What the gosh darn heck is indyhippo?
indyhippo is the publishing imprint of game designer Leo Marshall, AKA catty_big.
It’s a bit of a joke. You know, indy as in indy, and hippo as in hippy? Thus indyhippo, geddit?
Sci-Fi Beta Kappa, the first game to be published under the indyhippo imprint, and co-written with Dan Marriott, is a light-hearted game about delinquent aliens with superpowers sent to C22 Terra under the terms of a treaty that enables us to receive the benefits of powerful Galactic Federation technology in exchange for taking in its low-level miscreants. The characters in the game are denizens of a frat house in Weber College, in New New England, where they get up to all kinds of mischief and are constantly under the watchful eye of the Dean, who hates aliens and is always looking for an excuse to close down Alien House.
Sci-Fi Beta Kappa is available now. You can buy it either at DriveTHRURPG (print version £9, PDF £4), or direct from the publisher in the UK.
Where The Heart Is is a GMless storygame that explores the family of tomorrow, where atypical family structures have become the norm, but where family members have to deal with all the traditional kinds of problems as well as some new ones. Don’t worry, the family needn’t be horribly dysfunctional. It’s whatever the player group make it. Features an innovative character generation mechanic. Currently in open beta. Link to beta version (available on DriveTHRURPG: Print version £3, PDF free) here.
Dead Men Talking is a game about convicted murderers about to be executed looking back over their lives and crimes. It explores the complex issues of motivation, self-awareness and redemption, set against the backdrop of a harsh and unforgiving gameworld (a Death Row facility), peopled by player and non-player characters who each have their own agendas. Link to current draft here.
In SkipJack, players build a single character by examining a bunch of items found in a hypothetical rubbish skip outside a typical suburban residential house. Players take turns imagining the connection of the Protagonist to each item, after which they create scenes to illustrate these connections. At the conclusion of each scene, the player group attempt to fill in bit by bit a character sheet with what they think they’ve learned about the Protagonist. Link to current draft here.
Great Minds is a game about scientific geniuses who can solve the mysteries of the Universe, but who between them can’t boil an egg. You play one of the great minds of Europe in the early Twentieth Century, experts in their fields- electrical engineering, quantum mechanics, astro-physics etc.- who, for one reason or another, have left their homes and are now forced to share a poky flat in North London. The players attempt to do ordinary things, for example grocery shopping, household chores and interacting with various people- tradesmen, landlords, shop-keepers and so forth, and (crucially) each other- whilst at the same time wrestling with the great scientific problems of the day. Link to current draft here.
All that Glitters explores what happens to an ordered, centuries-old society after the loss of its sacred texts. Can such a society be restored to its former greatness, or is it doomed to slide inexorably into lawlessness and decay? In this game, the player group attempts to rebuild a once vibrant and bustling city. During the game they take on the roles of Leader, Elders, High Councillors and ordinary citizens, as together they try to forge a glittering new society from the rubble of the old. Link to current draft here.
Disgraceful is a game set in the 1920s which explores the conflict between ambition and morality at a time when seemingly anything was acceptable (‘Anything Goes’, to quote the song title). Players have to negotiate the moral maze of 1920s Hollywood, and succeed in their ambitions without falling prey to the many temptations the city has to offer. Link to outline concept here. Work on this game is scheduled to begin in early 2017.
Chaotic Evil is a hectic, fast-paced game about ever so slightly incompetent apprentice demons, with a high level of PvP (and GMvP) as the characters attempt to sow havoc without either messing up and being hauled over the coals (literally) by the Boss (trust me, you don’t want that) or having their mischief foiled by the other players. It’s a high stakes game where the loser loses everything, and the winner doesn’t lose quite so much. Link to outline concept here. Work on this game is scheduled to begin in early 2017.
MotorMouth is a game about automobile salesmen in late 1950s/early 1960s America, a time when people had ‘never had it so good’, jobs were secure and plentiful, and there were customers waiting to buy the latest model as it rolled off the production line. Except that behind the picket fences the reps’ lives are slowly imploding, with marriages under strain or on the rocks, reps sleeping with each other’s wives and/or stealing each other’s customers, their wives on amphetamines, their teenage daughters getting pregnant and having abortions, and their sons modelling themselves on James Dean, loafing around in leather jackets and crashing their Dads’ cars in illegal drag races. Influences:
Rebel Without a Cause
Work on this game is scheduled to begin in late 2017.
In addition, I’m currently working on a game that’s a bit more crunchy than my previous efforts, set in the pulpy, Indiana Jones world of the 1930s, which I’m keeping close to my chest until it’s ready for playtest.
To contact me about any of the above games, or for any other reason for that matter (I’d love to hear from you!), while my new website is being built you can contact me either here or on various forums and via social media. My username is catty_big everywhere except Facebook, where I’m Cattinald Bigg. Alternatively, you can e-mail me at leomarshalldesigns [at] hotmail [dot] com. Please no insurance or double-glazing salesmen. Thank you.