Game Designer Workshop Episode 1: Concept

That guy's all D: and the worm is all >:OCaleb of Hebanon Games is in the beginning stages of designing a new RPG from the ground up, and he has decided to document the entire process, from start to finish. In this new series, Caleb will talk to other game designers and figure out what works and what does not work when making a new role playing game. In this episode, Caleb and Ross discuss the concept for his new game, which is called Red Markets. You can read more about it here on the Hebanon Games blog. If you’re interested in game design, be sure to give this a listen!

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  1. Read Apocalypse world by D. Vincent Baker. It sounds a bit like you are about to embark on a quest to make a apocalypse heart-breaker that overlaps with that system a lot. Also, you could steal all or some of the mechanics from that system to power the Red Market. As the system was made free to use and hack by the author. It’s the system used in both Dungeon World and Monsterheart.

  2. I can’t wait for Raymond Carver: The Roleplaying Game.
    Particularly looking forward to the Cathedral supplement.

  3. Thank you for running this series of podcast episodes on Game design. I am using them to generate a third rpg based on your discussions and pointers. My game is going to be called the Master Effect and be about 1920’s crime wars and those involved. You can read more about it on the google+ document( that i created just for this work. After the episodes are completed, I will begin to flesh it out more.

    Again thank you for these episodes and all of the past enjoyment given. Hope all goes well with your endeavors.

  4. This is great, particularly as I’m trying to write my own RPG at the moment. I will probably be much slower at it.

    While Zombies have been done a lot, I really like the idea of the economic survival and having a spectrum between enthusiastic newbie and grizzled veteran about to snap. It seems like a game that would be good for a short campaign where the story of a few characters can be developed.

    One bit of advice I would give is to take it slowly but write down every idea. I find that it takes a long time to come up with a variety of ideas and then weed out the ones that don’t fit. I also easily forget good ideas when new ones come along, so I like to create a collection of them before putting stuff together.

    For brainstorming, I sometimes uses lists like plot types or the story elements in Dramatica ( and come up with an idea of how they would fit in whatever I’m working on. For example, Threat / Fantasy -> A group believe the infection is spread by “carriers” and anyone who has been in the wasteland is suspect, or Romance -> Marriage is a competitive game used to gain citizenship of enclaves, but families demand suitors be wealthy or powerful. You end up with a lot of rubbish ideas but a fair few which can be developed.

    Good luck with, we will be listening.

  5. On a more serious note, are you doing a kickstarter for this one, Caleb? I’d definitely back it.

  6. Red Market sounds AWESOME! Certainly brings something new to the zombie table!

    Also, I’d like to thank both Ross and Caleb for doing this series as I think it will be both highly educational and entertaining 🙂

  7. Staring to wonder when the next workshop will show up!

  8. Im very excited to see this product! Cant wait to hear more!

  9. Very excited to hear how this plays out.

    A couple of notes for you though:
    1. sparkly zombies have already come. Have you heard of “Warm Bodies?”
    2. I have a cool zombie profession for you. Someone who tags zombies with wildlife trackers so that scientists can study zombie movements in the wild.

    Anyhow thank you for doing the series.

  10. I do not believe that the Zombie concept is solid. I, as a consumer, would be more piqued by some other “tool” by which the apocalypse occurs. Perhaps instead of being plagued by Zombies, there might be like “drones” used by corporations to scavenge and work in the hostile environment. They might even be people wired up to be “manufactured Zombies.” As for the “end” itself, it could anything, it doesn’t really take much to engender xenophobia in an established society. Aside from that, It sounds really great and I hope that you keep at it.

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