Painting With Shotguns: The GameX ReduX Edition

See what I did there? Two capitalized X’s? Shut up. I’m clever. Or, I think I’m clever at 8:20 on a Sunday night when I’m very tired.

Point is, I’m back from my one day extravaganza at GameX Game Expo in “Greater Philadelphia” (code for the Philadelphia Frontier, and not really that close to Philly at all, thanks), and all is well with the world. Many things occurred, and I will attempt to put them in no particular order. That way, they’re of maximum uselessness to you! Excelsior.

  • Had a panel with Filamena, David, and Marty. Went very well. Marty originally tried to moderate the “Annual Crop Rotation” panel, but this was a clever ruse on his part. That, or he’s really into crop rotation. He did grunt a lot and say, “Nnngh, corn.” We had… I dunno, 18 people? Which is about 17 more than I expected, so, good on us. We spoke, and — the fools! — they hung on our every word. Somehow, we remained convincing. Our lies drip like honey. Sweet and delicious. And rotting of teeth.
  • This is Josh Loomis at Blue Ink Alchemy. Josh is good people. Go visit Josh, and read the many good things he says. Or, more specifically, writes.
  • I have a headache.
  • This is Ruth Lampi. Ruth is a gifted artist and writer. She has a space. It is called World of Shandor. You’ll find her work very pleasing. Unlike other assholes who write about, say, heroes and dick jokes.
  • The people of the Escapist are awesome.
  • The people of the Escapist have their t-shirt sizes a bit goofy, though. I got an XL shirt, and it barely fits my wife, who is smaller than my prodigious chunk of manflesh.
  • Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw is great, but potentially terrifying. From what I can tell, people were afraid to talk to him. I think they feared he might do some manner of hilariously snarky animation critiquing them.
  • Dude. Listen. There was this guy, right? And this guy was fucking serious. He… he was, I dunno, mid-to-late 20s? And he had this work about some lion-born dude named Tambo, or Tanbo, or Tanboo. He’s got a whole thing. He’ll tell you the whole story. He’ll show it to you. He’ll invent dialogue. He’ll make sound effects and mimic swords slashing. He said he has some shit on YouTube, but man, I cannot find it. If I find it, I’ll link the shit out of it. I mean, holy crap.
  • Electronic Arts really dicked up Dante’s Inferno. Sure, you apparently fight unbaptized babies and disembodied pairs of boobs. Yes, they have booth babes who will, I dunno, molest you or ask that you molest other booth babes or something. Really, though, the big issue is — they’ve just gone and dicked up totally excellent source material. No, it doesn’t lend itself immediately to a game perspective, but eff that ess, hombre. I could do you up a super-sweet, scary-ass adventure game told from Dante’s perspective. It wouldn’t need to be, say, ohhh, a ludicrous God of War clone where Dante is some kind of scythe-wielding psychopath. It’d be all moody and shit. You’d wet yourself, it’d be so good. You know what, game companies? Call me. I can do the same voodoo for you, but together we’ll rock the Aeneid, instead. Let’s make magic together. Also, pay me a lot. Magic ain’t cheap.
  • You may soon discover that the world is now home to an energy drink called Bawls. Which could mean, “It tastes like tears,” or, “It tastes like some dude’s sweaty testes.” They had cases of this stuff floating around the con floor. I declined to try it, as my tastebuds do not desire spent tears or musky nuts.
  • “Musky Nuts” was my nickname at the con. “Hey, Musky Nuts,” Filamena would say to me. “Get me another case of Bawls, or I’m going to punch Marty in the nipple again.”
  • That might be a lie.
  • Hal from Final Form Games is a cool dude. Just in case you ever meet him, and you’re like, “Is he weird? Is he going to stab me?” Not in my experience, no. He’s fine people.
  • Amanda d’Adesky is the maven of GameX. Further, she reminds us all that we could use a “D-apostrophe” at the fore of our names. I will hereby be known as Chazz d’Wendig.
  • I ate something called a “Garbage Burger” at some placed called a “Max and Erma’s.”
  • Played a solid round of Maschine Zeit (from Machine Age Productions). The setting is fine enough, but it’s the system that shines. Track it down. Love it. I dunno their full plans for it (maybe they — Filamena and David — will illuminate us here?), but the system has a lot of little elegant touches that play well. Further, the system would play well across damn near any genre. His game’s setting is kind of a Dead Space-ian survival-horror thing, but this system is by no means locked to that. I can’t wait to see more. It may have one or two more rounds of evolution, but it can only be going Awesome Places.
  • Snargh!
  • Headache.
  • ZZZzzzz.


  • I’m sort of glad someone I know besides Susan tried out Dante’s Inferno. I love Susan and all, but reviewing games is part of her job. For my part, I tried out Bayonetta, because I’m male and it’s difficult for me to say “No” to a bespectacled curvy woman with legs that won’t quit. It’s a spectacle fighter, and very nice to look at, but if you can’t get a handle on the mechanics or don’t like somewhat dodgy running animation it’s going to annoy you very, very quickly.

    Also, thanks for the pimpage. Check’s in the mail.

    • Dante’s Inferno could have the tightest control scheme and the baddest-assest violence ever. And it’ll still miss the mark. It’s just a lame shot at corralling intelligent source material into a dumbed-down game. I mean, Greek myth in God of War — that’s fine. Greek Myth is salacious. It’s practically a soap opera. But Dante? The Inferno? So many cooler things to be done, there.

      Your pimpage is mightily deserved, sir. Good to meet you.

      — c.

  • Thanks also for the linking.

    The intention for Maschine Zeit:

    We’ll probably do a couple more introductory one-shots for it over the coming months, while we get into our groove. Then, my goal is to produce it by April in both PDF and Print on Demand formats, depending on a few things (including but not limited to DriveThruRPG’s upcoming distribution system.)

    My hope was that the system would translate. If Maschine Zeit works well, we’ve got plans for an urban fantasy novel style game as well, amongst other things. I really strived to make something that had strategic applications, but put the story in the hands of the players. Unfortunately, the time and noise restraints really didn’t let me get into the gritty of it, but it’s definitely something I’m passionate about.

    • Awesome sauce, David. Looking forward to seeing where you take it. Are you still in draft-playtesting form, or have you locked everything down?

      The system definitely translates.

      And yeah, the noise at GameX — an otherwise lovely experience — sucked. Suck suck suckity sucked.

      — c.

  • I’ve got a rules document that’s more or less locked down. The rest is up in the air. My big debate at this point is page count, which is really going to dictate my direction. I’m not sure if I want to do a 300+ page tome, or a smaller book (in the vein of MSG™ in size, both pages and physical.) There are huge pros and cons to each.

  • The trend is, I think, lighter. Not that you need to abide by trends, but I can say that I appreciate the smaller, leaner docs.

    And yeah, that dude paid? That much? Wow.

    — c.

  • Yeah, I do, too. I just worry that I’m pigeonholing myself with it. Most professional works are 8×11 format.

    I’m strongly debating a smaller one. One huge advantage of a landscape format book is that I don’t have to redo the layout for the PDF. My PDF is definitely going to be landscape format, I hate 8×11 PDFs.

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