Not doing my own art

I'm working on a D12 thing and it involves lots of scifi fighting. I'm having a go at some basic illustrating (I have no intention of illustrating it myself) but liked the roughness of this.

The game Mothership has some fantastic art in it, I love the look of that game. I'm wondering if that style would work for mine.

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Blade Runner RPG - in Spanish

A lovely gentleman contacted me recently and asked if he could translate my unofficial Blade Runner game into Spanish. Well, I wrote it about 10 years ago and I don't own the IP, so I said hell yeah, go for it, as long as he's not making money off it.

I wrote it using my fledgling SKETCH System and it was designed to be played using the basics of the Blade Runner universe. I'd still love to see an official Blade Runner RPG - although there are dozens of games that could emulate it easily - and this was my first step in visualising it.


Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Alien Isolation novelisation

This was a good book. It gave Amanda Ripley an interesting background and gave a bit more depth to the events on the Sevastopol.

I still don't like other characters from other stories being shoehorned into Amanda's story or her going on to be an action freedom fighter revenge hero, but this is a solid book.


From birth, Amanda Ripley’s life is riddled with hardship. Her parents live on the edge of poverty, so her mother—Ellen Ripley—seeks off-world contracts that lead to a position aboard the commercial hauler Nostromo. Then when the deep-space vessel disappears, Amanda passes into adulthood focused on discovering one thing.


Amanda’s quest pulls her into the underbelly of society, where few can be trusted. On Luna she meets someone who seems the exception—Private Zula Hendricks of the Colonial Marines—but their relationship is short-lived. Just as Amanda appears to hit rock bottom… a lead appears.

To follow it, she must travel to the remote Sevastopol Station. There she hopes to find the answers she seeks. But the station is in ruins, and death stalks the corridors in the form of a deadly alien the likes of which she never could have imagined.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Moons of Madness

This looks like my kind of game. Science fiction and cosmic horror? Yes, that's ticking a few boxes already.

Sunday, 3 November 2019


I'm trying to envision a post-apocalyptic Mad Max style universe but spread across a dead stellar empire, so instead of cars people are getting around on starships and trying to exist across hundreds of dead and dying worlds, moons and stations.

I'm trying to find an art style that suits it but other than straight forward wacky out-there standard Mad Max weirdness IN SPAAAAAACE! I can't put my finger on a specific style.

Do I really want that Mad Max look, or just desperate survivors in a sci-fi hellscape looking to survive? Do I decide on an aesthetic first and then break it down to how it would look after a major collapse? How about Star Trek but all screwed up? Or a devastated Expanse?

I just can't get a visual. I know what I want to from the rules for the skirmish wargame, the starship battles game and the tabletop RPG side of things, but I just can't get a visual design down.

I've only just designed the game, to be fair, but I usually come at these things with a specific design in mind. This is what happens when you have a bonkers dream on the Saturday night and get up at 6:00 on the Sunday morning to get 4,000 words down to exorcise the ideas I had. I rushed into it, I think, and thought more about the concept and the game mechanics than I did about the overall package.

I want to complete the rules and get them playtested, and for now I'll use the 'Mad Max IN SPAAAAACE!' tagline to get my basic idea across. I'm sure the overall design and look of the game will come later.