by Will Hindmarch
Ken Hite’s excellent GUMSHOE thriller, Night Black Agents, has changed the way I’m thinking about some of the GUMSHOE tech in this game. Razed was always meant to have a couple of different functioning play styles—and it’s still using its system of dials for creating the setting and campaign background—but I’m taking inspiration from Ken’s work and more clearly defining two key modes of play for Razed.
In short, one mode is for ordinary people surviving in frighteningly extraordinary times and the other mode is for extraordinary people working to change an ugly world into something better. This is, in a way, simply a better way to get at a topic I was chipping away at in the manuscript already (and which we dealt with in my last Razed campaign), so it’s a great fit. Razed campaigns can also switch from one mode to the other during play to reflect the tenor or voice of your unfolding stories. Do your ordinary survivors spend a year training to take back their planet from invading aliens? Switch the dial from “defense” to “offense” and have at it! (All terms are subject to change, still.)
I’m hoping to get these locked down in the next month so that I can submit the game to outside playtesting this spring. I’d really like or you to see it.
Speaking of seeing it, art and graphic design for the game continues to develop. I find it immensely helpful to have a sense of a book’s final look when I’m writing for it, so I’ve done up some book-design sketches for the project and am delivering art notes for concept artists in that design style. It’s great fun.
As part of that process, I’ve been experimenting with a color palette and a new logo for the game’s cover. Here’s one sketch I did up recently: