Tag Archive | "game design"

Designing Hellion City Heists for PocketQuest 2024

Posted on April 15, 2024 by

Hellion City Heists design essay written by Richard Lackinger So, I finally did it. I made a game! After thinking about it for many years, scribbling notes, compiling composition books, and virtually scrapbooking inspirational images, I decided to cast all of that aside and make something new and completely different. You might ask, “Why would […]


Design Diary – Scarred Lands Spell Cards

Posted on May 11, 2019 by

The Scarred Lands Spell Cards for 5e were just released on DriveThruRPG. I had the pleasure of working on these cards as the developer as well as performing layout duties. The process of crafting these cards presented a number of unique challenges, which required a wide array of skills.


Progress Report #1: A Long Update

Posted on February 25, 2013 by

Today, I kick off a new series that specifically talks about what I’m up to work-wise. I’ve made it a policy not to over-publicize games and stories that haven’t come out yet, primarily because I’ve been burned on that before. It’s tricky to manage because everybody’s promoting, but sometimes deals go bad or businesses fold or what have you. Hence, progress reports. Not promising you anything, but these are some projects I’m working on, have been involved with, and may be coming to a book store, game store, or online retailer near you.


Looking back at the Design Essay Series

Posted on August 26, 2011 by

The Flames Rising Design Essay Series started in 2008 when Preston DuBose and I were chatting about different projects we’ve worked on (including Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas which we had recently released) and I asked him to write a little something about the next project on his agenda, you can find the essay below. Like other parts of the site, this series started out in RPGs, but soon expanded to include Fiction, Comics and we even have one essay about Film.

The series continues to evolve and has become an ongoing project where authors, game designers and others can tell Flames Rising readers about the creative process that went into a particular project. We have no plans on stopping this series, but I thought I’d take a moment to look back at some of the essays we’ve posted so far:


David A Hill Jr “Ghost Stories on Space Stations”

Posted on July 19, 2010 by

Game Designer, David Hill jumps into our design essay series with some notes on the development of the Maschine Zeit RPG. David tells us about some of the cinematic inspirations for the setting of this new RPG as well as the goals that went into the initial development of the system.

When I advertise Maschine Zeit, I call it, “Ghost Stories on Space Stations.” I wanted to talk briefly on that. Over the years, there’s been this sub-genre of horror films that are fundamentally haunted house stories, set in science fiction environments. The sub-genre really got its chops with the release of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, Alien. Looking around at various RPGs, I didn’t feel that the genre had been properly emulated, so that’s what I’d set out to do. What this resulted in was an RPG that, in my opinion, shares a number of conventions with popular games, while eschewing many.


Designing Ganakagok: The Certainty of Change

Posted on October 13, 2009 by

Our game design series continues with a new essay from Bill White telling us about his fantasy RPG, Ganakagok.

Ganakagok is a fantasy where characters are members of a tribe that lives in a night-time world on an island of ice who must deal with the coming of the Dawn and the changes it brings. Play involves the use of a deck of cards to generate situation, prompt narration, and inspire characters; each session produces an authentic-seeming myth of an imaginary people.

Designing Ganakagok

When people ask me what my game Ganakagok is about, I say, “It’s a fantasy.” I tell them that it’s about a people called the Nitu, who live on a starlit island of ice in a world where the sun has never risen. They live in darkness, revering the Stars, honoring their Ancestors, and marveling at the handiwork of the Forgotten Ones, who long ago wrought Ganakagok into its current form.


Joe Rixman “Ancient Vampire Tales”

Posted on November 12, 2008 by

The Horror Design Essay Project continues today with a little something from freelance writer Joe Rixman. Joe recently took part in our Halloween Horror series with the Tear-Drop Rattler.

Today he is going to tell us a bit about the work he did on a couple of books for White Wolf’s Vampire: the Requiem RPG.

Ancient Vampire Tales

I was lucky enough to be friends with a writer at White Wolf who thought my writing was good enough to open a couple doors. Thankfully, Matt McFarland signed me on for two books that he was developing freelance for Vampire, Ancient Mysteries and its sister book, Ancient Bloodlines. I have to tell you that I am probably the luckiest guy in the world to have gotten this opportunity and grateful to both the developers and the other writers I had the chance to work with on them. As to the actual books…


Eloy LaSanta “Apocalypse Prevention Inc.”

Posted on August 12, 2008 by

Our horror design essay project continues. Last week was Monica Valentinelli’s Initiation to Exquisite Replicas and other essays can be found in the Articles page here at Flames Rising.

Next up is Eloy LaSanta telling us about his new game Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. and how he created his company Third Eye Games.


Monica Valentinelli “Initiation to Exquisite Replicas”

Posted on August 8, 2008 by

So far in our horror design essay project we’ve heard from Preston DuBose on Degrees of Horror, Clash Bowley on The Evolution of Blood Games and A.W. Gryphon regarding Witchcraft, Magick, and Tackling The Unknown. Three different projects with different goals, methods and styles of writing.

Next up we’re going to take a look at the design process of the Exquisite Replicas RPG from Abstract Nova Entertainment. We’ve had several Previews of this new game on the site already. Now we get a chance to hear from one of the authors about the creative process that went into its development. Monica Valentinelli tells us about the setting of Exquisite Replicas


Hunter: the Vigil “From the Authors”

Posted on June 3, 2008 by

Previous Hunter: the Vigil teasers have included sample Endowments and Professions as well as the Loyalists of Thule.

I don’t want to distract folks from the teasers that White Wolf has posted recently, namely A Game of Light in Shadows and What Hunter Is. Go read them when you get the chance, interesting stuff.

This week we are going to do something a little different…

I asked the authors of the Hunter: the Vigil core book to tell me a little something about working on the book. A few of them sent me some interesting stories…

UPDATE: White Wolf freelancer, Alex Greene, has sent me some of his thoughts on the new game. I’ve added them to this post.


Interview with Ed Wetterman and Preston DuBose at 12 to Midnight

Posted on May 21, 2008 by

12 to Midnight publishes modern horror roleplaying games and accessories.

In this interview Ed Wetterman and Preston DuBose take us on a tour of Pinebox and then they explain a little bit about the design process that went into the new Steamworks d20 fantasy book.

We also get to hear about why 12 to Midnight likes the Savage Worlds system and get some details on the first ever Midnight Charity Project.



Posted on February 25, 2008 by

Created by Jeff Tidball (Lord of the Rings RPG) and Will Hindmarch (Vampire: the Requiem), Gameplaywright is a blog about writing, designing and playing games. Not aimed at professionals, and not a “how-to” for beginners…this blog lies somewhere in the middle. There are plenty of great topics from two very talented game designers that range […]


Interview with Rich Thomas, White Wolf’s Creative Director

Posted on August 1, 2007 by

Rich tells us a little bit about his job as the Creative Director at White Wolf Game Studios, including art design, hiring freelancers and more…


Interview with Game Designer Jonathan Ridd

Posted on February 24, 2006 by

In this interview John tells us about the design and development of the the Dog Town RPG and a little about how the Split System works.


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