Art of War & Anime inspired Games

By combining Anime, Films, & RPGs, I created Art of War.

Just past the 80% mark of the Art of War Kickstarter relaunch and we are almost to the final stretch. Just over $200 more till the original estimated goal is meet. As I take a Sunday to get caught up on a 20+ shows in queue from the Fall 2017 season to present I wanted to reflect on why this project is a heart project.

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The a core foundation idea behind Art of War is transcribing the elements of the classic Big Eyes, Small Mouth (3rd Edition) Anime Roleplaying Game into the Savage Worlds system. Much like the Savage Worlds Superpowers Companion, I wanted to create an Anime Companion. The thing that governs BESM is that it covers all Anime: Kaiju, giant Mecha, Sci-fi bounty hunters. While I do want to create an open Anime Companion for Savage Worlds still, I wanted to focus more on the fantasy or period pieces. While not the extreme tech-fantasy like Final Fantasy (which can be argued as a Sci-Fi), I wanted Samurai Champloo feel with more martial arts.

I also wanted to concentrate on the meshing of my favorite movie genres: Samurai Sagas (bushido) & Martial Art Epics (wuxia). To me, this is a combination of Japanese and Chinese “warlord eras”. Sengoku & Three Kingdoms. The perfect example of this mash up can be found in the movie: Heroes of the Eastmaxresdefault

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Or something along the lines of Jet Li’s Fearless. The one issue with these examples, and you must forgive me, is that they have a Chinese bent. They are Hong Kong action style films starring Chinese Actors, with one being specifically designed as a propaganda film. But it shows the premise of the CvJ genre I wanted to incorporate.

The difference between these ideas and what I have created is a inclusive environment compared to a versus environment. These two movie examples do recognize a joining of culture near the end of each film, but I wanted Art of War to have a completed narrative.

The world of Art of War is a combined influence of aspects inspired by these to beautiful and elegant cultures.

How does Anime and Films tie together?

By combining aspects of these three core basics: Anime, Films, & RPGs, I was able to play in a sandbox that would allow me to create a world that can use all three.

Take the new anime Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, the title alone screams Ecchi. Hmmm. Probably not the best example, but work with me on this.
Here you have the main protagonist, Kogarashi Fuyuzora, who could very well fit into our hungry-ghosting- hunting exorcist Trope we call a Kui.

Sagiri Ameno is a good example of our Shinobi Trope.

Yaya Fushiguro is an example of a Nekomimi race from our setting, probably a Hero Trope.

Nonko Arahabaki – well maybe an external focused Buxist (drinking being the “trappings” of her Trance ability) or a Youxia Trope. She could easily fall into a Hero trope. Now we do not have an Ogre race in this game… It makes me think that I should. Oni are an enemy to the Empire in my game, but maybe something in a future supplement.

Where are you going with this blog entry?

Well getting the ramblings all together, I’m trying to say you do not have to play the default setting for Art of War. The Tropes and Chi system found in the book can lend itself to any anime or martial arts inspired setting.

Tentacle Out!

The Long Haul

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In just a few minutes I’ll take the step of pushing the launch button. Officially rebooting the Art of War Kickstarter. I’m excited, yet nervous. I think we will at least hit our modest goal.

Meanwhile, I have several post in “review” that I need to finish so that I can get anime reviews up.

Re-watching Basilisk so that I can watch the new series. Finish Darling in the Franxx. Many more on the list to update. Hopefully soon.

Tentacle, out.

More lessons learned from KS & Relaunch

Lessons Learned

The last two days I have been working through the budget of what can be cut, added and rearranged. I still need funds to guarantee I can pay for an editor or editors. That’s priority number one. I don’t need more art, but it I do want art to accent some areas of the book; mostly in the techniques chapter. I don’t like the map that was commissioned, which is why it wasn’t shown in an update. That needs reworking.

Some art for techniques & new map is a universal simple cost. Savage Worlds needs an editor. 5e needs an editor and a writer to flesh out mechanics for classes and archetypes.

Meanwhile looking at Kickstarter rewards can have a direct influence on how the project makes money to fund future budgets. A kickstarter has rewards that need to be covered and included in your funding goal. A PDF reward has no material cost, but should have a reasonable cost/value associated. Retail value for PDFs should be half or 3/4 the price of your physical reward. Money earned through a PDF reward does go straight to the project.

Physical rewards such as Books & Miniatures, have a physical cost that is directly deducted from the reward and should be listed with a margin above cost, close to shelf sales price. Most kickstarters will mark these rewards at shelf price, so they can count their profit as money to the project. Most books are marked up 4x production cost. So if you mark the book reward 3x production cost, but sale price is 4 or 5 times cost, backers tend to see it as a good discount. This does mean, you need to sell more physical reward pledge levels in this section to make it worth your wild. After you deduct your cost , the “profit” then goes straight to the project.

My initial goal was a cost margin spread across both versions of the book. If we keep half and make the next project focused for strictly on one version of the book, that covers cost and helps with more adventures and additional material resources. In addition, this gives time for the other version to catch up and finish development. Savage Worlds is finished, except for the editor. I think I have my next direction.

Trying something new

I have reworked my stretch goals and compared them to other kickstarters. I have also adjusted pledge levels to be a little more inciting. I want to try a short run campaign like I have seen others do in the past. They are exciting and at half price, it’s all or nothing. The goal will be to raise money for just an editor. It will be a 15-day campaign, and will will launch it on May 29. Art of War for Savage Worlds will have a goal of $1,000.00 or $1,250.00.

48 to the end of Art of War Kickstarter

We have (had) a kickstarter

After a too long of a hiatus, I’m back for another riveting rendition of the things we have been working on at Amora Game.

As many of you may or may not know, I have been publishing material from our Xeno File series here and on the Open Gaming Store under this moniker. My last article was November 2 of last year. What have I been doing with myself? What have you been doing without us?

This Tentacle has been busy working on a little project called Art of War. We are currently in the last 48 hours of our Kickstarter, and I have learned on this project.

  1.  Political Correctness: Very briefly we had someone perform their due diligence and say our project was appropriation. One thing to check during a PC environment is to make sure you do your best not to offend anyone. Having an anime Eastern fantasy setting can bring up such a challenge. While I having taken great pains to make sure nothing of the sort has incurred, I could see where one backer was a little offended saying, this was cultural appropriation. I get it. I do. While I could say it is actually appreciation, admiration and love for the history and countries that I have personally visited, that coming from a middle aged, middle class, white American gringo it sounds like just an excuse. But big companies like Paizo or Wizards or Fantasy Flight Games can introduce an Eastern setting without the internet proclaiming Orientalism. I get it. I can lay before you, saying this project is a love affair. The 1000 of artists and game designers out there are inspired by such rich and deep tradition, are wounded when things are said. All you can do is reassert your love, and continue with the project. Luckily we have been okay.
  2. Backers Cancelling pledges: It’s very interesting the answers you get from former backers if you reach out to them after they cancel their pledge. I never honestly assume a truthful answer is coming, but if I have offended someone, I want to do my best to correct it (see #1). Change your mind, awesome, I get that. Can not afford it, I get that too. I ask them if there is anything I can do to change their mind, or ask what they would like to see and sometimes we’ll get feedback. Then the random sort of “I don’t think your project will get funded, so I am canceling my pledge. I might back it when it has more funding.” If you cancel your pledge, that means that a kickstarter will not get funded. But if the kickstarter isn’t doing well and the time runs out, you don’t get charged. You are not out any money. Maybe it’s a way to save face, so they can say, “I didn’t back that project, I knew it was going to fail”. You see where my statements of not getting charged if it fails comes in.
  3. My complete lack of advertising: This is my fault. I didn’t advertise too much before the Kickstarter. I did a small Facebook and Tweet blast when it launched spontaneously without really thinking about it. I did not use all the tools at my disposal. This is my failing. However, I did do a small circuit around the web with two articles on OGN, Pinnacle put us in the Licensee Spotlight, the podcast Wild Die gave us a shout out, we released both a 5e and a Savage Worlds intro adventure South of the Wall Savage Worlds adventure pdf; South of the Wall 5th Edition adventure pdf; a teaser here Art of War Savage Worlds teaser PDF and we made an old Kemonomimi product free: Kemonomimi Race preview for 5th Edition; and an interview article is here. 

 

We are sitting at over 50%, but will it reach a new height. We’ll see.

Check us out if you want. Back if you love it. Once the KS is over, I’ll have time to start blogging again. 100s of anime to cover.

~TG out.

Monday Manga: Scum’s Wish

….I was halfway through when I decided I hated it. But I finished it and hated it more.

S Wish
Rating Summary

Art: 3 – Above Average

Story: 3 – Nothing exciting

Dialogue and Development: 3 – meh

Overall: 3.5 out of 5 –  It was just okay, but I was halfway through when I decided I hated it. But I finished it and hated it more.

*Contains Minor Spoilers* Tentacle writes about events of the manga. Don’t want spoilers, stop reading.

Plot: High school student Hanabi Yasuraoka has been in love with her older childhood friend who is now her homeroom teacher Narumi Kanai. But from the look in Narumi’s eyes when he sees the new music teacher Akane Minagawa, Hanabi realizes that he is in love with Akane and not her. Hanabi meets Mugi Awaya, another student who is in love with Akane, who was his tutor when he was in middle school. Hanabi and Mugi make a pact and begin a fake relationship to satisfy each other’s loneliness from their respective unrequited loves, both sexually and emotionally. They agree to not fall in love with each other and end the relationship if their love is returned from the people they are in love with. – Wikipedia

Hate it.

A triangle of unrequited love without so much of a an inkling of caring for this series. There is growth and forgiveness and  it is not for me. It’s all about bad choices and partially dealing with those consequences.

The main character Hanabi is your self-loathing kind of highschool girl that does have a rough time. She is at one point a starry-eyed girl that is in love with her older tutor, now teacher. Her best friend Sanae is in love with her, and Hanabi at some point might feel the same. . . wait a second.

Let me just stop before I go on a long rant and try to sum up weird stuff.

Hanabi + Mugi = get into a relationship for appearances and to cure their loneliness. They both “love” other characters and the story follows them in the seeking of those. At some point they both secretly admit to the audience that they do in fact in up liking each other in some form or another. I could really careless about Mugi.

Hanabi + Narumi = Narumi is Hanabi’s childhood friend and becomes her teacher. Hanabi just seems to be looking for that father figure. It was a childhood crush that I am glad didn’t transpire.

Mugi + Akane = Akane is a new music teacher at the school and has a penchant for living only to seduce. Akane likes the thrill of seduction and the audience gets of taste of how she cures her loneliness.  Ah Mugi is a highschool kid that bangs that hot teacher. Meh.

Akane + Narumi = You see what they did here? I’m gonna leave it at that. You might feel sorry for Narumi when he confronts Akane and says (summary), ” I know you sleep around, but as long as you come home to me I can handle it. Don’t tell me anything, just come home to me, I love you.” Ack! Emotionally taxing.

Hanabi + Sanae = Sanae is in love with Hanabi. Hanabi kind feels the same, but is more on the friend level. They stop being friends as Sanae needs some space after being rejected. Near the end of the series they become friends again. And they should be.  A+ to this plot.

Side plots involve Sanae’s cousin who has feelings for her. We learn of Mugi’s first sex partner, Mei who rushed him into doing the deed. Neither of these stories fill a void, but I guess there is some background to character development for you.

Did I mention: Hated it!

Everyone at some point gets their emo moment of “Oh look at me. I’m dead in side”. Everyone is in this manga. The over arching theme is loneliness and how these people get over it. Or how they mope about it and bring others emotionally down. There is reconciliation between many of the characters, but I just couldn’t care any more. I was done halfway through. I felt sorry for no one in this book, except for Sanae.

The story was a little longer than it should have been. Everyone seems to turn out okay in the end. Hanabi makes the realization that she should be happy with herself and improve upon that.

I guess the only way to tie up this review is to grab Hanabi by the shoulders and look her dead in the eye and say: “Love yourself girl. You don’t need no man to know you are worthy. ”

Tentacle out.