Emerald Specter 108: Creating a BuJoRPG Dev Blog

Once again, I delve into the world of bullet journaling and BuJoRPG (and BuJourneyRPG). Before I get started into the meat of this article, it’s important to understand what has been happening and why this subject (the one in the title) came up.

First and foremost, the “Christmas season” is my busiest time of year. I assist my wife with her dog and cat treat business (if you haven’t checked it out, I suggest you go there).

I also work for the US Postal Service and that, by default, means that I’m super busy (due to the much, much higher volume of packages this time of year).

Just these two things combined would be enough to break many people but I also have the added things of keeping up with certain games (I’ve invested a lot of time into Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes), social things I want to participate in (things like movies I want to see), work related meetings to attend (union related), and just everyday house maintenance.

There’s a lot on my plate this time of year… and to set myself up for success next year, I’ve decided on creating the BuJoRPG Dev Blog on this site. Let’s get to the meat of the column.

My initial plans for BuJourneyRPG have hit a snag that I just didn’t have time to fix before the holiday season washed over me like a tidal wave. Sure, there are fixes for these things but the overall idea is that I needed to start thinking of how I wanted to change that system in order to make it work with what I originally planned.

I also received a message from someone asking for a “chick version” of BuJoRPG… more on that in a bit.

Up to this point, I have not asked my wife for help on creating BuJourneyRPG. I haven’t really gotten any help from anyone, and that let’s you peak behind the curtain to learn the fact that all of this has been 100% me since the get go.

When I asked my wife to jump on board this little adventure, she was excited and I made the decision that BuJourneyRPG, while definitely still “adventures on top of self improvement” needed to be far more dynamic than the limited scope I was initially planning.

After doing some pondering, I also started to realize that I needed to be making notes, or updating things in a more open space, to show that some progress was being made… and then, of course, I didn’t have time to get that started, so I’ve lost a couple of the notes I’ve made already because I made them on paper and paper gets misplaced.

My new idea was to create a Dev Blog, something solely dedicated to working with both versions of BuJoRPG (which I’m pleased to say is still THE reason people come to this site).

Some time over the course of the next two days to two weeks, I’ll create the fancy new header/cover image for the blog and start posting in January (when work slows down enough for me to gather my head together to start putting things into words people can read rather than just being abstract images in my head). 

What’s going to be in the Dev Blog?

I need to let you know that BuJourneyRPG is going to be a revenue generator for me because I can only do so much if I’m not getting paid for the work. That’s 99% of the reason I haven’t gotten much farther by this point than I have. Having said that, the base system is going to be free… it’s the story and developmental elements that are going to cost some money.

Don’t worry, though, I’m not going to be trying to sell you something tiny for an extravagant amount… the idea is to make it an easy decision to purchase because you aren’t taking out a mortgage on the house. Think more “candy at the cash register” than “brand new hard cover book” purchases.

The Dev Blog itself will be about what I need to work on, what is being worked on, and some of the details of that work that is being done.

For example, I might mention that I’m developing a mechanic to represent a magic system. Then I tell you about the options I came up with and that I’ll be testing out those options to figure out the best one. Finally, I may tell you what I’ve settled on and what is coming up next.

Progress!

Is the character sheet mentioned way back when still happening?

Absolutely!

My first character sheet was designed to be something you could keep going back to in your journal rather than recreating the bones of that every time you updated (like I had for BuJoRPG Version 1). I still love the idea and while I don’t have a solid sheet to show you (yet), I happened across a completely awesome sheet while looking for the cover for this column (image seen below).

The full sized image can be seen here.

There is way more going on on this spread than my simple character sheet, but this is only going to make me alter the spread slightly… because there are things on this sheet that won’t apply to BuJourneyRPG (obviously) and things that need to be included that aren’t on this spread, too.

It’s at least something to fire up the creative thinking.

How often will the Dev Blog be updated?

Ideally, I’ll be updating it weekly (or multiple times per week). Unfortunately, free time and creativity do not run on a schedule, so the updates might also come slower than weekly (but no less often than monthly).

The point of the Dev Blog is to update you when something needs to be updated, so if I make massive amounts of progress in a short period of time, then maybe you’ll get five updates one week. If things are moving slower, then maybe you’ll only get three updates a month.

Would anyone else be able to help with the creation of BuJourneyRPG?

I’d like to say yes, but that might also mean sharing the profits. While there is a plan for that in the future, I’m not quite ready for an entire team of people coming on board at this time.

This does not mean that if you make suggestions on how something might work better that your suggestion wouldn’t be taken in and used. Especially with the building of the base system, I would love a little involvement from others.

In fact, let me say that: I would love help with the base system. It doesn’t pay but you’ll help set BuJourneyRPG up to be a success in the future.

As far as the “after the base system is out,” I’ll be interested in developing some basic language learning adventures, weight loss adventures, and other self improvement specific items that would need someone to be fairly knowledgable in creating those. (I, for example, can’t run you through learning French because I don’t know a lick of French… and a French speaker would be able to adapt my Vietnamese learning method into BuJourneyRPG with far more robustness than I could provide).

What about the “chick system?”

I almost forgot to include this in the post!

A woman contacted me about BuJoRPG and asked me for a version of it “for chicks” (her words, not mine). What she was ideally asking for is a system that didn’t have “combat” in it. That lead me to start thinking up some stuff that might be an alternative…

BuJourneyRPG already had a version of “no combat” baked in and I hadn’t realized it until she made that request. Combat in BuJourneyRPG can be physical, mental, emotional, or social… which is more “conflict resolution” than actual combat. There NEEDS to be a system of conflict resolution, otherwise you’re just reading a book or learning something the boring old way.

My wife was happy to hear about the request and that is when I asked her to jump on board the project. When Christmas winds down, for both of us, we can start working on things. 

I do have stuff to post on the Dev Blog that has already been developed and I can post about with the new base system.

Why do you keep saying “base system?”

The idea is that BuJourneyRPG isn’t just a self improvement method like BuJoRPG was. There will be components to BuJourneyRPG that aren’t related to self improvement at all, while other elements will heavily rely on self improvement.

My base system will allow you to participate in different genres of adventuring and self improvement without tying you down to one specific genre.

You might start off in a space opera genre to get the story laid out and then head over to a high fantasy genre for your self improvements for the month. After that, you might hit up a military genre for another self improvement portion and finish up with some adventuring with mythological unicorns for story.

All of those will feed into the base system.

If I’m being honest, I really need some accountability to keep me moving forward. Too often have I promised something only to shove it under the rug to do something else.

I have a touch of ADD.

I look forward to making this happen and finally putting out a version of BuJourneyRPG that everyone will enjoy.