I first met “Chap” when I first met Peter. The two of them, the Lab’s truly competitive gamers, were doing color commentary for tournaments in our PAX booth. Chap also was an instrumental part of getting our Twitch setup operational and professional looking. In fact, I’d gotten so used to him being the font of all technical wisdom that I forgot he was also a very smart, very experienced designer. I wish I could tell you all exactly what he was doing right now, but that would give away too much about the thing we’re working on. And as I said before…we can’t talk about what we’re working on, so we’re talking about who is doing the work. And on this campaign, this intrepid adventure, here’s Jonathan Sharp’s character sheet for all of you who’ve played D&D. (Get ready to Google Carcharodon carcharias.) He has a much higher creativity score than he gives himself credit for. — Sanya
Designer Character Sheet
by Jonathan Sharp
I grew up as a military brat, and one thing I always had in common with new friends was a love for games. So, after talking with Sanya, we thought it might be fun to write a blog in the form of a video game character. TL;DR: *spoilers* I played a lot of games while growing up. Then I became a game designer.
Player Name: Jonathan Sharp
Homeland: Various military bases across the U.S.
Armor Class: 6 (+4 with hoodie and +2 with hat)
Spirit Animal: Carcharodon carcharias
Guild: Undead Labs
Mechanical Keyboard of the Red switches: 1d10, 18 times per day, can be used to annoy coworkers
Logitech G9 laser: 1d4, +5 vs. popup windows
Standing desk: restores leg stamina at 2 points per hour, -4 to lower back pain
Shure sound isolating headphones: 1d6, +613 to focusing and actually getting work done
Liberal arts B.A. in Philosophy and Religion, minor in Starcraft:Brood War
Before joining the Undead Labs guild, Chaplan attended an academy in Louis’si’Anna. While there, wrote for a starcraft strategy website after playing entirely too much Starcraft. Was able to turn this experience into a job at a game company, where he did design and balance on an RTS title.
Works well in teams
Polymath – plays many game genres
Makes allies quickly
Enjoys playing games on streams with others
Does not think in binary, which slows his scripting and spreadsheet abilities, reducing ability to interface with programmers
Sometimes lets “perfect” be the enemy of “finished”
Broken ankle from high school basketball – sometimes reduces DEXTERITY by -4
Watches way too much Twitch
Hat of +2 stealth while in urban environments.
Bill Murray shirt of +4 to chilling out.
By going to the kitchen and combining hot water and tea, one is able to extract the power of caffeine.
Casting time: 3-5 minutes, depending how much water is left in the water heater.
Material components: Hot water, black tea, stevia.
Spell school: Alchemy.
Recast time: 2-3 hours.
Effect: +10 to cognitive abilities for 30 minutes.
Stare Into Space
You are able to zone out, and think really hard about something while staring at nothing in particular.
Casting time: Instant.
Cost: Soul energy.
Recast time: Doubles if sitting at desk near a window.
Effect: You become so engrossed in your thoughts that you enter “flow”.
Have “good” idea
Somehow, you have “good” idea.
Cost: 12 “good” ideas can be purchased for approximately 10 cents.
Base stat: Verbal communication.
Effect: Once cast, skill icon is replaced by Spell: Execute “good” idea.
Execute “good” idea
You are able to execute on a “good” idea.
Casting time: 1 week to 2 years.
Elements used: inspiration, blood, sweat, tears, soulmatter.
Recast time: Can only be cast after a successful cast of Spell: Have “good” idea.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
“Chaplan” began playing videogames at an early age, mostly Intellivision and Atari. Moved on to NES, followed by Genesis and Sega CD. Much Street Fighter 2, tournament play during elementary and junior high. Met most of his childhood friends through basketball courts or arcades.
In high school, progressed to PC games, after being introduced to Doom II by a friend. Played Starcraft at international level while in college. Moved on to competitive Guild Wars 1 after college, playing on multiple #1 ranked NA teams. Followed this with a few years playing competitive Magic: The Gathering in Seattle area (Focus in “Legacy” format). Played a lot of Baldur’s Gate 2 and Planescape Torment somewhere in there.
“Ok, so I’m not saying this is a good idea, but what if we….”
“You know what we could do? What if we combined your idea with her idea and then…”
“Ugh. X is kicking my butt. I need to suck less.”
Lessons learned along the way:
Look anywhere for inspiration – movies, books, sciences, arts, music.
Play games, but be well-rounded in “R.L.” too.
Execute the basics.
Learn the rules before you try to break them.
Good ideas come from anywhere.
Critique your own ideas and subject them to the analysis of others.
Coming up with “ideas” is easy. “Execution” is what’s really hard.
If you’re weak at something:
1) Find a mentor
2) Be quiet
3) Listen to what they say
4) Watch what they do
5) Put their lessons into practice
6) Repeat steps 2-5