News and Updates

DoubleZero System and the Black Box Movement

What’s the intersection of the DoubleZero System and the Black Box Movement? Obviously there is the minimalist presentation. The book has no art, so that everything could fit into a tight, 96-page digest format package. That’s why we can sell the PDF of a Core Book for $4.99 and, eventually, a softcover print edition with a prospective price of $9.99. One of the aims of Black Box is, after all, to reduce the barriers to…

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News and Updates

How Remix Culture Balances Comfortable with Cutting Edge

Tabletop roleplaying is, and has always been, a remix culture. I’ve written about that before, so I don’t want to completely rehash it all here. Where it works best is when remix culture balances the familiar and comfortable with new and cutting edge ideas. This is why so much fantasy looks like Dungeons &Dragons, science fiction feels like Star Trek and Star Wars, horror continually references Cthulhu, and superheroes all feel like alternate versions of…

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News and Updates

Glossary: Homage and Pastiche

Two more words I use a lot are homage and pastiche. Most tabletop roleplaying games are engaged in one or the other. They might not acknowledge it. They may not even know it. It’s still a fundamental cultural cornerstone of the hobby. Homage An homage is a tribute to something or someone as a show of respect. It comes from the French word hommage, which in Medieval feudalism was the oath of fealty sworn to…

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News and Updates

Lo-Fi Publishing

In music the term lo-fi describes production quality where imperfections in the recording or performance can be heard. Sometimes they are organic, giving the piece an authentic, “live” feel. Other times they reflect an aesthetic choice. Lo-fi has been associated with a lot of things, including the DIY ethos of punk, nostalgia for analog recordings, and outsider music. Daniel “Highmoon” Perez and I have had numerous conversations in the past couple of years over how…

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News and Updates

The Black Box Movement and Remix Culture

Since both philosophies are currently having a strong influence on my approach to game design, I should take a moment to explain how the Black Box Movement and Remix Culture fit together. These are my personal opinions. They aren’t meant to be interpreted as representative of either creative community. I can only speak to my own takeaways, and perspectives that I’m finding to be useful. On the most basic level, they’re both about clearing away…

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