[VAM] From The Top Of The Needle

Long story short, Vegas After Midnight has changed considerably in form since the last time I wrote about it here back in 2007. Back in those days, VAM was to be based on the FATE System, the same engine under the hood of Spirit of the Century, but it was discovered (via playtest that included the one I did at Gen Con 2008) that the side effect of that system’s close association with the Pulp genre yielded VAM games that were way too high on the crazy/wacky scale and very low on the horror/desperation dept.

After some fine-tuning, VAM was re-imagined using Don’t Rest Your Head as the driving engine; same company, different system, very different play experience. DRYH is a game of psychological horror and nightmares given form, perfect for the idea of the Madness in VAM. Creator Mick Bradley and co-designer David Moore have been working on translating the idea of VAM to the new language that is DRYH and the results so far look fantastic. Along the way, Mick has also reworked and updated the imagery of the game, and this has allowed him to have the art support the new premise of the game.

As these small-press projects go, VAM will be ready when it’s ready and not a moment sooner than that, but in the meantime, Mick maintains a window into the design process firmly open for anyone wanting to peek inside the workshop. Updates are fairly regular, and comments are welcomed and encouraged, as they help the process of creation.

Understand that, while I remain one of the periphery people most related to VAM (and possibly still its eventual publisher via Highmoon Games), I’ve not had a direct hand in the design in months. My involvement has been more of the Greek Chorus type to Mick’s posts, just offering feedback on whatever new glimpse is offered. But the thing is, I am very much a fan of the game as well, and fans want to be a part of that which they like. So when Mick posted the draft of what will be the Introduction to the book, a piece of in-character speech from the game’s guide, a DJ broadcasting from the top of the Stratosphere named Picchiatello Jack, I got the idea to record the dialogue in my best approximation of what Jack sounded like based on the conversation in the comments.

Go check out [VAM] A Voice in the Wilderness and listen to the audio. Leave Mick some feedback as well if you’re so inclined. Get in the Game.