Wheels In Motion

ScreenPlay_logo_earlyWith only 12 days before the launch of ScreenPlay‘s Rehearsal Edition, it seemed a good time to update everyone on the state of things and where the playtest stands at this very moment.

First, the promotional wheels have begun to spin as the Warden (OK, me) spoke about the game and exposed his true feelings about Michael Fassbender on the Dr. Tom the Frog show.

As for the release itself, there are a couple of areas to explore and we’ll take a look at each of them individually.

The Playtest Itself

ScreenPlay‘s editor, Vincent Harper, has completed his edits for the current draft (version 1.1) and submitted revisions based on his suggestions and in response to some additional alpha testing conducted over the weekend. (To that end, big thanks to Matthew, Jake, Darina, Matlock, and Fraser for writing a great story of Ironbound: The Curse of the Scarab Witch at Capital Gaming Expo on Saturday. Your input and outcomes definitely helped create a sharper version for everyone to enjoy on the 20th.) There are a couple of mechanical aspects under review for different reasons and I’m debating leaving them in as optional rules or leaving them inserted with everything else to see how they hold up in beta playtesting. Decisions, decisions.

There’s also the matter of expanding the third act of the Rehearsal Edition, which is the advice chapter for Directors (or Gamemasters). Reading some comments, posts, and shares about this game has given me some concerns about whether the game will meet certain expectations and I want to make sure those expectations will be met. For example, quite a few people have compared the concept of the game to Primetime Adventures, a story game in which players develop a TV series and play out the story arcs of characters across an entire season. It’s a flattering comparison and while it may be personal last minute jitters, I want to make sure anyone who expects to find similar themes from that game will be happy. The mechanics of ScreenPlay focus on the storytelling and gameplay, but it’s the actions of the Director that make it cinematic. Once I know those tools are clearly delivered, I can breathe a sigh of relief.

The ScreenPlayers Guild

Discovering how Writers, Directors, and casual readers feel about the game is the key to a successful playtest and there will be two means of accessing that input. First, each draft of the Rehearsal Edition will include three surveys, one for the three levels of participation (reading the game or playing as a Writer or Director). Second, there will be an G+ community for everyone to get together and share their comments publicly, ask questions for myself and other players, hang out, maybe start up a play-by-post game. Either way, the ScreenPlayers Guild is a way to connect with other playtesters and I encourage anyone who’s thinking about giving this a whirl to sign up now and receive 1 bonus playtest point if you join before October 20th.

What’s a playtest point? I’m glad you asked.

Playtest Points

Simply asking nicely doesn’t always do the trick, not when there are so many different games to play and so many released on a weekly basis. What we needed was to offer an incentive and that’s where playtest points come in. Anyone who provides feedback on any of the various drafts or shares a link to a draft during these 16 weeks will earn playtest points. The more points you earn, the greater your reward will be at the end. Get your name listed as a playtester in the finished product, earn PDF copies, even unlock additional adventures to playtest. And the top five people will unlock free print copies of ScreenPlay: The Director’s Cut. While I had hoped to share the current point structure with everyone, there are still come adjustments underway and it’s probably best to wait until the Rehearsal Edition launch to see for yourself.


Maximizing the number of playtesters means spreading the word and that’s where we could use YOUR help. Hence the #ScreenPlayRPG hashtag. Anyone who shares a link, posts on their blog or Facebook page, tweets, or whatever will earn 1 playtest point. That’s enough to get you credit in the finished product alone. And we’d love to see your comments, video reviews, and podcasts about it. It’s all about passing it on to the next player.

The response to date has already been rewarding and has given us cause to tighten up a few screws to ensure this first playtest draft is as ready as possible, while still leaving room for flexibility and varied feedback. The clock is counting down and the suspense is building. Soon, it will be out in the world and I will have a stash of paper bags to hyperventilate in or jumping up and down for joy on the wing of a plane 10,000 feet in the air.

Catch A Sneak Peak of ScreenPlay at the Capital Gaming Expo

CGX-weblogo1Think of this as an advanced screening of a little game we call ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition taking place October 3rd from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the newly renovated Capital Gaming Expo. Not only will this be an opportunity for anyone in the Ottawa area to try out this storytelling RPG of true democratic storytelling (the only kind of storytelling, am I right?), but it will also be the premiere of the first treatment (AKA adventure) for ScreenPlay entitled “Ironbound: The Curse of the Scarab Witch.” Details from the CGE site below.

For over a century, the Ironbound has sworn allegiance to punish all those who would practice the dark craft of magick, be they summoner, conjurer, or anything in between. Every member of this esteemed order have taken the vow to study all there is to know of their opponents while never applying theory to practice, utilizing the forbidden knowledge of spells and rituals to bring about their defeat and pass judgement for the security of the Kingdom. Will you answer the call of the Ironbound?

This will be the premiere playtest launch for a new story RPG system scheduled for release in 2016 by Broken Ruler Games and we’re looking for imaginative players to take on the role of Writers working with the Director to help craft the story of a single squadron dispatched to rescue a lost child abducted by the Scarab Witch. What makes this game unique is that you will not simply react to the predetermined events, you will actively shape the world and tell the story together using the ScreenPlay system. In addition to having a great time, you’ll also receive alpha-level playtester credit and a PDF copy of the finished product upon this game’s release slated for sometime in 2016.

As a special incentive, here are JPEG previews of the character notes and roles you’ll be using when you sign up to play. And if you’re unable to join due to geography, you can still look at them and get ready to try it out for yourself when the Rehearsal Edition drops October 20th.


ScreenPlay_Ironbound_shieldbearer ScreenPlay_Ironbound_scout ScreenPlay_Ironbound_commander ScreenPlay_Ironbound_blade ScreenPlay_Ironbound_arcanist