Justice Playthrough #32: Sundown

Presentation matters.

Page 28, Game 25: Sundown by L A Wilga

This is another one where I have to engage the ol’ snark muffler; someone clearly put a crapload of work into this, and the only reason it’s in front of me now is that they effectively donated it to a charitable fundraiser.

But man, there are definitely some issues here.

This is a tabletop RPG, set in an original science fantasy world. When I first cracked-open the PDF, I was all “Whoa, 260 pages? I think I stumbled into another professional-grade product here.” But the layout of the book quickly convinced me otherwise.

The rules don’t sell the game. The contents of the book look drab and unimaginative; it’s just a single column of Header/Textblock over and over again, broken up by the occasional illustration. There isn’t even any effort made to include section information in the page headers or footers, which makes it tough to tell precisely where in the book you are.

What’s more, the rulebook is incomplete; the “Dossier” (character sheet) and “Questionnaire” (something about defining the setting?) aren’t included, and are only available as separate downloads off of the website.

I feel like for games like this where I’m looking at them but don’t think I’ll actually get the chance to play, the big question is, “Do these rules entice me into wanting to play the game they represent?” And for Sundown, the answer is “No.” It just looks drab and frustrating; I’m not confident I’ll be able to easily find whatever it is I want to know, whether it’s the steps in character creation or information about the setting or rules for actual gameplay.

I recognize my non-play “readthroughs” are for the tabletop material are inherently unfair; it’s entirely possible that if I sat at a table from somebody who was really passionate about the setting and the ruleset, the ensuing experience would be dope as fuck. Surely the game designers have that passion. Unfortunately, none of that passion made it into the rulebook.

Entice me, Sundown. Why should I spend my finite time playing you instead of some other game? It’s not a rhetorical question.

Maybe the next game will be more alluring?

Page 41, Game 2: Clouds of Fire: Blazing Skies by AaronMakesGames

“Complete Chaos in this Shoot-em up meets Rouge-like with Physics!”

So, it’s either gonna be awesome or a howling clusterfuck. Let’s see which!