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Sunday, 18 October 2015

SIX OF THE BEST: Gaming Ballistic


(1) How long have you been blogging and how’d you get into it in the first place? 

Douglas Cole: Gaming Ballistic started on Dec 26, 2012. I remember reading Peter Dell'Orto's blog Dungeon Fantastic and thinking that though he far eclipsed me as a published author, I had insights to offer the GURPS community that were worth sharing. I figured it'd be worth the try, and if I wrote the blog more or less in the same style that Pyramid Magazine accepts articles, that it would be good practice for honing my ability to communicate clearly and organize effectively.

(2) What do you blog about and how frequently do you post?

DC: My primary blog topic is roleplaying games, and I occasionally segue into related works such as movies as well as my yearly foray to Comicon with my daughter.

I tend to post roughly every day and a half, on the average. The posts tend to be long. 

As for gaming, the broad topics tend to be "rules tinkering," "play reports," "firearms in gaming," and "combat mechanics in gaming, especially grappling." I have a vested interest in grappling, having published GURPS Technical Grappling through Steve Jackson Games, as well as a short D&D-related grappling system (with Peter Dell'Orto) in Tim Shorts' Manor #8.

Finally, I've got 20 really interesting video interviews, with full text and audio transcripts as well, of gaming notables and personalities. I've interviewed Ken Hite and Steve Jackson. Sean Punch, Steven Marsh, and prolific Pyramid authors. Plus as many Virtual Tabletop creators as I could find, including Fantasy Grounds and Roll20. Plus some popular bloggers, including ConTessa founder Stacy Dellorfano and OSR icon and Kickstarter Cop Erik Tenkar. 



(3) How does your blog stand out from all the rest?

DC: The top thing you can find on Gaming Ballistic are the interviews mentioned above. 

The next thing is that I get crunchy about things. You'll find some detailed analysis of dice mechanics, firearms penetration and wounding, and many other aspects of the metasystems behind gaming, presented in a pretty approachable way (so says me). 

Lots and lots of thoughts about rules and how they impact the play of the game. An entire series called Violent Resolution which compares and contrasts five game systems and how they approach combat. Those systems are very different.

And for fun, when I play games, I do some pretty detailed write-ups.

Oh! And some really excellent cross-blog collaboration in series called Melee Academy and GURPS 101. Some notable GURPS authors and bloggers have participated in those, and the various perspectives are really great.


(4) What’s the best (and worst) thing about blogging?

DC: The best is when you write something that triggers a huge response, especially a positive one. When you get a really good - even if heated - discussion going. And when you can make connections and friends in a global hobby community.

The worst thing is the time. It takes time to write good stuff, and hold yourself to a standard of content that invites others to come by regularly and visit. And of course the occasional vastly negative reaction that you get when you try and put yourself and your ideas out in what can be a fairly insular community at times. The frustration of trying to break out from a few dozen to a few hundred to a (yet to be reached) few thousand - or more! - readers.

(5) Do you have any self-imposed rules (or guidelines) for your blog?

DC: No politics. Nothing my daughter's can't read or look at if it's on the screen. No personal attacks. To quote Wil Wheaton: "Don't be a d**k."

(6) Name one blog everyone should be reading (other than your own).

DC: I always look forward to just about anything Peter Dell'Orto has to say on Dungeon Fantastic. He's a quality author (both his published works and his blog) and his insight into what makes a good game at a real gaming table is deep.

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