Fated Minions of the Source Now Available from Third Eye Games

Fated Minions of the Source coverThird Eye Games has once again teamed up with Encoded Designs to bring you Fated Minions of the Source, the second sourcebook for the Fate powered conversion of the popular Part-Time Gods RPG.

Fated Minions of the Source details the elusive entity known as the Source and the Outsiders who do its bidding. This book contains over 40 new Outsiders and Relics to add to your game, including Manticores, Black-Eyed Children and the mighty Sphinx. It also includes three new Theologies and a brand new adventure to tie everything together.

In Part-Time Gods of Fate, you take on the life of a mortal who has gained the divine Spark. You now have godly powers and all the worshipers you can muster, but no matter how cool it is to be the god of fire it still doesn’t pay the rent. You must learn to balance your divine and mortal responsibilities—save the world from the Source’s minions, but make sure you’re home on time for your daughter’s recital or you’ll have bigger things to worry about.

Don’t let the Source ruin your day. Pick up Fated Minions of the Source today from DriveThruRPG or the 3EG Online Store.

Member Spotlight: Dustin DePenning on Market Differences: Hobby and Mass-market Games

IGDN’s Member Spotlight series is a chance for our members to share their interests. Each Member Spotlight post reflects the unique viewpoint of the author, and does not represent the views of the rest of the IGDN or its membership.

I grew up playing Magic, D&D, Warhammer, and other games you find at hobby stores. Nowadays, I design games for families and children that are purchased by mainstream consumers at retailers like Target and Wal-Mart. Involvement in both worlds has taught me about a few differences between these markets.

1. Mass-market companies expect a large volume of sales.
It is important to understand the difference in scale between the hobby and mainstream games. Mass-market games I have designed which sold from 20,000 to 100,000 units were considered failures, even though these numbers sound large in the hobby market. Only games that sold 200,000 or more units in a year were seen as successes. Results like this often require immense efforts from skilled designers and large marketing teams.

2. Casual and hobby gamers want different things from games.
In contrast to hobby gamers, mass-market gamers (“casuals”) prefer simple games. Some people attribute this to a casual gamer’s intelligence. This is an insulting assumption. The true difference is hobby gamers are interested in gaming as a primary source of entertainment. Casuals see games as a fun distraction, but their primary interests are elsewhere.

3. Interest is the key driver behind what you choose to play.
Hobby gamers will sit down to play a complex game they know nothing about to broaden their experience. However, casual gamers worry about losing time and mental energy that could be spent on something they might enjoy more. As such, it’s difficult to get casuals to risk playing – and especially purchase – an unfamiliar game. You have to find powerful communication to capture their attention, time, and money.

4. Investment shapes communication.
Highly invested gamers have acquired a subconscious cluster of visual cues, game mechanics, story themes, jargon, etc., to interpret new experiences. Uninitiated casuals have no such advantage. This makes simple and culturally familiar experiences easier to communicate. They perceive such games as lower-risk investments.

This phenomenon makes classic games such as Sorry and Monopoly everlasting, despite some opinions they aren’t very fun. When the occasional mood to play a board game strikes, Sorry offers an experience both simple and familiar. Monopoly isn’t simple compared to Sorry, but is so widely known that it’s a cultural icon.

5. Designing new experiences for casual consumers is difficult.
It is difficult to make something that feels familiar and is easy to learn, yet still fresh and fun. The palette of mechanics you can employ is limited, and themes must be inherently appealing or trendy. This balancing act can apply to hobby gamers as well, but they have a wider language of mechanics and theme trends. Finding the perfect intersection of fresh and familiar is extremely difficult. It can take collective knowledge of an entire team to get it right.

6. The American game audience is changing.
For designers of hobby games, the good news is that the market is growing every day. Video games and apps have made complex game mechanics accessible, and digital gaming’s high entertainment value makes classic board games less appealing. Consumers are starting to desire more novel experiences found in hobby games, and each year it becomes easier to turn an uninterested gamer into an engaged one.

Dustin DePenning has worked in the gaming industry since 2008, first at Hasbro and now at Spin Master Games. In his off-time, he is developing an RPG called Synthicide.

The Ninja Crusade 2nd Edition Now Available in PDF

Ninja Crusade Second Edition coverPick your Clan…
Pick your Jutsu…
Take on an army!

Third Eye Games presents The Ninja Crusade 2nd Edition, an RPG of mysticism and high-flying martial arts. This edition expands the world of ninja and introduces an entirely new system designed from the ground up to deliver intense anime-inspired action and creative storytelling.

In this game, you’ll build your ninja using a lifepath character creation system, create tenuous truces with members of rival clans, and use your jutsu against the evil Izou Empire whose mission is to wipe your kind from the face of the planet.

The new Chakra System provides plenty of depth without sacrificing flexibility. Choose from 10 ninja clans (plus an 11th clanless option), power up with jutsu chosen from 20 jutsu paths and select from skills and backgrounds to define your character.

The Ninja Crusade, 2nd Edition is now available in PDF with a hardcover print edition coming soon. Capture your copy today at DriveThruRPG or the 3EG Online Store.

Laser Kittens is live on Kickstarter

Kittens with lasers shooting from their eyes play in the snowLaser Kittens, a game of tiny kittens growing up and learning to control their lasers, is live on Kickstarter. In Laser Kittens, you’ll play kittens being fostered at the Knoll St School for Wayward Kittens, a house where humans take in orphaned and abandoned kittens and take care of them until they’re ready to find their Forever Homes. You’ll learn important lessons from your adult cat professors, such as how to control your laser — a special superpower that humans don’t know about. Use your laser to summon a herd of emus to your aid, or teleport all of the catnip into the basement, or to erase a bad human from history.

Laser Kittens is a cooperative storytelling game suitable for everyone from pre-teens to adults. Using two standard decks of playing cards, you’ll bid for control of the story. Players take turns being Class Captain, setting the scene and controlling any NPCs while the other players narrate the actions of their kittens. When your laser goes off, you never know if it will do something amazing or backfire terribly, creating kitten chaos. The fun is in seeing what happens!

When you back Laser Kittens you can get a PDF and audio versions of the rulebook, or a softcover physical copy (100 pages, 6×9 inches). At higher pledge levels, you can get your cat included as an NPC, or even have our artist (Cynthia Lee) incorporate your cat into the book’s illustrations. Back Laser Kittens today!