i suppose i am, at least by technicality, a "tabletop rpg designer" so i should do this

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1. Who are you?

i am rat, attempted game dev at large. i went to school to learn how to make video games, and now i am making a tabletop game called Fantasia of Mecha. "how did that happen," you ask? my answer is "slow down, i'm not answering that until question 3."

2. Where ya at?

uh somewhere around portland.

man this is a really short question. next one makes up for it though.

3. How did you start creating ttrpgs? 

hoo boy.

first off, how generous of you, question-maker, to assume i have made more than one ttrpg.

anyways, it's really a two part answer. the first is that i've had a longstanding interest in tabletop rpgs, even if i didn't really start playing them till last year. you can largely trace that interest to me listening to a lot of six feats under during my college years (it's good listen to it)

3. How did you start creating ttrpgs? (cw dysphoria, depression) 

the second part was that i got really burned out on making a video game during my college capstone. as it turns out, trying to manage a group of seven guys while you're grappling with anxiety and dysphoria? bad idea. you don't make good games that way.

after college i tried to make stuff in twine and unity, but i was still burned out and didn't really want to. nothing was really holding my attention long enough for me to get anything done.

3. How did you start creating ttrpgs? 

i did, however, have this one idea bouncing around in my head of "hey i don't know a lot about tabletop design, but i know game design, i could try and make pbta super robot wars" and went "well i need to work on something, let's see how far i get with this"

and it turns out it it holds my interest pretty well? Fantasia of Mecha is some super indulgent shit for me to work on and it's great.

and that is the story how i stumbled into ttrpg design

3. How did you start creating ttrpgs? 

*story of

4. Describe your work #AprilTTRPGMaker 

Fantasia of Mecha is about making a messy and weird world full of giant robots and danger together with everyone at the table, then thrusting the players into that world and letting them sort through and explore it

it’s somewhere in between super robot wars and jacob randolph’s fellowship, except it throws out core components of both in pursuit of its own agenda

5. Favorite game you've worked on 

uhhh Fantasia of Mecha?

i mean, it's the only tabletop game i've worked on

but even including all the video game stuff i worked on, it's actually still the best. mostly because i never found a good way to work with narrative stuff in a game i was working on for class.

and narrative is fun and good. fantasia of mecha doesn't have a narrative, but making it is all about setting up tools so others can make narratives, which is really cool to work on

6. Favorite game mechanic 

alright so a lot of these questions are going to involve me gushing about fellowship but

fellowship has a thing called "command lore" which means that each player at the table gets to say with absolute authority what their group of people is like

you can play as the orc and say something like "all orcs are gay communist mushroom people, they all hate anime" and no one can stop you. what you just said is now true, and everyone else has to deal with it

6. Favorite game mechanic (cont.) 

the end result is that the table ends up building a severely unique and nontraditional fantasy world? tolkien ends up being thrown to the curb for more interesting takes and variations on fantasy tropes.

it's a really good way of building a world, and it's also why i'm trying to do something similar with fantasia of mecha to make worldbuilding super messy

7. Describe your workspace 

...my room and several google docs? I am in no position to use some fancy coffee shop/coworking space, sadly.

kind of a weird question tbh.

8. Describe your routine 

it would be very nice if i had a routine

9. Describe your process 

most of the time when i work on fantasia of mecha, i'll have a skeleton plan of what needs to be done, and most of my work consists of figuring out what would be great to fill in those gaps. i set a pomodoro timer, say "i'm gonna fill in this gap right here, and make a move/add gear to this character sheet/fill out this blurb" and i usually manage to do it

pomodoro tip: always underestimate how much you can do, it makes you more feel productive

9. Describe your process (cont.) 

if i have trouble figuring out what i should do, i'll either trawl a mech wiki for inspiration (as bad as tvtropes is, it's surprisingly useful for finding shows to research for information) or look through other pbta games to see how they handle various aspects of themselves

and if i'm really stuck, it's time to do something else-maybe a break, maybe work on something else-and come back to the sticky part later

10. Favorite game to relax with? 

the sudoku app on my phone, i know that makes me sound like a grandma, but it's nice to just have a simple game to relax with that isn't part of some complex bigger thing?

11. What's yer brand 

i have no idea what my brand is

12. How do you get your work out there? 

i have seven followers, don't ask me this question cause idk

13. Biggest influences 

in general, really self indulgent creators/stuff? the ones most relevant to fantasia of mecha are yasuhiro imagawa, kunihiko ikuhara, and ivy jane, mostly because the all know exactly what they want and have no regrets about chasing it

honestly it's kind of hard for me not to just list everything as an influence? i try steal from everything i watch and see-one class in fantasia of mecha is based off of zeorymer, which is a bad show, but i'm stealing the cool parts

14. What are yer Dreams and Plans 

-make enough off of game making to make it a sustainable career without working inside the hell of the industry
-trick notable people into playing my games so i can see what they do with them/they spread my games far and wide
-at some point, start making video games in twine/unity once again
-get involved with game dev unionizing
-come out publicly and transition
-destroy capitalism
-look it never said these dreams had to be game dev specific

15. Do you design in public or private? 

mostly in private, but i'm not afraid of chatting with someone to work out a thing or dropping a anecdote from design out here onto mastodon

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@cycm i was wondering if leaving the oregon off of my location would confuse someone

@ratwithscarf i had this idea for a bit where i just kept linking different, wrong portlands but i'm too lazy for that

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