Video game developers spend countless hours tweaking their work to produce the intangible quality they call Game Feel. Game Feel is that little spark of joy you get from tapping a button and seeing Mario jump. Even on an empty platform, without an enemy to stomp or a box to bash, it is satisfying when Mario jumps. Behind that feeling is Shigeru Miyamoto sitting in a studio with an alpha version of his game, making Mario jump over and over again, literally for days in an empty void, minutely adjusting Mario’s weight, jump velocity, landing animation, etc. until the jump feelsabsolutely perfect. Any time you’ve ever played a shooter and picked up a new gun, and just knew it was more powerful the moment you fired it, you’ve experienced game feel.
My Thursdays in Thracia series has gotten a few hundred readers now, and that game continues to be an ongoing source of joy for me to both DM and share with the gaming world.
The classic dungeon we are playing, The Caverns of Thracia, was written by Jennell Jaquays, a transgender woman. I have players in my group who are queer, trans and nonbinary. Any bit of popularity this blog has gotten is owed in no small part to them. Jennell made an amazing dungeon that holds up forty years later. My friends’ antics in it session after session provide the material for how I explore the history of role playing games.
Ongoing actions by the current administration to curtail the rights of transgender individuals have and will continue to have direct consequences, placing people at greater risk of suicide and violence.
“Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and microgrants organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community.”
If you are enjoying Thursdays in Thracia, please consider donating to Trans Lifeline, or another group of your choice championing LGBTQ rights.
Offworlders is a roleplaying game in the tradition of Traveller and Stars Without Number, that strips the classic formula of bouncing between planets with a crew of misfits down to its barest essentials.