Ben's Journal

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Thursday, October 19th, 2023

Robot is reading data from a disk. "We set up a probe to monitor the one in the factory lab." is currently shown.

Factory, the puzzle platformer I've been making, is OUT!

Read on to learn a bit more about the game...


This finally arrived!

Thursday, August 31st, 2023

Mega Man X metal cartridge

I donated during the LOVE 3 race at AGDQ this year and, to my surprise, I won this metal Mega Man cart.

It’s pretty hefty! I should figure out a way to display it too, I’m sure there must be some kind of SNES cart stand that exists…

I feel...

Thursday, August 31st, 2023

Cats on a periodic table. Elements spell out “no cats no life”

...that The Internet might appreciate this T-shirt I was gifted.

Roll for initiative

Sunday, August 27th, 2023


Something I’ve been mulling over for running old-school dungeon games is an easy and interesting way to roll for initiative. I kind of find individual initiative to be a slower way to play, but group initiative IMO feels less fun and has the problem of ‘who rolls for the group this time?’

I quite like the idea of how initiative works in The Black Hack - everyone rolls a DEX check, if they pass then they go before the opponents, if they fail then they go after. It’s sort of like group initiative, but blended with individual initiative. Everyone gets to roll.

I was thinking of a slightly different version that I want to try sometime. Everyone, including the DM, rolls a d6. If you beat the DM’s score then you go before the opponents. If you don’t then you go after. The two reasons for this slight tweak are:

  1. The DM gets to roll too! I think that’s fun! I like rolling dice.
  2. It makes the outcome a little more uncertain and less static - even if you have a fairly low DEX then you still might beat the DM and get to go first.

If required you could also combine this with a surprise check and say that anyone who rolls a 1 in the first round of combat is surprised.

Back from holidays

Monday, August 21st, 2023

Warabi Mochi

So I'm back from holidays! We had a nice time in Japan, although I unfortunately was sick for the last few days we were there. But! It was really nice to travel around, see friends old and new, and eat lots of delicious food!

I got to go to Tokyo Game Dungeon and play Nice Disc against Daikon and Renkon, as well as lots of other neat indie games. It was a big highlight of the trip - I don't often get to go to indie game events these days and I really enjoy seeing what folk are working on. My favourite game of the show was シカクリバーシ by HeX Wrench, which is this kinda intense Reversi game with no grid. (You can play the demo at that link!)

I also went to Takayama and Shirakawa-go for the first time in many years - I really like Gifu prefecture and it was great to be able to go and visit the area again.


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