Watching Hidamari Sketch and Sketchbook has done wonders to help me deal with crippling stress and anxiety lately, so I got inspired to get back to working on Raspberry Heaven. Out of my excessive collection of unfinished game projects, it’s the most promising and playable. It also doesn’t hurt that the kinds of 4-koma manga that inspired the game are becoming more readily available in English. You can buy all of Azumanga Daioh in one $25 book, and Yen Press (which has been putting out some seriously great stuff in general) has released the first volumes of Hidamari Sketch and one I hadn’t heard before (but which turned out to be great), S.S. Astro. Plus, Bandai has supposedly licensed the Lucky Star manga. Sketchbook is absolutely wonderful, but so far no one’s picked it up.
Anyway, the major issues with the game as it stands are as follows:
1. Turn Order: Originally I had players just put down cards as they felt like it. I’m contemplating using some kind of turn order mechanic, but I don’t know if it will help the game or screw things up.
2. Special Moves: I went through and cleaned up the selection of Special Moves (so that none of them overlap), but I need to see if they’re all more or less equally useful. In the one playtest session we did, no one used any non-wildcard Special Moves. At this point it may just be a matter of playtesting.
3. Memories: So basically, I want to have something where the game sort of archives particularly memorable things that happen during play. However, I don’t think much of the rules I have in place right now, and I’d happily chuck them out in favor of something better. Or I may just drop that aspect of the game entirely. I’m thinking that Memories should be something that belong to the whole group, which in turn let me to the idea of doing a Mad-Libs type thing to create one or more Memories when you first start playing.
4. Applause: After seeing meta-game player encouragement work so well in both Yuuyake Koyake and Peerless Food Fighters, I’m thinking Raspberry Heaven could benefit from something similar… but the existing structure of the game doesn’t really lend itself to that.
5. Snippets: Basically, I want to let players to individual mini-scenes during the game.
On the plus side, Tobias Wrigstad was kind enough to send me an article he did that is an overview of jeepform. While I intend for Raspberry Heaven to stay a tabletop game where you play with cards, the game is getting some jeepform influence here and there, especially when it comes to telegraphing, which to me is one of the most fascinating new things in role-playing, like, ever.
Also, I realized that if you want to make a visual representation of your character and you’d don’t have $200+ worth of Pinky:St dolls on hand like I do (some of them were gifts. shut up.), you could use an avatar creator website. Tektek.org’s Dream Avatar would be my favorite (in case you couldn’t tell), but there are plenty of others.